rear pannier advice needed

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
potter
Posts: 7
Joined: 12 Jul 2019, 6:36am

rear pannier advice needed

Postby potter » 14 Jul 2019, 7:16pm

Hello all.
I am new to touring and new to this forum so please forgive me if i am repeating anything previously discussed.
My bike knowledge is basic at best but after consulting forums and reading many favourable reviews, I decided to Visit Spa Cycles of Harrogate and purchased a Wayfarer. The service was excellent.
My quandary is regarding panniers. I have had a Tubus logo rear rack fitted and had intended to use only a rack top bag. I have since read much regarding panniers and their various merits and have decided to invest in a set of them. My intended use for them is credit card touring and possibly a weekend and short (4 to 5 day) trip involving camping gear. As with most of my plans, they tend to escalate and grow into far larger undertakings so despite feeling that panniers in the region of 30 litres may be sufficient, I would like advice regarding the merits of buying bigger initially as opposed to hoping 30 litres will be enough.
In the past as a hillwalker, I have found that buying quality from the start is always a sound investment and therefore have narrowed my choices down to Carradice , Ortleib and even Arkel but the array of models with the latter 2 is baffling. Im not opposed to shiny Pvc but i do confess to quite liking the idea of traditional canvas look with a vast selection of dry bags that I already own to be placed inside said canvas panniers. I am also a fan of the pockets and dividers found on the Arkel models but not the price found on them. Are they really that good? I hear they fit well ....Do Ortleib fit as well??
Very confusing. any advice would be gratefully received

Stuart

jacobean
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Joined: 12 May 2009, 11:57pm

Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby jacobean » 14 Jul 2019, 8:03pm

First of all, as a fellow proud Spa touring bike owner congratulations - you will have hours of comfortable, steady, reliable and fun cycling ahead of you! My own Spa Tourer has been a joy to own.

Buy bigger panniers than you need. Trust me. They will not weigh significantly more. They will in fact save you time on the road because you can pack them quicker. Also, they will give you extra flexibility when ever you do longer trips.

I bought my Ortliebs over 13 years ago and they are still going strong. They clipping system they use is flawless and robust. Before that I owned Vaude ones which were problematic to clip onto my Tubus rack. They also has a rather dangerous habit of un-attaching themselves when going over bumps on the road.

My Ortliebs have suffered all forms of abuse over the years being slung onto buses, trains and ferries. But, aside from losing their new lustre, they are still in perfect condition. And they never, not even once, in 13 years of cycling, unattached themselves form their racks - which offers great peace of mind.

Forget about compartments. Drawstring bags (bought from any sport store) can act as you own compartments. The qualities of durability and safety far outweigh any concerns I would have about a PVC-look. If anything, the PVC that Ortieb uses is subtle and smart-looking.

Ortlieb panniers are a truly fantastic product.

whoof
Posts: 1954
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby whoof » 14 Jul 2019, 8:29pm

You'll probably get a few replies saying buy either Carradice or Ortleb. Both are really good, pick the one you like the look of the most and you won't go far wrong.

bobzeller
Posts: 93
Joined: 20 Aug 2013, 8:37pm

Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby bobzeller » 14 Jul 2019, 9:43pm

I have used a set of Arkel T28s since 2007 and they have been brilliant. They are front loading which makes packing and unpacking easier and keeps the contents much neater. But more importantly, the mounting system with aluminium tracks has meant that they have never been less than fully secure. I bought them after a year or so of first class experience with an Arkel 'bar bag. Expensive yes, but excellent value.

Regards

Bob

Thehairs1970
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Joined: 11 Aug 2018, 9:30am

Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby Thehairs1970 » 14 Jul 2019, 10:13pm

If you want a non-pvc look try these:

https://www.ortlieb.com/uk/bike-packer-plus

We have Ortliebs front and back. Once you've set them up, they clip on and off so easily and have carry straps - handy for the stairs up to your room. I wouldn't worry about going bigger than you need. Handy to have somewhere for your lunches, flask etc as well as clothes.

Re: the Arkels mentioned above. I haven't used any but the idea of front loading seems a bit weird. I'd have thought stuff would fall out if you opened the, while loaded. How do you avoid this bobzeller?

jon.k
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Joined: 19 Feb 2012, 11:01pm

Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby jon.k » 15 Jul 2019, 12:31am

I love my Ortlieb panniers. The oldest set has dealt easily with 12 years of commuting. I have front and back rollers (and various other bags) in the classic shiny material, although the newer material is apparently lighter and stronger. I’ve stick to the old type to create a garish patchwork effect on my bike.

If you buy back rollers then you can just roll them up more when you’re not carrying so much. We have done credit card touring on a tandem with two frontrollers, though and a 15l ? Ortlieb rack pack bag (the one which clips on to the rack, not the hold-all style) with no problems.

The only other brand I’ve tried were Altura orkneys but I found the Ortlieb much easier and more satisfying to use so they got sold to buy more bright shiny Ortlieb.

potter
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Joined: 12 Jul 2019, 6:36am

Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby potter » 15 Jul 2019, 6:53am

Thanks for all the help so far.
Ortliebs certainly do have many fans out there. Im curious as to whether the roll top closure is 100% necessary on a bike?. I use this method on my canoe dry bags due to the obvious risk of immersion but it is a bit of a faff at times. Does the rack not impede this method and therefore make the Ortlieb bikepacker an easier option?
The Ortlieb plus material does look more appealing to the eye but is it as robust as tried and tested pvc?
I too would be interested to hear from Bobzeller as to how the contents of his T28s does not simply fall out on the floor. It looks easy access but i take it, not waterproof and needding dry bags inside?

PhilD28
Posts: 92
Joined: 26 Sep 2016, 8:31am

Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby PhilD28 » 15 Jul 2019, 8:07am

I’ve used Carradice panniers for the last 35 years and Ortleib roll tops for the last 20. I like both equally.
The Carradice rears are a bit taller and narrower giving a little more heel clearance and I like the closure system and pockets better than Ortleib, they also breath a little better, maybe not as waterproof but never a problem.
Go with whatever appeals to you both are quality products. I live out of mine for about 3 months camping every summer and they are still going strong.

Oggi
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Joined: 27 Sep 2012, 12:13pm

Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby Oggi » 15 Jul 2019, 8:13am

I recently got a good deal on a pair of Thule panniers and they seem very good. Thule is a good make and they are roll top like the Ortliebs but I got them for about half the price. I got the larger pair cos they only weigh a little more than the smaller ones but you don’t need to fill them. The extra space is useful when you buy a large cake just short of your night stop! The attachment to the rack is good and very easy to use. I’m not sure about the magnets and did a day ride without them just to see if they rattled, they didn’t.

geocycle
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby geocycle » 15 Jul 2019, 9:39am

potter wrote:Thanks for all the help so far.

The Ortlieb plus material does look more appealing to the eye but is it as robust as tried and tested pvc?


I've had bikepacker plus since 2006. Used most days on the commute and tours 2-3 times a year. I'd recommend them. I also have a lot of carradice bags and they are also very robust.

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Sweep
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Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby Sweep » 15 Jul 2019, 10:18am

I'd seriously consider the Bikepacker Pluses - hold 40 litres a pair I think which is a bit on the small size for my style of kitchen sink touring but sound fine for your purposes.

When I bought mine they had the 2.0 hooks and after a while I had irritating problems with the inserts in the hooks falling out - a well documented issue.

And then I had real problems with them actually detaching from my rack, even with stuff on top.

But Ortlieb's sensible modular design principle and easy access to spares meant that I could just buy two 2.1 hook modules - cost me £20. On these, standard with new ones, the inserts go in from the side - problem solved.

I have had the panniers for 20 years and they still look like new - despite being used for some toughish tours, chucked on the ground, left outside tents and bivis of a wet night and used for lots and lots of shopping, including tins. The material is nicer than the standard ones I think - more flexible and easier to wrangle - but am pretty sure it is not weaker. I think it may even be tougher.

Not cheap but very definitely worth it.
Sweep

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mjr
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Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby mjr » 15 Jul 2019, 12:29pm

potter wrote:My quandary is regarding panniers. I have had a Tubus logo rear rack fitted and had intended to use only a rack top bag. I have since read much regarding panniers and their various merits and have decided to invest in a set of them. My intended use for them is credit card touring and possibly a weekend and short (4 to 5 day) trip involving camping gear.

I did my first tour with panniers. I still use them for shopping, but every tour since, I've used only rack top rear bags: a longflap saddlebag that rests on the rack and a compression bag as a tail roll. The advantages over panniers are that it's an easier height for loading/unloading, the load can be spread over the rack better (IMO), it's easier not to end up lopsided (just keep heavy stuff in the middle of the bags!), you can fit through narrow gaps more easily (stupid barriers in some countries, but also crowded areas like city centres), it encourages you to limit the volume a bit (although it's only 3 litres less than my smaller panniers), and I find they're a better shape for carrying - I can have the saddlebag on its shoulder strap over one shoulder, the bar bag on its over the other shoulder and the tail roll over my wrist while lifting the bike on/off of trains (which generally require luggage removed). If you search on sites like this, you'll find many rants from pannierists about having to remove luggage for trains.

The main disadvantages are that the bike "wags" slightly more because the weight is higher, but less than with a long bikepacking tail bag because of the better fixing, and that you've not got the option of strapping any extras to the top of the rack because it's already used - if it doesn't fit in, you either balance it on top (take a spare pair of straps) or put it in a small packable rucksack.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

potter
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Joined: 12 Jul 2019, 6:36am

Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby potter » 16 Jul 2019, 7:38am

Thanks for all the replies folks.
Some really interesting thoughts. It seems any ORTLIEB gripes regarding the fixing system are a thing of the past and I will try and look at various models as o believe spa cycles stock a few

Ant...
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Location: Denbighshire

Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby Ant... » 16 Jul 2019, 11:24am

Have a look at Crosso they do Cordura panniers, I have a full set and they are as tough as old boots, quite a bit cheaper than ortliebs as well. :D

potter
Posts: 7
Joined: 12 Jul 2019, 6:36am

Re: rear pannier advice needed

Postby potter » 16 Jul 2019, 4:39pm

Where can crosso panniers be viewed? I’m old fashioned and years of paddling in a previous time taught me to try before you buy :D