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How Can I Put Smart Luggage With Wheels Onto Bicycle Rack?

Discussion in 'Research and Questionnaires' started by ship69, 24 Sep 2015.

  1. ship69

    ship69 Member


    I need to buy some sort of smart over night luggage (for a 2 night stay) onto a bicycle... that I can then take onto public transport (train, bus, tube etc). I am going to smart business meetings so whatever form of luggage I get, it must be fairly smart as well as being pretty much waterproof in case it rains. I have a robust rack on my bicycle that can handle panniers.

    Which should I buy:

    A) A rucksac ?
    (Not so smart, and less good for heavy weights within urban environment. Also tends to crush smart cloths. Also may not fit into aeroplane cabins should I use it for that... Also tends to be difficult to store in over-head luggage racks. Also the rucksac straps tend to rather destroy the shape of any smart jacket I'm wearing at the time.)

    B) A small 'cabin' bag with handle & wheels?
    But if so, how can I attach such a thing onto the bike's panniers?
    Is there anything specially designed for this purpose or will I have to lash something up?

    Any advise?

  2. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest

    What is the budget?

    There are a number of "Office type" bags available

    Ortlieb's travel biker is one option, or they do this which fits like a pannier

  3. alicat

    alicat Guru

    As Cunobelin says, there are a number of briefcase-type panniers and it's just a matter of working out if they have enough capacity and fit your budget.

    Basil probably do something suitable or you could see if this from Altura is big enough.
  4. OP

    ship69 Member

    Interesting. Thanks. To answer your questions it needs to be much larger than a briefcase!
    Re budget, I dont mind spending the money so long as I can use it on an aeroplane and so long as looks fairly pretty smart.
    I can't decide if it should be a solid shell or flexible.
    It needs to be as large as possible that will still be allowed into a British airline cabin (i.e. must be squeezable down to 55 x 40 x 20 cm)
    It order to be easy to handle on public transport it must have wheels (ideally 4 rather than 2 wheels - to avoid tipping weight, which can be a pain over longer distances).
  5. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    Also seen at http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=100445

    Related question: if you use the bike to take the luggage on the first leg to a train/bus station, what do you do with the bike? Station parking is notoriously theft-prone. Do some stations have long-term bookable cycle parking?
  6. OP

    ship69 Member

    Yes I leave the bike at the railway station and yes, it is a theft risk. However about 1000 or so people do so, so the risk isn't too bad. Also I have a heavy duty D-shaped lock that make other people bikes easier to steal than mine.

    IDEALLY, where possible, I would put the bike onto the train in order to get to the big city and would bicycle around there too. However if I do this, the luggage would clearly need to be extremely stable for cycling all around the big city rather than the relatively simple job of my getting to the railway station (c 4 miles in a straight line).
  7. OP

    ship69 Member

    Btw, Ortlieb's travel biker would be great if
    a) it had wheels
    b) they were still making it!

    Hmm maybe I need to add my own wheels with a separate device - but would look scruff!
  8. OP

    ship69 Member

    To summarize my thinking so far:

    I have a good, normal full-sized all terrain bike, and no, I am not going to buy another bike just to take my luggage to the railway station.

    No, am not prepared to front load the bike because I go down a steep hill on the way to the train and (particularly when late and trying to catch a train[!]) this would be extremely dangerous if I had to brake hard.
    ==> So some form of rear-loading is the only option.


    i.e. Shoulder straps could be used for travelling on the bike, plus wheels for extending walking with heavy weights on underground/bus/trains etc in the big city. Yes, if pushed, this could be an option. BUT what do I do about crushing my nice suit jacket? Also I do not want to get a sweaty back on the way in. So on balance I would much prefer to put the luggage onto the my bike's rack (my existing one is pretty sturdy!)

    Splitting the weight across both sides would be ideal for stability (even though less good for wind resistence). BUT it would need wheels & extendable handle. And the 2 sides would need to clip together somehow. This might work well, however I cant find any panniers that clip together and have and extendible handle + wheels.
    ==> Is such a thing commercially available?

    (This page on alibaba is rather remarkable - but still nothing!)
    http://guide.alibaba.com/shopping-guide ... -rack.html

    Yes, for really heavy weights this might be the only option! However I do not want to leave the trailer at the railway station as it will attract unwanted attention to my bike. PLUS the extra weight going up hill will not help. So, no good.

    This my preferred option. It would involve little or no unnecessary weight. Only one bag to detach from the bike. Granted, it won't be very stable but I have good balance and can live with that, particularly being as wind resistance and getting through traffic will be better than using panniers.

    i) The luggage It must be mounted very robustly onto the rear rack (to minimise wobbles/gradual damage to the bag), hopefully using some sort of clip system.
    ii) The luggage needs an extensible handle plus its own wheels

    What I need is a cabin bag complete with
    - extentible handle & wheels,
    - that can be quickly and robustly attached to the top of my rear bike rack

    ==> Is such a thing commercially available?

    Many thanks
  9. A fairly useless suggestion: Have you looked at Eagle Creek luggage? They do quite a few slightly unusual luggage systems. I don't know whether they have anything to suit, but I've bought things like a rucksack with detachable wheels and frame from them, which I like.
  10. Milkfloat

    Milkfloat Veteran

    Maybe I am missing something important - but what is wrong with just putting a cabin bag in a crate or even just strapping it to a rack?

  11. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    Strapping it to a rack was dismissed on the other site as "bungees - which in any case would probably be quite time consuming (not to mention a danger to one eyes over time!). If I added a flat solid board I could probably stick on my existing rack if I had to but the use of bungees remains rather a pain for repeated use."

    This conversation does remind me rather of the joke about the person who kept turning away rescuers from a flood by saying "God will save me"... that or being unhappy that a bespoke solution isn't available on the mass market.
    Milkfloat likes this.
  12. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    If in London, why not go to somewhere like Condor, Rapha or Velorution and see what they can offer - if anyone can source high end bike luggage, they probably can (or maybe try a touring specialist like Spa)

    However, I expect you want may not actually be available because the market for a wheeled suitcase that goes on the back of a bike is so niche as to not be worth anyone's while. Are there perhaps leather companies that make bespoke luggage to order, but would likely costs '000s not hundreds

    Or why can't you just carry smart panniers? I think it may be that you want cycling equipment but not to look like a cyclist. Nor do many business folk, but they they don't cycle, they use planes, trains and automobiles (taking the latter to the airport or station)
  13. OP

    ship69 Member

    Eagle Creek look well made - nice to know about - thanks. However they do not seem to do anything for bicycles as such.

    Actually not as mad (extremely mad) as it looks, being as if the walls were high enough the bag would not need strong bungee straps to keep it in place. Hmm... It would need to be quite a large box to fit a cabin bag though. And would need to be fixed very robustly to the bike rack. The main down-sides would be
    a) Wind resistence during normal use when luggage is off the bike
    b) Likely to attract unwanted attention when parked up at railway station ==> theft of bike? Vandalisation of box?
    c) Time to find such a box.
    d) Time to fit such a box
    Moreover it does look completely mad however. And if I ever wanted to cycle to a client's premises the box would be a liability.
  14. Milkfloat

    Milkfloat Veteran

    I have also seen bikes with a plastic crate and even a supermarket shopping basket.
  15. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    If you're worried about an old milk crate being vandalised, what about the rest of your bike?!

    How far and how often are you cycling with this suitcase?