Pannier Advice

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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timmitchell
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Pannier Advice

Postby timmitchell » 13 Feb 2017, 8:29am

My Panniers are on the edge of life support so I am buying some new ones.

I am hoping you will share your opinions with me as to which are best - 24 mile daily commute - one weekend tour each year.

My old ones are Altura Arran and have served 10+ years so I have no complaints. I like that they have side pockets so I can store my tools etc away from my work clothes in a 'dirty pocket' also they have hook things I have attached lights to. Don't like that they are only shower proof with a yellow cagoule thing that gets pulled over.

I am tempted by ones with shoulder straps - or do they just see all the s*** from the road get smeared over your clothes.

Anyway - what do you like and dislike about yours?

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foxyrider
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby foxyrider » 13 Feb 2017, 10:07am

Shoulder straps should always be removed prior to riding, they are easily hooked on stuff and can get caught in wheels etc.

The tool pocket business is a red herring - that stuff should be in a seat pack/frame mounted bag.

For waterproofness avoid bags with sewn seams
For ease of use avoid fussy hook systems
Consider actual weight
Consider required capacity
Bulk and usefulness of extras
Ease of access to contents

personally I use and have for many years, Ortlieb Classic bags - they tick all the boxes for me, you can add an exterior pocket if you really want one, two sizes, easy to use mounting system, shoulder strap supplied, water tight if closed properly. I use a dry bag when transporting clothing - not for keeping stuff dry but to separate it from dirty shoes etc and facilitate easy removal/organisation when i'm away. Almost nothing goes in my bags loose so I just find the right storage unit and hey presto - wash kit, cook gear, first aid etc.

There are a few looky likes out there but none have the perfect storm of all the features Ortlieb have. I would suggest taking your normal load with you to your local retailer and trying it in the bags on offer. 20/25 litre bags might work for your commute but may well be too small for a longer trip (the Ortliebs are expandable by @10% over the advertised size!)
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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TrevA
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby TrevA » 13 Feb 2017, 10:50am

I have Ortliebs Back Rollers for touring, but I don't like them for commuting. They don't seem to hang very well when only half full.

I use an Altura Fusion Pannier, sadly no longer made, or a pair of Altura Arrans if I need to carry more stuff. I'm tempted to get some Front rollers and use them on the back to get a better balance of load. Or I quite like the look of the Altura Fuse panniers.

I find shoulder straps too much of a faff, unless your panniers are really heavy. I use them when touring with the Back Rollers, but I'm usually carrying quite a load then.
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whoof
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby whoof » 13 Feb 2017, 11:50am

I commute 25 miles a day with a single 16 l Arran pannier and rain cover.

On the way to work clothes, food and tool/spares (in a rolled up carrier bag) go in the main compartment and money and keys go in the pocket.
On the way home it's mainly full of fire wood. It's got a strap which when riding I tuck inside the pannier, pull the draw-strings and then fold down the flap to prevent it going into the wheel. If I go shopping and need to carry the pannier I have it turned backwards. This stops and road debris on the back of the pannier transferring to me and is also more comfortable as the rack fittings and solid back plate are not digging in my back.

I like:
That it's cheap (£16).
Lasted about 15 years.
I can carry fire wood with the odd nail in it and not worry.
It's easy to get on and off and secure.

I don't like:
The pocket is quite small but can never seem to put my hand on the thing I need.

I have Ortlieb Roller Classic front and rear panniers that I use for touring.

tanglewood
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby tanglewood » 13 Feb 2017, 12:25pm

I've just bought a Carradice Nelson long flap saddlebag for the commute. Room for a laptop, waterproofs and a small lunchbox. I use Ortleibs for everything else and can't imagine using any other make.


I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my stupid phone.

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pjclinch
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby pjclinch » 13 Feb 2017, 1:17pm

I like Ortliebs, aside from the other points mentioned already I find the fixings better than any others I've used (certainly superior to the Altura Orkneys I have, which are a total PITA in comparison). They're easy, convenient, robust and secure, locking in place by letting go of the grab handle and unlocking by lifting by the grab handle. Also easy to set up for your particular racks.

There are the fairly bombproof "Plus" sort and the really bombproof "Classic". I'd suggest the latter for a daily commute though I prefer the former for touring.

Expensive, but I've never felt like I haven't got value for money.

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pjclinch
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby pjclinch » 13 Feb 2017, 1:20pm

foxyrider wrote:The tool pocket business is a red herring - that stuff should be in a seat pack/frame mounted bag.


I dunno... I only have one toolkit, but I have lots of bikes. There is more commonality for me associating tools with easily dismountable luggage than with bikes, and it also means I don't have another bag to look after when taking stuff off locking up in a public space.

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

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foxyrider
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby foxyrider » 14 Feb 2017, 9:41am

pjclinch wrote:
foxyrider wrote:The tool pocket business is a red herring - that stuff should be in a seat pack/frame mounted bag.


I dunno... I only have one toolkit, but I have lots of bikes. There is more commonality for me associating tools with easily dismountable luggage than with bikes, and it also means I don't have another bag to look after when taking stuff off locking up in a public space.

Pete.

I've been caught too many times in the past forgetting to pick up tools/pumps before a ride so it's definately a set of stuff for each bike. It's not a great expense, tube, patches, levers, multitool and a bag. Strap on bags stay attached at all times, those which demount take seconds to add to the pump/lights/bottles that i'm removing anyhow! So six bikes, six sets of kit.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

Psamathe
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby Psamathe » 14 Feb 2017, 9:49am

Re: Shoulder Straps: My Ortileb Back Roller Classics have a shoulder strap that is also part of the close mechanism and they don't seem to suffer from collecting dirt (the panniers themselves do but the straps seem ok (and it's not my using them and cleaning the straps on my shoulder as I rarely use the shoulder strap on my shoulder). But I can't comment on other types of Pannier shoulder strap (no experience of others).

Ian

bogmyrtle
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby bogmyrtle » 14 Feb 2017, 7:01pm

Personally I find the short handles that are on most panniers better for carrying than long shoulder straps. They swing too much on the shoulder straps and the fixings dig in.
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pete75
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby pete75 » 15 Feb 2017, 1:59pm

Carradice Super C - can't go wrong with them. They last many, many years and the waxed cotton they're made from can be reproofed as good as new unlike virtually any other weatherproof material.
If you must have plastic panniers then Carradice Carradry are a good buy. Similar construction to Ortlieb(no idea which came first),rears have external pockets and cost less - maybe because Carradice don't bother producing them in a range of naff colours unlike Ortlieb.

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mjr
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby mjr » 15 Feb 2017, 2:55pm

A couple of Basil Sport Singles have been doing good daily service here. The shoulder straps tuck into the top drawstring and then the flap buckles closed over the top, stopping it flapping around. 16 litres each, useful pockets, flip-out catch can stop it bouncing off the rack if yours is thin (or being lifted off quickly if you're in that London). The rain cover zip at the bottom is a bit iffy but that's the only thing to go wrong in 2 years so far.

I think Basil produced the more office-looking Sport Design Single pannier because so many were using the Sport Single for commuting. It's no Ortleib but then it doesn't cost that.
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geocycle
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby geocycle » 15 Feb 2017, 3:07pm

Ortlieb bikepacker plus here. Have used them almost daily since 2005 for commuting and touring. A carradice saddlebag provides an alternative when less to carry. I have replaced the draw cords but that is it really all in terms of maintenance. I like the external pocket which you don't get with the roll top design. Completely waterproof and have been immersed to half way up. The tubus rack looks like wearing through before the panniers.

arnsider
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby arnsider » 16 Feb 2017, 8:22am

Several years ago, I bought roll top paniers from Lidli.
They were red and black and carried the logo "Pro Cycle"
The fixings were three simple hooks that hung the bag from the top rail and held the bag half way down a carrier stay.
I think I have had them fifteen years at least.
They were probably a quarter the price of the yellow Ortlieb Rollers that I also have.
Like Brooks, Ortlieb have remained over priced and it is worth shopping around.
There are products just as good, but not over priced out there.

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foxyrider
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Re: Pannier Advice

Postby foxyrider » 16 Feb 2017, 9:37am

arnsider wrote:Several years ago, I bought roll top paniers from Lidli.
They were red and black and carried the logo "Pro Cycle"
The fixings were three simple hooks that hung the bag from the top rail and held the bag half way down a carrier stay.
I think I have had them fifteen years at least.
They were probably a quarter the price of the yellow Ortlieb Rollers that I also have.
Like Brooks, Ortlieb have remained over priced and it is worth shopping around.
There are products just as good, but not over priced out there.


I bought and sold several sets of the Lidl panniers, it's more like 10 years ago that they were sold. I couldn't see anything overly wrong with them but as good as Ortlieb - I don't think so! In no particular order they are heavier, the mounting system lacks adjustment for either position or rack size, they lack the extra capacity and they are made of PU. Doesn't make them bad and for the asked price they are/were brilliant.

I agree that Ortlieb are expensive in much the same way Tubus, Olympus, Le Creuset are - you want the best you have to pay a premium! Good luck in finding Ortlieb at lower than list price, 'old' stock is rare a stores sell it through too quickly - I've searched across Europe and the UK is often cheaper than even Germany!
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!