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.