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As the trend to dump the expensive gas pump continues, bicycle commuting has become an increasing transportation mode. In turn, innovative and versatile gear has hit the market to make bike use and transportation more convenient. In fact, Bikes Belong Coalition recently released industry finds revealing that an overwhelming 95% of bike shops surveyed said "customers cited high gas prices as a reason for their transportation-related purchases". As a result of this change, manufacturers have developed technology targeted towards the utilitarian function of the bicycle.

Detours bicycling company is an example of this product development. They have updated traditional Asian bike designs by using new materials and construction techniques. By creating a series of pannier bags and packs, they have significantly assisted the bike commute and running two-wheeled errands around town.

Imagine a heavy-duty "grocery tote bag" or a messenger bag that converts into a bike pannier. That is the idea behind Detours' Toocan Pannier. Unlike a typical shopping bag, the Toocan has a waterproof rubber bottom tolerant for heavier items and for keeping internal items protected and dry. The pannier's versatile quilted exterior provides water-resistant and padded protection of contents. Other features include a waterproof rain cover that fits over the bag for additional protection, a removable shoulder strap, and tote bag handles. The bag also offers a pocket-lined interior, with four interior organizer pockets and a zip pocket for valuables. Students may find the Toocan perfect for carrying their textbooks and school supplies without the use of a backpack.

Busy parents who need to keep both hands free should look at the Teeco Bag, which not only is a tote bag and bike pannier, but also converts to a small backpack. The Teeco also has a rubber bottom, but has a heavy mesh sides panels so you can easily see inside the pack and view the contents. It is sized to fit one grocery bag, and it is designed to function in crowded venues like the farmer's market with a draw string top.

These functional bike panners are very easy and fast to put on and lift off of a bike. The Toocan and Teeco both have a universal stainless steel hanger system for a rear bike rack. The hangers simply loop over the steel wire of the bike rack. The panniers can be effortlessly lifted off the rack with one hand when upon arrival at the destination.

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Source by Doug McSpadden