Pete Prebus is the guy at Electric Bike Report, a website dedicated to getting the word out about electric bikes through e-bike news, reviews, guides, and general e-bike advocacy. Pete wants to encourage more people to ride bikes by providing good info about e-bikes and all the benefits (all the time) they have over driving a car. Pete has been a long time cyclist (racer, mountain, road, cyclo-cross, commuter, bike polo, etc.) and sees the e-bike as a great way to get the non-cyclist into bike commuting as well as just having fun on a bicycle.
Are you looking for a convenient way to carry your stuff around town when you are running errands or going to work? Don't want to carry a messenger bag or bike pannier? Do you have a bike that a traditional rack won't fit on? Well the Ibera PakRak Commuter Bike Bag and rack system might be the bike bag/rack combo you are looking for.
I have had the chance to spend a couple of months riding with and using the Ibera PakRak instead of my normal messenger bag and below is my review of the pros and cons of this bike cargo carrying system. At the end I will give you my thumbs up or thumbs down thoughts on this bike bag and rack.
First of all, one of the nice features of a bag/rack combo like this (not specifically this brand) is that you can carry a lot of stuff around that you may normally carry in messenger bag or backpack. Being able to carry your gear in a pack that is not on your back during the ride is nice. And then having the ability to carry it on your back when you have reached your destination is handy.
I like all the useful compartments on Ibera PakRak Bag. You can see all the compartments and the way I use them in the features video. I found that all the compartments helped keep my gear organized well and that I was able to carry quite a bit of stuff; more than I thought when I first looked at the bag.
By the way, here is the link to the Chico Bags, the reusable grocery bags that I mentioned in the video.
Speaking of easily finding your stuff, I liked the pack being on top of the rack because it made it really easy to access stuff while the bag was mounted on the bike.
This pack was easy to clip on the bike and get rolling. It has a plastic tongue in the front that slots into the rack well, and a quick release clip in the back that locks it into place. It was even easier to unclip and quickly take with you.
The shoulder strap works well to help you carry it once you are off the bike and cruising around on foot. Nothing too special, but a nice feature. It stows away in a nylon chord area on top of the pack when it is not in use.
The build quality is pretty good. It has a hard plastic bottom that looks like it will take a lot of abuse over time. It also has a plastic insert to keep the shape of the pack when it doesn't have anything in it. I will get into the downsides of the pack build in the "cons" section below.
The cool thing about seatpost racks is that they can be easily attached or transferred to another bike. They come with different rubber shims for different size seatposts. These types of racks work for all bikes including bikes that don't have traditional rack attachments (some road bikes, full suspension mountain bikes, etc.)
Price? The price seems reasonable at around $80 for the combo of the pack and rack based on the quality.
Alright, how about this; it was called a man bag by one of my coworkers! It is true that it doesn't have the style of a messenger bag, and it does look a little strange when you are carrying it around on your back. I think it looks more like a large camera bag. So if you are super fashion conscious it may not be the bag for you to tote around town.
I said that the build quality is pretty good, but it could be better if you plan on using this pack on regular basis i.e. commuting daily. The fabric is a bit thin and the zippers are on the small side. I have found that this leads to the zippers breaking eventually with continuous use. Some messenger bags are built a little tougher for regular daily use.
This Ibera PakRak does not appear to be very waterproof or resistant. It may hold up to some sprinkles, but will probably leak in a heavy downpour.
This is kind of minor, but it would be nice to have a key clip built into the pack to keep your keys from falling out somewhere if you forget to totally close one of the compartments.
That's a wrap!
So what do I think about the Ibera PakRak bag and rack system? To sum it up I have enjoyed using this bag and rack system and I will continue to use it on one of my many bikes. It does have it's downsides but I think it's pros out weigh it's cons.