Review of Vaude Freiburg Briefcase (Pannier)
Since I’ve been doing the work commute by bike I’ve been looking at ways of making it easier on me. A certain level of fitness comes with time and there’s no shortcut there. However, transporting kit is something that can be improved. In my case it was something I really wanted to improve once I was issued with a laptop at work and I also found that I needed to carry various bit and pieces (raingear mainly!). I started out using my backpack as it had a padded laptop section and various pockets that allowed me to keep things organised and safe. The only problem with this is that I found my back getting really sweaty and my back was hurting. In particular I was getting pins and needles around my scapula along with pain. While I was happy with the little bit of weight I was losing by cycling I didn’t want the health benefits to be balanced out by hurting my back! So I decided that I wanted a pannier that I could attach to the bike.
<p> Plenty of searching later and I was pretty much convinced that the <a href="http://www.ortliebusa.com/cartgenie/prod-79.htm">Ortlieb Office</a> Bag was the way to go. Unfortunately (well, fortunately really as it turns out) these aren’t readily available and cost at least £70 from the UK. So I struggled on while keeping an eye out for other options. By chance, while walking around outside <a href="http://www.stpancras.com/">St. Pancras train station</a> killing time before heading to the airport, I came across an outlet of <a href="http://www.cyclesurgery.com">Cycle Surgery</a>. An absolutely fantastic store where they let you have a good browse before offering assistance I was able to look at several bags and have a chat with a sales assistant. He freely admitted that the extent of his knowledge on panniers I was looking for was that <a href="http://www.cyclesurgery.com">Vaude</a> are simply the best combination of quality workmanship and the functional design that I wanted. He also relayed details of another customer who was using the same model of bag (Freiburg Briefcase) in a similar way to me and who loved it. So, for £45 I decided that it was well worth trying. </p> <p> After about 3 weeks usage I have to say I’m absolutely delighted with this and can happily recommend it to anyone with similar usage plans. I’ve done a <a href="http://qik.com/video/381437">walk though video</a> on <a href="http://qik.com">Qik</a> to show my usage quickly: </p> <p> I carry my laptop (Dell Latitude D610), some clothes, some gadgets and on occasion shopping (up to around 3 – 4 kgs in addition to the normal load) without any problems. I’ve missed out in the video that there’s a little pocket on the underneath with an orange waterproof cover that wraps around the bag. I’ve been out in typical Irish weather and haven’t had any issue of rain getting into any of the bags compartments. </p> <p> </p> <p> I’ll try to keep this updated in the event that there’s anything else relevant. </p>