Author Topic: Racks & Panniers  (Read 19412 times)

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Offline flounder

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2008, 08:10:52 am »

How good are these with rain?

Offline wanderingwheel

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2008, 01:45:49 pm »
They do have a DWR (durable water resistant lining) like all fabric panniers and backpacks do, but they are not waterproof like Ortliebs.  In practice it has not been an issue for me.  I pack everything I want to keep dry in garbage bags, zip-lock bags, or dry bags, but have rarely seen water actually work it's way all the way through the top lid and skirt into the bag, or through the side or bottom fabric.  I have not had any issues with the mounting system or the pack structure due to rain.


Offline Westinghouse

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2008, 07:12:41 pm »
Looking at the picture of the pannier on the Jandd page, I would say you would have no problems whatsoever with such panniers. But you can still make you own for a lot less.

It is the trip that is important. Any functional gear of sufficiently light weight will work just fine. If people are going to look down their noses at you for the gear you have, and are not going to give you proper credit and recognition for doing a transcontinental, maybe you do not need meeting such persons on a trip anyway.

I was on highway 90 in Florida and cycling west on the southern tier. A small group of cyclists came up while I was resting a small country store. With their bikes and trailers I had them figured for journal contributors, and sure enough that was what they were. I said they probably started at Dog Beach, and in fact they told me they had. The first thing this first-time cyclist did was go to my bike and scope out what kind of gear I had. Inexperienced cyclists get over consumed with the question of what gear to bring, and with which brand names to have. That is all fine and dandy, but it is the journey, the life changing experience that matters most. You can get an old SChwinn touring bike from a garage sale, fix it up with a triple chain set and new components with four smaller backpacks hanging over the racks and have every bit as great and wonderful an experience, even better than anyone on a $1200.00 bike with all the latest brand names sticking out all over the place. Sure, it is good to have new panniers made especially for bicycle touring, but it simply is not necessary.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-9-08 @ 4:15 PM

Offline scott.laughlin

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2008, 09:43:42 am »
I have some long term experience with Jandd products.  The material has always outlasted the hardware.

Offline staehpj1

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2008, 10:27:13 am »
Westinghouse's comments about gear are interesting and worth considering.  I agree that there is way too much emphasis on brands and the supposed need for the ultimate this or that.

The comment, "Inexperienced cyclists get over consumed with the question of what gear to bring, and with which brand names to have" struck me as a bit off though.  My observation is that this is often even more the case with experienced ones.  When it is a shame is when potential tourists think they need to have this and that expensive item and a custom build on their bike.  Then again I think that a lot of them are more into the tinkering and gear than riding or touring.  If they enjoy that I guess it is OK, but it seems kind of sad to me.

The bottom line is that once some reasonable threshold is reached, the experience of the trip isn't changed much by the gear.  Bike touring for me isn't as much about the stuff as it is about the people and the experience.

As far as improvising panniers goes... Nothing wrong with improvising, but I don't see the need when you can buy panniers designed as such for pretty cheaply.  Nashbar and Performance seem to always have their Waterproof models on sale and usually have a coupon code.  I found their Waterproof models to be very sturdy and functional while still being a lot lighter than their much more expensive competition.  Right now Performance has their large ones on sale for $69.99 and small ones for $54.99.  There is also a 15% off coupon in effect (check the coupon forum on bikeforums).  Also if they have a store in your area, the ship to store option gives free shipping.  If you watch the sales closely you can most likely get all 4 panniers for $100.  I am sure others like MEC in Canada offer similar good deals on decent quality equipment.

Offline Westinghouse

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2008, 03:05:49 pm »
I agree with staehpji for the most part. But some people cannot afford to spend all that much. I was just trying to say they they might even already have stuff from which panniers can be made. If not, they can buy backpacks.

I was in China one winter. This Chinese woman and I decided to cycle south from Beijing. There were cycling shops and I bought us both mountain bikes. There were no panniers anywhere to be had, and in a country where the majority of people used the bicycle as their main source of transportation, I thought that a bit odd. We just went to a store and bought backpacks, cut the straps and sewed them together, and hung them over our racks. At a Goodwill or thrift store you might pick up smaller backpacks for two or three dollars.

When it comes time for another tour I change moving components and take off. I use the same panniers I have had for twenty-four years. They are faded and worn and scratched, but they still carry the same loads they did 24 years ago. When I tour I have two panniers on the rear rack, two panniers on the front rack, a handlebar bag, and camping gear stacked on the rear rack. I use a fully loaded bike.

What I was saying is that he does not have to go out and spend $250.00 or more on panniers, which could easily be done. The backpack thing works. At a garage sale I once got four Cannondale panniers and a handlebar bag new for $40.00. I saw a perfectly good Schwinn touring bike for $20.00. At Goodwill I saw a $450.00 Trek trail bike for $45.00. I knew a guy who went to the bank to get money for it, and by the time he got back to the store it was gone. I know a guy right now who has a $650.00 Trek he found abandoned somewhere. He is now in the process of putting components on it. He is such a miser he will probably not be finished with the project for a year or so, but that is another matter.

The thing about purchasing everything new is that it is in the best condition it will ever be in. It is a no problem situation.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-28-08 @ 11:14 AM

Offline bogiesan

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2008, 09:25:44 am »
Arkel makes great gear, so does Axiom, REI, Jandd, Vaude... must be
forty or more good pannier mfrs.  
Many of the links on this site have changed, all you have to do is erase
the text so you end up at the home pages:

As a commuter, I use panniers every day. I recently got some Axiom
Monsoons. They're totally waterproof with a rolll-down top flap with a
clip similar to rafting dry bags.
Verdict: Great bags for transport, a completely frustrating hassle when
it comes to getting in and out of them. You want to make sure you're
totally packed and ready to go before you seal these up.
What I would do next time: buy a good side-opener with an auxiliary
rain cover.

REI's new series of green/gray panniers features waterproof zippers.
Far more convenient to get in and out of them but the jury's still out on
their waterproofness in real road conditions with driving rain and

Your clothing questions might be better addressed as a separate
question. but clothing for touring is totally personal. There are dozens
of books on the topic.

Watch your budget. You do NOT need high zoot equipment to enjoy
touring in all forms of weather except possibly for snow.

david boise ID

go, ristretto, FCP/AE
"Read the manual."
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline bogiesan

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2008, 09:31:10 am »
On racks:
the issue is matching the mounting system to your bike. This is far
more complicated than you realize. All you have to do is look at some
of the mounting option packages that the major rack mfrs offer. You
may need adapters to attach to the seatpost, frame, rear dropouts, and
compensate for fenders and, if you have disk brakes, everything gets
more complex by an order of magnitude.

If your application is simple and direct, get them online and do the job
yourself. If you have a complicated installation, pay your LBS wrench to
take care of you.

david boise ID

go, ristretto, FCP/AE
"Read the manual."
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline flounder

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2008, 10:18:46 am »
Thanks to all for the helpful information. I finally made my purchase and I ended up getting a set of Nashbar Panniers from Abaxo (ebay) for about $40. Great deal! I received them, they are very spacious and easy to install to the rack. I carried a six pack of beer bottles on each to try them, I'm sure I can carry more weight. I'll be using the MEC Sil/Pu Pack Liners to put inside the panniers to protect my stuff, they're very cheap and waterproof.

I'll probably buy two Waterproof panniers from the same seller ($35) for the front and I think I'll be set.

I bought the Topeak Explorer MTX rack at a bike shop and it worked fine too. It was a hassle installing it but we got it.

Now, I just have to buy the two front racks for the front panniers.

As far as equipment, I'm not concerned with brands or fancyness. My main concern is safety, comfort and saving money. I'll be getting out of the military a few months before the trip so I'm trying to find the most affordable & reliable equipment out there&since I'll be jobless during and after the trip. I've done A LOT of research and found some awesome deals&and this is why I'm here asking questions, everyone's advice is very helpful.

Thanks again! I'll be asking more questions.

Offline bsten

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2008, 11:49:54 pm »
Check out Henry Shire's website re: the tarptents that he makes - been
using these for years on more ultralight backpacking trips and they would
be great for bike touring - a couple are designed for 3 people - very high
volume to weight ratio and pack compactly.

Offline flounder

Racks & Panniers
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2008, 09:18:20 am »
Those look great! unfortunately I've already got my 4lbs tent for less than $100. I wish I could've seen these before!