Bicycle Travel > Gear Talk

Tandem Tour Equipment

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We're planning a Trans AM trip in the future.  We'll be taking our Cannondale RT3000.  We have already purchased a BOB Yak Trailer.  Now we're wondering which panniers would work best...front, back or both.  We're sort of leaning toward front panniers only; we feel this would take some of the load off the back wheel/tire. We're not sure we'll have enough storage space for two people with this arrangement. Any ideas here?
  We're also toying with replacing the stoker's crank set (Ultegra 9 speed) with an XT or XTR crank set in an effort to gain more Granny gear capability.  The rear hub, cassette (12-35/37 or so)and derailleur are already XTR components.  Is this a worthwhile goal?  We're not a super strong team, but we have the endurance needed.

I am not a fan of trailers.  However, the only type of panniers, duffle bags, etc to use, need to be like the Vaude or Nashbar roll top waterproof type.  If your pannier comes with or requires a rain cover plan on your gear getting wet.  

Roll top dry bags are also available thru kayak and camping suppliers.  

With a roll top pannier or dry bag you will never have to pack your gear in garbage bags or have wet gear.

I have a recumbent with a front set of Nashbar Panniers tucked under the seat, and a rear set on the rear rack. Vertically behind the seat I have a dry bag with my thermo-rest mattress and my full size pillow.  I have got to have my pillow.

Thanks for the pannier advice pmspirito, we'll look into the roll tops as you suggest.  

The one reason not to go with roll top panniers is accessability. You have to dig through the whole thing to get things out. I have Arkel panniers, and love them even though they are not "waterproof". Only once have I found anything wet in them, and that was from riding in a lot of standing water on the highway in a downpour. Non waterproof bags do breathe some, so anything wet going in has some chance to dry out, unlike in waterproof bags.
I would agree with your reasoning of using only front bags with the trailer, as you will have enough weight on the rear already.You may not need to replace the crankset to get the gears you want- my touring bike (not tandem) I changed the chain rings out, going from 52/42/30 to 48/39/24. You will appreciate having lower gears at some point I'm sure.

...going from 52/42/30 to 48/39/24. You will appreciate having lower gears at some point I'm sure.

Thanks for the ring change advice!  I have no idea why I wasn't thinking in that direction :confuse:. It certainly would be cheaper!  

The panniers will take some serious shopping, before we decide on a type.


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