Pannier question

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The fat commuter
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Pannier question

Postby The fat commuter » 23 Apr 2015, 10:57pm

Just got a second pannier for my commuting bike.

One pannier has my work clothes and lunch/tea in it. The second pannier has my laptop and other odds and sods in it. I used to transport these items in a rucksack.

Now I thought that, as the weight of me plus the bike plus 'luggage' was the same, the bike would take the same amount of effort to propel along. However, when moving away from rest I've noticed that it takes a lot more effort to get going. Feels like the feeling that I got when towing a caravan (only done that once). Is this normal?

Elizabethsdad
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Re: Pannier question

Postby Elizabethsdad » 24 Apr 2015, 7:07am

Not that I can recall from my experience. I take it nothing is rubbing anywhere and that your tyres are pumped up and your bearings are in good condition?

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Pannier question

Postby [XAP]Bob » 24 Apr 2015, 7:15am

Possibly that your standing on the pedals, and so when you had the weight on you it was 'helping' in the down phase, but not too noticeable in the 'lift'?
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recumbentpanda
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Re: Pannier question

Postby recumbentpanda » 24 Apr 2015, 7:17am

Check panniers are not affecting the rear brake, either by pushing the cable run out of shape or actually pressing on the brake arms themselves (if it's a v- brake).

The fat commuter
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Re: Pannier question

Postby The fat commuter » 24 Apr 2015, 12:12pm

I have the panniers positioned right at the back of the pannier rack so they're quite a way from the brakes so can't see it being that. Once the bike's up to speed, it takes the same amount of effort to keep moving.

I'm wondering whether when my laptop is on the rack it is a dead weight whilst when it's on my back then it's moving with me - if you see what I mean.

danhopgood
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Re: Pannier question

Postby danhopgood » 24 Apr 2015, 12:19pm

Is it to do with you and the bike not being "at one" as you move off? If you start to accelerate the bike before your body moves, a light bike - i.e. no luggage, will accelerate faster until your body starts to move as well.

The cycling tuition I received when I was young was that you should never carry anything on your back when riding - to minimise strains. I think that holds true for cycling long distances. More recently I've also been sharing the weight on the bike - putting the weight up front on low rider panniers.

RobC
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Re: Pannier question

Postby RobC » 24 Apr 2015, 1:03pm

Isn't it logical that if you put more weight on the bike it will take more effort to get it going from standstill? Yes I know that the same weight is there if you had the weight on your back instead, but for the initial push off it does seem to make sense that an unladen bike will feel and behave in a more lively manner than a laden one.

Despite this I'm a firm fan of letting the bike bear the weight of course - tis just so much more comfortable apart from anything else.

I'm no physicist... Someone should do a proper experiment (they probably already have).

pwa
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Re: Pannier question

Postby pwa » 24 Apr 2015, 1:20pm

This discussion is as old as the hills. For what it's worth I think the weight is best carried by the bike, not slung on your shoulders making your back sweaty. Your legs push the same weight along, whichever way you do it. If you stand on the pedals, yes, with a bag on your back you can bring down more weight on the down stroke. But you also have to lift up the extra weight in the first place. But perhaps a slightly different cycling action might be required, though, relying less on a powerful out of the saddle push to get you going.

fluffybunnyuk
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Re: Pannier question

Postby fluffybunnyuk » 28 Apr 2015, 2:37pm

i have a novelty on my bike called gears. i use one lower at the rear for panniers and dont notice the difference except going up hills.
rear panniers dont seem to drag anything like front panniers do.
i think cadence is the key, stick to a steady pace, and avoid stopping.

The fat commuter
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Re: Pannier question

Postby The fat commuter » 28 Apr 2015, 5:45pm

fluffybunnyuk wrote:i have a novelty on my bike called gears. i use one lower at the rear for panniers and dont notice the difference except going up hills.
rear panniers dont seem to drag anything like front panniers do.
i think cadence is the key, stick to a steady pace, and avoid stopping.

Easier said than done. On my ride home from work there are three junctions that I have to stop at as well as ten sets of traffic lights - in the first mile. Now some of these junctions and lights I manage to get through, but I would say that I have to stop at around half of the lights. Timing my approach for the lights isn't really an option due to the density of the traffic - if I slow down, a car will jump in front of me and just cause me to slow down even more.

I just found it strange when I swapped from a rucksack for my laptop to panniers the difference in the feel of the bike - how much more effort was needed to be put in to get up to speed. The overall weight of the bike plus me plus cargo is roughly the same, just located differently.

Now then, please tell me more about these 'gears' that you mention.

maxcherry
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Re: Pannier question

Postby maxcherry » 28 Apr 2015, 7:18pm

Your weight was centered and now it is displaced (think that's right) even though you have your body
weight at the same place, your rear has increased. As said, try a different gear selection also pump up
your rear tyre higher (I found that helped) then it is just a case of getting used to the change.

:)
Honestly chaps, I'm a female!

Postboxer
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Re: Pannier question

Postby Postboxer » 28 Apr 2015, 9:52pm

Maybe you rock the bike side to side when setting off? With your body maintaining more of a straight line, with the weight on your back. Now the weight is on the bike, it's taking more effort rocking this back and forth?

botty
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Re: Pannier question

Postby botty » 29 Apr 2015, 2:03pm

Does the empty weight of the panniers exceed the empty weight of the rucksack?

Do you REALLY carry the same weight in the rucksack as the panniers? (I know I carry less on the way to work when using a rucksack than the usual panniers)


Although I agree, my commuter feels more sprightly when using a rucksack than the panniers and I don't know why :?

fluffybunnyuk
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Re: Pannier question

Postby fluffybunnyuk » 29 Apr 2015, 4:05pm

something else i thought of .. i use a touring bike which seems a bit longer than other bikes, maybe it helps with weight displacement. i know its designed to carry loads so actually is "a little wobbly" unloaded. cant say for shorter bikes.
but i do know my dynamo drags more than 20-30kg of pannier+tent weight ie 28ft in every mile roughly isnt it? so thats still not a huge amount of drag.

The fat commuter
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Re: Pannier question

Postby The fat commuter » 29 Apr 2015, 5:20pm

I think that I'm getting more used to the panniers now. After the first few days of using the bike with panniers, my knees hurt. They're getting better now but I have been doing some of the exercises that the physio recommended a few years back.

My riding style is that I tend to ride hard. I never get out of the saddle when riding, even when going uphill. When I leave the lights, I am hard on the pedals and will keep accelerating until I am travelling at a comfortable speed. I think that the panniers are making a difference to this initial acceleration - and mainly just the moving off from rest - say zero to five mph. It's similar if I'm riding at, say, 10 mph. Put on a spurt of speed and that jump from 10 to 13 (ish) isn't as instant - the bike feels much more rigid.

I may try the rucksack again for a day or two - see what it is that I prefer (or not).

Thanks for all the input.