Author Topic: panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??  (Read 35741 times)

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Offline iSolo

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2004, 06:49:02 am »
I went through the same dillema when I was trying to chose
between a trailer or panniers. I settled on the world tour
panniers by Brule Moutain Gear. I like to hike, I like to bike, I
like to mix tours with hikes and these panniers let me turn my
panniers into a backpack. I've had the World Tour Panpacks
for 3 years now and not one regret. Used the WT's to
backpack travel around Europe the first year i got them,
bought a used bike with a rack in the UK and sold the bike in
France. Got on a plane and went to Thailand. Backpacked
around the Thai mountains then flew to Darwin Australia.
Bought another used bike in Darwin converted the pack
to panniers and rode all the Perth.

Have used the WT panpack to go backpacking while
stopping at several unique places around the US, and other
countries while touring. Or just used the WT pack to go
backpacking. Sometimes a bike is a hindrance, sometimes
its a godsend so having the flexibility for both is great
advantage to me. Brule Moutain Panier Packs solved my
personal dillema and I haven't regretted it. I'm always on the
lookout for multi-use gear.

Got nothing against trailers except that trailers make you
want to get in the bad habit of carrying more stuff than you
really need while touring, but they are great for running
errands around town.

Offline bentrider

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2004, 12:33:59 am »
In a manner of speaking I use both (panniers bags & BOB Trailer)on my recumbent. I have two side bags rated at 72 liter, plus a 40 liter rear bag than I had a BOB loaded with approximately 60lb of gear. The BOB handles better on recumbents when touring but for regular bikes I think the panniers are the way to go. One big problem is carrying an extra spare tire and tube for those small BOB wheels. BOB's do make good picnic tables and for hauling fire wood to a camp site. I find in busy city traffic cars don't seem to see them very well even when a flag is attched to them.

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2004, 01:26:15 pm »
I would have to agree with the tendency to carry too much with a BOB. It took me a couple trips to figure out what I needed and didn't. Biggest difference; even when I am alone, or with another patroller carrying all his own gear, if I use the BOB, I bring my "4-person" (Ha, ha. Not four of my size!) tent. With the panniers, I carry a two- person (one me) tent. We used to rely on the BOB a lot more because we were carrying trail maintenance tools, but REI kicked in some lightweight/folding saws, shovels and hatchets, so it isn't as much of an issue any more. I tend to use the BOB for longer jaunts.

Ride safe,

Hans Erdman, WEMT
Backcountry Trail Patrol
2WX: The Two-Wheeled Explorer
"St. Louis to the Western Sea if nothing prevents."--John Ordway, Corps of Discovery

Offline belugadave

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2004, 03:20:45 am »
I've only done 3 trips of 400-500 miles, all with panniers so I don't have any experience with trailers, but there is one advantage to panniers that I never see mentioned.  I really like riding with other people and I really like the teamwork and wonderful benefits of drafting behind each other, especially into a headwind.  You lose almost all of the benefit when drafting behind someone with a trailer.  I'm sure this issue isn't important to some people, but it is to me so I'm going to stick with panniers.

Offline cyclefirst

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2004, 04:41:40 pm »
Thanks for mentioning the drafting!! It is important and comes in handy especially with riders of varying abilities while touring- slowing down and lookin' about is what our west coast trip is about. We have decided on Bob Ibex trailers- as using them in the future for bike camping  on single track they'll work best.
 Thanks for all the pannier vs.(?) trailer info from all a.c.a.members.
wind at your back,

Thank You
Thank You

Offline valygrl

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2004, 08:34:30 pm »
I've used both.  About 15 loaded days with the trailer, and about 70 loaded days with the paniers.  I started out with the BOB attached to a mountain bike.  It handled very poorly downhill, especially when heavily loaded. The front end was light and wobbly feeling - kind of swoopy.  In fact, I crashed it (or it crashed me) - got a wobble going downhill at speed, and it highsided me.  I then switched to front and rear paniers on the same bike - boy what a difference!  It just felt like a normal bike, only heavier.  I am definitely a fan of paniers.  The organization is a little harder at first, you have to balance the load front/rear and side to side, but everything seems to find it's home after a few days, and then you know where everthing is.  I don't have waterproof paniers, just regular ones that I put dry-bags or trash compactor bags inside.

Agree with the drafting comment - you can't get much of a draft off a companion who is towing a trailer.  

Plus, the trailer is a total pain to park.  YOu can jack-knife it, but take a look at the lateral strain that puts on the rear dropouts.  Ick.  

Also, the attachment system with the little cotter pins is way lame (they may have fixed this in later-model trailers?) - the pins like to fall out, and the trailer likes to get part-way detatched, which is terrible for the rear dropouts, not to mention dangerous.  

Oh, and another thing - flat tires on the trailer seem pretty common, and you have to carry a different size spare tube (and spare tire, if you do that).

I'm really liking my Trek 520 with racks and paniers.

RE: side wind issues - well, yes, with the paniers on the bike you do get pushed around by side winds, but i wouldn't trade that for the full-time bad handling of the trailer.  

Anyone out there?  If so, see you on the road - I'm northbounding the pacific coast from santa barbara to santa cruz starting tomorrow.


Offline JerrySSmith

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2004, 09:08:44 pm »
Say big Guy, I have used both and they both have there place .. I have bicycle across the USA twice and to Alaska in the past 5 years If you have rack and panniers then I would go for the panniers if not the B.O.B. is GREAT too ! You can't go wrong. Jerry

Offline OmahaNeb

panniers vs. BOB-like trailers??
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2004, 01:00:56 pm »
I have used both, panniers and a BOB trailer.
Couple of points:
Will you be riding on or off road?  The increase in load of off-road riding. lends itself to a BOB.
If your current bike's rear stays are too short and cause your heel to hit the pannier, then a BOB is an alternative to buying a new bike.
Add up the costs of buying racks and panniers to the cost of buying a trailer, which is less?
I have had the same instability problems that others have commented only with using panniers.  The problem in both cases (pannier vs BOB) is probably due to packing issues.