Author Topic: packing panniers  (Read 3373 times)

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Offline drfloog

packing panniers
« on: February 14, 2012, 06:11:42 pm »
I only have a handle bar bag and rear rack and panniers for my two week trip. Will the weight of pretty much everything on the back cause problems?

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 07:21:15 pm »
It might. The bike will definitely handle differently. Pack heavy things in the bottom. Try tying the panniers together to reduce sideways wobble. Then go out with a load and practice emergency maneuvers. Gently at first, then full-on panic swerves and stops. Then you will know.

My first overnight trips used just such a rig. It worked, but I was mighty glad to move up to the classic front-and-rear outfit.

Fred

Offline John Nelson

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 11:55:39 pm »
Move the panniers as far forward on the rear rack as you can without creating heel strike. You want to get the center of the pannier no farther back than the center of the rear hub. Otherwise the front wheel will tend to lift off the ground, especially during climbing. Load the panniers up with the actual gear you will be taking with you. In addition to the experiments Fred suggested, try climbing and descending the steepest hill you have around.

Offline bogiesan

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 08:40:14 am »
I only have a handle bar bag and rear rack and panniers for my two week trip. Will the weight of pretty much everything on the back cause problems?

Rather depends on how much stuff you think is required to keep you warm, dry and comfromtable on a two-week trip. A front rack and smaller panniers can set you back about $200 but might competley change your packing habits and your traveling range. The general advice is to have your mass distributed between front and rear to maintain safe handling, especially on fast descents.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline RussSeaton

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 03:52:27 pm »
No it won't cause a problem.  Remember back in 1976?  A couple people rode their bikes across the USA.  Followed some route they called Bike Centennial I think.  Every single one of them had a handlebar bag and rear panniers and lots of stuff piled on top of the rear rack.  Every one of them.  The Adventure Cycling website might have pictures of these people.  These people seemed to make it across the USA OK.  I suspect you can make it through a two week tour OK too.  In Dr. Pangloss's best of all possible worlds it would be best to have front and rear panniers.  But its not necessary.

Offline bogiesan

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2012, 08:10:34 am »
True.
They did not have cell phones, GPS, LEDs, disk brakes or breathable laminates either.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline DaveB

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2012, 10:03:22 am »
A more definitive answer will depend on how you are traveling.  Camping with a tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment, etc. or "credit card touring" in motels and restaurants every day?  For the former, your load will be much heavier than the later and front panniers will help balance the load.   For the later, your load will be a lot lighter and front panniers should be of little benefit.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 08:58:58 am by DaveB »

Offline drfloog

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2012, 04:26:49 pm »
Thanks Russ. I did not even think about 76' I think I will be fine on my trip.

Offline Moni

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 10:04:42 pm »
To me, it really doesn't matter if it is a weekend trip, a week long trip or longer... I always distribute my gear over four panniers.  All my gear.  I don't like strapping stuff to the rear rack.

My "house" lives in the right rear pannier, my "bedroom" lives in the right front, my clothes in the left front and my kitchen in the left rear.

I like it that way, for easy access to areas I most likely use during the day.

Moni

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 07:55:39 am »
Same here, although I chose different panniers for the four parts. Keeping all food items in one pannier makes it easier to secure in a bear box or by hanging overnight. You don't want food odor anywhere else.

Fred

Offline DaveB

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 09:35:38 am »
Thanks Russ. I did not even think about 76' I think I will be fine on my trip.
The fact that it was done in '76 doesn't mean we haven't learned a lot since then.   Bicycles, clothing, camping gear and nearly everything else has changed. Sometimes for the better and sometimes not, but mostly better.   Again, the total load you are taking will determine the best way to distribute it.

Offline PeteJack

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2012, 11:32:01 pm »
I rode for quit some time with two rear paniers and a bar bag and did quite a bit of touring. When I decided to do the Transam I got front paniers because my rear ones are fairly small. They gave me a pleasant surprise: loaded front paniers damp down road vibration a great deal and on rough surfaces make for much more comfortable riding. When you're doing 6 - 10 hours a day this makes a difference. There are people who leave front paniers on year round for that reason. I could be wrong but it seems to me that front paniers make your bike more stable when doing fast descents which are, for me, one of the real joys of touring. In a way it would be better if I didn't like going fast downhill so much, I'd take more pictures. But I digress.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 11:34:16 pm by PeteJack »

Offline BikeFreak

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2012, 06:06:18 pm »
With my bike it's opposite:

My first tours were with rear panniers alone (Ortliebs). And a roll on top. With that very simple and basic setup my bike handles completely stable even at 45 mph descents.

A while ago I did another tour in a more cold climate: It was necessary to carry a heavy sleeping bag and cold weather clothing. For that reason I got the Ortlieb front panniers and the rock solid Tubus front rack. From day 1 and the next 30 days the bike behaved badly. Lots of vibrations and flexing of the frame especially on descents when riding faster than approx 18 mph. I had to literally brake on the descents. I tried all kinds of variations with the panniers: Shifting weights etc but nothing helped.

My next tour will be with my trusted Ortlieb rear panniers and a roll on top - just like in the old days :-)

Lucas

Offline PeteJack

Re: packing panniers
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2012, 06:37:00 pm »
Quote
With my bike it's opposite:
Hmmm. Must be that bikes differ. My own steed is a Trek 520 I've never heard of this problem with 520s. My front rack I wouldn't describe as rock solid; it's a $50 cheapo I got from the ACA store and actually flexes quite a bit. I wonder if that's the secret i.e. the bendy rack absorbs vibrations.

My only downhill descent problem in recent years was on my Specialized Roubaix with no paniers, not even fenders, that got a horrible wobble at about 40 mph. I had to clamp the top tube with my knees to stop it. It was so bad I took the bike to my LBS to have them look at it, they couldn't find anything wrong.