Author Topic: donkey boxx feasible for cross country tour??  (Read 833 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bursha

donkey boxx feasible for cross country tour??
« on: August 26, 2013, 04:46:20 pm »
Planning on taking the Northern Tier/Great Lakes Routes from West to East next Summer. Starting to acquire gear now and looking at the cost of Ortleib and other brand panniers (whoa! $$); wondering if its possible to get by using these low cost donkey boxx (http://www.donkeyboxx.com/index.php/default/ and maybe bring along some extra zip ties and a roll or two of duct tape. Does anyone have any experience with this, or thoughts? Thanks!

Offline mbattisti

Re: donkey boxx feasible for cross country tour??
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 07:21:05 pm »
my advice is to consider assembling some "kitty litter" bucket panniers.  Check out the article on the CGOAB site

Offline DaveB

Re: donkey boxx feasible for cross country tour??
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 04:40:49 am »
Their strength and durability is obviously a question but, also, they will not "stretch" much and can't be overstuffed.  If cost is an issue, Nashbar's house brand panniers have several satisfied users on this forum.

Offline bogiesan

Re: donkey boxx feasible for cross country tour??
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 05:30:10 am »
Donkey Boxxes are interesting solutions. They are simply riveted coroplast sheeting, though, and could be crafted in two afternoons for only a few dollars. The most difficult part to obtain or imporvise is probably the rack hook. You need a positive attachment. (I suggest you will need a few days because building the first pair will mostly be instructional.)

Bike travelers have been making their own cheap or free panniers for decades. The tradeoffs are waterproofness, standardized parts and durability. However, you can poke a sharp object through Orliebs and you can abrade the fabric of Axioms.

Can you sew?
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: donkey boxx feasible for cross country tour??
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 07:50:56 am »
Those Donkey Boxes look to me like they're made of the same stuff the post office uses for its boxes and trays.  They surely get a lot of use and abuse, but I don't know if the USPS uses them because they're durable, or just cheap.

Since they're new, we need a few field reports.  If you decide to use them, please do report on how they work and how durable they are.

A few other concerns:

Since you zip tie them to the rack, it's not going to be easy to unload the bike.  For instance, if you decide to stay in a motel for the night, and the only room they have is a second or third story room with no stairs, how do you get 60-100 pounds of bike plus luggage up there?  (Happened to us twice...)  If you decide to unload the bike, do you have to re-attach the boxes while they're full, or do you re-attach the bike, then lug everything down and load it when it's on the bike?

Likewise, we stayed a couple places where the bike was parked in a shed, or otherwise out of eyesight.  What do you do then?

How rugged are the zip ties?  I can see using them for a week long trip on pavement.  What about 10-12 weeks, over some nasty, bumpy, roads?  Do you need to replace the zip ties periodically?  Will the attachment points in the box stand up to the load?

Finally, what do you do when / if you camp in bear country?  Panniers easily detach and go in a bear box.  I think you're left with either detach/reattach the box in the morning, or trying to unload the box, and just deal with whatever bears or raccoons do with good-smelling boxes.

If you do decide to try the box, I'd get Wayne's number at thetouringstore.com and put it on speed dial for the possibility that you need an emergency fix, and the replacement panniers positively have to be there overnight.

Offline Bursha

Re: donkey boxx feasible for cross country tour??
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 09:04:45 am »
@pdlamb,those are some great points that i didn't think of. Bear country would be a pain in the rear to have to take them on and off all the time. I was also worried about the boxx' durability over rough terrain. It would seem that these could be great for in town but not durable or practical for touring across country. It looks like i'll have to cough up the dough for some nice bags.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: donkey boxx feasible for cross country tour??
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2013, 10:18:53 am »
I have the Nashbar mountain bike ATB panniers.  Bought spring of 1992.  So what was made back then and what is made now, I don't know if they are the same.  I think mine were made by Cannondale.  Mine have a Made in USA tag in them.  And Cannondale used to make panniers in Pennsylvania 20 years ago.  I think Nashbar contracted with Cannondale to make panniers for them.  Mine are very good.  Work just fine.  Cheap now.  Probably made in China now.  Panniers are simple items.  So I'd give these a try.
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_165648_-1___202599

Offline indyfabz

Re: donkey boxx feasible for cross country tour??
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2013, 11:36:35 am »
So I'd give these a try.
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_165648_-1___202599

Also note that the price is for a pair. A Donkey Boxx appears to be $28 for one.