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Thread: how do you carry your laptop when commuting by bike?

  1. #1
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    how do you carry your laptop when commuting by bike?

    hi folks,

    i just started commuting to work on my bike. i can carry my 13" macbook air inside the cache in the synapse backpack. my bike has a rear rack, and i would rather move my laptop into a brain cell and relocate it from my back to the rack.

    i know that there is no safer way to carry your laptop than in a brain cell, so i know that i need to move to that. but am i asking for trouble moving the brain cell to a pannier on the rear rack? if not, what is the best way to carry that brain cell on my rear rack?

    some years back, there was a thread about tom bihn bike panniers, and another about panniers which mentioned perhaps the aeronaut converting to a pannier configuration. but the aeronaut is on the big size for a daily commute (though the idea is still an interesting one!).

    and, someone came up with a very clever way to attach their empire builder to the rear rack of their bike.

    any further thoughts on tom bihn bike panniers - whether dedicated or a design that converts between pannier form and backpack or messenger bag?

    thanks!

  2. #2
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    Very Carefully?

    I would put it in a Pelican Case still inside the Brain Cell and lash it to the rack in there.
    Or get some training wheels?

    Ed

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    thanks AVService!

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    so, i looked at panniers from ortlieb. i'm not feeling it, folks!

    maybe i've been spoiled using tom bihn bags all these years!

    unless it's made with the same choice of awesome fabrics (or other equally good fabrics, and i haven't seen them out there so far - if i had, tom bihn would have come across them already and would have adopted them into their product designs), with the same smart, thoughtful attention to form and function, it is going to feel like a compromise.

    i get that ortlieb achieves a waterproof design with the roll top opening, but it isn't as easy to use as the opening on top of an empire builder or id or smart alec. i've been in a good bit of rain with my tom bihn bags over the years, and the nikwax coating, the urethane lining and the splash proof zippers are great at keeping the contents of my bags dry!

    and i appreciate that their design has organizer pockets, but i don't like the feel of the fabric they used. and a lot of the pockets aren't sized for practical use, and this is subjective - it doesn't fit the way that i want to organize.

    i would love to see the empire builder or the smart alec or the id design be the basis of the first tom bihn pannier! or something altogether different that will hold a laptop in a brain cell, some clothes, lunch and bike essentials (multitool, inner tube, ulock, pump), and have the traditional tom bihn organizer pockets and o-rings (though the organizer pockets cane come in the form of the horizontal or vertical fruedian slip, depending on the orientation of the bag.

    i'm sure that tom can design rain covers for these bags for those times that we find ourselves in a monsoon for an extended period of time. but most of us will probably be fine with the water resistance that all of the tom bihn bags naturally have!

    what do you think darcy? is there a sufficient market for bike panniers to warrant such a design?

    thanks!

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    I have seen in bike pictures and checked numerous brands of bike panniers and I am not feeling them either.

    There is always something missing, the fabric looks like plastic or the colors are either bright enough to be seen via satellite or so dull that in case of fog or downpour you'll have trouble finding the panniers if they weren't attached to the bike.

    As a lifelong bicyclist, I have seen and owned my share of panniers, but we have been spoiled and nothing can ever compare to Tom Bihn design, flair, colors and all around usefulness!
    Last edited by backpack; 06-22-2012 at 02:58 PM.

  6. #6
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    Panniers, TB Panniers, how cool would that be!

    I carry my computer in a backpack on my back when biking.

  7. #7
    Registered User peregrina's Avatar
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    I ride my bike to work and I have to sadly admit that although I have both a rear basket and a pannier, I have never carried my laptop in them (brain cell or not). I don't know, it just feels too bumpy... That was until yesterday, when I rode a Bixi bike to work and carried my 13" Macbook in a cache inside my Swift and placed the Swift on the front basket. The bag securely held but I know it's not ideal.
    In our household: Black/Steel Aeronaut (with 2 large packing cubes and Absolute shoulder strap), Forest/Steel Aeronaut (1 large and 2 small packing cubes), Olive/Wasabi medium Cafe Bag, Linen/Olive Medium Cafe Bag, Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi Imago, Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Hemp Little Swift, Solar Shop Bag, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Black/Steel/Solar Smart Alec, Horizontal and Vertical Freudian Slips, TB Wallet, Hemp Little Swift, FOT pouch, Black/Olive ID

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    OK maybe this will sound crazy but..... what about the Photo Insert?

    More rigid,water resistant,configurable,etc.

    Just thinking outside the Bag a little.

    Discuss.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    OK maybe this will sound crazy but..... what about the Photo Insert?

    More rigid,water resistant,configurable,etc.

    Just thinking outside the Bag a little.

    Discuss.

    I think this is a great idea both the Camera I-O and the Brain Cell have the padding and strong construction needed.

    But... the real problem is securing either on top of a rack without having to worry about it falling, knowing that every curb, pebble or small pavement ridge wobbles thus loosens the cargo.

    A temporary solution might be to invest in a cube shaped front steel pannier which will hold a Synapse securely, provided there are crisscrossed bungee cords on top of the wire pannier.



    Wald Wire panniers

    Wald is based in Kentucky and they have been in business since 1905.

    I believe my previous bike had a set of their wire folding back panniers, the bike was handed down to me.
    It was a very heavy vintage bike, somebody tried to steal it but only had time to take the outside leather panniers which were affixed to the rear rack on top of the collapsed wire panniers.

    The Wald collapsible rear panniers were too strong for the thieves to make out with.

    Wald has metal clamps to secure its wire panniers, unlike run of the mill wire panniers with plastic attachment.
    Many reviewers report that they get loose or break at the drop of a.... bicycle, for example when leaning the bike to change tires.


    I see front basket in my future, taking my lovely Synapse, Small Cafe Bag and Shop Bag for a ride.

    Or a Camera I-O to fit a digital camera in order to use the many lenses we have from our non-digital camera.

    Or a small rescue doggie with a Citizen Canine!

    AVService did you see what you started? " chuckles"
    Last edited by backpack; 06-22-2012 at 05:27 PM.
    SusanM likes this.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    Just thinking outside the Bag a little.
    awesome twist on a old cliche.
    Aeronaut in Black/Iberian, Synapse in Black/Iberian, Small Cafe Bag in Linen/Steel, 4Z Horizontal Cache in Black, iPad Vertical Cache in Black, 3D Organizer Cube in Steel, Large Clear Organizer in Pouch Iberian, Medium Clear Organizer Pouch in Iberian, Mini Padded Organizer Pouch in Black, Mini Organizer Pouch in Iberian, 16" Key Strap in Sapphire, 8" Key Strap in Storm


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