Touring Pannier Bags

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Nico_S
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby Nico_S » 17 Oct 2010, 9:58am

I'm planning a touring trip in North America and a few months in South America at the moment and have had a pair of Ortlieb back roller classics delivered recently.

I'm currently doing up my MTB for touring, which means that if I use the original forks, I probably won't have the option of front panniers.

This means that I need to include all my stuff, including wild camping gear, in just rear panniers and a stuff sack on the rack.

The Ortliebs seem quite small for this purpose, and I'm really thinking of replacing them with Carradice Super Cs or CarraDry due to the extra 14 litres of space.

I've got them in front of me at the moment and I can see one being taken up solely by my tent and sleeping bag, plus maybe a few little extras. I could probably put the tent on the rack with the sleeping mat though, which would leave the panniers for the sleeping bag and everything else. Still seems like it might be a squeeze on days that I'd need to carry extra water though.

Has anyone got any experience or tips for panniers to use for long, mostly self supported touring trips when you only have a rear rack?

Cheers,
Nico

graymee
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby graymee » 17 Oct 2010, 10:10am

Having suspension front forks doesn't mean that you can't fit a rack & panniers. There is also the alternative of a trailer, single wheel probably but that also brings the problem of getting it to your start point.
I'm not old and cynical, I'm realistic!

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syklist
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby syklist » 17 Oct 2010, 11:37am

Nico_S wrote:Has anyone got any experience or tips for panniers to use for long, mostly self supported touring trips when you only have a rear rack?

I prefer having front panniers, not just for the extra space they provide for gear. The bikes we have used all feel better when there is some weight over the front wheels.

However, on our first tour we only had two rear panniers each but we hung our sleeping gear, water bags and a well filled handlebar bag off the bars. This worked rather well, the trick being to distribute the weight on either side of the handlebars. This balanced out the effect of large turning forces with weight on just one side of the handlebars and made steering more predictable. The bikes handled fine on and off road in this configuration. We were using steel handlebars on these bikes and the handlebars and stems seemed to cope fine with the extra weight. As usual YMMV.
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Stan
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rapidfire72
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby rapidfire72 » 17 Oct 2010, 12:26pm

Hi syklist

I've been looking with some interest, regarding the two images of your's. I'm planning a sort of coast to coast up in the northern parts of england and maybe stretch a bit further into the Scottish Borders, if I do the Coast and Castles, but that is in the planning stage for next year.

One question to you, syklist. Is the pedals you use, are there the M324 and I hear you just cycle with sandals. I plan to do the same on my foresaid tour, as I mentioned and that would be great. However, did you wear the Skinskinz socks in wet weather or did you allow the feet to get wet. I like the idea of using the meths, which I've the Trangia 27 and Mini, but never used as yet. Did you use the mini as a one pot meal version.

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syklist
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby syklist » 17 Oct 2010, 12:54pm

rapidfire72 wrote:Hi syklist

I've been looking with some interest, regarding the two images of your's. I'm planning a sort of coast to coast up in the northern parts of england and maybe stretch a bit further into the Scottish Borders, if I do the Coast and Castles, but that is in the planning stage for next year.

One question to you, syklist. Is the pedals you use, are there the M324 and I hear you just cycle with sandals. I plan to do the same on my foresaid tour, as I mentioned and that would be great. However, did you wear the Skinskinz socks in wet weather or did you allow the feet to get wet. I like the idea of using the meths, which I've the Trangia 27 and Mini, but never used as yet. Did you use the mini as a one pot meal version.

Coast and Castles: that would have been our summer tour this year, well the NSCR in England and Scotland. We ended up moving to Norway instead.
Pedals: Yes M324, we have several pairs of these. Good value SPD pedals that allow you to cycle in ordinary shoes as well. The oldest with over 10000km on them finally needed some new bearings earlier this year. Beware you need a special tool to be able to tighten up the cones which as yet I don't have ;)
Sandals: It depends on the weather: if my feet stay warm enough then I don't use any socks in wet or dry weather. If my feet start getting cold, or on a day with continuous rain then I usually use a pair or two of woollen walking socks combined with a pair waterproof socks on the outside. I buy the waterproof socks a size too big to accomodate extra socks.
Stoves: the Trangia 27* is a better all round stove than the Mini. You can use the 27 in strong winds to brew up during the day whereas the Mini will struggle even with a windshield. In my opinion the weight saving of a Mini with windshield over a 27 is not worth the reduction in usability and efficiency. The Mini is useful as a second burner but rather limited as you can't really use the simmer ring with it. The 27 is also much more stable and it is quite hard to knock one over (YMMV). I'd practice using a Trangia before you head out on tour.
Cheers
Stan
* same applies to the 25
So long and thanks for all the fish...

rapidfire72
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby rapidfire72 » 17 Oct 2010, 1:10pm

Thanks for that useful information. I will now include the Shimano sandals with wool socks and Skinskinzs. I thought that with the Mini regarding the wind, so I'm most likely to take the 27 c/w kettle.

Another question, is. (sorry to pick your brains out :o ) Is I have a pair of Schwalbe Cross tyres on works bike and a pair of Specialized Nimbus on the touring bike. Any thoughts, both are good tyres. But for somewhat unknown reason, I think the cross would be better on the tour, sort of can't make me mind up.

But, I will savour the images.

Regards

R72

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syklist
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby syklist » 17 Oct 2010, 2:56pm

rapidfire72 wrote:sorry to pick your brains out :o ) Is I have a pair of Schwalbe Cross tyres on works bike and a pair of Specialized Nimbus on the touring bike. Any thoughts, both are good tyres. But for somewhat unknown reason, I think the cross would be better on the tour, sort of can't make me mind up.

Heh, now you are asking a question, tyre choice is very personal. My experience is that, tyres with almost no tread pattern can make good tyres for touring as can tyres with agressive tread patterns. You can worry too much about which tyres to use.

One thing I would say is to try to avoid last minute changes on your bike before you go on tour. It has caused us problems on two occasions in surprising ways. If the Nimbus tyres have coped well so far and you are used to how they ride, then perhaps it is best to stick with what you know.
Cheers
Stan
So long and thanks for all the fish...

snibgo
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby snibgo » 17 Oct 2010, 3:09pm

Hanging stuff from a triathlon bar is a neat trick.

The shopping trolley in the background: did you use that as a trailer?!

travelling
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby travelling » 17 Oct 2010, 7:12pm

Something else to consider if you are travelling to the states

given the currency rate it might be cheaper to buy somestuff once you get there
I have the lightest bike in the world....then I put my fattest body in the world on it...the only pounds that have been lost are from my bank account

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bikes4two
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby bikes4two » 17 Oct 2010, 10:47pm

I can't comment on the range of different panniers mentioned in this thread, other than the ones I've used which are Altura Dryliners. I have not found it necessary to pack the contents in plastic bags although I do use the Altura flourescent covers, both for visibility and to minimise dirty and abrasion on the panniers. So far they have proved 100% water tight and judging by the state of the covers, I'd recommend these to anyone.

I suppose the downside is that the flourescent covers will keep my Dryliners going for ever and I'll never need to buy replacments of the like mentioned elsewhere in this thread !
Without my stoker, every trip would only be half a journey

rapidfire72
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby rapidfire72 » 18 Oct 2010, 9:44am

syklist wrote:
rapidfire72 wrote:sorry to pick your brains out :o ) Is I have a pair of Schwalbe Cross tyres on works bike and a pair of Specialized Nimbus on the touring bike. Any thoughts, both are good tyres. But for somewhat unknown reason, I think the cross would be better on the tour, sort of can't make me mind up.

Heh, now you are asking a question, tyre choice is very personal. My experience is that, tyres with almost no tread pattern can make good tyres for touring as can tyres with agressive tread patterns. You can worry too much about which tyres to use.


Yes, I thought that with the cross tyres, which may have too much drag. I was thinking in the way, I may do some moderate off-road stuff, but with the camping gear, I went off the idea. I will stick to the Nimbus tyres instead and stick to roads.

roops70
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby roops70 » 20 Oct 2010, 4:54pm

I've got some Carradice Carradry, which I would highly recommend - about £65.

They do work better as far as keeping out water when fuller, and they do take an awesome amount. I've borrowed some Ortlieb, and they are smaller and definitely have the edge when only partly filled, but Carradry offer better VFM.

And by the way, what do people recommend as map holders if you don't have a handlebar bag?

snibgo
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby snibgo » 22 Oct 2010, 5:07am

And by the way, what do people recommend as map holders if you don't have a handlebar bag?

I used to use a mapholder from an army surplus place, designed for hanging from someone's neck. A bit of ingenuity with string held it in place on top of the stem and bars, tied to the brake levers. It was nice and large, and could take OS maps.

Mapholders designed for Klickfix are available, but I've never tried them.

psmiffy
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby psmiffy » 22 Oct 2010, 3:44pm

roops70 wrote:And by the way, what do people recommend as map holders if you don't have a handlebar bag?


I use an R & K perspex clip thing - works very well - lasts about 5 years before clip normally breaks at the bend -I prefer it to a map "bag" - they to go a bit opaque over time - can just fold the map to the size I want it - plastic bag if it rains
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Ann Kennedy
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby Ann Kennedy » 26 Oct 2010, 5:18pm

I have just this year invested in the Ortleib Classic and think they're fab - you can buy them at something like 25% below RRP by doing a bit of googling. We bought one set for a short tour in France in September - glad we did as it rained and items in the other non-waterproof panniers got wet, despite plastic bags and rucksac covers. So almost the first thing we did when we got home was order another set of Ortleibs.

On our trip we met a German who had the full set of Ortleibs - front and back (we only have back) and had had his for 20 years, he said. They looked a tad bashed about but he said they were still completely waterproof - he gave us a long lecture on the importance of closing them up the right way (which we were doing anyway).

Yes they are a bit heavier than the non-waterproof ones but as a % of the total weight of bike and luggage, not a lot of difference - worth it to have dry stuff in my view!