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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 18 mile round trip commute on a salsa casseroll ss, 3 times a week. My pack is stuffed with clothes, lunch, 2 u-locks ( one is a kryptonite ny fuggedaboudit), lights (in the morning), pump and tools.

I'm thinking panniers may be a better bet than the ridiculous pack I lug in to work everyday, but don't know squat about them. Any suggestions? I lock my bike on the street, so they've got to be pretty quick to take off and put on.

Thanks
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Sweep the leg!
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My wife uses a saddlebag type pannier on her commuter. They go across the rear rack and have a tension cord with hooks on the ends which connect under the bottom most end of the rack. She has a 12 mile round trip commute to campus. she carries a U lock, cable, her books and other teaching materials and sometimes food and clothes. We've also used them for errands, going to soccer games (they hold a ball and boots easily) and they're fairly water resistant.

Here's a set that's similar, and the police embroidery might cut down on motorists hassling you.

Here's a nearly identical Nashbar set for $30.
 

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Drybags

I've been running my Topeak drybags for almost a year now and love them so far. They are waterproof and come off with the push of a button. The only complaint I've had is that the button gets gunked up when it rains and is hard to operate but cleaning it with mild soap and water then putting a drop of silicone on it makes it work for a week and a half to two weeks in rain and gunk.
 

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Bikeoholic
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I also own a casseroll and I think the only way to go is panniers. I live in sunny san diego so I don't have any fancy waterproof bags, but I have two cheap panniers which work out well.

You can lighten your load by leaving your heavy lock where you always lock up your bike at work, and a carry lighter lock for stops other places.

So in conclusion yeah go with orliebs they look pretty nice.
 

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sonoranbiker
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503 Posts
I was commuting for quite a while, and got frustrated with trying to fit everything into my Timbuktu bag. It gets uncomfortable with a laptop, school books, change of clothes, lunch, jacket, etc. I just set up my D440 with a rack and panniers, and bought the Transit Pro DX ones from Performance (http://www.performancebike.com/shop/profile.cfm?SKU=23923&subcategory_ID=2312). They are selling for $60 a set, can be gotten down to $40 with the right discounts, and I have been impressed with the quality. They even come with rain fly's for bad weather (not a concern here in Tucson). I looked at the waterproof ones as well, but didn't like the fact that they didn't have any sort of cam strap to tighten the bag up when not fully loaded. Few things bother me more than loads shifting while riding.
 

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Ariolimax columbianus
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1,641 Posts
some thoughts...

figure out the volumetric capacity of your original bag 1st. next look for some panniers that either match that size or are in your desired range. in looking @ panniers you get what you pay for in terms of price/quality/durabilty/choice. i've been running through some of the same issues you have and between trying to be visible enough on the road and carrying a load there's nothing better than real world testing/experience. if you commute in any rain you'll probably want a waterproof pannier/sack. i tried some of the larger ortlieb panniers and found them to be a little to large for my general commute, but was overall impressed w/the quality and mounting system. but like sonoranbiker says the lack of a cam strap may bother you, but this could also be alleviated w/a separate strap(s) supplied by you. if you use a rack you can also purchase a waterproof stuff sack and bungee it to your rack. this is probably the cheapest method and is pretty bomb in terms of load suspension/movement.

the cdw bags http://carouseldesignworks.com/ are interesting too if you plan to double up your gear for any mtb touring or want rackless options. checkout some of devo's threads all over mtbr and hunt for tips, maybe he'll even come through this thread and drop some knowledge.

whatever you come up with please share your experience because it's all good.
 

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I use a Topeak MTX DXP trunk Bag with fold-out panniers. Comes with shoulder strap. Slides and clicks into the Topeak Explorer rack. Have been using it for 2 years now with no problems. Trunk holds all my bike specific gear. I use the fold-out panniers for laptop, clothes, lunch, books, etc. If I have a "light" load or take a rec ride, I just zip the panniers away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey, great tips, thanks. I'll have to spend more time in the commuter forum.

The locks are definitely a bummer. The management at my building is anti bike and won't let them inside. I've thought about leaving the locks on the street, but in the city (San Francisco), bike racks are as good as fire hydrants to the 4 legged and late night crowd.

Those ortleibs look pretty good, will let you know what I end up with.:thumbsup:

-slide
 

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Another great thing about the Ortliebs is that they have excellent adjustability and can be made to fit about anything. Position the hook on the bottom so it engages one of the diagonal bars on the rack and attaching and removal are effortless. The latch system guarantees they will never bounce off. The best solution for waterproof bags I have found.
 

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Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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Just saw some of these in person a few days back.

http://www.seattlesportsco.com/productcart/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=91

Seemed very well made, decently burly, light, well sealed. Not horribly spendy, either. If I didn't already have a pretty servicable setup of bags, I'd be getting some. Basic, not overly done. Not a ton of bells and whistles - just basic bags, which is fine by me.
 

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Wierdo
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citybiker said:
I use a Topeak MTX DXP trunk Bag with fold-out panniers. Comes with shoulder strap. Slides and clicks into the Topeak Explorer rack. Have been using it for 2 years now with no problems. Trunk holds all my bike specific gear. I use the fold-out panniers for laptop, clothes, lunch, books, etc. If I have a "light" load or take a rec ride, I just zip the panniers away.
+1

I also bought the raincover for this, slips over easily and keeps everything dry.
 

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dirtbag
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1,533 Posts
I'm diggin my Ortliebs. I have the Office bag and rollers and both are waterproof, sturdily built and easy to put on and take-off (just lift the handle). Both have adjustable mounting to fit just about any rack.
 

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Dinner for wolves
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Ever consider the Carradice SQR bags? I don't own one, but I have been looking hard at them. Heel strike is an issue for a Sasquatch like me. Certainly there is a limit to how much you can put in one of those bags.
 
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