BIKE PANNIER FOR COMMUTERS
The time has come for a Tom Bihn commuter laptop pannier that may be used in conjunction with the Brain Cell (Horizontal or Vertical). Today, more than ever, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live, people are commuting to the office on bikes. It beats driving an expensive hybrid vehicle!
I see that back in 2005, there was a thread on the concept of a Tom Bihn bike pannier. Today, Arkel OverDesigns makes three panniers in their Urban series (one that converts to a backpack, one a shoulder pack, and the third a briefcase) that may be used to transport a laptop. But only the "Commuter" model accommodates their version of a suspended laptop pouch, similar to but not as good as the Brain Cell. Nor is it large enough to carry a 17" widescreen notebook. Plus, for my gigantic HP dv9000t, which requires the Horizontal Brain Cell, the vertically-aligned Commuter pack doesn't really work. The "Briefcase" might work, but it costs $189. (Add that to my $50 Brain Cell. Ugh.) I bet anything Tom Bihn comes up with would be a better value: sturdier, trendier design, best bang for the buck.
So, Mr. Bihn, does this sound like a commercially viable idea?
- Badsah "I'm only a tech product manager, but that doesn't stop me from dreaming of other things" Mukherji
I should add the URL to Arkel OD, in case folks want to check it out:
(look at the Briefcase, Commuter, and the Bug)
A good set of commuter bike panniers (with conversion to some "off the bike" bag would be priceless. Too often the gear that works great for touring is not well suited to commuting. Consider:
1) Laptop and other "business" stuff like papers and disks and accessories need to not be squished, folded or wet.
2) Clothes and/or some amount of toiletries are inevitable so you can clean up. This nearly always means shoes too, and they are hard to stash.
3) Locks and how to transport them constantly be-devil urban cyclists. Particularly those with non-traditional frames.
On a more theoretical/philosophical level: Bikes really are a great element of portable culture, and a folding bike like my Bike Friday (http://bikefriday.com/) is a sort of double-entendre of portable culture. Green Gear is a great company (US made, high-quality, sustainable etc) how about a set of matched Tom Bihn/ Bike Friday luggage and accessories!
I second the need for Tom Bihn bike panniers.
I checked out some of the ones on the market.
They are either light weight and portable so much so that I would not trust them to carry anything heavier than a sweater and a windbreaker or a couple of individual water bottle or some paper.
I would not trust these with my gear.
Or they are very heavy by themselves used for long haul riding and scream sports gear with their bright yellow or orange nylon fabric.
I think Tom would be able to build panniers that would be both light weight, strong enough to handle gears or groceries and stylish.
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