Backpack Or Lumbar Pack?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by rfield54, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. rfield54

    rfield54 New Member

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    Greetings. I'm new to your forum. I'm a cyclist in Colorado, and I'm planning to ride through the winter this year...on sunny days when the snow has cleared on the south facing roads. Specifically a steeply graded road that climbs 2,000' in about four miles. Which leads me to my question: Because of the radical change in "feels like" temperature, at times I'll need to pack various layers of clothing- too much for my seat pack. I'm considering a lumbar pack (Mountainsmith Tour) or maybe a light backpack. I'm only riding for maybe an hour or so, so neither choice would be a major inconvenience. I'd rather not have anything -or any weight - around my shoulders, but a lumbar pack might eliminate the accessibility of the rear jersey pockets - though it would also eliminate the NEED for jersey pockets. I don't think the lumbar solution would inhibit breathing, as the strap/buckle will ride lower than any real breathing movement . . . I apologize for being long-winded. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. - Roy

    PS: Riding temps probably between 20 and 30 degrees F, but sweating uphill at elevation 7,000' and flying downhill at 9,000' (a bit wet) are like two different worlds. I'm planning on packing a dry jersey for the ride down.
     
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  2. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    For our trip to CO this summer, my buddy insisted I carry raingear and warm stuff on any days we were climbing mountains. Since I don't like to carry anything in my jersey or on my back, I installed a rear rack on the bike and used a lightweight small gymbag with a bungie net to hold everything. Turned out to be a great way to carry essential clothing, and the extra lb or two over the back wheel really wasn't noticeable at all.

    We didn't hit any rains at altitude, but I still remember how good it felt to put on the vest, arm and leg warmers and long gloves for the descent from Loveland Pass (12K feet) back down to Keystone.....and that was on a warm day in late July.
     
  3. rfield54

    rfield54 New Member

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    That's a GREAT ride, a very consistent grade . . . The rear rack would be a good solution, though I'll have to find out how they attach to the frame at the cogset area. I'm also considering the Delta Poste Haste Rack and Quick Bag. At 588 cu. inches, it should be enough storage:
     
  4. konasunset

    konasunset New Member

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    I would go with a backpack for sure. Especially if you are packing bulky items like clothing.... it will be much more comfortable while riding. I wear a light camelback often but have different sizes depending on what I need to carry. Just make sure it is formfitting with a locking strap across the chest. It will keep it stable...:cool:
     
  5. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    The rack you're looking at just clamps to the seat post. It's the new style, popular because it's quick-on and quick-off. Should easily handle your rain gear, warm clothes and lunch. I use the old-school Blackburn MTB rack, clamped at the bottom of the seat stays and at the seat post. It takes a few minutes to bolt it on, but not a big deal as I only use it on special trips.

    Rear racks may not look cool, but I've found that once the gear is tightly packed or bungied down, I don't even notice it's there. A backpack is fine for a short ride, and of course handy if you're getting off the bike to hike or shop, but for a tough all-day ride, I much prefer carrying nothing on my back.
     
  6. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Find a saddlebag or even a set of paniers that'd carry what you need. Cycling is much more fun when the weight is on the bike and not on you... That'd also help with stopping you from getting overly sweaty on the way up.
     
  7. Ozgur.Nevres

    Ozgur.Nevres New Member

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    Do not use backpack, of course. It will give you back pain and lots of sweat.
    And most of backpacks have chest straps because of balancing issues, this will make you breathe harder.
     
  8. pat5319

    pat5319 New Member

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    Messenger bag- no doubts- 35+ years talkin w/race touring and shop experince I've tried all
     
  9. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Having used backpacks and messenger bags, I'd pass on the messenger bags. Asymmetric loading of the spine/neck/shoulders is a recipe for pain.

    I don't find backpacks too hot, and I use one on my 35 mile round trip commute, in the desert heat. Backpacks are also much better at distributing load than messenger bags.
     
  10. Pkumble

    Pkumble New Member

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    I have on of those and have used it for everything from bringing clothing to change into at work to hiking the Inca Trail in Peru. You will loose some aero advantage with the pack but hey, you are out there training anyway. The pack is well made, very adjustable, and can be used for other things whereas a seat post mounted pack can only really be used on the bike. I am into universality for things like that. Shop around and find one for a good price. I also bought mine in red because I figured that people will see it better. Regardless, put a blinky light on the back of your bike and use it in the daylight.
     
  11. pat5319

    pat5319 New Member

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    If you mount the Msgr bag HIGH on your back, and have one with a "chest" strap and kept tight, "Asymmetric loading" is NOT an issue. I've used messenger bags 20 years, there IS a a reason the messengers use them

     
  12. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Apparently you don't know what "asymmetric" means. Here's a related definition for asymmetrical:
    "asymmetrical: characterized by asymmetry in the spatial arrangement or placement of parts or components " Here's a drawing that visually explains what asymmetry is all about:

    [​IMG]

    Congrats on your twenty year experience. Everyone's back must be exactly like yours. Oddly enough mine isn't like yours. How weird is that? The messenger bag I used was worn high and tight using the chest strap. Guess what? It was asymmetric and caused pain. Now, I know that can't be since messengers use them, so I can only assume there must have been a discontinuity in space-time near my back.

    Messengers using messenger bags isn't a reason to use them or proof of anything. Since a lot of messengers ride fixies, I suppose that must mean that we should all ride fixies. Personally I just think people oughta use what they want and works for them. Who cares what messengers or anyone else does.
     
  13. pat5319

    pat5319 New Member

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    I agree that people should use what works for them, but no need to get "nasty" if you don't agree others experience or opinions. I've used backpacks, racks and trailers, each have their nitch. I just prefer messenger bags over backpacks, KMA

     
  14. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't being nasty. I was just stating things in an objective manner.

    The KMA thing is cute.
     
  15. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    you don't need to carry that much stuff, modern day winter cycling clothes handle everything. Maybe add some newspaper for your chest on the way down. Critical areas are hands and feet. They can make you come to a complete stop from the freezing pain in your fingers, so think about good gloves and feet warmers.
     
  16. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    If you're talking about after snow clears, then you should only need a very light jacket that's packable. I don't think being cold on descents is an issue as much as the possibility of thunderstorms is. You know how quickly they can pop up in the mountains. By packable, I mean something that can be rolled up or stuffed into a jersey pocket.
     
  17. 0427nick

    0427nick New Member

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    I was a messenger for three years in a past life and just thought i would shed a bit of light on what Pat said about the reason why couriers used the sling bag. The reason mesengers use the sling bag is for ease of access to the jobs contained in the bag when walking into buildings, standing in lifts etc. The bag can easily be rotated to the front and lowered to a height that makes sourcing the envelopes etc a breeze while the bag is hanging from the neck like a big necklace. As said earlier this can all be done while on the move. The bag is then simply "slung" onto ones back and the strap pulled tight so the bag is high on the back ( good bags have quick buckle set ups ) and away you go, I never really saw the need for an extra chest strap if you pulled it up to the right height. It was fairly common knowledge amongst the couriers that I worked with that these bags probably were not the best for our backs and that really one should have two bags ( a left and a right ) and alternate which shoulder it was slung from on a weekly basis so as to avoid future complications. Sling bags are an awesome bag for what they are intended for and can be used for heaps of everyday uses, they are comfortable and feel great when wearing them. Having said this I think there are bags more suitable for the long haul or in rough terrain that distribute the weight evenly and more securely. I hope this has been informative :)
     
  18. Mak'em Lad

    Mak'em Lad New Member

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    As an ex. postman in England I used to carry a mailbag. I carried the pouch (normally up to 16kg but 22kg on some occasions) on my left side with the strap over my right shoulder. I would sometimes swing the pouch round on to my back to make it feel more comfortable. I can vouch for the fact that if the weight in not symetrical it does alter your posture, walking etc. and can cause back strain after regular and/or long periods. A mail pouch felt heavier with a few heavy items (totalling 5kg) than with loads of light items (totalling 10kg) because the weight was distributed more evenly in the pouch.

    While the amount of kit a cyclist needs to carry is a lot lighter the same princple applies, if it's not symetrical then it may cause problems long term.

    I am a rambler (& more recently a cyclist) and use a backpack which, when correctly loaded & fitted feels lighter than when badly loaded and/or fitted.

    As 0247Nick says couriers use slingbag for access reasons rather than comfort/weight distribution.

    I am buying a Camelbak to carry water & a few items (jacket, gloves etc.) and have opted for the Mini Mule. Advertised as a kids pack I have tried it and found that it rides high on the back above the shirt/jacket back pocket, is light & comfortable and hold 1.5L water which is enough for the rides I do at the moment.

    Even weight distribution, either on the back and/or both sides is the key (IMHO) and can remember the time when I had hurt my back and was unable to carry a VCR to the car because of the pain, I carried TWO instead (one in each hand) with less pain than walking empty handed.

    While I can't back up my opinion with medical fact, it is based on advise I have deen given (lifting & handling at work training) and it works for me.
     
  19. randochap

    randochap New Member

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    I don't like to carry anything for any distance on my back. Bikes carry loads much better. A rack and bag or saddle bag, e.g. Carradice, is the way to go.
     
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