Commuting With A Laptop

Postby rottenlungs on Wed 4/Jun/14 2:12pm

Hi all

I commute with a backpack containing a change of clothes and a laptop. Unfortunately I`m also a sweaty git and the backpack does not help! I would love to find a way to get rid of the backpack.

I have been thinking about some kind of rack but have also heard that putting a laptop into a rackmount bag subjects it to excessive vibration. This makes sense, as my body is acting as an effective damper when the laptop is strapped to me.

Does anyone have any guidance/recommendations? My journey is about 20kms each way on a hard tail mtb, all on-road.

Cheers

James
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Member for: 5 years 6 months

Re: Commuting With A Laptop

Postby happybaboon on Wed 4/Jun/14 2:15pm

Solid pannier rack + ortlieb's.
Get a solid state drive for the laptop so nothing can be damaged by vibration + a decent bag for it to sit in.
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Re: Commuting With A Laptop

Postby RJD on Wed 4/Jun/14 2:18pm

Mechanical disk HDD's park the heads when switched off and shouldnt care about vibration. Its only a big issue when they are working.
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Re: Commuting With A Laptop

Postby philstar on Wed 4/Jun/14 2:23pm

rottenlungs wrote:Hi all

I commute with a backpack containing a change of clothes and a laptop. Unfortunately I`m also a sweaty git and the backpack does not help! I would love to find a way to get rid of the backpack.

I have been thinking about some kind of rack but have also heard that putting a laptop into a rackmount bag subjects it to excessive vibration. This makes sense, as my body is acting as an effective damper when the laptop is strapped to me.

Does anyone have any guidance/recommendations? My journey is about 20kms each way on a hard tail mtb, all on-road.

Cheers

James


if you put it in a sleeve it will minimize the vibration, cantilever type rack will also help. my biggest worry would be the screen if you hit an unexpected pothole or the like.
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Re: Commuting With A Laptop

Postby Simonius_Titius on Wed 4/Jun/14 4:13pm

Get a tablet?
They are quite powerful now. You can get them with a port for an external monitor, and use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and plug in an external hard disk or SSD.

If you get a tablet check the availability of all adaptors (power too). Friend bought a Samsung tablet from company X with $50(!) VGA adaptor which plugs into the microUSB port.
- But the adaptor cable was not quite micro USB, so it is likely proprietary and not necessarily available at any price in future when it breaks or is lost.
- But the tablet port is standard micro USB, so the cable doesn't fit anyway.
- But there is allegedly a genuine Samsung cable which does fit, which matters because she is a teacher and schools have VGA overhead projectors.
- But company X "does not import" this alleged adaptor. (the salesman is known to be incompetent so the adaptor may not even exist)

If it were me I'd let them dick me around until the next model becomes available, then demand they provide either an adaptor or a more suitable model, under threat of throwing the entire purchase back at them as not fit for the purpose it was sold for.

I wrap my laptop in bubble wrap then put it in an oversize laptop bag or just a reusable cloth supermarket bag, then in the pannier.
Last edited by Simonius_Titius on Wed 4/Jun/14 9:27pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Commuting With A Laptop

Postby dwgknz on Wed 4/Jun/14 4:16pm

rottenlungs wrote:Does anyone have any guidance/recommendations? My journey is about 20kms each way on a hard tail mtb, all on-road.


Leave the laptop at work.

Find a journey that isn't all on-road, got to shower when you get there anyway.
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Re: Commuting With A Laptop

Postby ChumlyPogward on Wed 4/Jun/14 6:04pm

I commute with my lappy every day. It has solid state drives, so all i do is close the lid and put it into sleep mode for transport. I put it in a thick neoprene sleeve that I got from kathmandu, and I have Phillips panniers on a topeak rack on the Disc trucker, or the nicely integrated rack on my commuter. Basically I have no problems with that setup at all.

Christchurch roads are consistently shit, but again that doesnt seem to matter.
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Re: Commuting With A Laptop

Postby foremannz on Wed 4/Jun/14 7:03pm

I'd be more worried about shock and compression damage to the screen, since HDD's park their heads (as RJD says).
I keep the laptop at home, and a desktop at work, but if you cant do that, I actually remote control my desktop from home (LogMeIn Hamachi + TightVNC)
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Re: Commuting With A Laptop

Postby RussS on Wed 4/Jun/14 9:29pm

Even though the drives park their heads, hitting a pot-hole can and will cause damage if the unit is not shock protected. I have a couple clients that have hard cases attached to luggage racks and they have 40-50mm soft foam above & below the unit to lessen the possibility. Of course, as suggested a SSD will remove that possibility. As far as the screen goes a thin soft cloth between the keyboard & the screen will stop the keys rubbing.
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Re: Commuting With A Laptop

Postby rottenlungs on Thu 5/Jun/14 12:05am

Hi

Thanks for all the comments. I have a late model MacBook Pro, so it has SSD and the unibody metal case. I commuted with the previous one for nearly 3 years and it finally died. The old one had 'spinning rust" drives and they were fine. It was the mainboard that gave up.

The real issue for me is not the laptop but whether panniers would subject it to more vibration. Topeak make a dedicated laptop bag which is designed to work with their quick - connect system, but it doesn`t look that well padded.

Some off-road on the way to work would be great, I ride from Eastern Lower Hutt across to The Terrace in Wellington. I can`t see much opportunity for off-road on that route sadly.

Thankfully I do have a shower at work!
rottenlungs
Member for: 5 years 6 months

Re: Commuting With A Laptop

Postby slumdog on Thu 5/Jun/14 1:03pm

I would say definitely more shock transporting it in a pannier. Mine jumps slightly all the time, and you just need to see the wear on the rack to know it is vibrating muchly.

I have from time to time commuted with a laptop in the pannier. As suggested, I'd look for adding extra padding the inside of the bag at the bottom, for it is the sudden upwards jolts that might cause a problem. Find a bag you like and add your own if you like.

I like the suggestion of going with a tablet (like windows tablet if you use windows at work) and maybe extra screens at each end and just using it as the CPU, but having a mac this may not work for you, plus as you advise it is SSD already...
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Re: Commuting With A Laptop

Postby wpp1 on Thu 5/Jun/14 2:55pm

I would be very cautious about subjecting any electronic device, to the vibration it will recieve on a bike. I think you would void any waranty. it is all the micro movement that you would be causing to all the connectors that would be a big problem
wpp1
Member for: 8 years 10 months

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