May 11th through May 15th is National Bike to Work Week 2015. It is an opportunity to celebrate the power of the bicycle, the many benefits it provides, the packs that make bike commuting fun and, best of all, a chance to win a CLIF Bar prize pack!
You have to carry your clothes and grooming essentials so the pack you choose has to be comfortable, it has to be functional and it has to be big enough to hold your clothes and grooming essentials without bogging you down.
Osprey Momentum ($129 – $149)
For packs, I love the Osprey Momentum ($129 – $149). This is an Osprey product so there’s no question on its comfort or functionality.
It has an integrated rain jacket (for the pack, not you), a helmet clip and soft zippered pocket on the shoulder strap to allow for easy access to your phone.
You’ll also have a Smartphone pocket conveniently located on the shoulder strap, large, glove-friendly zipper pulls, padded laptop compartment, LidLock™ helmet clip, blinkie light attachment and dual compression straps.
Genius incarnate at its finest.
Osprey Spin 32 ($150)
Another great pack from Osprey making the lineup is the Spin 32 ($150). It comes in two sizes and the reason I like this pack is because it has zippered side pockets that you can actually access without completely taking the pack off.
Timbuk2 Tandem Pannier ($129)
If your bike has a rack, I swear by the Timbuk2 Tandem Pannier ($129). I have tested a lot of panniers over the years and none of them come close to the Tandem pannier.
This third generation Tandem is a little larger than generations one and two and comes in a choice of three colors: traditional black, snappy red, and pinstripe.
It also has a heck of a lot more organizational pockets including a zippered pocket on the outside of each side. I carry my bike pump and reusable shopping bags in these pockets.
Timbuk2 Especial Messenger ($179)
If you’re the messenger-bag carrying type, the Especial Messenger ($179) from Timbuk2 has a customizable, ambidextrous shoulder strap that lets you switch carrying sides and angles.
Detours Slice top tube bag ($24)
Finally, you need a top tube bag. The top tube bag is like your bike’s glove compartment.
The Detours Slice top tube bag ($24) lets you stash the little items that you need quick access to so that you don’t have to dismount and rummage through the abyss that is the pannier for your keys, ID badge or phone.
Detours Wedgie ($26)
Its sister pack, the Detours Wedgie ($26), is the seat pack that holds everything you need to change a flat or do a quick fix: tube, tire levers and a multi-tool.
I have no idea how I managed to be a bike commuter all these years without the Slice top tube bag and the matching Wedgie. If the Slice top tube bag is your bike’s glove compartment, the Wedgie is the trunk.
Talk bike packs, enter to win a CLIF Bar prize pack!
CLIF Bars. Healthy, organic, nutritious and tasty. They were born on a longer-than-anticipated bike ride twenty years ago. Today, they are a staple for roadies, mountain bikers and bike commuters the world over.
The latest addition to their line is yummy Organic Trail Mix bars. Certified USDA organic, gluten free, 200 calories or less and the perfect snack for any bike commuter.
To recognize all that our bikes carry, I am giving away a box of eight pre-assorted CLIF Bars to a lucky reader!
Want to give it a go? Shoot me an email with a paragraph or two describing your current bike pack and the gear it absolutely must hold.
Are you a backpack’er? A messenger bag’er? Do you prefer the functionality and sheer cargo-carrying capacity of the pannier?
Winners will be chosen on May 15th.