Laptop on a commuter bike?

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by paulcassidy63, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. paulcassidy63

    paulcassidy63 New Member

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    Too much work. Can’t leave it all behind, go home, and come back the next day. Gotta figure a way to carry the laptop between home and the office on the bike. About 10 miles each way, back roads mostly. I have a rack on which I usually carry a trunk. Would panniers be the best option? What kind? I am also thinking of a computer sleeve to sit under the trunk, kept in place with a cargo net. Thoughts?
     
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  2. rearviewmirror

    rearviewmirror New Member

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    I carry my laptop in my ortlieb panniers, been doing that for over a year now, not a single problem... See my thread in this section on my commuter bike.
     
  3. LioNiNoiL

    LioNiNoiL New Member

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    That's what I used for a few years when I was carrying a laptop to work, and my panniers at that time were just some old cheapos. If you need something cheap and water-resistant, just bag the computer in plastic first.
     
  4. SEAcarlessTTLE

    SEAcarlessTTLE New Member

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    I commute with a laptop in a pannier. Since I ride over some crappy stretches of pavement, I was concerned about bumps and vibration getting to the laptop if I just secured it on the rack. With the laptop in a pannier, it gets cushioned a bit (especially if I have my raincoat stuffed underneath/around it). I also wanted a case for my laptop, so while I was at it, I got a Tom Bihn Monolith, which suspends the laptop vertically and has semi-hard panels for protection---perfect for putting in a pannier. (Most suspended laptop cases orient the laptop horizontally, i.e., like a briefcase.) The case comes in many sizes, and my 12" one fits quite nicely in my medium-sized pannier. Finally, if you care about this sort of thing, Tom Bihn bags are made in Washington state, not by exploited kids in some faraway land.
     
  5. Quentin147

    Quentin147 New Member

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    I like to carry my laptop in a laptop backpack, my computer is sensetive and wouldn't survive the constant jarring.
     
  6. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    For my computer I also put it in my backpack, tho' I don't tote it much 'cause it's a desktop replacement and pretty big and heavy.

    I decided to get an Xtracycle tho' because I got sick of "I have to bring so much stuff, I have to drive." [​IMG]

    Pretty much everything (trainer, cooler, blender, WHATEVER!) goes in 'em.
     
  7. jamesdemien

    jamesdemien New Member

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    I'd say backpack or one of those cool timbuk2 messenger bags with the laptop sleeve... I've ridden with mine in a messenger bag and never had a problem...just get a good waterproof one and try not to wreck...I am typing this on the new laptop Dell sent me cause I had their complete care warranty...
     
  8. bmclaughlin807

    bmclaughlin807 New Member

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    I carry mine in a computer backpack I got from Target. It survived it's first crash this past Monday when a car got too close, and I tried to move over... getting my wheel caught in a crack between the asphalt and the gutter. Went over on my side, tore my pants, bruised myself pretty well, and skinned a knee. A few scrapes and such on my bike, but overall everything came out fine, including the laptop. I took it easy the rest of the way to work (another 8 miles or so) only 5 minutes late, and took a couple days off riding to heal.

    I'll definitely be a lot more likely to NOT move over when I'm already that close to the side of the road... there was plenty of room for her on the other side... not sure why she was quite so close.

    Several motorists DID stop, and make sure I was ok (nobody bothered to get out of their cars though... once I got up and started walking my bike, they all continued on their way).

    Ah, the joys of riding!

    See y'all out there tomorrow!
     
  9. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    I carry mine in a back pack with a laptop compartment and have so for years. If you go for a backpack, make sure you buy a decent one as they will provide much better confort.
     
  10. petesig

    petesig New Member

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    Don't know whether my laptop's sensitive or not - haven't asked it ;) It's just a standard IBM Thinkpad. Or do you mean yours is sensitive as in you work for the CIA and it's hard drive is classified information?

    I carry mine to and fro work in Ortlieb waterproof panniers. Of course it is also in the padded carry case that it came with, that will give it some impact protection should I ever fall (something that rarely ever happens on the road, I stick to the road rules). I have nt had any problems with the laptop since I began carrying it in a pannier last October. If you were really concerned about a protective carry bag you could even get the laptop carry pannier that Ortlieb make:

    http://www.ortlieb.com/_prod.php?lang=en&produkt=officebag

    with:
    http://www.ortlieb.com/_prod.php?lang=en&produkt=notebookinsert

    Cheers
    Peter
     
  11. dauphin

    dauphin New Member

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    I too went with the backpack solution. I found a really good one made by Osprey called the Focus. I have a couple of their backpacking packs and this one seems equal in quality to their other products. Very comfortable as well.
    view here
     
  12. graycat

    graycat New Member

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    do you actually need to take the laptop with you or can you just take the data? i used to carry my laptop home and to work and to the various offices i cover, but i've found it a lot easier to carry a postable hard drive with everything i need and just use whatever PC i can. something like the Western Digital Passport range is ideal and a lot easier to carry thana a laptop ;)

    Tim.
     
  13. dauphin

    dauphin New Member

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    I would love to take that route, but right now I have to access the internet with my laptop's wireless capability and the desktop that I have at work is only equipped with a very slow dial up modem and no current anti-virus software. :(
     
  14. graycat

    graycat New Member

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    no AV on a work machine?!? are you working in the 1980's or something? :D lol

    i see your problem though, mate. have you thought about a wireless card for the desk top then? a bog standard one will probably only set you back about £20 ($30 - $40) or if you want to get cunning, you could get a usb one and take it home at night. that way at least you'd have wireless access and wouldn't need the laptop. Just a thought anyway :)

    Tim.
     
  15. eagles724

    eagles724 New Member

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    I also commute about ten miles each way with an iBook Mac laptop. For me, the heaviest portion of the laptop is the battery. I leave the battery at work and have a plug-in power pack at home (and one at work). It actually took me a month of brainstorming to come up with this ingenious idea; it is a simple solution but my commute is much more comfortable carrying a laptop WITHOUT the battery pack in it.

    EDIT: umm...I just glanced over at my wife's laptop and apparently not all laptops have removeable battery packs...sorry, I hope your's does.
     
  16. therougedog

    therougedog New Member

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    Hey everyone..I'm new here...first post. :)

    I've been commuting back and forth to work for around 5 months now and love it. I've just been using an old mountain bike, but finally bought a nice Specialized road bike.

    I have been taking my laptop in a backpack along to work with me but I find my back getting REALLY sore as I ride. It's only around 26kms there and back...but it still hurts quite a bit.

    My laptop is an Apple Macbook Pro 17" so it's a little bigger then most.

    I was wondering if any of you had recently found any more solutions for carrying the laptops in Panniers? I need something that is big enough to hold a 17" laptop.

    The guy at the local bike shop didn't have anything so I'm hoping you guys can help out. Price doesn't really matter, I just want something that's going to work well.
     
  17. decca234uk

    decca234uk New Member

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    Go for panniers, there's some great laptop panniers available now. You want a laptop pannier because they're padded to protect the laptop. Much better than carrying it on your back.
     
  18. The1Maya

    The1Maya New Member

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    I'd like to suggest the newest trailer on the market, the Maya Cycle cargo trailer. It is awesome for all purposes! check it out www.mayacycle.com. It has a kickstand that holds the trailer and bike upright, converts into a wheelbarrow and even comes with a bag! I use it daily and I have no complaints.
     
  19. Moto700

    Moto700 Member

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    Topeak computer case. I've fit my 17" MacBook Pro, 11" MacBook Air, iPad 2, power supply, cables, cords, everything I need and somethings I don"t into this. It wasn't pretty but they fit. You need the Topeak rack to go with this because it uses a slide system to hold the bag in place (it's actually more of a briefcase style) and holds onto the rack very securely. Downside are that you need the rack as well which is not a problem for me because I love Topeak and have several trunk bags I use as well. Additionally, it adds a lot of weight over the rear tire and wear and tear could become a factor. I refuse to wear anything on my back such as a backpack and messenger bags are to cumbersome for me. Last down side is that it makes the bike top-heavy especially when you use the kickstand. Keep a hand on the bike until you remove the bag or you're bike will fall over.
     
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