Author Topic: Need Gear Advise for a Randonee  (Read 5960 times)

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Offline rlovisa

Need Gear Advise for a Randonee
« on: May 22, 2008, 08:36:32 pm »
New to the forum.  Getting back into Loaded Touring after 25 years off.  Decided on a quick bike purchase of an REI Novara Randonee on sale to replace my 1977 Raleigh Super Course II.  Anyway, I was able to adapt my old front rack and front panniers (Kirtlands) to the new bike.  The rear rack (Blackburn), rear panniers, and handlebar bag  (all Kirtlands) were not compatible with the new bike.  I am considering the Arkel GT-54s and The Big Bar Bag handlebar bag - both sold through ACA.  But I am cautious in spending that amount of money without trying them on the Randonee first.  None of the bike shops in my area carry either item in stock.  I tried the hypothetical fit test Arkel recommends and all seems OK, but one bike shop was steering me away from the bags as being too big - especially The Big Bar Bag.  No mention of any other issue.

Anyone out there have any experience in outfitting a Randonee, and specifically outfitting it with GT-54s and The Big Bar Bag?  Thanks in advance for your comments and insight.

Offline tgpelz

Need Gear Advise for a Randonee
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2008, 11:27:37 pm »
I have the Arkel bags, front and rear.  The GT54 in the rear and the GT28 in the front.   I could not ask for a better set of bags. Well designed, well thought out and work great.

I had worn out four Cannondale bags before I bought the Arkels.   I am impressed with the workmanship.

My sister has Ortlieb.   She likes them.  I like the Arkels because I like lots of pockets to put things in.  

Make sure you get the rain covers.  

I have the big handle bar bag. I like it.  

I carry a lot of stuff when I tour.  Books, food, clothing, towels, cook stove, fuel, etc.   I also carry a water purifier and a 10L MSR water bag, plus four water bottles.   I like the place for my rolled up air mattress.  

There is even a removable kit for first aide and another for your bathing stuff.  

I do not think you will be unhappy with the Arkels.

Oh, I have had no problem connecting them to my racks.    I did buy some the of old man mountain racks because they permit the rear panniers to be slightly further back and out of the way of my big feet.  That is one of the ways I wore out my Cannondale bags.


This message was edited by tgpelz on 5-27-08 @ 7:39 PM

Offline rlovisa

Need Gear Advise for a Randonee
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2008, 08:08:50 pm »
Feedback: I got the Arkel GT-54s and the Big Bar Bag (BBB). They fit very well on the bike. I was concerned that the GT-54s would hit my heels or slide on the rack, and the BBB would be too big to place on the handle bars due to the way the gear and brake cables run.  My concerns about the fit ended up being unfounded. Just completed a 4 day shake down trip of about 240 miles on the Atlantic Coast Route between DC and Isle of Wight in VA. The bags worked very well. The BBB was great. I could fit several water bottles (I reused empty soda bottles) and other items in the BBB. On the first day, I placed frozen bottles in the BBB. It kept the water cool the entire day in 95 plus heat. On other days, I stopped in grocery stores for soda, juice, etc. and bag kept them cool for as long as I needed. The GT-54, with its many pockets took some time to get used too in getting organized and remembering where everything is located. Lots of room. Very happy with the bags.

Offline rcrampton

Need Gear Advise for a Randonee
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2008, 10:44:57 pm »
Just got back on the forums after several months away. I've got a Randonee as well and have the GT-54s and GT-18s on mine and they fit great and ride well. I love those panniers as much as my bike itself.

Enjoy the Randonee, I think they've made some great improvements since I bought mine several years ago.

Offline rlovisa

Need Gear Advise for a Randonee
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2008, 07:35:05 am »
Thanks for the update.  I'd like to exchange info about the bike, mainly on bike maintenance, tools, etc.  Probably best off forum.  Send me a message with your e-mail address. You should be able to see my e-mail address via the profile.  If not post here again and Ill post my address. Thanks.