Author Topic: Racks & Panniers  (Read 18796 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline flounder

Racks & Panniers
« on: September 25, 2008, 08:37:01 am »
Hi everyone, I'm pretty new here and we'll be doing the TransAm route next summer. I was thinking of getting some Arkel panniers online. Does anyone know if these would be ok for rain?

Also, should I go to a bike shop and get racks or is it ok to buy them online? and what should I buy first, the racks or the panniers?

Another thing I'm concerned about is weather and clothes. Especially during the colder areas, what minimal clothing (type) do you guys recommend for those areas, I mean what type of fabric for colder areas? I'll be taking a jacket that'll be good for snow/cold/wind and rain but I'm a little concerned about pants. Any suggestions/advice?

Thank you! I'll be posting more questions, this is my first trip :)


Offline staehpj1

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2008, 09:25:19 am »
It depends on when you leave, whether you start in the East or West. and your luck with the weather. The following worked OK for me with a June 11th start in Florence OR:
Cycling shorts (2 pair)
Cycling tights
Cycling jersey short sleeved (2)
Cycling gloves
Cycling shoes
Socks (2pr coolmax 1 pr wool)
Helmet
Sunglasses
Warm shirt (Immersion Research)
Tee shirt (2 Under Armor Heat Gear)
Underwear (1 pr Under Armor short boxer briefs)
Regular boxers (sleepwear where modesty was a concern)
Bike hat
Windbreaker
Long pants with zip off legs (lightweight)
Belt
Cap (thin skull cap)
Rain gear (cheap non-breathable REI)
Sandals (Crocs)
Swim suit

This list could be trimmed a bit if desired.  For example depending on the choices the windbreaker and rain jacket could possibly be one item.  Maybe the same for the boxers and swim trunks.

Also remember that it isn't hard to sent stuff to and from home as the climate or needs change.  The post office and general delivery are your friends.


Offline JayH

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2008, 09:26:41 am »
Although most panniers fit most racks, not all are compatible so it might be wise to buy the rack first.  I've had some panniers I bought from ACA that didn't work with the OMM rack I also bought from ACA, except it never said anything on the website and I mentioned this to ACA and nothing was ever done. No change, no warning to others.. But what can I do, I can only inform.  It wasn't a matter of tube diameter and the pannier hooks, it was more of the top shelf of the OMM rack interfered with where the pannier had to be mounted.  

As far as a bike shop goes, good luck finding any fancy rack at a bike shop, unless they specialize in touring. Most you'll find is the standard Blackburn or similar rack, at least IME.  Of course, Blackburn may all that you need, check the bike shop but don't be too surprised if you find a limited selection. Heck, if you can find Arkel panniers in a bike shop, that would surprise me too!

Jay


Offline staehpj1

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2008, 09:32:07 am »
I forgot to answer about panniers.  We used Nashbar waterproof and Transit Pros (non waterproof), so I can't speak specifically to you panniers.  In the non waterproof bags just pack everything in plastic bags. It helps organize stuff any way.  Sip locks for some stuff and kitchen sized or trash compactor bags for larger stuff.  We did something like one ziplock for clean clothes, one for worn but not filthy, and one for sweaty and disgusting not to be worn without laundering.  Same for other stuff that needs to be dry.  I tend to do the plastic bag thing just to organize stuff even in waterproof panniers.


Offline staehpj1

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2008, 09:37:32 am »
FWIW: We found the Blackburn EX-1 rear rack to be a fine choice.  For front racks we liked the Nashbar (or Performance) clones of the Blackburn Lowrider.

Also if interested in a group of first timers doing the TA check out our journal and while there read lots of other folks journals.  There is a lot that can be learned that way.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/staehling2007


Offline flounder

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2008, 10:27:12 am »
Sorry, I forgot to mention, we'll start from Astoria, OR all the way to VA. And probably in May of 09.

Also one thing I forgot to ask, does anyone know of a 3 person tent that'll be good to use to take on the bike?

Thanks to all!


Offline staehpj1

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2008, 06:44:21 pm »
We used a cheap (like $80 or 90 new) Eureka Tetragon 8 tent.  It is supposed to sleep 4 and was 9 pounds.  It worked out OK for the three of us, but lighter would have been nice.  It looks like the fly on the new version of this tent is different than ours, not sure how good or bad that is.

Weather varies from year to year, but I thought that our June 11th start was on the early side.  We were fine and the weather wasn't bad, but take some warm clothes if starting that early.  You can mail them home later.  Also there is a real chance that McKenzie Pass will still be closed.  Don't miss it if it is open, but if it is closed you can take Santiam pass.

BTW: McKenzie is sometimes open to bikes before it is for cars.  If you catch it then it is cool to ride it with no traffic.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 9-25-08 @ 3:46 PM

Offline valygrl

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2008, 01:51:16 am »
Hey flounder, welcome to touring!

source for racks, panniers and excellent personal advice about them:
www.thetouringstore.com

this is one guy, Wayne, who is a major distributor for the US for a couple of good brands of touring gear.  You won't go wrong buying anything he carries, and he can help you make decisions. (no i'm not a shill)

There are a lot of gear lists on www.crazyguyonabike.com, you could look at some of those for ideas.  Most people take a bit too much to start with, but it's easy (if you live in the states) to mail stuff home that you're not using.

I really rather dislike my Arkel panniers because they are very heavy.  Other than that they are nice.  The first thing to decide is top- vs side-loading, and do you need waterproof.  I like side loading b/c you can get into your bags even if(when) you have stuff loaded on top of the rack.  Other's like top loading for their one-big-pocket simplicity, and they can be waterproof (there are no waterproof material side loaders).  If your bags aren't waterproof you need to either have bags inside (can be fancy like Arkels or simple like trashbags/ziplocks) - or outside, like rain covers.  If i had it to do over again I would probably buy Lone Peaks.

I personally would not go with a 3 person tent, I would take at least 2 tents, in case you separate along the way (for the whole ride or just a few days) and also you should think about whether that's enough personal space for you for a long trip.   Maybe you are a family and know it's ok, but otherwise... i would take 2 or 3 tents, anything under 5 pounds for a 2 person tent is reasonable, closer to 4 is easy to get w/o being ridiculously expensive.

rei-outlet.com is your friend.

have fun with the planning and touring!


Offline flounder

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2008, 09:06:51 am »
Thanks for all the info, it was very helpful!


Offline Westinghouse

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2008, 01:04:47 pm »
When it comes to panniers, you can get cheap backpacks at Wal Mart, and with a few simple alterations anyone could do, you have front and rear panniers. Line them with plastic bags and they are waterproof. Four panniers for fifty dollars with the same carrying space as panneirs that cost $150.00 or more. Waterproof too. It is not necessary to order official panniers from a source online. You can do it yourself just as well for a lot less money.


Offline whittierider

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2008, 02:27:05 pm »
Quote
When it comes to panniers, you can get cheap backpacks at Wal Mart, and with a few simple alterations anyone could do, you have front and rear panniers. Line them with plastic bags and they are waterproof.  Four panniers for fifty dollars with the same carrying space as panneirs that cost $150.00 or more.  Waterproof too.  It is not necessary to order official panniers from a source online.  You can do it yourself just as well for a lot less money.

It seems like you would have to be awfully desparate with an overly tight budget to do that.  Wouldn't it be more work than it's worth to add the stiffeners and rack attachments and so on?  (You'd spend a little more on materials anyway, eating into the savings.)


Offline flounder

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2008, 02:51:43 pm »
I was looking at the following cause I'm trying to save some money on panniers. Can anyone tell me if they think these would be good for TransAm (May 09 start date)? I have a Trek 7.2 FX bike. I dont know if these are good enough. I'm afraid cheaper ones might tear.

http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FLMP


Offline whittierider

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2008, 10:01:59 pm »
No experience with those in particular, but Jandd seems to be an excellent company, and I doubt you could go wrong with any of their products.  We have a lot of smaller Jandd bags, including some panniers that are a little smaller than those.  We're happy with all our Jandd stuff.

This message was edited by whittierider on 9-30-08 @ 7:36 PM

Offline paddleboy17

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2008, 12:14:32 pm »
I used a borrowed set of JandD Mountaineer panniers on my first tour.  They worked well.  As I remember, they are a little on the flat side, so they handle well on the bike.  The hook system was not real high tech but they worked well.  I went on to buy a set of Serratus World tours from MEC (mec.ca).  MEC now has someone else build what looks to be the same pannier.  

I have a friend that I tour with who has Arkel's.  They seem nicely made and he likes them.  Arkel maintains a US warehouse so their stuff is easier to get then MEC's.

Danno
Danno

Offline wanderingwheel

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2008, 02:15:16 pm »

Quote

I was looking at the following cause I'm trying to save some money on panniers. Can anyone tell me if they think these would be good for TransAm (May 09 start date)? I have a Trek 7.2 FX bike. I dont know if these are good enough. I'm afraid cheaper ones might tear.


Those are the panniers that I use, my set has well over 10,000 miles on them and are still going strong.  They are very high quality, like everything I've seen from Jandd.  I prefer top-loading panniers, so these work very well for me.  I also like the ability to strap things to the top, to easily overpack them because of the floating lid, and to cinch them down with smaller loads.  

The Jandd mounting system is more cumbersome than most, but I also think it holds the paniers more securely to the rack.  One other small complaint is that these, if anything, are too large for most of my uses.  It's all to easy to fill them with stuff that I don't need, or to upset my bike's weight balance by putting too much weight on the rear wheel.  The corresponding Mountain Panniers are similar, just a little smaller, if you too are concerned about these being too large.

Sean