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Old 06-30-07, 05:17 PM   #1
karmantra
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80s Kirtland Panniers--desirable/collectible?

Picked up some mid-80s or earlier unused Kirtland panniers--complete set in yellow--front panniers, rear panniers, big handlebar bag with mount and rear rack bag. A new set of Kelly Green Kirtland front panniers and handlebar bag was also included, as well as a used set of front & rear purple Madden pannier bags. Are the Kirtlands desirable for those collectors/tourer who ride 80s touring bikes, or are they too 'old-school' to be considered for today's tourist? Almost hate to use them because they look so pretty!
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Old 06-30-07, 05:22 PM   #2
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I really like the old stuff. I still have a set of old Cannondale rear panniers. I did end up buying a small set of Arkel front panniers but I always carry my Cannondales. Kirtland made some nice bags back then. Good find!
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Old 06-30-07, 06:00 PM   #3
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I'm nostalgically nuts for these. My first set of panniers was a set of blue Kirtland Tour Paks. I still have the handle-bar bag from that set, but it has seen many a mile as I used it for commuting for years. I've picked up some blue, red, yellow and green ones in the last few years, but sold them off (except the blue) as I couldn't figure out why I needed to have them. Found and sold some vintage Cannondales and others and they seem to do OK so I think there is a bit of a market out there.

So you have a nice set of yellow? ... hmmm ...

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Old 06-30-07, 07:11 PM   #4
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I have Kirtland panniers and handlebar bags and I still use them. In all the years, I've never found anything I like as much. They were beautifully made and highly functional. Don't consider them museum pieces. Use these for a while and you'll find the "modern" products to be highly annoying.
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Old 07-01-07, 06:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karmantra
Picked up some mid-80s or earlier unused Kirtland panniers--complete set in yellow--front panniers, rear panniers, big handlebar bag with mount and rear rack bag. A new set of Kelly Green Kirtland front panniers and handlebar bag was also included, as well as a used set of front & rear purple Madden pannier bags. Are the Kirtlands desirable for those collectors/tourer who ride 80s touring bikes, or are they too 'old-school' to be considered for today's tourist? Almost hate to use them because they look so pretty!
I think you did real well. Maddens are still great panniers, and I have a set of Kirtland large wedges (his n hers) that are uniquely functional, IMHO. Maybe I'd like a Carradice wedge better, but I dunno!

I don't really tour or collect bags, so I won't comment on actual collectibility. But all those bags should be durable, functional, and useful, and hence desirable. As far as Ebay ads that suitably highlight those attributes, you take it from here!

Have you also inquired on the Touring forum?

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Old 07-01-07, 10:28 AM   #6
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[

Have you also inquired on the Touring forum?

Road Fan[/QUOTE]
No I haven't put this on the touring forum, but I'm tempted to keep the Kirtlands & maybe sell the Maddens--that yellow set of Kirtlands on my burgundy '85 Trek 720 ought to look pretty, & period correct as well!
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Old 07-01-07, 11:12 AM   #7
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picked these up yesterday on CraigList for $ 10 or both, still haven't figured how to put them on m,y mtb/commuter, any help would be appreciated
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Old 07-01-07, 11:40 AM   #8
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picked these up yesterday on CraigList for $ 10 or both, still haven't figured how to put them on m,y mtb/commuter, any help would be appreciated
I am in the same boat. I have one exactly the same as the red one in your photo, and for the life of me I still haven't figured out how to mount it onto the handlebars on ANY of my bikes. From what I can deduct, the length and rise of stem used seems to be the determining factor. Anyone else got any ideas?
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Old 07-01-07, 12:19 PM   #9
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yes, I got it to fit on my road bike, but will not fit properly on my mtb which does have some rise to it
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Old 10-23-11, 09:06 AM   #10
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[4 years later...] I ::think:: the mount for handlebar bags worked on old style bikes-but would have to be modified/bent for newer.
I bought a pair of drk blue Kirtland rear panniers back in the early 80's and NEVER used them. Finally christened them on a US Canada trip. The water proofing layer instantly flaked off...which I expected...BUT when i got home, the inside edges of the fabric where two pieces had come together and been sewn had unraveled beyond the joining seam...leaving open splits in tops of panniers. Sad. Thinking of ways to salvage .....
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Old 10-23-11, 09:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
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picked these up yesterday on CraigList for $ 10 or both, still haven't figured how to put them on m,y mtb/commuter, any help would be appreciated
I have that exact same bag! (+ a pair of kirtland panniers) that came with my garage sale Trek 620. I love the hbar bag, and its alway attached to the 620.
.
I know how it attaches - and it wont fit on most mtb stems. I can show you a pic...
.
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Old 10-23-11, 09:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antipodes View Post
I am in the same boat. I have one exactly the same as the red one in your photo, and for the life of me I still haven't figured out how to mount it onto the handlebars on ANY of my bikes. From what I can deduct, the length and rise of stem used seems to be the determining factor. Anyone else got any ideas?
When we sold Kirtland decades ago there was a fastenerless adaptor that allowed attachment and support of the bag while holing it proud of the bars, Velo Orange I think had a run made up. Very useful for a non permanent solution.

I forgot about the Kirtland mount system for the later bags, that was pretty well thought out. for its time, the bungee wore out though, and would wear the paint.

Last edited by repechage; 10-23-11 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 10-23-11, 10:16 AM   #13
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I know how it attaches - and it wont fit on most mtb stems. I can show you a pic...
.
OK, here it is.
.
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Old 10-23-11, 05:14 PM   #14
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I like Kirtland bags to use. The material colors, especially the green and yellow, scream late 70's & early 80's. My yellow set have been beaten unto a near pulp. I'd love to replace them. OR, find bags to match the lovely green handlebar bag that I recently brought out to use.

They aren't really heavy duty, but I simply love the appeal (to me) of them.

Congrats!
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Old 10-23-11, 06:35 PM   #15
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picked these up yesterday on CraigList for $ 10 or both, still haven't figured how to put them on m,y mtb/commuter, any help would be appreciated
Those have a following. If you can't figure out how get them on you bike, toss 'em up on eBay - they'll go for $30-$45 each.
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Old 09-21-14, 06:07 AM   #16
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Love my Kirtlands. Have a full set. Regularly only use the front bag. It's from 1982 on my Trek mountain bike. Trek's original MB.
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Old 09-21-14, 01:31 PM   #17
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I sold them at my bike shop in the early 80's. Excellent quality-heavy material and great stitching. Hard to find something built as well today(you can say that about lots of things, too.)
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Old 09-21-14, 01:44 PM   #18
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Weren't Kirtlands a copy of Touring Cyclist bags? I have some small Kirtlands. Nice.
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Old 09-21-14, 02:06 PM   #19
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I sold them at my bike shop in the early 80's. Excellent quality-heavy material and great stitching. Hard to find something built as well today(you can say that about lots of things, too.)
Jack -

Recommend giving the Lone Peak bags a look. I bought a complete set (LP-10, Yellow/Black) and am impressed with quality and strength of the materials. TheTouringStore.com is main seller. Ask for Wayne@TheTouringStore.com

Example:


BTW; The Lone Peaks are 100% made in The U.S.A. which was important to my buying decision.

Hope that helps
/K
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Old 09-21-14, 03:08 PM   #20
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Sun UV breaks down nylon fibers over time . so if it was left inside in a box, all this time, it's better.
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Old 09-21-14, 06:06 PM   #21
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Back in 2007 when this thread first started I would have said, NO, they have no collectible value. But fast forward to 2014 and I'd say YES, they have collectible value if they're in 9/10 condition or better.
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Old 09-22-14, 10:11 AM   #22
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My comment dates from 2011, but holds true. I love these bags. And yellow are fabulous.

This is my 1971 TDF in a photo taken in 1981.



A replacement yellow handlebar bag came later. Those saddle bags were already rather beat. The green bar bag was rather new when the photo was taken.

The rubberized waterproofing coating on the insides of these tend to die. In my oldest sets, I've just scrubbed 'em clean inside. If you want, you can re-spray waterproofing inside, but I'm not doing a lot of bad weather riding. I have a purple set that is newer if I need waterproof.

Another point is that the fastening system evolved during their production life. You may like some variations more than others.

YMMV.
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Old 11-02-15, 01:08 AM   #23
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Just saw your thread. I have a set of blue (faded) front and rear Kirtlands purchased in '80 (used to have the sleeping bag bag and the handlebar bag). They've traveled with me through 9 western states in 1980 and several tours in Japan where I now live. Won't leave home withou 'em. Walked away from 43 years of cycling, now putt around on a Yamaha YBR 125 with my wife. Just finished welding custom front and rear racks to receive my Kirtlands. Time for their second life. Happy Tailwinds!
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Old 11-02-15, 12:12 PM   #24
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Just saw your thread. I have a set of blue (faded) front and rear Kirtlands purchased in '80 (used to have the sleeping bag bag and the handlebar bag). They've traveled with me through 9 western states in 1980 and several tours in Japan where I now live. Won't leave home withou 'em. Walked away from 43 years of cycling, now putt around on a Yamaha YBR 125 with my wife. Just finished welding custom front and rear racks to receive my Kirtlands. Time for their second life. Happy Tailwinds!
You had to have dug deep to find this zombie thread for your very first posting!

Congrats on the successful shift over to another steed with two wheels, and glad your Kirtlands are coming along.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 11-02-15, 09:07 PM   #25
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Can't take any credit for the "zombie thread." Did and internet search <1980 Kirtland panniers> and first up came back [h=3]80s Kirtland Panniers--desirable/collectible?
I posted not with a little trepidation ... thought for sure I'd hear back from the purists about the folly for choosing to fork the hurricane deck of a[/h]motorbike instead of a pedal powered machine. But the scales with enjoyment on one side and fatigue on the other began to tip quite significantly to the fatigue side. Always knew and worried about the day I'd have to hang up my cleats. Wondered what I'd do for a pleasant breeze in my face and all the countless joys of cycling. Then the hair-brained idea of a small motorcycle that would maintain my cycling experience as close as possible came into the velodrome of my mind. So glad now in retrospect that my two-wheeled venture began with cycling and not the other way 'round! There IS life after cycling!
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