Rucksac vs. panniers

palinurus

Legendary Member
Location
Watford
It's an old argument, and I'm a rucksac kinda guy. No need for that ugly rack, no need to bugger around taking a pannier off when buying a paper.

I'm also the sort of guy who doesn't take work home, but for the first time ever I've needed to transport my laptop from work to home.

Now that really requires panniers: was it ever uncomfortable. Damn thing doesn't even weigh that much; but it made a lot of difference strapped to my back.

Normally all I got (at most) is my essential tools, spare light, trousers, shirt, anti-commando pants and money/keys etc.

Next time I'll take a taxi.
 
Soon I am going to get one of those Topeak tail rails of whatever they are called. They clamp onto your (non carbon) seatpost and can take a fairly moderate load - perfect for commuting IMO.
 
Even if I had panniers, which I don't, I don't thing I'd be too keen on putting a laptop in them as it'd probably get knackered within a week with all the vibration/bumps from the road - tell me if I'm wrong.

Try a messenger bag, Timbuk2 do some nice laptop specific ones, you ca even design your own colour scheme and with the USD/GBP excange rate at the moment they've never been cheaper.
 

simoncc

New Member
Panniers are easily best for commuting. But why lug a computer around anyway? These days its easy to access your work computer from a computer at home, so get work to give you a laptop to keep at home. Carting a computer about between work and home is a bit old-fashioned these days, and on a bike you can't even write that vital report while you travel as some people do on the train.
 

Ludwig

Hopeless romantic
Location
Lissingdown
I have a rack and strap bag to it with those elastic ties with hooks on the end. Whilst a rucksack is ok for short commutes, you will have sore knees and back if you are doing long off road rides etc and naturally you get very hot and sweaty with this weight on your back. Also you are able to generate much more power and have much control over your machine without a bag on your back. So rucksack riding is really not to be recommended.
 

Bollo

Failed Tech Bro
Location
Winch
joebe said:
- tell me if I'm wrong.
You're wrong!:biggrin:

I got some panniers because the "ain't half hot mum" style sweat patches on my back were making me unattractive to my coworkers. I use an Ortbieb office bag + laptop insert to keep the 'puter safe, and its worked so far, although the only reason I have to go to work is to pay for the Ortlieb gear.

Things feel a little more stable if you're carrying a lot because of the lower centre of gravity. The downside for me is that I find myself carting more around, because I can. Coming home from work yesterday with laptop, change of clothes for casual Friday, dirty shirts from the rest of the week and a bit of shopping, my steed looked thus

 

PrettyboyTim

New Member
Location
Brighton
Jacomus-rides-Gen said:
Soon I am going to get one of those Topeak tail rails of whatever they are called. They clamp onto your (non carbon) seatpost and can take a fairly moderate load - perfect for commuting IMO.
I had one of them on my last bike, but I found it had a tendency to swing around to the left or right when I leant my bike up against things. Perhaps I was doing something wrong. The bag I had for it fitted on the top, but I imagine you could have fitted a pannier to it as well. However, I wouldn't want a pannier on it unless I was confident that it wouldn't shift at all.

I guess the good thing about them is that they are quick release so you could easily just pop it on when you needed to use a pannier.

As for the pannier / backpack question - for me at the moment it's panniers all the way. I don't miss getting a really sweaty back at all. I can see though that if you had a light sleek racer rather than a ugly heavy hybrid like mine you might baulk at the idea of ruining its lines with a rack.
 
OP
palinurus

palinurus

Legendary Member
Location
Watford
threefingerjoe said:
Palinurus,

No offense intended, so I hope you don't take this as such, but you surprise me. You would rather take a cab than ride with a pannier?

Joe
No I wouldn't take a cab.

I'm too tight. I'd get the bus.

I did use panniers for a while, just that my current commuter doesn't have a rack and because of the other uses I put it to it doesn't want one, unless it can be taken on an off really quick.

(might have a look at seatpost mounted jobs in the LBS later)
 

Plax

Guru
Location
Wales
I've gone back to a rucksack, after using a pannier. Mainly because my pannier rack doesn't fit my current bike. I do get a sweaty back, but I shower and have a change of clothes at work so it is no big deal. I found even with a pannier rack my back got a bit sweaty anyway. I found it did also make the bike "heavier" and therefore less manouverable.
 

PrettyboyTim

New Member
Location
Brighton
wafflycat said:
Sorry PrettyboyTim, but yes, you are doing it wrong!
I thought so, but I don't know what I did wrong! However tight I fastened it to the post, it always slipped. Perhaps there was some oil on the seat post or something. No way of telling now as I don't have it any more.
 

monnet

Veteran
I always used a rucksack until I bought my new commuter bike which has pannier stays. I have to take in a few bits and bobs everyday and on some days the rucksack was so full it was dangerous (ie: looking behind in heavy traffic could often lead to a bit of imbalance). The change to panniers was a revelation in several respects (and I'm one of those who thinks they look ugly and pannier racks are no things to put on road bikes). Firstly, I like the stability and the lack of aching shoulders. I also felt safer as my reflective clothing was lot more visible than the reflective bits on my rucksack.

Then I noticed comething odd. I was getting alot more space from traffic. I put this down to the reflective panels on the panniers, which leads drivers to (for once) percieve me to be wider than I am. The other great thing is the extra weight you have to deal with. My commute has a couple of litle hills in it and if I extend it in the evenings it has even more hills- all of which makes weekend riding on my non commuter a very fast and rewarding experience. Panniers, they're my new favourite bike item!
 
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