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    • CommentAuthorjenaphoe
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    I am a design student, trying to figure out the problems with existing bags available to riders. I appreciate any information you are willing to share, and it would be great if you could answer a few of the questions below. My project is to try and design a bag for bike riders that is comfortable, while still being practical.


    What type of rider would you consider yourself?
    How long is a typical ride?
    What do you look for when purchasing a new bag?
    Do you prefer a backpack or a messenger bag?
    Why do you prefer one over the other; be descriptive (positives, negatives)?
    What do you carry in your bag?
    What bag do you have now?
    What are the positives and negatives of your bag?
    If you could add additional features to your bag what would they be?
    When riding your bike, are their any points in which your bag becomes uncomfortable? if so, when?
    •  
      CommentAuthorBaous
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    this is a good project!, i'm an industrial design student at Massart!

    -I am a part time messenger, i ride my bike every day
    -Sometimes I work for up to 10 hours in a day
    -when i buy a bag, i look for something bombproof, something that will last me a very long time, it has to be quickly adjustable for removing items and putting items in, it has to be comfortable, and weatherproof. The size is also very important, i want a bag that is big enough to work with but not so big that it becomes cumbersome. and i also look for something simple, usually one compartment with some small pouches for small parts and a snack, and no pads on the strap to get in the way.
    -I prefer a messenger bag because i do not have to remove it to remove items and put items in it. But backpacks are great because they are comfortable and tend to not slip around as much on your back, but you cannot remove them easily, or access the bag without taking it off.
    -i usually carry multiple packages in my bag when i am working, paperwork, small parts (tubes), tools and some food.
    -i have a large timbuk2 messenger bag, i got it for like 30 dollars, its okay but isnt really what i am looking for.
    -I like that my bag is waterproof and has a lot of storage room in it, i also like the quick strap adjustment feature it has, and the secondary support strap that keeps it from moving around on my back. I also like that i can change which shoulder i wear it on by changing which side the support strap comes from. I dont like that it is uncomfortable on my back because it has no rigidity, and it is pretty damn ugly.
    -I would add an external pocket or velcro strap on my bag for a U-lock. and the back to made out of a more rigid material than the front, but not a solid material.
    -My bag gets uncomfortable about halfway through my shift, my shoulder starts to ache a little, so i switch which shoulder i wear it on and it helps a lot.
  1.  
    yeah.... no.
    this happens all too often.
    this and photo/journalism students thinking bikes are a cool topic.
    •  
      CommentAuthorBaous
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    you might as well help them out though if you have nothing else to do. honestly i dont see the problem with someone asking some questions for a school project.
    •  
      CommentAuthorNuggetross
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    here, i'll fill show you aggregated all of the answers you'll get:

    What type of rider would you consider yourself? the best one of all time
    How long is a typical ride? 400 miles at 35 mph/avg
    What do you look for when purchasing a new bag? having the best bag
    Do you prefer a backpack or a messenger bag? both
    Why do you prefer one over the other; be descriptive (positives, negatives)? i don't prefer one over the other
    What do you carry in your bag? everything
    What bag do you have now? the best one
    What are the positives and negatives of your bag? none
    If you could add additional features to your bag what would they be? none
    When riding your bike, are their any points in which your bag becomes uncomfortable? if so, when? no
  2.  
    ^ well done sir.joeyfresh, MPH: Clearly you've never met Shah. Motherfucker could eat 2700lbs on the spot and then carry the other half.
  3.  
    What type of rider would you consider yourself?

    -commuter/drunk with occasional long treks.

    How long is a typical ride?

    -4 mi to school

    What do you look for when purchasing a new bag?

    -carrying capacity, comfort, ease of operation, no seatbelt buckles, other gadgets and smart pockets are a plus. Also, I prefer handmade bags from nearby bag makers. They should be conversation pieces.

    Do you prefer a backpack or a messenger bag?

    -I've got a messenger bag, but I'm not sure if I prefer it. Being able to swing it around and rummage is a plus but two-shoulder support might be nice. I like the Bailey works ones where you can flop the shoulder strap. .

    Why do you prefer one over the other; be descriptive (positives, negatives)?

    -see above.

    What do you carry in your bag?

    -U-lock, phone, tools, booze, markers, about 50 old receipts, trash, and change.

    What bag do you have now?

    -Seagull Medium messenger bag.

    What are the positives and negatives of your bag?

    -Pro: it's comfy as hell and light compared to other bags I've had, the interior is lime green so you can find shit easily, it's fully waterproof with a floating liner so I don't have to worry about my newspaper hat collection. The cam tightening thingy works well and doesn't weigh a million pounds. It's size appropriate for everyday riding or 3 night vay-cay.

    -con: for the price point, it doesn't have much organization, only 3 pockets and a key clip. This isn't an issue for me since I toss all my shit in it and don't mind all the bumping and grinding, but if you carry a bunch of pens or other small stuff it might be nice to organize that shit. swapping strap sides would be nice if you could do so without making it uncomfortable. Corralling the excess on the straps requires tucking and clips or bands, I feel like there's some elegant solution to this if you're looking to design a bag from the ground up.

    If you could add additional features to your bag what would they be?

    -more pockets
    -u-lock holster of some sort (mine has one but it's on the strap and I just have visions of total ribcage destruction if i fell on it. So I guess consider crash scenarios when designing your bag.)

    When riding your bike, are their any points in which your bag becomes uncomfortable? if so, when?

    -Long rides with a heavy load, shit pinches nerves.
    -90 plus days are a sweatfest, not really uncomfortable, but some might call it gross. I call it unavoidable.You said time was infinite, so why the watch wrapped around your wrist?
    •  
      CommentAuthorNuggetross
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    ^are you showing me up, paul j?

    qft:
    paul jameson:it's fully waterproof with a floating liner so I don't have to worry about my newspaper hat collection.
    •  
      CommentAuthordora
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    i'm gunna hafta disagree with you on the floating liner part, pal. i'm not a fan


    also, bag lady, if you make a bag make the velcro not suck so after you have it for a few years the flap doesn't blow open as you're riding really fast in the pouring rain and your shit gets all wet like my asshole freight bag did to me today. yes it's my own fault cuz i know it does that and i didn't clip the clippy things but it's still annoying as fuckMust be awful, being so fluffy.
  4.  
    Baous:you might as well help them out though if you have nothing else to do. honestly i dont see the problem with someone asking some questions for a school project.

    school is for posers. if you were a real messenger, you'd drop out.You're purposefully attempting to sabotage my degree project. Thanks.
  5.  
    ^^I've never noticed it "float" I guess if that happened it would be annoying.You said time was infinite, so why the watch wrapped around your wrist?
    •  
      CommentAuthorBaous
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    conor!:
    Baous:you might as well help them out though if you have nothing else to do. honestly i dont see the problem with someone asking some questions for a school project.

    school is for posers. if you were a real messenger, you'd drop out.


    i'll get right on that
  6.  
    @jenaphoe: if you ride bikes and/or have a messenger bag yourself and use it often, then you'll understand gripes about bag design. However, if not (and that's perfectly acceptable), don't pull the typical design student move by trying to reinvent the wheel to solve one 'problem,' while creating 10 more. Like this. Pay attention to the way current bags are designed, and tweak accordingly.
    • CommentAuthorjenaphoe
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    I do ride bikes, I use a backpack when I ride, not a messenger bag. I am not trying to reinvent the wheel, just trying to make a better backpack. The only reason I am asking the questions is because everyone has different thoughts on what is best.
  7.  
    best way to carry your shit:
    Take-off everything but your rainboots
    •  
      CommentAuthorseanile
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    ^i think you meant to say a jansport with a trashbag in it.somebody turn the lights off on this place already.
  8.  
    or something like this:
    Take-off everything but your rainboots
  9.  
    clockwork ted: this is my favorite thread. sweet BJ alexi!
  10.  
    ^hey leave my mom outta this!Take-off everything but your rainboots
    • CommentAuthorJohnTheFast
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011 edited
     
    ^^^^^^ just makin sure.

    I have two chrome bags: a metropolis, and a kremlin. if you really want a thorough review of them both, just ask, and I'll go full out paul jameson on them.

    the short version: overall, i like em. they do everything i need, which over time, has been pretty much everything. (school, messenger work, weekend trips, week long trips, and mobile grilling.) They're pretty great bags, and overall, I've been very happy with them.

    minor gripes:
    - the bags are very "envelope shaped." So, for my smaller bag, which is usually my school bag, it's ok for carrying books, laptop, etc. However, for the bigger bag, I'd like more versatility in hauling bigger stuff. Compare to something like the PAC bags, or the new chrome PRO series messenger bag.
    - sometimes I wish I had longer straps/strap extensions to carry big stuff.
    - although the main strap is easy to adjust on the fly, the stabilizer strap is obnoxious to adjust.
    - vertical pockets along the sides of the bag are not waterproof
    - no exterior pockets.
    - velcro on the small bag is starting to go, but IDK if the warranty will cover fixing something like that...
    - no blinky loops on the small bag
    •  
      CommentAuthorBaous
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    Mick:^i think you meant to say a jansport with a trashbag in it.


    classic
    • CommentAuthorgc
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    someone bump the backpacks thread.gone
  11.  
    kilgore_trout: this and photo/journalism students thinking bikes are a cool topic.



    this happened to me like my second day on the job. some BU douche comes up to me as im walking into 100 summer and is all like can i take your picture, maaan?
    •  
      CommentAuthorBaous
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    saltinecracker:
    kilgore_trout: this and photo/journalism students thinking bikes are a cool topic.



    this happened to me like my second day on the job. some BU douche comes up to me as im walking into 100 summer and is all like can i take your picture, maaan?


    well bikes are a cool topic, but it is annoying..
    • CommentAuthorgc
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    can you design a bag that shoots lazers at cars and lets me carry copy boxes all day and won't make my back hurt?gone
  12.  
    jenaphoe:
    What type of rider would you consider yourself?
    How long is a typical ride?
    What do you look for when purchasing a new bag?
    Do you prefer a backpack or a messenger bag?
    Why do you prefer one over the other; be descriptive (positives, negatives)?
    What do you carry in your bag?
    What bag do you have now?
    What are the positives and negatives of your bag?
    If you could add additional features to your bag what would they be?
    When riding your bike, are their any points in which your bag becomes uncomfortable? if so, when?


    1. I am mostly a commuter/transport rider
    2. My commute is about 2 miles each way, but ~5 miles isn't unusual
    3. I bought my first bag because Shane Jordan told me it was good and it came in purple. I bought my second bag because it was neon pink and had a roll-top.
    4. I have one of each, but I like the messenger bag better. I never reach into it while riding or anything, but it fits closer to my body and it doesn't block the view over my left shoulder (I have a baileyworks bag that's set up "lefty"). I'm pretty small so the boxyness of the backpack means that I can't see over my shoulder very well wearing it, which has been an issue. I have to roll it in a special way.
    5. (see above) + I bought the roll-top backpack after I got a lot of water inside my "waterproof" messenger bag during a bad storm last march (har har). Roll-tops are basically impermeable if the material is waterproof. Though both bags have exterior pockets that are not as waterproof as the main chamber, which sucks when it rains, cause then either your wallet gets wet or you have to make it hard to reach. The chest strap on my messenger bag is also WAAAY too long (again because of my smallness), so I have to clip it onto itself. Finally, for me, for a messenger bag, a "stabilization strap" is ABSOLUTELY necessary, or it swings around.
    6. Usually wallet, tool kit (zippered pouch with multitool, 15mm wrench, tube and rubber gloves), point and shoot camera, my lunch and a change of clothes for work.
    7. I have a medium Baileyworks Superpro and a "NPC" one-off neon roll-top backpack that i bought secondhand. I don't know anything about it.
    8. Addressed above
    9. The baileyworks didn't come with a cell phone holster, but buying one was a big improvement. Also, like I said, the material is waterproof, but in really bad weather water gets in. Some sort of secondary liner might be neat, like how you can get totebags with drawstrings on the inside. Also, if the exterior pockets were more waterproof. The backpack doesn't have a spot for a blinky, I don't like that.
    10. if there's something hard and pointy in it? What I really want is a sling bag that can carry takeout boxes without them gushing out everywhere.i mean that looks like a 10 cat bag, easy
    • CommentAuthorpete
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
     
    tinyhonkshus:What I really want is a sling bag that can carry takeout boxes without them gushing out everywhere.


    This. If you want to do one good deed, make a bag that will magically not make Foodwall leak all over my bag. Everything smells like sesame tofu for days//until I wash it.
    •  
      CommentAuthornerdo
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2011
     
    You should ask Seth at Marathon. He has probably the best messer bag I've seen yet. Custom Bagaboo designed to fit two copy boxes fully inside, with options to strap two more. Plus compression straps to make it look normal when not being used in full Sherpa mode.

    As with any design problem, the main question is use. For messengers, you want a huge bag that won't fall apart or soak through in bad weather. For commuters, you only need enough room for a change of clothes and some books. And maybe pockets big enough for extra shoes, so they don't poke you in the back when you're riding.Worstcase I'll just zip tie on a seat... but i'd rather not. —Zev (who else)
    • CommentAuthorsnotrocket
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2011
     
    I ride my bike to any place farther than a few blocks from my apartment. ( i hate the T)
    Boston is pretty small so unless i am going out on a training ride no more than 10-12 miles
    I have never bought a bag specifically for riding. I like to be able to use it for everything. travel work/school
    I have a backpack but i have never really tried a messenger.
    U-lock/key. Pump. Tire levers. 13mm Wrench. few random allen wrenches to tighten what ever else is on my bike. screw driver beer some times. computer depends where i am going
    The main problem i have with my bag is that my back gets really sweaty since it can't breathe with the bag on
    • CommentAuthorspokenword
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2011
     
    What type of rider would you consider yourself? commuter/randonneur/tourist

    How long is a typical ride? usual ride is anywhere between 5 and 10 miles one way, with four or five segments stitched together over the course of a day. My office is 6.5 miles from my apartment, so that's my usual. But I have days where I'll go 35 miles to pick apples. or I'll ride to Vermont or something. Those days, I don't wear a messenger bag.

    What do you look for when purchasing a new bag? For messenger bags, I currently own a PAC Designs Ultimate. If it were stolen, and if I had the cash, I would buy another, ideally if the waist belt were somehow detachable (which is my only gripe about the bag)

    Do you prefer a backpack or a messenger bag? messenger bag, Carradice-style tranverse saddlebag or panniers

    Why do you prefer one over the other; be descriptive (positives, negatives)? for a bag to use with my bike, I prefer a messenger bag to a backpack for ease of access without taking the bag on and off. Basically, I only use my messenger bag if I expect to be on and off my bike a lot in the day (ie. home to work to movies to bar to home, or home to lunch to errands to hanging out with friends to dinner to home) and if I am not going very far (ie. no trip is going to be longer than one hour). If it's just a point-to-point (ie. grocery run) or if it's going to be a lot of miles, I'll go with panniers or my transverse saddlebag. But on situations where I will use my messenger bag, I will likely want to get at the contents without having to sling or unsling it (ie. get my lock, get my phone, etc.) and I'll want it to hug my body so that I don't take up a lot of space in a crowd. yes, it's less ergonomic than a backpack, but if I wanted ergonomics, I have other options so that I am not carrying that shit on my back.

    What do you carry in your bag? usually: lock, tools, unpaid bills. Commuting: laptop, work clothes. Also: groceries, other items as required. I once biked home with a Thanksgiving turkey and a 5 lb. bag of potatoes in my PAC.

    What bag do you have now? PAC Designs Ultimate, bought sometime around 2000. Look it up (http://www.pacdesigns.com/ultimate.htm) Everything about it is awesome. It really is a ten year old bag, and it's still pretty goddamn solid.

    What are the positives and negatives of your bag? positive: bag is huge and can hold a lot. negative: bag is huge because it can hold a lot. Some days, I kind of wish it could hold more but be smaller, but then I might wind up putting a portable hole inside the bag and open a rift to the Astral Plane or something.

    otherwise: it's an almost perfect city bag. waterproof and durable as hell. the strapping system and suspension is awesome. The X-strap needs to be setup properly so that it's actually useful, but otherwise no complaints. The waist belt can be a little dangly and get caught on stuff if I don't cinch it properly, so if there was a way to detach and re-attach it, that would be keen. I realize that the new PAC bags have a detachable waist strap. That was almost enough to make me buy a new one, but $300 is a bit much to dish out for a new feature.

    If you could add additional features to your bag what would they be? I'd like a bag that I don't have to carry except when I want to. I want a bag that I can just hitch or clamp or stow on my bike when I'm riding, then sling it on my shoulder when I'm walking. Yeah, I know that you can get panniers with shoulder straps or you can throw a man-purse in a front basket; but I don't like having front baskets and panniers with shoulder straps still have a hard plastic backing that's awesome for strengthening the pannier, but annoying for carrying around. I want, like, a behind-seat cradle for a courier bag.

    When riding your bike, are their any points in which your bag becomes uncomfortable? if so, when? one hour into the ride ... or 45 minutes. depends on how heavy the bag is and/or how tired my shoulder and arms are.
    •  
      CommentAuthordora
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2011
     
    i've bought 2 bailey works bags and sold them both because shit just digs into your back constantly. i haven't read everything above (tl;dr) so idk if someone mentioned this but it'd be rad to have some kinda pad or something (like the padded back thing in my freight bag) in there so you're not uncomfortable all the time. maybe i'm just sensitive but it drove me insane

    also make the straps adjustable enough for the ladies! i'm a big tall lady and i'd hafta pull the strap as tight as it could go on my bailey works, and i definitely could've used to pull it even tighter if it didn't have much in it.

    but i think it'd be a good idea to borrow a messenger bag from someone and use it for a while to see what you think tooMust be awful, being so fluffy.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbrunop
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2011
     
    backpack. i don't dig messenger stylee bags. panniers are the best though.
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