Author Topic: panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??  (Read 35762 times)

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Offline cyclefirst

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« on: November 14, 2003, 09:00:09 pm »
I'm trying to make a choice and want opinions from folks who've used em' (both?) Riding down the Pacific coast, often cross winds.TextText
Thank You


  • Guest
panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2003, 11:14:59 am »
Adventure Cyclist has run articles by really knowledgeable people on this perennial topic. Try reading this article by John Schubert.

This message was edited by Webmaster on 1-8-04 @ 6:03 PM

Offline biker_james

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2003, 09:08:43 am »
I'm surprised this hasn't generated a little more action. There seem to be a lot of people with strong opinions one way or another. I personally use panniers, and am happy. Haven't tried a Bob or similiar, although I wouldn't mind. It seems to me that in windy conditions that the Bob trailer might be the better setup, as they seem a little more aero. It would be hard to get less aero than a touring bike with 4 panniers and bar bag.

Offline cyclefirst

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2003, 04:31:12 pm »
Thanks for the responce. HAs ANYone used both, and made a decided choice between the two??

Thank You

Offline Donna

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2004, 10:17:14 pm »
I have used Bob on a very long back country trip. It definitely has some problems.  it hangs up on logs and large rocks even though you bike wheels roll right over where paniers alllow you to roll your large wheels over. Also BOB oscilates going down hill if it isn't loaded just so or is close to maximum load and that can be a truly frightening experience!  Also when riding off road and up loose or really steep grades a smaller person may find the weight too much and have to push and it reacts just like a trailer. I've slid down hill backwards and had BOB jackknife unfortunately you have to straigten BOB in order to unhook. I think if you are a light weight person travelling alone off road and fairly heavily loaded you are better of with paniers

This message was edited by Donna on 1-4-04 @ 6:18 PM
Great Cycling Donna

Offline hoogie

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2004, 10:59:13 pm »
Hi there, I have used both ... there are many pros and cons to each ... what sort of info were you after???

Offline lazyeight

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2004, 10:46:51 am »
Sure, I got to use both, as late as a month ago. I had a two wheeled trailer, with handling characteristics very different from the BOB. The roads featured all sorts of annoyances you may not encounter along the Pacific Coast. Things like rumble strips, cattle guards, and snow drifts (yes, it was that late in the season), convinced me to switch halfway through.

Trailers are heavier, and are simply too tempting to overpack. OTOH, they detach easily, have rock solid stability through turns and winds, and make a handy clothesline. I would recommend them when mixing lots of local riding with your cross-country touring, or when you cannot avoid packing a lot of equipment. Panniers would be for rougher or unknown road surfaces, and for lighter/faster touring.

Offline cyclefirst

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2004, 04:41:38 pm »
Mostly, looking for opinions from folks who made a decided choice between the two. The trip will include Pacific coast crosswinds(hopefully,crosswinds!)

Thank You
Thank You

Offline mdking

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2004, 07:59:34 pm »
I have used both systems and find that panniers are a better way of touring in my opinion.  Let's get a little background on my thoughts and why I decided to go with panniers.  My first experiences with touring consist of short 3-4 day trips then gradually been longer ones and hopefully one day someone cans my butt and I get some serious time off and travel the country.  So I borrowed a BOB since I didn't want to purchase a touring bike and on top of that panniers, which are expensive (you might as well buy the best ones because they will last a long time).  Well back to the reason I'm contributing to this forum, the BOB pulled at me when climbing, pushed my center of gravity when descending but when traveling in a start line tracked with me wonderfully and I could hardly tell I was pulling anything.  I loved the BOB as long as I was traveling straight on a flat road, but who wants to tour only on flat straight roads?  As for weight it really wasn't a problem because I'm usually aware of how much stuff I'm carrying and more weight equals harder climbing.  The BOB was great when I step up camp and rode into town for food and beer but hey I can also do that without panniers.  Now for my view on panniers.  I can't really explain it but they just worked and by that I mean climbing, descending and everything else!  They just felt like a extension of my bike and I never have to think about a part of me not tugging on my rear, something not pushing me forward!!!!!  With panniers I could ride and enjoy the view.  Now I would recommend if possible to rent the BOB from your local bike shop and go for a long weekend and see if BOB will work for you and if BOB and you don't agree then you can always take him back to the shop.  Don't forget that there's many ways to cook dinner and my views are just that!  Try them both and make your own descision.

This message was edited by mdking on 1-19-04 @ 2:43 PM

Offline driftlessregion

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2004, 03:02:39 am »
I think John Schubert's article is a good example of the difficulty many of us had in choosing. I wanted the classic look of panniers but for some reason hate cantilever brakes so I couldn't buy the full touring Waterford.  As for handling, I think this is one of those preference issues. I used a BOB in August for 400 miles one week and after a few hours the first day didn't notice it behind me. Around camp it was very convenient. As for lack of compartment, that't what zip-lock bags are made for.  Sometimes you just need a reason for a decision that makes sense to you when neither seems to be the wrong one. I finally decided that a trailer would put less stress on the bike as a whole and thus have fewer mechanical breakdowns. True or not that's what tipped the scales for me.

Offline Stillrockin

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2004, 12:41:57 am »
After pulling a Bob Yak on a few trips, I have decided to return to Panniers.  My experiences haven't been negative with the Yak, but Panniers seem to work better for those times, that you are off your bike.   In Cumberland, Maryland I saw two guys on a tandem, with a Yak piled high with Backpacker packs, tents, bags, a portable SINK and more, (it was at least 3 feet high) ride about 400 yards, before wiping out in a really bad way.  The high center of Gravity with the overstuffed Trailer is what started the fiasco. The stoker ripped both his arm and leg on the right side.  Not a good way to start out on a 185 mile bike/camping trip.  Also, I don't like the extra length that the Yak creates.  Its not a problem when on the bike, but anytime your off the bike, its a pain to handle. Panniers to me just seem to be simpler.

Offline dano

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2004, 03:09:34 am »
Like you I'm trying to decide between the two.Lately I've been leaning towards trying a yak or ibex.It just looks easier to pack or get to things.Plus I understand it puts less stress/wieght on the bike.As im a big guy anyhow this may be a plus.

Offline tmurdock

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2004, 12:49:39 pm »
I have used both.  I switched to the BOB.  It is
handy, heavy on long hills, handles great off road,
pulls behind my full suspension and my road bike.  
It gets the weight off your bike.  I would suggest
that you borrow one from somebody and give it a

Offline JerrySSmith

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2004, 05:04:13 pm »
I have used Both panniers and B.O.B and like them both.Crost the U.S. twice in the past 5 years used the B.O.B once it was ok but for me I like the panniers I agree that it is a choice one has to make,but if you have a good touring bike such as the Co-Motion then I would say panniers, however if you are touring with a Mt. bike then a trailer would work best.I also bicycled to Alaska in the spring 2001 and used panniers.. I have both, but the trailer stays home since the purchase of the Co-Motion.  

Offline jimmcw

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2004, 08:31:35 pm »
I too have used both panniers and a BOB. Both on 1,000 mi
plus trips. I like both. But, finally, after a lot of indecision, I
decided to go back to and stick with panniers. No real logic is
involved. It just feels better riding with panniers.