Load carrying - in panniers or on your back?

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Si
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Postby Si » 29 Sep 2008, 3:05pm

Lawrie9 wrote:It is very bad practice and damaging to your health to cycle long distances and in particular to go off roading on a mountain bike with a laiden rucksack.


One might suggest that you read the rest of the thread before making blanket statements that have been shown, by many many real MTBers going out and riding with loads - eg polaris riders, to be inaccurate :roll:


CJ wrote:Call me a selfish barsteward, but I don't really care how the bike feels!

OK, you are a selfish barsteward :wink:
But, are we still on the subject of carrying loads off road, in which case I'd venture that how the bike feels/handles is somewhat more important than you make out. On road, then yes, I'd agree that it is less important as long as it is still controlable for the terrain you are riding.

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CJ
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Postby CJ » 29 Sep 2008, 3:25pm

Si wrote:
CJ wrote:Call me a selfish barsteward, but I don't really care how the bike feels!

OK, you are a selfish barsteward :wink:
But, are we still on the subject of carrying loads off road, in which case I'd venture that how the bike feels/handles is somewhat more important than you make out. On road, then yes, I'd agree that it is less important as long as it is still controlable for the terrain you are riding.

Yeah, even I carry a small amount on my back when mountain-biking, but if I'm touring offroad I use a rack and avoid the really difficult stuff - or go on a tour with luggage support.

As for the road: I cannot see a commuter with a heavy pack on their back without imagining a pair of long hairy ears. (They usually have a dark stripe up the back already!) :wink:
Chris Juden
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pigman
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Postby pigman » 29 Sep 2008, 3:28pm

CJ wrote:It never ceases to amaze me: the amount of trouble and pain that "serious" cyclists will put up with in order not to look like a tourist!

Backpacks have their place, for carrying a minimum of necessities when mountain-biking in difficult terrain. For everything else I'd rather let the bike take the strain: it has wheels on already!

I've heard of two people recently who've walked around the world or something like. In both cases they walked across two or three countries before it ocurred to them to buy a children's pushchair so as to get the load off their backs!

Says it all really.


it never ceases to amaze me what some serious cyclists will say when they cant (or wont) see the other side. Its got nothing to do with not wanting to look like like a tourist. Ive commuted and tried both. TB has it about right for me, the only downside being not the sweaty back (I wash me and my shirt after a ride), but the sweaty rucksack. and if its a sack that doesnt mix in social company, what the hell - wash it once a fortnight. I didnt want to put a rack and panniers onto a bike that I'm then going to have to regularly strip down for clubruns. Panniers create an awful lot of wind resistance which slows things down (and dont underestimate this). I wanted to cane it on the way home; racing other cyclists, even cars at junctions. I had to squeeze throught town centre traffic and didnt want anything sticking out. The fact that I carried a sack ensured I didnt carry loads of crap on a daily basis and kept it down to clothes and food. For a 15 mile ride, the sack never crippled my back and allowed for good weight distribution over uneven surfaces (ever tried riding over bumps and potholes with panniers? - what a din and that poor back wheel). theres no need to install and unhook the panniers twice a day and if you get off to pop into a shop everything is with you.

I'd say (tongue-in-cheekily) that the reason people resist sacks is cos they dont want to admit to craving some improved performance on their bikes and dont want to look anything other than a traditional british cyclo tourist of the 60's.

now, if youre talking proper touring with considerable luggage and mileages, then panniers is the way to go.

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Si
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Postby Si » 29 Sep 2008, 3:30pm

Do you then consider couriers, with their large 'courier bags' over one shoulder, to be victims of fashion rather than practicality? I have to admit that I tried one once and just didn't get on with it.

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CJ
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Postby CJ » 29 Sep 2008, 5:29pm

Si wrote:Do you then consider couriers, with their large 'courier bags' over one shoulder, to be victims of fashion rather than practicality? I have to admit that I tried one once and just didn't get on with it.

I think it makes perfect sense for a courier. Time is money in that job, and to have the package on your back already must make a much faster turnaround. Dump the bike, in and out and off again.

I guess you don't take a job as a bike messenger in order to be comfortable or if you're bothered by getting sweaty! But to adopt the same gear for the journey to work is perhaps a bit "fakenger". :wink:

As for myself: I'm sure I don't look the least bit like a touring cyclist when I'm riding to work. With my chaincase and hubgear, stylish office-bag, no-sweat pace and sensible everyday clothes I'm definitely going for the fake Dutchman look!
Chris Juden
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Postby random37 » 29 Sep 2008, 6:10pm

Yesterday, my dad phoned me up, as he was really ill and needed some bits. I rode from a couple of miles outside Reading to Henley on Thames, about 15 miles if you take the round the houses route I enjoy.
Normally, I use panniers for everything, but as an experiment I took my courier bag instead.
It really started to bother me after a couple of miles. Never again, unless I'm going to be going a short way into town for something light and I want the bag to stay with me while I walk round.
My bike has v brakes, a wide ratio triple, kevlar tyres and LED lighting. But if having a pannier rack, mudguards and not necessarily donning specialist clothes every time I go out makes me into some retro-obsessed freak, I'm happy to oblige.