BikeCommuters.com

Bike Your Drive!

One in a hundred

My wife works as a teacher for the City of Anaheim, yesterday she shared this story with me:

“I was showing my kids a picture of a kid riding a bike and asked them to describe the picture, 100% of my kids described the picture as a kid riding a bike. However, there was 1 kid that noticed and pointed out that not only was the kid riding a bike, but he had no helmet and said it was dangerous”

I say, give that kid an A+.

Seattle Sports “Fast Pack” Pannier — First Impression

Seattle Sports Waterproof Pannier

Seattle Sports recently sent us one of their waterproof “Fast Pack” pannier bags to test in the harsh summer rains of west-central Florida. Any company based in Seattle will surely know a thing or two about wet weather, and Seattle Sports is well-known for their excellent gear that is built to handle extreme wetness!

Here’s a bit about the bag, directly from the manufacturer’s website:

-10″ w, 14″ h, 5″ deep
-750 cu. in. per single bag
-18 oz.
-sold individually
-AVAILABLE IN GREY
-Price: $59.95

The bag is a simple three-roll-closure bag with nylon buckles, much like traditional dry bags for kayak and canoe applications. It is made of a radio-frequency welded nylon and rubberized fabric. It features a side compression strap for keeping loads from swaying, a smallish reflective patch on the back of the bag and a small zippered interior pocket.

The interior of the bag is lined in soft nylon. Even though the bag only holds 750 cubic inches, a lot can hide down in there, and the interior is DARK. A lighter-colored liner would help a user locate small items hiding down in the bottom. The zippered interior pocket is located on the outer wall of the inside.

Inside the bag:
Inside the bag

The rack attachment system is the real showcase of this bag. Comprised of two upper rigid clips with spring-loaded locking keepers and a sliding, rotating lower “toggle” that clamps around the bottom of the rack stays, this system is absolutely bulletproof. You will not shake this bag loose, even with a heavy load!! This attachment system is well-designed and is perhaps the best I’ve had the pleasure of using.

The bag's attachment system

Here’s a closeup of the upper clips. The keepers are on the inside — no real springs in there, but these keepers pop up and press back to release the bag from the upper rail of a rack:
The upper clips w/ keepers

I’ve only ridden with this bag once so far…and only with a light load (a pair of dress shoes). In the coming weeks, I will put this bag through its paces, including some serious wet-weather testing to check the waterproofness of this bag.

So far, my only real gripe is the reflective patch on the back of the bag. There’s room on the back for a much more substantial reflector…something I’d like to see on this bag, since so many other pannier manufacturers put loads of reflective tape and patches on their bags.

The tiny reflective patch:
Tiny reflective patch

Stay tuned for more as I torture this bag!!! I’ve got to say, though, that this bag really looks like it can handle some serious punishment. We’ll see if I’m right, won’t we?

Visit Seattle Sports’ cycling products page for more details about their waterproof bags.

Cargo Bikes

The Bakfiets cargo bike sparked my interest on this type of bikes. Although most of these bikes cost over 2,000 large, Mike from littlecirclesbikes.com summed up some of the reasons why spending 2 big ones may not be that bad after all:

Expensive? Sure. About what you’ll pay in interest for a new or lightly used car. Or fuel for a years worth of SUV driving. Or 2 years of cell phone service on your new iPhone. Or the average spending on entertainment for a year (maybe two). Over a 5 year period a Bakfiets will cost you about the cost of a cup of coffee a day.

I also did a search to see if anyone else made cargo bikes like the Bakfiets that is able to carry kids and its available in the US, here’s what I came up with:


The Long Haul from Human Powered Machines, $2300


The Bilenky Cargo Bike $2495


The A.N.T Frontaloadonme, starts at $2,950

You can find countless of bike trailers, pedicabs and rear attachments, but what I like about the cargo bikes is having the kids on the front and the not-so-wide profile. I think I want one….

BikeCommuters.com Is Growing!

Please help me welcome our newest addition to the BikeCommuters.com team, Lance Lowry!

Lance comes on board with a plethora of cycling experience. He is a XC mountain bike racer and a fixed gear commuter. We’ve been riding with Lance on various mountain biking trails and decided to asked him to join the BikeCommuters and MtnBikeRiders.com teams.

We’re pretty excited to see what he’s going to bring to the table and we know that he’s got a lot to offer. So please, don’t be shy and welcome the fella to the BikeCommuters Family!