Touring - Recommendations for front panniers?
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03-25-12, 12:43 PM
I went on a tour last year in which I was the only member of my group without front bags/rack. I plan on doing more touring in the future, and think I should start looking into them. Are there any bags (I don't need top of the line, as long as they hold stuff) and a rack that I could get for maybe $50-60 total?
03-25-12, 12:51 PM
check Goodwill and other charity shops there may be real bargains there..
03-25-12, 01:41 PM
Jannd (http://www.jandd.com/search_results.asp?txtsearchParamCat=3&iLevel=2&subcat=13) runs factory seconds on their racks. You can get a front rack for ~$45 when they have them, full price for a new one is ~$60. I run their Expedition racks and have been very satisfied with the quality. FWIW I bought seconds and I can't see anything seconds about them. Finding both bags and racks for your price range is going to be difficult unless you run across someone selling a used set for cheap. I would buy the rack then look for used bags.
Unfortunately or maybe fortunately , you get what you pay for with racks and panniers (up to a point). I used a set of Nashbar front panniers for a couple of years, and they did the job. One trip was 3700 miles across the US. They had some issues, but for limited use they would work OK. They are relatively inexpensive, and with some minor modifications are quite serviceable. I have since "upgraded" my front panniers for touring, but have used the Nashbars for the last 4 years when I need to increase my grocery hauling capacity.
Is your bike set up to take a front rack? I've found that mounting a front rack is more challenging than a rear rack, even on "touring" bikes.
03-25-12, 03:19 PM
If you've got the touring bug, be careful about skimping too much. $200 should get you a reliable rack and nice bags. If this is to balance the load, that's good. If to carry more gear or look like others, maybe not so good. After all, you've already completed a tour with it all on the rear. Was there a problem?
I once went touring with 4 panniers full of stuff. When I got to the start point, realized I'd left the front rack off the bike. I managed to move most everything to the rear. Had no handling problems, tho I still preferred a more balanced load.
Since switching to a bent, I've learned to pack with two panniers and a neat rack pack. Without missing anything I really need. Did this by
moving to a single walled tent and eliminating most of the kitchen. I could restock the kitchen if need be, but then the rack pack would not be quite so neat.
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