The Timbuk2 Lux pannier ($169) is a twenty-two liter roll-top cycling pannier with excellent organizational features.
Every bike commuter has her own reason for getting to work under her own steam, but we all share one common denominator: We need to carry clothes, shoes, phones, tools, spare tubes, locks, snacks and, sometimes, laptop computers.
For the record, I only have one reason why I commute by bike: Why the fuck not? I live in the 6th Best Bicycling City in the Country per Bicycling mag (we were #1 in 2010 though), I work for a company with a locker room and shower facility, my commute is 100% bike path and dedicated bike lanes, it’s less gas I have to put in my car, it gets me outside on my bike every day and I’m just a better cyclist than driver so I see it as doing my public service.
That was more than one reason, wasn’t it?
Oh well. Here’s what I think of the Timbuk2 Lux pannier in my pursuit of 10,000 reasons why I commute to work by bike:
What I liked
Rack compatibility and attachability
- The Timbuk2 Lux pannier’s Timbuk2 Quick Clip mounting system is simple to attach and detach; however depending on the rack size and cross-bar placement, you may need to adjust the position of one of both Quick Clips with a Phillips’ screwdriver. This is not difficult. Even a knuckle-dragging Trump voter could do this.
- The metal clips that secure the roll top closure on each side and the carry strap are high-quality but a little heavy and kind of fiddly to operate.
- The pannier has a Velcro loop for attaching the lower part to the bike rack which is also somewhat fiddly to use.
- The Timbuk2 Lux pannier comes with a detachable shoulder strap to carry from bike to office and back. Additionally, the shoulder strap clips to the bag via a set of two small webbing loops that make it tedious to attach or detach quickly.
- The pannier has an exterior pocket to stow the carry strap for riding without having to open the main compartment. I usually keep my wallet and phone here.
- Made with a lightweight but sturdy Nylon ripstop fabric. Cleaning is simple, via a sponge-bath with a wet washcloth. However, if necessary, you can submerge it and hand-washed in a sink and air-dried.
- The Quick Clip mounting system is made of a heavy and durable plastic and the clips that secure the flap are metal. The nice thing about all Timbuk2 products, the Lux pannier comes with a lifetime warranty. So if these clips happen to break, the warranty will get you back up and running. Or riding.
The Timbuk2 Lux is made with an internal drop liner, roll-top closure and adjustable compression straps to make it fully waterproof. I didn’t experience a rain storm on any of my test commutes but I did give it a good douse with a garden hose to see if my contents remained dry. Miraculously, they did. Since some of us carry laptop computers, iPads and other electronics sensitive to water, so a pannier’s waterproofness is usually a deal-breaker.
- With twenty-two liters of cargo capacity, I successfully carried lunch, clothing, shoes and a fifteen-inch IBM ThinkPad inside the main compartment.
- Its roll-top design and metal clip with adjustable webbing compression straps allowed for flexibility in cargo capacity.
A whole lotta nice and useful and thoughtful features
- The Timbuk2 Lux pannier comes with a detachable shoulder strap to carry from bike to office.
- A convenient organizer pocket inside the main compartment holds small items like keys, phone, wallet and pens. However, it is not secured.
- A padded laptop sleeve holds up to a full-sized iPad. While Timbuk2 says that the sleeve will hold up to a fifteen-inch laptop, I had to struggle to insert that fifteen-inch IBM ThinkPad.
- The roll-top design closure system closes with two magnets and a set of sturdy metal clips and nylon webbing.
- On the outside of the Timbuk2 Lux is a large secured zippered pocket with taped seams that is ideal for carrying tools or items that need to be accessed quickly.
- A set of neoprene stretch pockets hold items like a bike lock or water bottles.
- Reflective elements include the Timbuk2 logo and two stripes down the front of the pannier.
No piece of gear is perfect so….
- The carry handle is thin and non-padded so heavier loads will dig into your hand.
- The shoulder strap is thin and non-padded so heavier loads will dig into your shoulder. This kind of socks me about Timbuk2. They’re the reigning monarchy of padded shoulder straps on their awesome messenger bag. Put a padded shoulder strap on the Lux pannier, already!
The Timbuk2 Lux pannier is a lightweight and attractive pannier with outstanding organization and cargo capacity that easily accommodates the bike commuter’s daily needs. I have a 98 percent impressed rate with Timbuk2 products. It’s hard to find a dud in their product lines.
The Timbuk2 Lux is most definitely not a dud.
The Timbuk2 Lux is a Gear Gals Piece of Recommended Gear.
Timbuk2Timbuk2's new Lux collection is aptly named, as the San Francisco-based brand once again succeeds at blending commuting functionality with feminine aesthetics that don't veer into over-the-top territory. A subtle shimmer on the straps and within the fabric actually doubles as reflective material, while the entire bag was purposely constructed to close without hook-and-loop straps, helping long-haired riders avoid becoming attached to their bag via their hair. The entire bag is waterproof, and for extra reassurance, Timbuk2 added an inner liner complete with waterproof seaming to fit up to a 15-inch laptop. Neoprene pockets on either side are sized to fit water bottles to keep you hydrated on hot summer rides, and the pannier mounts easily to a rear bike rack with Timbuk2's Quick Clip design or can be worn as a backpack with the included straps.$169.00
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Timbuk2Timbuk2 has a reputation for crafting solid, dependable bags that last for years, and the brand's lifetime warranty has always spoken to its faith in the durability of its stuff. The San Francisco-based company's all-new Lux pack offers the same solid construction we're used to seeing, along with intuitive extra features to make commuting even more enjoyable. To start, the fabric Timbuk2 uses to construct the bag features reflective printing integrated throughout it for a subtle sheen during the day and high visibility at night, and it uses magnets and buckles toward the top of the bag to help female riders keep their long hair on their head, instead of stuck in hook-and-loop closures. Thinking of all the times commuting results in a surprise shower, Timbuk2 intelligently integrated two separate flaps into the Lux that easily fold up when not in use; one covers your backside while the other extends over the entire pack and over your head. The flaps are easy to unfold while you're in the saddle, so you can quickly cover up in case Mother Nature has a quick mood swing when you're halfway to work. With completely waterproof outer fabric, the Lux can be trusted to keep electronics safe inside of its inner sleeve, which fits up to a 15-inch laptop. The sleeve features waterproof seam taping to add confidence that your valuables will stay dry no matter what, while stretchy side pockets on either side give you space to carry plenty of water on hot days.$199.00