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I have a brompton which I love. I ride it nearly every day. It has… - Sally's Journal
July 6th, 2007
11:34 am

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I have a brompton which I love. I ride it nearly every day. It has a nice cloth pannier.



On a typical day, I carry:
- a book for the train
- (another book if I am near the end of that book)
- my notebook
- a pencil case
- waterproof jacket
- waterproof trousers
- an AtoZ of London
- lots of bits like railcards, wallets, phones, keys etc.

However, recently I got a work laptop. It is starting to be a bit of a squeeze to get laptop and other-stuff in my pannier. It is even more of a squeeze to get enough stuff for an overnight stay in my pannier. There are books that I desperately want to read that I am not reading because they are hardbacks and do not fit in my bag.

At the moment I get round this by cycling with a rucksack. But turning up at work with two bags and a bike does make me look a bit like a sherpa, and rucksacks make your back sweaty.

Brompton make a Larger Bag. But it doesn't sound that much larger (28 litres instead of 22 litres). It is also Hidiously Expensive - 50 UKP without the frame, and 70 UKP with the frame.

(On the frame - the frame is the bit that lets you attach the bag to the bike. My current bag has an identical frame in it, so I could just transfer the frame from one to the other when I wanted to use a different bag. It's a bit faffy, but definitely more like 30 seconds of faffing with velcro than 10 minutes of doom. But it is faffy, and 6.30 am is not a good time for faffy. Also, should we ever be rich and get M a brompton, having two frames would be good, and it is a 20 UKP price difference to get bag with frame, and 25 UKP to get the frame on its own)

Buy the Bigger Pannier?

Buy the pannier!
19(86.4%)
Don't buy the pannier!
3(13.6%)

If I buy the pannier, buy the frame with the pannier?

Buy the frame!
10(50.0%)
Don't buy the frame!
9(45.0%)

Do I carry too much stuff on my way to work?

Yes!
7(30.4%)
No!
16(69.6%)

Buy a mandachello?

Yes!
9(100.0%)


[ETA - all you people who think I carry too much stuff, which things should I not be carrying?]

[ETA 2 - you people who think I don't need waterproofs obviously don't have the sort of job where you get in at 9.20 and need to be in an important meeting with external people at 9.30 ]

(44 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:miss_next
Date:July 6th, 2007 11:00 am (UTC)
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Get a trailer! :-)
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From:emperor
Date:July 6th, 2007 11:22 am (UTC)
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Confused: I thought you'd decided to buy the pannier?
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From:atreic
Date:July 6th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
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I did, but when I looked it up on-line it said it was 22 litres v's 28 litres. In my head it had been twice as big... Also I got confused about whether or not I wanted a frame - if there's a chance of you getting a Brompton in the future I think the frame is a good idea.

Anyway, why just make a decision when you can have an LJ poll?
[User Picture]
From:emperor
Date:July 6th, 2007 11:23 am (UTC)
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You might want to note it's mandocello not mandachello, since google won't help if you search for the latter.
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From:deborah_c
Date:July 6th, 2007 11:39 am (UTC)
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... and that she'll need a really big pannier for it...
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From:arnhem
Date:July 6th, 2007 12:11 pm (UTC)
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only if she wants it to stay in its original shape
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From:deborah_c
Date:July 6th, 2007 01:33 pm (UTC)
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... do Brompton make foldable mandocelli?
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From:mair_aw
Date:July 6th, 2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
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I got exactly one google-image hit :-)
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From:naath
Date:July 6th, 2007 11:25 am (UTC)
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I take it you put the pannier on the back? Pinkbeast has a nifty bag for putting on the front which is spacious and moreover can be attached whilst the bike is folded up (thus not increasing the number-of-things-to-carry). Dunno what it is called though.
[User Picture]
From:naath
Date:July 6th, 2007 11:26 am (UTC)
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Oh and I'd ditch the waterproofs, but then I don't much mind being damp.
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:July 6th, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
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Kinda hard if you have to be presentable the minute you get to work.
[User Picture]
From:naath
Date:July 6th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC)
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Heh, silly work with requirement to look presentable.
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:July 6th, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
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It's called the Brompton pannier. That's the thing I'm talking about. Pinkbeast has the big one that I'm dithering about whether or not to buy, I currently have the medium sized one.
[User Picture]
From:naath
Date:July 6th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
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Ah right - mesa silly. It is big and useful and stuff.
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From:sphyg
Date:July 6th, 2007 11:30 am (UTC)
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I also have the large book dilemma. I get teased for carrying lots of stuff everywhere. A typical day is wallet, keys, phone, book, diary, mini umbrella, fleece, spare makeup/medicine bag, packed lunch, extra fruit, drink (saves buying one after walking into town), spare carrier bags, and other random crap.
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From:r_e_mercia
Date:July 6th, 2007 11:51 am (UTC)
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Do you have a front basket? They are rather nice and wire ones can be purchased for mega cheapness.
Altura (sp?) do really lovely panniers, I have one and it's huge - big enough for laptop, ringbinder, handbag, kitchen sink etc. And it's smart enough for even taking into scary international conferences etc. Is bon, I recommend.
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From:atreic
Date:July 6th, 2007 01:38 pm (UTC)
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Problem with the brompton is because it's a weirdo folding bike normal panniers don't fit, so you have to buy special brompton panniers. Which go on the front, so no space for a basket. I'm always a bit paranoid about stuff just getting grabbed out of baskets, but I think that's my paranoia, not a real problem...
[User Picture]
From:r_e_mercia
Date:July 6th, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC)
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Ah ha, I see. That's a bit of a pain. And yes I also get a bit paranoid about stuff being grabbed from baskets - I always put valuables into the pannier, figuring that no-one will want a minging waterbottle, a spare pair of trousers and three hairbands.
[User Picture]
From:naath
Date:July 6th, 2007 02:02 pm (UTC)
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I've never had that as a problem.
[User Picture]
From:feanelwa
Date:July 10th, 2007 10:24 am (UTC)
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Me neither - but the chavs stole the basket itself and the rack it was on, while I was ill last year.
[User Picture]
From:king_of_wrong
Date:July 6th, 2007 12:32 pm (UTC)
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28 vs 22L is a very significant difference... it's over a gallon more space and should be ample room for a hardback or two.
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From:pavanne
Date:July 6th, 2007 12:46 pm (UTC)
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Leave the waterproof trousers and the waterproof coat at home and embrace the joy of getting wet (this is especially good if you can wear shorts for cycling and change out of them). At least in summer - in winter you can just wear the waterproofs.

Seriously, it doesn't take that long to dry off.

Also, no packed lunch?
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:July 6th, 2007 01:29 pm (UTC)
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And sometimes a packed lunch. I am rubbish at making packed lunches though - I am shattered in the evening, and disinclided to get out of bed in the morning (4 hour commutes do that to people) so I buy 33p bread rolls from Sainsburies.
[User Picture]
From:pavanne
Date:July 6th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
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*insert lecture on a balanced diet*

...yeah, I do that too sometimes. Somerfield has nicer ones, though.
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:July 6th, 2007 01:43 pm (UTC)
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I eat veg in the evenings, I'm sure vitamens hang around for 24 hours...
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From:claroscuro
Date:July 6th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)
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Vitamens: Those guys who come round looking bouncy after a long day's work?

This won't be nearly as funny as the picture in my head, but hey...
[User Picture]
From:samholloway
Date:July 6th, 2007 01:53 pm (UTC)
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Buy paneer instead. Then you can eat it when you get hungry while cycling.
[User Picture]
From:naath
Date:July 6th, 2007 02:04 pm (UTC)
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Oh, and the other thing you can attach to a bike and then look daft carrying around everywhere is a saddle bag. I have a nice biiiiig one that fits my book, wallet, phone, assorted junk etc. in but it probably wouldn't take a laptop. Although come to think of it you probably have a saddle with nasty cosmetic saddlebag loops.
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:July 6th, 2007 02:21 pm (UTC)
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The saddlebag on my brompton contains the bag for putting my brompton in.
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From:naath
Date:July 6th, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC)
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I submit that you could get a *bigger* saddlebag and put the Brompton-bag *and* your stuff in it.
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From:the_alchemist
Date:July 6th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
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Do you need a bag for putting your brompton in? Is it useful? What for? (Am thinking of getting one.)
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From:mair_aw
Date:July 6th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC)
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the cover-bag is useful for buses, eurostars, being polite in cars with muddy brompton, etc. most of that functionality can be supplied by a bin bag, but it is also a useful waterproof cover that you can eg shove over a pannier that you've overfilled and can't then shut ...

I keep a puncture-kit in my saddle bag.
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From:atreic
Date:July 6th, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
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I have the cover bag (not the very expensive box like bag for taking your brompton on planes etc) and it is quite handy when wanting to avoid arsey people - eg I put it over the bike when trying to get it into the cloakroom at an art gallery, and when taking it into a restaurant. I think it's easier to occassionally be weirdo-with-a-big-bag than weirdo-with-a-bike. But maybe all the people I am scared would be arsey wouldn't have been arsey at all.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:randomchris
Date:July 6th, 2007 04:15 pm (UTC)
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Get a thin backpack that you can put the laptop and a couple of other things in, maybe?
[User Picture]
From:the_alchemist
Date:July 6th, 2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
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Why a mandachello? I thought we were going to be half a string quartet?
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:July 6th, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC)
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See M's previous poll - he wants a mandocello. Therefor every silly extravagent thing I want to buy can be justified by being less extravagent than a mandocello.

Yes, we are going to be half a string quartet, and it will be superb :-)
[User Picture]
From:mair_aw
Date:July 6th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
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I just ripped the frame out of my annoying (large) Brompton pannier which banged against my thighs as I tried to carry it, and bungee on whatever size rucksack I want. It's carryable on my back (for short periods), and parks nicely on the front. eg my laptop bag http://pictures.maircrosoft.com/Photos/07-04-1_KingsLynn/tn/Image010.jpg.shtml

maybe attaching a bungee counts as 6:30am faffing though?
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From:mair_aw
Date:July 6th, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
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(the "not that much bigger" is quite a lot bigger if you leave the top unrolled, but then the handle squishes against the bag and is hard to get hold of, and the frame in the bag bangs your thighs and you get bruises that the doctor asks where you get them from, and you have a bike in one hand and a bag in one hand and if you have to, yknow, open a door or something it's a pain)
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:July 6th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I hadn't thought of doing that. I'd thought about bungy-ing something bigger to the pannier rack at the back, but that's a really good idea. It might be too much faff for day to day, but maybe I could rig up something simpler to do and more perminent...

Does the giant brompton bag not let you attach the sholder strap? Or does it bang against your legs with the sholder strap?
[User Picture]
From:mair_aw
Date:July 7th, 2007 08:09 am (UTC)
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hm, I haven't tried a shoulder strap. I don't know if it is attachable or if my bag predates shoulder straps. possibly that would have been an equally adequate solution to all my problems...
[User Picture]
From:smhwpf
Date:July 7th, 2007 12:31 am (UTC)
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Though I have to say I'm not entirely sure about the prospect of carrying a laptop around in a pannier. Laptops do not like getting bumped around. Can you strap the laptop in inside the pannier, or alternatively put the lap top carrying case (which does have straps inside generally) inside the pannier?
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From:atreic
Date:July 7th, 2007 07:30 am (UTC)
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If work were prepaired to spend the extra UKP to get me a carrying case, then I would be forced to consider the dilemma of whether it was ethical to carry around their laptop not in its carrying case. As they are too broke to do this, I kind of feel it's not my problem. Nothing lives on the laptop except the one thing I'm working on on the train (it's all on remote drives) and as the laptop is ancient and at least 3rd hand I don't think it's actual value is all that high. I think them not buying me a carrying case is a false economy, but that's their problem not mine. Given my problem of transporting large amounts of stuff between Cov and Nodnol, adding a carrying case to the mix would not help!
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From:feanelwa
Date:July 7th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
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Waterproofs --> rucksack, which is then small enough to wear under waterproofs (poss containing laptop) if it rains.
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