Monday, 19 October 2009

Brompton rear rack and bags

I got a question from J today asking me how often I use my rear rack.

Answer. A lot.

Although I wax lyrical about my basket I don’t use it for everyday ‘got to get to work right now’ setting. In fact I don’t use my Brompton pannier or Brompton zip front bag that often either. I will use my black front bag for the odd occasion when I need to look professional for work as it carries papers and folders and looks smart.

The bags I use most of the time are my messenger bags and now I have added my non messenger shoulder bag by Esprit. I used my Timbuk2 bag all through the winter last year. When I wasn’t using that I used the Ortlieb zip city which always provokes a where did you get that bag question from non cyclists.

You can see from the photos why I need the rack. I carry a lot of stuff or acquire stuff during the day. I start out in the morning with the bag on my back, but by the end of the day I put it on the rack for the final journey home.

Why use a messenger bag and not just the clip the bag on and off the bike at the front?

I prefer the look and style of a messenger bag. I find it surprising that Bromptons come in a wide range of colours but the bags are a little dull by comparison. (I have heard that this is about to change very soon.) It is also faster not to have to remove a bag and fold the bike quickly when I have to get on a train or the tube. Of course this doesn’t work when I have to strap a bag on the rack.

So if you aren’t going to need to carry a lot of stuff and can get away with just a front bag and/or a messenger bag then save the cash. I don’t regret getting the rack and I would do it again.


Joseph said...

Wow, bespoke article. That was incredibly useful, thank you!

I think one can over-analyse / forecast their requirements when about to depart with a significant amount of cash. Currently, I'm worrying about those cases of wine I purchase when in France, and the packs of beer to transport for those BBQ's; whereas, in reality, I have only been in the former situation once and the latter... next week.

Even, when carrying significant amounts, it has always been a case of the bag slung over the shoulders. A front basket / frame should be more than enough to alleviate that.

Thanks again :)

Anonymous said...

Any more posts?

James said...

I have just got my brompton and it came with a rack...i have used it a couple of times to put a small tote bag of stuff on the back and it keeps getting disloged and falls off! I was wondering how much faith you have in things staying on it - is it just that i should be using a bigger bag?

love the blog - ace shoes too!

Cycling in Heels said...

James. Welcome to the Brompton family. Surprised to hear about things falling off. I find the Brompton rack straps very strong. Just make sure that you pull them tight enough and wrap them around the rack again if the straps feel loose.