Bikepacking - a viable alternative to racks & panniers

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  • Empty your drinks bottles at the bottom?

  • The riders spare tyre?

    Losing 1kg will not make a difference. Dont be that iduot counting grams.

  • I don't have drink bottles.


  • It will make 'some' difference. If I can lose a couple of kgs and reduce the bike weight by a kg or two then it's something. I'll probably try a 42T on the back too, to make it even more climbing friendly.

  • You can use the 3rd attachment point to stop it bouncing. Either: the same way up as you have it, loop the strap back over the stem to lift the bag off the hoses, or: the second option to strap the harness to the headtube to stop it pushing forwards on the hoses.

  • @platypus I seem to recall you recommending a seam sealant for my tarptent - can you enlighten me as to what it was again?

  • Permatex Flowable Silicone

  • Cheers, will have another go.

  • Empty your bottom at the bottom?

  • Hey guys,

    New to this and looking for a handlebar bar for commuting (60 km per day) only ( for now).

    Have finally worked out how to get my boss to agree I don't have to drag my laptop from and to work so I can finally ditch the big saddlebag.

    Want to get something smaller for up front.

    Ideally it would be a harnass with a drybag so I can unclip it at work, take it into the locker room and upstairs.

    Would need to be able to pack lunch, clothes, towel, and some rain gear.

    Have been looking at stuff online and the restrap one looks awesome but a bit overkill for commuting?

    Also, can someone tell me I'm being an idiot because this bike actually has eyelets for a front rack so I might just go for paniers?

  • It makes a difference if you want to put the strap around the headtube like you're supposed to. :)

    The harness is also designed to stop the cables and headtube rubbing against the drybag.

  • Doh... Missed that there was another page of replies that already pointed that out. :)

  • Hey, pm'd you 🙂

  • Handlebar bags are good for things that can be stuffed and compressed. So clothes and towel and rain gear are good in that regard, although you may find that your work clothes need to be folded and packed carefully or they end up crumpled. A lunch box might be harder to fit.

    For rain gear, if your commute is 30 km you may end up taking the jacket on and off? If so the other thing about handlebar bags is that they're a pain to get stuff in and out of quickly.

    If I had a bike dedicated to commuting I'd consider front rack and pannier(s). I don't so I prefer the carradice + bagman support approach (the bagman support is quick and easy to get on and off the bike as opposed to the front rack which was a total pain when I tried it)

  • I always run it on empty. Just running on fumes, as they say.

  • Thanks for the info! Running a carradice with the sqr block now but as I don't have to carry the laptop anymore it's way too big and saggy.

    Work clothes, don't mather that much, I just roll them up now and they are pretty decent while arriving at work.

    Jup, so the restrap seemed handy for the rain gear as it had bungy cords on which I could hang the jacket.

    front rack and panniers seem sturdier and less swingy tho. It's my commuting/tourer/winter bike so I guess the front rack wouldn't slow me down that much as I'm already slow :p

    Goddamn instagram and all the bikepacking hype.

  • Just get a smaller carradice.

    It's a real shame they discontinued the Glentress. I have one and it's ideal commuting size

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  • Goddamn instagram and all the bikepacking hype.

    Says everyone who tried bikepacking for commuting ever

  • Surely a market for this now? A laptop and clothes friendly sqr bag would be ace. I have a carradry and sqr slim and neither is ideal. Have gone back to a front pannier but that’s not perfect either.

  • That ones a bit small for a laptop. Fits a tablet, change of clothes and some tools, etc. It's only 6 litres or so.

    Something smaller than the SQR Slim but along the same lines would be good though.

  • In this case I’d go with like a randoneur/racktop bag, much more useful space, I’ve used my restrap dry bag for commuting occasionally and it’s doesnt work year round, you can just aboutfit a rolled up t-shirt, jeans and some squashed shoes (something low profile like vans or converse or some nike flynits) you just can’t get a lunch box in with all that.

    I’ve never invested in a rack top bag but I know I should, you’d easily fit all that in and if you have some elastic straps /pockets built into it you could easily shove a light rain jacket into that if you need to take it off.

    Plus it would still have room for a lock, maybe some light shopping if you happen, boots/heavier weight clothes too for the winter. Most are easy to take off the rack at either end as well.

    Restrap make one that looks great actually and works with a quick release mount. Don’t forget there’s a forum discount if you go with restrap!

  • Leave a pair of shoes at work and you save some space.
    I always struggle when it comes to trying to squeeze a lunch box in as well. Some may say buy a smaller luncheon container but then that means less food...

  • And you need the extra energy for your motorbike commute...

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Bikepacking - a viable alternative to racks & panniers

Posted by Avatar for edscoble @edscoble