Laptop computer: in panniers or messenger bag?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Stiffneck, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. Stiffneck

    Stiffneck New Member

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    I have started biking to work once a week. I'd like to do it more often. Currently, I leave my laptop at work if I am planning to bike the next day. This is an inconvenience because I can't work at night and can't telecommute if I can't go into work (i.e. staying home with sick kids or meeting a plumber to unclog a...)

    My commute is 13 miles each way. Very flat. A mix of 1/2 busy streets and 1/2 paved bike path.

    I would love my 12"x10" laptop weight to be down low and on the bike in a pannier, but I am afraid the bumps and shocks would be too much and computer would be safer in a bag on my back.

    How should I carry my laptop? In a messenger bag/backpack? Or in panniers?
     
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  2. ajcoles

    ajcoles New Member

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    I am a professional computer geek. I would also suggest a backpack for your laptop. Your instinct of panniers giving too many Gs to the unit are correct. They are made for portability but not shock like the average pot hole will give. I have had to repair enough of these, sometimes replacing the display, from users doing things very much like this.

    There are likely a few manufacturers who do this & certainly any backpack with enough room in it is capable of carrying a laptop. I like the ones made by Targus though.
     
  3. pysays

    pysays New Member

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    Targus' bags are high in quality, second to none (I have one). Anyway, in cycling use a proper fit (curved form) is crucial. If you can find a cycling-specific model from Targus, go ahead. Also, if you have a very upright riding position, ordinary models might do well enough.

    PS. I deleted my first post, because this thread was posted to another forum. But these two replies might give another aspect to the problem.
     
  4. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    I used an Orlieb pannier that wa built for this application. I was using an REI Briecase with integral Laptop inner case before. I am more comforable on the bicycle with the Orlieb pannier. I have never experienced any "G" problems with my laptop.

    I saw some nice measenger bags with purpose built padded laptop sections in the close-out area of my local REI.

    I like the suggeestion of moving the data between locations with a USB or other large memory module. I think that suggestion could work if you have compatible software between machines. Of course it assumes that you have a PC at both ends.
    I was burning CDs to move data and not PCs for a while.
     
  5. Stiffneck

    Stiffneck New Member

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    Unfortunately, my company's IT department doesn't support any kind of data transfer to other computers.

    I bought a Timbuk2 Commute Messenger bag. I'll try it out next week.
     
  6. ajcoles

    ajcoles New Member

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    The USB "drives" are fairly inexpensive & a piece of cake to use. You wouldn't really need IT support for one & a good idea for data you want to have kin safe keeping.
     
  7. Stiffneck

    Stiffneck New Member

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    The point is that I cannot access my company's network except from a company computer. The USB drive is great but doesn't do enough for me.

    Anyway, I bought a Timbuk2 Commute Messenger Bag.
     
  8. MidBunchLurker

    MidBunchLurker New Member

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    Just make sure that your laptop is backed up very regularly. You don't want to have a little accident on your bike and lose all your data!
     
  9. Stiffneck

    Stiffneck New Member

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    Thanks guys. I regularly backup my data to: my company network, a MicroDrive, and (for the most important stuff) to my Palm TungstenC.

    I do my first commute with the messenger bag tomorrow.
     
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