I was in China one winter. This Chinese woman and I decided to cycle south from Beijing. There were cycling shops and I bought us both mountain bikes. There were no panniers anywhere to be had, and in a country where the majority of people used the bicycle as their main source of transportation, I thought that a bit odd. We just went to a store and bought backpacks, cut the straps and sewed them together, and hung them over our racks. At a Goodwill or thrift store you might pick up smaller backpacks for two or three dollars.
When it comes time for another tour I change moving components and take off. I use the same panniers I have had for twenty-four years. They are faded and worn and scratched, but they still carry the same loads they did 24 years ago. When I tour I have two panniers on the rear rack, two panniers on the front rack, a handlebar bag, and camping gear stacked on the rear rack. I use a fully loaded bike.
What I was saying is that he does not have to go out and spend $250.00 or more on panniers, which could easily be done. The backpack thing works. At a garage sale I once got four Cannondale panniers and a handlebar bag new for $40.00. I saw a perfectly good Schwinn touring bike for $20.00. At Goodwill I saw a $450.00 Trek trail bike for $45.00. I knew a guy who went to the bank to get money for it, and by the time he got back to the store it was gone. I know a guy right now who has a $650.00 Trek he found abandoned somewhere. He is now in the process of putting components on it. He is such a miser he will probably not be finished with the project for a year or so, but that is another matter.
The thing about purchasing everything new is that it is in the best condition it will ever be in. It is a no problem situation.
This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-28-08 @ 11:14 AM