Utility Pannier Bags

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
User avatar
CREPELLO
Posts: 5558
Joined: 29 Nov 2008, 12:55am

Utility Pannier Bags

Post by CREPELLO »

Just wondered what other people use and whether you have a preference for any particular kind or type...single pannier perhaps? :wink: , permanent or removeable, fixings and closure type etc...

I bought some SJS panniers last year (£8 on ebay) http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/sjsc-rear-pa ... prod11550/. The rack fixings are aweful, with the hooks too close together and flappy bungi cords. So I successfully modified them and they now stick to the rear rack like glue. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=79714&start=15 They may be light, but they are also made of cheap materials and now show signs that they are about to fall to pieces :(
They would be ok for occasional use. The velcro handle also made an execllent place to hold my mini D lock.
Last edited by CREPELLO on 26 Mar 2015, 8:53pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
gaz
Posts: 14191
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, lorry park of England

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by gaz »

I have two sets of utility panniers.

For Sustrans Ranger work I've a set of worn out Carradice Carradura donated to me by a friend. Not waterproof, some holes, front pocket zips failed, frayed at the edges, clips on the straps and the hook elastics have broken and been replaced, various paint splashes; in short they've got character.

The commuter sports a single plain black Halfords bag, one of a pair secured for 99p off ebay quite a few years ago. Not waterproof, very floppy construction and some largish holes have worn into the bottom. To prevent things falling out and to add a little rigidity I constructed a shaped insert for the bottom of the bag from estate agent board. Hooks are simple metal loops but it also has a sprung clip and tensioning strap to keep everything in place. When the holes in the current bag get too bag I'll transfer everything to it's pair.
Missing, presumed fed.
Elizabethsdad
Posts: 1158
Joined: 15 Jan 2011, 7:09pm

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by Elizabethsdad »

I have a pair of bags from Basil. A double set that I leave permanently on the bike. The fixings are simple enough but also fiddly enough that they are unlikely to be just lifted from the rack. The bags are single compartment which I just drop my stuff into - usually in a pair of Co-Op bag for life carrier bags.
Tonyf33
Posts: 3926
Joined: 17 Nov 2007, 3:31pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by Tonyf33 »

I've being using a set of 'Pro-Action' panniers for well over a decade. eventually the side seam on one started to split but I sewed it up with an industrial yeast bag inside & that has kept it going for another 2 years so far. The metal hooks are solid as a rock and affix to a std rack really well, the plastic clips for securing the flap work as well as they ever did, the extension drawstring is spot on, the zips on the back & side pocket work perfectly.. I paid I think £12 for them, they are approx 35l-40l the pair, for me at least they've being one of the best cycling bargains ever. :D

I now also use a Halfords 'bike hut' pannier bag on one side as it's got a flat base and seem much bigger overall(despite quoted 42L capacity), I can fit my 18.4" laptop in it easily for when I'm visiting the folks. unloaded however it's too floppy and the base does go a little too near the spokes though has never caught once. until I wrapped some electrical tape on the rack it would fly off with even a small knock of the heel but that's not an issue now and at least it's easy to take off at the shops to load up in store. It also has a waterproof cover hidden in a zipped base compartment.
Bought them new off ebay for £16 posted, they were £40 I think in store at the time, a few reviews suggest these are rubbish, some suggest very good, aside from the floppy nature unpacked I'd say my review would very good (Mine are dark grey not the newer light grey type)
monkeytennis
Posts: 39
Joined: 11 Sep 2013, 7:54pm

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by monkeytennis »

I use a set of panniers I made out of ex-army respirator bags and some grim-lok 's to attach them. Water proof and work really well and cost around £16.
User avatar
CREPELLO
Posts: 5558
Joined: 29 Nov 2008, 12:55am

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by CREPELLO »

I found some bargain panniers in the Planet X sale https://www.planetx.co.uk/c/q/accessori ... nd-touring.
Thought I'd grab a pair at £15. Not heard of the name Cordo before. It's an off shoot of Agu. There are also some very good looking Agu bags there, but too good and more than I want to spend on utility bags.

Anyway, first I saw these ones https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BACOCRDCQ ... annier-bag ImageDifficult to tell how good they were, but they seemed to be made (partly) of these same vinyl coated type fabric that Ortliebs are made of. I wasn't sure of the rack fixing arrangement, but thought I'd take the risk. I can surely adapt any short coming (or so I thought). They are actually a nice beige colour, rather than white.

Sale fever got the better of me though, when I saw these bags in cotton duck https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BACOMECQC ... annier-bagImage
Both sets have a locking mechanism, which I thought was a useful feature if I did leave the panniers on the bike for a period.

Not quite knowing what I was buying, I decided to buy both sets for £30. I reasoned I could always sell the less preffered set.

Having received them, I was initially struck by how well made they were. Both styles were made of quality heavy weight material. The cotton bags are made of the same material as Carradice Super C's - got to be good. They are both a bit heavy as a result, but this is partly because of the so called quick release mechanism, which require a seperate frame that is screwed onto the pannier rack. Both bag types are well sized (17-19L per bag), but not too big.

Unfortunately, both bag types have issues for me, which I can't overcome, or I just don't like :(

The main difficulty I had was the damn anti sway catch is not a good design at all. It's too clever by half, relying on a cam design to lock the catch in place. But it won't tighten up well and swivels away from the correct position. It's also quite flexible, which isn't good for an anti sway device. It tended to release grip from the carrier stay. Both bags ASC's behaved slightly differently, even though it was the same catch! Mounted on a Tubus Cargo they were not usuable at all. The bags are a bit flexible and if the catch is not mounted centrally, the bags flex too much and the catch looses grip.

I could get the catch on the Melbourne bags to stay solid on the Minoura rack on my daily bike, but then I realised something I'd not accounted for when in sale fever. The bags are long AND square. Heal clearance wasn't there - damn. I guess Dutch roadsters have longer chain stays than 1980's UK tourers :roll:

The other bags called CDR had there own issues, but the anti sway catch not working really didn't do them any favours. The lid arrangement is very idiosyncratic and without a load, they don't hold shape well at all. They are tapered slightly for heal clearance though, but not much.

If Cordo could come up with an anti sway catch that gripped and (even better) behaved as a quick release, they would be a decent design. Difficult to explain, but because of the top quick release handle/hooks/plate, the bags have to be dropped in from above and not slotted in side ways, where the ASC's might just grab the stays, locating the ASC's was a real fiddle. I guess I could have zip tied them in place.
Anyway, I must be mad (I am), because I've decided there is a principle of 3rd time lucky, so I've bought 2 of these https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BACOVASIN ... annier-bag
Well, they're only £12, 34 litres in grey/red. I can sell the other bags, can't I? :lol:

What I do know is that the rack fittings are different (basic Rixen Kaul). The ASC's may be the same, but as I can mount the bags side ways, locating the ASC should be easier. Heal clearance won't be any issue. If the materials and construction the same as the other bags, I'll be pleased. I'm just wondering how I missed them the first time around, especially as there are cheaper.

I'm telling you all this so that someone can have a bargain without making the same daft mistakes I've made. Thankyou :oops:
BTW, Planet X seems to be post free (via Yodel) at the moment.
Slowroad
Posts: 830
Joined: 28 Jun 2008, 9:58pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by Slowroad »

I've been using a pair of Lidl panniers for about 5 years - showing signs of wear but still functioning very well. Had to replace the screws which fixed the bar on with nuts and bolts, not difficult. The hooks they hang off would splay outwards if I didn't have a short bungee pulling them together. They carry gardening equipment and shopping but I wouldn't quite trust them with my touring kit! But excellent value at £11 each.
I hope Lidl still sell them!
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin
pete75
Posts: 13736
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by pete75 »

Super C - just last and last.
User avatar
CREPELLO
Posts: 5558
Joined: 29 Nov 2008, 12:55am

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by CREPELLO »

pete75 wrote:Super C - just last and last.
Do they stay on the bike when it's locked up? I've got Super C's for the tourer. Even though I live in a fairly low crime area, I couldn't bring myself to leave them on the bike, unless they were permanently fixed. The QR zip tie anti sway device I fixed on the SJS bags was fine for what they were (locking them semi permanently), but I'd want something more substantial to make a secure fastening for quality panniers.

So is it better to use nice quality panniers, which require removing when the bike's locked up, or ratty panniers left permanently on that no one would want to nick? Preferably ones which are highly functional, without the nickability.
pete75
Posts: 13736
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by pete75 »

TBH I rarely lock my bike. Haven't lost any panniers yet.
MikeF
Posts: 4008
Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by MikeF »

Well I have the sjs cheap panniers. I usually just use the right one clipping to whatever bike I use. At the current price of £10 there's little to complain about in my view.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master
User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16986
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by mjr »

Slowroad wrote:I've been using a pair of Lidl panniers for about 5 years - showing signs of wear but still functioning very well. Had to replace the screws which fixed the bar on with nuts and bolts, not difficult. The hooks they hang off would splay outwards if I didn't have a short bungee pulling them together. They carry gardening equipment and shopping but I wouldn't quite trust them with my touring kit! But excellent value at £11 each.
I hope Lidl still sell them!

Nope :-( I'm using a similar vintage Lidl triple pannier and I've started to destroy it just this winter. I'll try a repair (it's the stitching that's failing) but recent Lidl cycling offers seem more racey and less practical, with no tough panniers.

They've seen good service. Only pannier used more here has been a Basil single pannier that was over twice the price. That's also good, but fits better on a rack with dogleg.
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.
Rhodrich
Posts: 180
Joined: 10 Jul 2012, 11:17am
Location: Thames Ditton, Surrey

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by Rhodrich »

I have a pair of prehistoric Karrimor panniers that I've had for donkey's years, much like these:
Image

The attachment is via hooks and bungi cords which don't work very well, the material they're made of lost any resemblence of waterproofing many years ago, and they have no real redeeming features.

However, the fact that they're worthless means that I can leave them attached to the bike without any worries, and it's surprising quite how much they will hold. I'll be keeping them for a while longer yet......
Eammno
Posts: 185
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 11:11am

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by Eammno »

I've been using the right hand side of a pair of Pro-Action panniers daily for well over ten years, at which point I've stopped trying to repair it, and am now using the left hand side.
The reason I've finally retired it is the fabric has delaminated, and the holes in the bottom have become big enough to loose stuff (like spare AA batteries) through. I've been surprised it's not been the top clips that failed as they've been re-bent numerous times after being overloaded with shopping.
SleepyJoe
Posts: 152
Joined: 30 Sep 2010, 12:16pm
Location: North Devon

Re: Utility Pannier Bags

Post by SleepyJoe »

I have gone down a similar road as Monkeytennis and modified an ex-army webbing haversack - heavy duty duck cotton about A4 size and permanently bolted to my rack. Waterproof ish, robust and cheap (about £6 each). Just needed some bent metal hooks and coroplastic liner. Smaller shoulder bags are also available as handlebar/saddle bags.
Mark
Post Reply