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  1. #1
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    How to keep a messenger bag from slipping to your side

    I left my beat up old back pack that I use for commuting on a bus the other day. Been calling but no luck so I donít think Iíll see it again. I got an Osprey brand messenger bag (Spin model) a couple years ago as a gift and have been using that.

    The thing is frustrating though. It keeps shifting around my waist to my right side. I have to push it back onto my back every couple of minutes or so. It slings around my shoulder like a regular messenger bag and also has a strap that wraps around my waist and snaps closed. Here is an image:

    Google Image Result for http://www.backcountry.com/images/items/large/OSP/OSP0083/SPBL.jpg

    How does one keep these things from not sliding around? The straps are pretty tight, so much that itís a bit snug to get over my headÖdo I need to tighten even more? If I do itíll be so tight that Iíll need to loosen the strap it to get it off of me.

    I thought these things were supposed to be for cyclists but itís been a pain for me so far.

    In other news, I am in the mkt for a set of panniers. Got my eye on the Axiom Typhoons but am not 100% just yet.
    I ride mostly in the honorable pursuit of being kissed on both cheeks at the same time by one blond and one brunette. But not redheads, they scare me.

  2. #2
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    You use a stabilizer strap like this one:

    Add a third-leg to your messenger bag!

  3. #3
    What'd I do?
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    If the stabilizer doesn't work, attach it to the end of the bag that's lower, so the bag sits almost vertical on your back.
    Good ideas by chance, not design.

  4. #4
    evs
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    Oh yeah, u need that strap

    did it come with one? I've used my messenger bag to go to the market and have filled it and I adjusted that strap, hit the road and every thing stayed right in place. Not sure why a messenger bag would NOt come with one.
    'Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, Boldly Ride,' The Shade replied, - 'If you Seek for El Dorado!'

  5. #5
    MTT
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    I had the same problem, so I just brought it back and got my money back. Stabilizer strap might work, but seems to me a backpack will always be more even. 10 years commuting with an old school backpack and no plans to change or get panniers.........MTT

  6. #6
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    You know what I think? As crazy as it may sound, after using it, I think that this messenger bag is not designed for use while riding. It may seem like it is because of the model name and all but I think the manufacturer knew/thought that most people would just use this for carrying stuff around town while walking. It's so dumb that messenger bags that seem to be cycling specific would not work well when cycling...and, it's ridiculous to have to fix the problem by adding a strap. I now think many of these are more for fashion and image than for practical use.

    I think I'll deal with it until I decide on some panniers. The backpack was OK for the past few years but I sometimes am able to go out for a longer ride after work and the backpack can get to be a real hassle (gets hot and the weight on my back can irritate me).

    I'm just uber (I'm not even from California and I used that word!) surprised that it is so poor and that a regular ol' backpack is so much better. My previous one was bright yellow (with a racing stripe!) from EMS and had an additional chest and waist strap - now that was stable. No shifting whatsoever. Can you tell I miss it?

    Thanks y'all (I'm not even from Texas! Thank God - er, no offense)
    I ride mostly in the honorable pursuit of being kissed on both cheeks at the same time by one blond and one brunette. But not redheads, they scare me.

  7. #7
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by BostonG View Post
    I thought these things were supposed to be for cyclists but itís been a pain for me so far.
    Just a theory, but perhaps these messenger bags were inspired by racers' feed bags (musette) without understanding their function. The single-strap bag is the only bag you can easily rotate to the front to rummage through itóprecisely what you do with a musette bag. Since there's no need to go into a messenger bag while riding, the single-strap design is perhaps more fashion than function.

  8. #8
    pmf
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    Strap the bag on your rack. Seriously, I don't see how you guys ride with messenger bags and backpacks. A rack is so much better. I use one that attaches to my seatpost. I've got an extra saddle and post, so I can pop one off and put on the other if I don't need the rack.

  9. #9
    Vintage cyclist
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    I tried a couple different messenger bags and didn't care for them.

    I tried a backpack, and while it is funtionally WAY better than a messenger bag, I still don't like it.

    Trunk bag (and a pannier or two, if needed) works the best for me!

  10. #10
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    Watching this video will help with the messenger bag.
    Performance - YouTube

  11. #11
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    I used a classic timbuk2, and it worked fine once I set it up right. I had to adjust the strap based on the volume of the bag I was using, but that was a single motion once it was on my shoulder. It's clearly a compromise, but when I was a messenger, I preferred it to a backpack, which you have to take off completely to get into. Not fun when you have multiple jobs. It's designed for a specific purpose, and is compromised with that in mind. If that's not what you're using it for, you'll be unhappy with it. And you were, and acted accordingly.

    BTW, now that I'm not a messenger, I definitely prefer backpacks.
    Good ideas by chance, not design.

  12. #12
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    I don't know why those bags are called messenger bags. Messengers use and have always used large backpacks.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by T0mi View Post
    I don't know why those bags are called messenger bags. Messengers use and have always used large backpacks.
    Theyre best for when you are making multiple visits to the bag contents on a ride, as is done by messengers, its easier and faster to swing it around, get your stuff, then swing it back than it is to get something out of a full blown backpack.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Strap the bag on your rack. Seriously, I don't see how you guys ride with messenger bags and backpacks. A rack is so much better. I use one that attaches to my seatpost. I've got an extra saddle and post, so I can pop one off and put on the other if I don't need the rack.
    But the messenger bags are so much more hip!

  15. #15
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    Keep it from slipping by adding a pair of symmetrical shoulder straps.

    Or just get a backpack.

    Messenger bags are... great? well adequate, anyway, when you're gonna be riding short distances and need to keep accessing your bag over and over. Like if, for instance, you were picking up and delivering things, like some sort of velocipede message delivery person.

    But for commuting, not so much. once you use that stabilizer strap, you might as well just get a backpack. Plus, since most stabilizer straps buckle closed, you can't get the bag off in a hurry. Not a big deal but every now and then, necessary. Loaded messenger bags are a pain to get on and off, at least that was my experience, and invariably whatever you need quickly has worked it's way to the bottom of the bag.

    Backpacks are great. They're light, they aren't cool so they aren't theft magnets, they're easy to get on and off fully loaded and they make finding stuff really easy.

    Panniers are great if you've only got one bike you regularly commute on, but if you switch things up, you need a rack on every bike you've got. That was the killer for panniers for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by JustTooBig View Post
    Your Logical-to-Dumbass ratio is way out of kilter, buddy

  16. #16
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    Too funny. I've used panniers for years, but recently due to work travel I've been commuting on a folding Dahon with a messenger bag slung over my shoulder. What a stupid concept - hanging weight off one shoulder while attempting to balance atop a bike. After a few weeks of carrying a laptop and clothes in the m'bag, my shoulder began to fatigue and I've had some back discomfort. Admittedly I'm a skinny guy with sloping shoulders. Big dudes with square shoulders may enjoy m'bags just fine(?).

    Anyway, I look forward to getting back to racked panniers in the near future. The messenger bag, a free door prize, will be relegated to a walking shoulder pack and nothing more...
    VC - It's the vehicular code.

  17. #17
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    When I commuted with a bag, I found a sling bag worked much better for me than a courier style bag. More stable and no sliding (tho' this is not the model I used - I used an REI sling bag they no longer make).

    Now, however, I just use an Arkel commuter bag on my rear rack. Bomb-proof, stable, roomy, and no issues with sweaty backs or sliding bags. And, it's easy to pop off the rack and carry to my ultimate destination.

  18. #18
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    when I was a city dweller bike commuter I would extend the strap so bag would rest on my butt. it needs to be high enough that it doesn't slide under your seat though.

  19. #19
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    Messenger bags are designed after the musette like it was said before, it is the only bag you can move from your back to the front, remove things and then move it back while riding ( the ones with Velcro make that more difficult though ).

    If you size the strap properly to the volume on it ( that's what the buckle is for ) and place it on the right place on your bent down back, they work great. If you are sitting with a higher back they will not stay in place so well though.

    They can move around when you stand on the pedals or manoeuvre, but you can easily set them back in place with a gentle push.

    I like that they rest nicely on your lower back, backpacks on the contrary tend to slide to your neck putting the weight on the front. I don't like backpacks.
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  20. #20
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    I hate having anything hanging from my shoulders when cycling, so backpacks are out. Messenger bags always seemed dumb, unless you need that frequent access, not the case with commuting. I use a sizeable lumbar (fanny) pack, and add panniers if I have more stuff to carry. Having the weight low on the hips is much more comfortable than high on the back.

    The lumbar pack is not compatible with stuff in jersey pockets, so I don't wear cycling jerseys on my commute. I like the fact that my fanny pack keeps all the valuable personal stuff (wallet, keys, phone, etc.) on my person, so I don't have to worry about it when I get off the bike. I sewed internal pockets in it, so there's a place for all the things I regularly carry, and I can see at a glance if everything is there. I got a good deal on it at Sierra Trading Post.

    Oh, the fanny pack is also a good place to hang a couple more red blinkies for the dark rides home in the winter. I'm one of those Christmas-tree types. Can't have too many taillights.

  21. #21
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    Do you have it sitting in the small of you back? If up too high it will rotate around all the time. Agree that they are designed for frequent access, but when set up correctly they will stay in place, more or less, with just a gentle correction from your elbow/tricep. They are the right tool for the job. For commuting I can't see how you could possibly beat a pannier on a rack. The lower the weight the better and on the bike vs your body is a no brainer.

  22. #22
    What'd I do?
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    Quote Originally Posted by rplace13 View Post
    Do you have it sitting in the small of you back? If up too high it will rotate around all the time. Agree that they are designed for frequent access, but when set up correctly they will stay in place, more or less, with just a gentle correction from your elbow/tricep. They are the right tool for the job. For commuting I can't see how you could possibly beat a pannier on a rack. The lower the weight the better and on the bike vs your body is a no brainer.
    I used to put mine as high up as I could, usually around the bottom of my shoulder blades. There wasn't enough room for it to move when I got it that high. I also usually had something flat right against my back, which stabilized it a bit more, once it was situated, I tightened the stabilizer, and tightened it again once on the bike. It sounds like more of a hassle than it really is, since most of that is pretty quick.
    Good ideas by chance, not design.

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