Getting the Monkey off my back

Would like to introduce myself as a someone who commutes to work by cycle. In Bangalore, India, this is the fastest and most predictable way to commute. My ride into work and back home is very predictable. This can happen on a bicycle.

Biggest downside to this happy story is the fact that I have to carry my laptop, change of cloths & Lunch box. This payload comes to about 6–8 KGS. Really wanted to “Get the Monkey off the back”

I purchased a rack-top bag and found a way to carry my cloth and Lunch Box in it. I still have to carry my laptop on my back. By the time I reach office or home, my back is drenched in sweat and over period I even started to develop back pain.

This is when I started to look for way to carry everything in a way where my ride would be enjoyable as well as safe for all the gadgets I need to carry.

Looked around and things I evaluated were:

  • Two side Pannier
  • Timbuk2 bag two side Pannier
  • Rack mount that can carry laptops
  • Convertible backpack Pannier

My concerns for each options,

Two Side Pannier, this is kind of good for planned long road trip, for a daily commute, it is a bit too big and the weight does not get evenly distributed. Could not find good Pannier bags which had good protection for laptop

Timbuk2, looks like they have stopped making convertibles. They have some great messenger bags, Still does not get the Monkey off the back.

Rack mounted bags, in these, did not find a good model that will carry a laptop along with other items and so had to drop it

This narrowed down my choice to a convertible backpack pannier. In these the choices are plenty and there are way too many options.

Read through a lot of blogs and loads of youtubes (Sharing a few below)

One thing I liked in this the most was the fact that mounting and dismounting the bag was a process which was shown as something that takes less than a minute.

My rack mounted bag, it used to take a good 7 to 10 minutes to secure the bag and on top of it was always worried if the bungee cord will break while i am riding.

Also, in comparison to most other brands, what I liked is the fact that it has a Lock to secure the bag from not jumping out. As I ride on roads that is not the most even ones, this feature was a deal clincher for me. Just the idea of my pannier jumping off the rack was real scary and that too in the middle of rush hour traffic and just too scary to take that kind of risk.

This feature to secure the pannier was awesome.

I went ahead with this one that even if it is advertised as a process which takes less than a minute, even worst case, I should get it in 2 minutes which is 5 times faster than what i am used to.

This item was out of stock on Amazon and so went ahead and placed the order directly with Two Wheel Gear. I realized that this has to ship from Canada and I was travelling to US for a business visit, was apprehensive if it will reach me before I left US.

The bag was delivered as promised. Was impressed with the packing. Further, they had handwritten a personal message thanks and wishing me best.

Bag was exactly as they had described. The material used is of high quality.

Best part of mounting and dismounting the bag for me is just a question of 15 to 30 seconds.

Only bad thing I noticed is that the Zippers are bit hard.

Overall one happy customer who is really glad to have made this purchase.

Features of the bag:

  • Hardcover back
  • Easy mounting and dismounting of bag to rack
  • Converts to a backpack
  • Laptop Sleeve
  • Good storage for small items
  • Front Zipper with soft lining for cellphone
  • Rain cover for the bag
  • Reflectors paints on side and front
  • Loop to attach tail lights