Hey there, just bought a new 64cm Soma Es and am looking for advice on a good commuting rack/pannier combo. The guy at the LBS said that the planet bike eco w/ Ortlieb backroller classic might not leave enough room in back to prevent heel strike (i'm 6'7"/6'6").
If I decide on an Ortlieb BC how do you know that the rack will fit it? I'm thinking of putting a laptop in there - should I move them to the front? Any help appreciated!
Front is cool, but weight makes the steering sluggish...not so fun negotiating traffic. The eco rack looks short to me, and the double tubing on the rear ends suggests to me you can't hike your bags all teh way to the rear. I'd just go with a Jandd Expedition, almost 17 inches, you can get your bags pretty far back - no heel strike, no drama. And, if you bag a deer on the way home, no problem with weight capacity.
They came yesterday while I was at work, so I haven't tried them out yet. I did put them on Tilly this morning, and they are nice and roomy, and I can still use the trunkbag with them. They aren't waterproof, but I figure I can just pack things in garbage bags if it looks like it's going to rain. They have good reviews on Amazon, and for the price I couldn't pass them up.
what are you wanting to do with the rack/pannier combo?... the answer to that can change the answer quickly.
on my disc trucker out back I used a blackburn TRX-1... under $30, great rack for the price although the top mount can be finicky (they send it with two mount options)
for panniers... what/how much you plan to carry, your foot size can help decide that... for my short tour I ran with nashbar ATB panniers (great for the price especially when they go on sale) and a mixed set of no name pannier and a JandD... I have a size 13 shoe and ride in some bulky shimano SPD sandals and did find I had to put some duct tape on the rack to prevent the pannier from sliding forward which would cause heel strike.
for front rack/panniers I really dig the blackburn lowrider for the price but before I go on another I'll likely upgrade to a tubus... but you do need to remember that the front pannniers need to be fairly equally loaded, something that isn't near as important on rear panniers.