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Review of Vaude Freiburg Briefcase (Pannier)

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.

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  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&#8217;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.
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  After about 3 weeks usage I have to say I&#8217;m absolutely delighted with this and can happily recommend it to anyone with similar usage plans. I&#8217;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: 
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  I carry my laptop (Dell Latitude D610), some clothes, some gadgets and on occasion  shopping (up to around 3 &#8211; 4 kgs in addition to the normal load) without any problems. I&#8217;ve missed out in the video that there&#8217;s a little pocket on the underneath with an orange waterproof cover that wraps around the bag. I&#8217;ve been out in typical Irish weather and haven&#8217;t had any issue of rain getting into any of the bags compartments.
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  I&#8217;ll try to keep this updated in the event that there&#8217;s anything else relevant.
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Rated 5/5 on Oct 08 2008

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