Recumbent luggage

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Tangled Metal
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Recumbent luggage

Postby Tangled Metal » 26 Apr 2018, 9:00pm

A request for opinions on luggage options from recumbent cyclists.

I've got a touring recumbent with a rear rack. I can get a lowrider too. So I can use any combination of panniers and banana bags. It's to replace an upright with about 90 litres of load capacity.

I've seen a picture of my recumbent with banana bags with what I assumed was a 2x35 litre capacity plus two Ortliebs on the lowrider. That's plenty of capacity. Anyone know if that's possible with large banana bags?

So I know large BBs or four Ortliebs work and I can use the rack top for a dry bag gives a good capacity.

Which is the best setup for touring in your opinion?

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Recumbent luggage

Postby Tigerbiten » 27 Apr 2018, 2:38am

The middle and back straps of the small, medium and big banana bags are supported across the top of the rack, only the front strap is across the seat.
This is due to the convex shape of the top of the bag vs a concave/straight shape of the seat.
While the front and middle straps of the banana racer bags sits across the seat and the back strap sits either across the top of the seat or the headrest.
This means you can only the banana racer bags (2x12.5 Ltr) can be used without a rack or with a rack and panniers.
The other three sizes block the sides of the rack and can only be used by a rack top bag/box unless you have some type of support for the back strap so the whole bag can sit further forward.
I cannot do that with my medium bags due to lack of ground clearance.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Recumbent luggage

Postby Tangled Metal » 27 Apr 2018, 8:09am

Sorry I'm not sure I explained it right. The picture I saw had a lowrider under the front of the seat with ortlieb classic back roller sized panniers and a large banana bag set behind. They were squashed but fully usable.

The bag had one wide strap going around the seat at its front end and you couldn't see the other straps which I assumed were covered by a half empty bag of some kind on the top of the rack.

It's a streetmachine in the picture and looks like it's a good touring setup. With expansion for food stops in the bag on top of the rack. Plus I actually like the walking stick held in behind the seat at the side.

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pjclinch
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Re: Recumbent luggage

Postby pjclinch » 27 Apr 2018, 9:27am

Bigger banana bags come quite a way forwards. Here's the missus' Fiero set for touring...

Image

The Fiero doesn't have a Lowrider, so that's why the banana bags. I can't remember exactly how big those are, but they're not the biggest. You'd need to suck it and see to see if you get something like those as well as extras on the lowrider rack.

I use standard Ort panniers on rear rack (Rear Roller Plus) and lowrider (Sport Packer Plus). There's extra capacity on the rear rack top, where I usually bungee a small rucksack for off-bike utility use, or you could put some sort of rack-pack there.

One of the nice things about the banana bags is they'll take long stuff (like a set of tent poles) with no issues , but what they don't do well is running well under capacity and they only work as pairs. They're also a faff on and off. So if you want lots of capacity all the time on the trip and are happy to leave them on the bike they're great, otherwise I think normal panniers are probably easier.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Recumbent luggage

Postby Tigerbiten » 27 Apr 2018, 1:50pm

Tangled Metal wrote:Sorry I'm not sure I explained it right. The picture I saw had a lowrider under the front of the seat with ortlieb classic back roller sized panniers and a large banana bag set behind. They were squashed but fully usable.

Got it, thought you were going the other way around ....
The back of the bags is roughly level with the back of the rack, mine stick out ~3" more.
So just measure the distance from the back of the low rider panniers to the back of the rack and add an extra 4 inches or so fudge room.
Large banana bags are ~26" long and an inch longer than mediums as they mostly get the extra volume by getting fatter.
So you'll need around a 22" gap to fit them.

Luck ......... :D

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squeaker
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Re: Recumbent luggage

Postby squeaker » 28 Apr 2018, 10:37am

One thought is that, IME, Radical banana bags are not 100% waterproof, unlike a decent conventional pannier.
"42"

bryan.fanson1
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Re: Recumbent luggage

Postby bryan.fanson1 » 28 Apr 2018, 11:10am

Ortlieb now make a back roller pro plus which are 70 litres per pair. That nearly brings you to the capacity of your old set up in just 2 panniers. This is what I will be putting on my trike.

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pjclinch
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Re: Recumbent luggage

Postby pjclinch » 28 Apr 2018, 11:34am

squeaker wrote:One thought is that, IME, Radical banana bags are not 100% waterproof, unlike a decent conventional pannier.


"Decent" does not require "waterproof", and indeed waterproof is much over-rated in many instances, particularly large touring bags. In practice you're probably best off using internal liners to compartmentalise in any case, and if you're doing that why insist on external waterproofing?

If you just leave it all to the external seals and don't use internal liners then you'll end up mixing your clean laundry, dirty laundry, wet tent, sleeping bag, pots and pans etc. in one space. And as your wet tent sheds its load of water over the day it pools up at the bottom of your wonderful waterproof bag rather than having any chance of draining out.

Something like an office bag then yes, waterproof is a Very Good Thing, but a big touring bag it's really not much help. This is why mountaineers have never fussed that much about waterproof rucksacks, and every couple of years someone announces the New! Improved! genuinely waterproof rucksack and lots of people say "Hurrah!, the Game Is Changed"... and a couple of years later it's gone the way of numerous others because it cost more and wasn't the game-changer people had thought.

But hang on, don't I use Ortlieb panniers by choice? I do, but it's more about the fittings and durability than the waterproofing, which is a bonus but not actually one I'm that fussed about on tour.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

Tangled Metal
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Re: Recumbent luggage

Postby Tangled Metal » 28 Apr 2018, 1:56pm

Current upright capacity is 94 litres across a variety of bags. Some bags can be used on my recumbent (75 litres worth). That's just shy of 4 back roller classics.

Ortlieb do recumbent panniers with 54 litres capacity, but there are a few 70 litres panniers out there. IIRC there's an ortlieb one and another make does them that big. They achieve that extra 15 litres per bag by making them wider, longer and deeper. Only a few cm in all directions though.