Author Topic: Pannier Discussion  (Read 4083 times)

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Offline Prairieboy43

Pannier Discussion
« on: June 13, 2016, 10:08:12 pm »
I am looking for a strong pannier. front/rear. With aluminum inside pannier for strength instead of plastic. I have found plastic breaks over time. aluminium's stronger and light, lasts forever. I might have to make my own.
Thank You
PB43 :o :o

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Pannier Discussion
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2016, 12:20:25 am »
Hmmm.  Aluminum is probably stronger than regular plastic.  The kind of plastic used in soda bottles.  But it is not as strong as the high tech carbon plastic used in bicycle frames now days.  Might find someone to use this carbon fiber to make panniers for you.  Stronger than aluminum.  Aluminum is light, sort of.  Less dense than steel.  But aluminum is actually very heavy compared to almost all plastics.  So its heavy for panniers.  I have some 25 year old Nashbar panniers made with plastic on the inside.  Used them last weekend.  25 years seems OK to me.  And they still work fine.  Could go another 25 years maybe.  I guess 25 to 50 years is not long enough for you?  You want to pass them down to your great great grand children?

Offline Prairieboy43

Re: Pannier Discussion
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2016, 08:45:49 am »
Thank You for comment Russ. Have had good Coast Mtn Pannier before. However the plastic shattered inside (maybe I had a bad batch of panniers). Needed to replace pannier. My preference is aluminum.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Pannier Discussion
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2016, 09:53:31 pm »
Thank You for comment Russ. Have had good Coast Mtn Pannier before. However the plastic shattered inside (maybe I had a bad batch of panniers). Needed to replace pannier. My preference is aluminum.
I have never seen any panniers with aluminum inside and really doubt that it is more suitable, but the stiffeners are usually not too hard to replace and there is no reason you couldn't use aluminum if you prefer it.

We have several sets of panniers in the family and the plastic has held up well on them all.

On the other hand I have found that when touring, the way I pack, I really don't need the stiffeners at all.  I have actually just taken them out of one set of bags to save a few ounces.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Pannier Discussion
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2016, 03:33:33 pm »
I'm with staehpj1 when he says this.
"but the stiffeners are usually not too hard to replace and there is no reason you couldn't use aluminum if you prefer it."

I looked at my Nashbar panniers.  They have a sheet of plastic on the inside.  About 10"x12".  And a thin strip on the outside.  All held together with 7 bolts through the fabric and plastic.  You could easily replace this plastic with aluminum if you wanted.  Or plastic.  Maybe drill holes in the aluminum to reduce weight!  I am pretty sure you can buy sheets of plastic or aluminum.  Cut them to size and bolt them in place.  Not a lot of precision or effort is required.  Looking at the outside strip of plastic used to keep the bungee cord close to the pannier, I might have to replace that piece in the future.  It sees more wear than the rest of the pannier.  But it would be real easy to bolt on a new plastic strip.  Or aluminum if I wanted to go wild and crazy.  Small strip so it would only add an ounce of weight.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Pannier Discussion
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2016, 12:21:05 am »
I've never heard of a commercially available aluminum pannier, so maybe you will need to make your own. It might be easier to buy a commercial pannier and add aluminum reinforcement at places where you feel it might be necessary.

Although most panniers do contain plastic parts, most of the pannier is not plastic. They are typically a coated fabric. Yes, sometimes the plastic hooks or brackets might break, so you could replace those with metal if you want. Aluminum, however, isn't very strong either, and it can break. A high-quality plastic would likely be stronger than aluminum. So if I was going to replace hooks and brackets, I might opt for a stronger metal.

I've been touring with the same Ortlieb panniers for over 20,000 miles, and absolutely nothing has gone wrong with them. Some people, however, carry spare hooks. It might be easier to just go with a commercial pannier and carry some spare parts if you want additional protection.

If you really do want an all-aluminum pannier, you'll probably need to make your own. Don't use too thin of aluminum, however, or it will probably fail. And you'll have to coat all joints and fasteners carefully to make the panniers waterproof. I hope you come back here and post some information and pictures when you get them made.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Pannier Discussion
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2016, 05:01:21 pm »
most of the pannier is not plastic. They are typically a coated fabric.

I've been touring with the same Ortlieb panniers for over 20,000 miles,

Actually, most of the pannier IS plastic.  What do you think the cordura, polyethylene, polyester fabric is?  Its plastic.  If you wear tight Lycra shorts while riding a bike, you are wearing plastic.  Lycra is a combination of polyester and polyurethane.  Both plastics.  Cordura is a combination of nylon and other materials.  Nylon is a plastic.

You said you have Ortlieb panniers.  What do you think they are made of?  Plastic.  Here are a few quotes about the materials of Ortlieb panniers from Adventure Cycling.  "these panniers are made highly visible using a PU (polyurethane) laminated Cordura with interwoven reflective yarn" and "PVC coated polyester fabric" and "constructed from a waterproof polyester fabric".  I do not think its possible to get any more plastic into a pannier than Ortlieb does.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandex
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordura
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon
https://www.adventurecycling.org/cyclosource-store/equipment/panniers/sp/ortlieb-bike-packer-classic-rear/
https://www.adventurecycling.org/cyclosource-store/equipment/panniers/sp/ortlieb-backroller-classic/
https://www.adventurecycling.org/cyclosource-store/equipment/panniers/sp/ortlieb-back-roller-high-visibility-pair/

Offline hon_cho

Re: Pannier Discussion
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2016, 09:33:09 am »
I have some older REI grocery panniers (open top, designed to hold a paper USA style flat bottom grocery bag) that have aluminum backing plates   Not particular light nor heavy either but they're not touring panniers.  I have seen some older white/translucent plastics used in bike bags that becomes brittle with age.  The dark colored plastics seem to be more resistant to deterioration. 

One benefit of plastic stiffeners over aluminum is that aluminum edges and corners can easily damage the fabric with sharp edges.  Not to say plastic can't do the same but seems to be a bit easier on the fabric.

A bigger  problem with materials is the waterproof coatings used on nylon and cordura type fabrics.  The coatings become sticky and stinky and the bags lose water resistance.  This isn't just for bike gear..  Tents, backpacks,  cordura luggage.   From what I've read,  heat hastens the deterioration of the urethane coatings. 

Perhaps good old heavy canvas is the answer   

Biketouringhobo

  • Guest
Re: Pannier Discussion
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2016, 09:53:00 am »
look at Arkel Orca 35 and 45 Panniers

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Pannier Discussion
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2016, 07:27:27 am »
The only panniers I have ever seen with aluminum stiffeners are my Robert Beckman panniers I bought in '99. I understand he's back in business, but I don't know what he's using these days, and you may need a second mortgage on your home to afford his stuff. I am pretty hard on stuff and my current Ortlieb Packer (Sport and Back) panniers have performed well over the last five years.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Pannier Discussion
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2016, 08:31:29 pm »
You might use lesser panniers. Get some aluminum sheets and fix them inside. However, it is not necessary to use sheets that cover the entire inside wall. Strips connected from the outside will stiffen it just fine.

Offline RonS

Re: Pannier Discussion
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2016, 03:12:19 pm »
I second the suggestion by biketouringhobo. Arkel panniers have aluminum frames. Available in waterproof and Cordura versions. Guaranteed for life. Slightly heavier than their Ortlieb equivalents. I own a set and am totally satisfied.