Author Topic: panniers  (Read 11777 times)

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Offline 48wbigfeet

« on: June 04, 2009, 08:37:14 pm »
I need front and rear panniers for self supported touring.  What brand should I buy, and why?

Offline grandfatherbike

Re: panniers
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009, 05:19:44 am »
I can tell you what not to buy.  Recently UPS lost 1 of my panniers I had shipped ahead for a tour.  I bought the Trek Basic Pannier for my front racks.  By the end of the tour they were shot.  The fabric had holes in it, the suspension system failed and frayed plus a couple other problems.  On the other hand I've had a pair of Rhode Gear panniers for well over 20 years that have been on numerous tours.  They are as good as new.  However I believe Rhode Gear is out of business.  Like most things you get what you pay for
Grandfather Stoker

Offline staehpj1

Re: panniers
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2009, 08:03:07 am »
Like most things you get what you pay for
Sometimes, but often relatively basic gear is as good and in some ways better than the high end stuff.

Racks an panniers are one place where this can be the case.  Some of the high end stuff is way overbuilt.  In some cases it is so extreme that it is possible to find a set of racks and bags that weigh 18 pounds empty!  Four Arkel panniers, an Arkel handlebar bag, and a set of Surly Nice Racks come in at something like 18 pounds depending on which panniers you pick.  You couldn't get me to tour with that much weight in empty racks and bags if you paid me to.

Keep adding "high end" stuff like heavy brooks saddles and pretty soon your bike weight with no gear is up over 50 pounds!  Some people manage to camp and cook with a total load including clothing and gear that is about that.

Granted not all high end gear is heavy and not all low priced gear is durable, but for me the sweet spot is still in the low priced range for many items.  Some of them I would use even if price were not a factor at all.  On the other hand I do splurge on a few high priced camping items and feel it is worth it.

I like the Nashbar or Performance Waterproof Panniers very well.  They weigh a lot less than most of the panniers usually recommended, are very durable, keep their contents dry and hold up well.  Three of us used some combination of panniers including at least two of these on our 73 day, 4200+ mile Trans America and I used 4 of them on my recent 800+ mile tour.  I addition my daughter had used two of hers for commuting for a couple years.  All in all they have seen quite a bit of use and have been very satisfactory.  I have no complaints at all.

BTW: For racks we used Nashbar or Performance clones of the old Blackburn Lowrider (front) along with a Blackburn EX-1 (rear) and were well satisfied with them.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 08:07:10 am by staehpj1 »

Re: panniers
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2009, 12:16:18 pm »
What kind of pannier to buy depends heavily on their intended use.  If you're looking at a pretty long tour and/or plan on taking more trips in the future, I would suggest investing in something that's going to last (Ortlib or Arkel).  They very durable, and have a wide range of options that let you pick out panniers that suit your style.

If this may be your only self contained trip, I suggest looking at a Nashbar variety, or perhaps the Arkel Sakaroo, which are basic, can get the job done, and will save you money that you can spend elsewhere on the bike or yourself.  Just because they are inexpensive doesn't mean they are going to break down on you, but they won't be as bombproof or reliable over the years, or through long expeditions. 

Offline SP

Re: panniers
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009, 02:27:50 am »
Buy the best you can afford.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: panniers
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2009, 12:44:07 am »

And make sure they're made of tough, durable material, waterproff, and that your heels don't hit the rear ones.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline bogiesan

Re: panniers
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2009, 11:41:13 pm »

Several dead or useless links but great fun.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent