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Old 09-02-05, 03:04 PM   #1
Don Gwinn
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Heels hit Nashbar panniers--suggest another?

I ride a large OCR2 and wear size 13-14 shoes depending on brand. I use toe clips, and I realize that puts my feet a bit further back on the pedals, but it never occurred to me to wonder if panniers would fit without my heels striking them.

Well, they don't. Fit without getting smacked, that is. I got the $24.99 set from Nashbar to see if I liked the idea, and I was impressed with how nicely they mounted to my Pyramid rack, but I can't stop hitting 'em.

I usually ride in a pair of cross trainers with a very big, wide sole at the heel, and since I just brush the panniers it probably wouldn't happen if I wore cycling shoes and/or used clipless--but I don't want to do that right at the moment as I'm still learning to pedal with my feet attached to the bike and I like being able to hop on in street shoes and go.

Are there big differences in panniers? Will some mount further back, or not extend so far forward, or am I stuck? It's not a huge deal, but it's disappointing. I was looking forward to getting some stuff off my back.
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Old 09-02-05, 03:15 PM   #2
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Hi Don-

Can you set them a little further back? I have smallish feet for a six footer, and my heels still hit my grocery bag panniers, until I moved the panniers back a bit. I'm not even aware anymore that they sit back a bit.
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Old 09-02-05, 03:21 PM   #3
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I have a grocery pannier and I was having the same problem, although I don't have large feet, I think it has to do more with the geometry of my bike.

I fixed it by sliding the pannier as far back on the rack as possible and placing a stop made of a small piece of old inner tube covered by a wrap of black plastic tape in front of the front-most pannier clip to keep it from sliding forward. This has eliminated the problem for me.

If you need more than a smidge of extra clearance, though, that might not be enough for you. I know there are extra-long racks available; one of those, or just a different brand of rack--you might measure yours and compare the dimensions with some others--might give you the necessary space.
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Old 09-02-05, 04:23 PM   #4
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My heels hit the pannier when I first put a rack on my mountain bike, and then I realized the rack had extendable support posts and when I raised it an inch or so and made the seat tube connectors as long as possible, it fixed the problem. I also pushed the panner towards the back and wrapped a little bead of duct tape around the rack in front of the front pannier clip, to stop the pannier sliding forward (EDIT: similar to what Primaryreality did). You could also try wrapping a short bungee cord around the pannier, clipped to the fore and aft rack supports, to squeeze it a bit. I have to do that on my road bike.
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Old 09-03-05, 04:08 AM   #5
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Look for panniers with a heel cutout.
My carradice panniers have the cutouts and a rail for fitting the mounting hooks in any position. You can slide the mounts forward to position the bag more to the rear.
You can also get racks which extend a bit further back.
A heavily loaded pannier mounted far to the rear can make the bike rear-heavy.
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Old 09-03-05, 05:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Gwinn
I ride a large OCR2 and wear size 13-14 shoes depending on brand. I use toe clips, and I realize that puts my feet a bit further back on the pedals, but it never occurred to me to wonder if panniers would fit without my heels striking them.

Well, they don't. Fit without getting smacked, that is. I got the $24.99 set from Nashbar to see if I liked the idea, and I was impressed with how nicely they mounted to my Pyramid rack, but I can't stop hitting 'em.

I usually ride in a pair of cross trainers with a very big, wide sole at the heel, and since I just brush the panniers it probably wouldn't happen if I wore cycling shoes and/or used clipless--but I don't want to do that right at the moment as I'm still learning to pedal with my feet attached to the bike and I like being able to hop on in street shoes and go.

Are there big differences in panniers? Will some mount further back, or not extend so far forward, or am I stuck? It's not a huge deal, but it's disappointing. I was looking forward to getting some stuff off my back.
Hey Don...
I too am blessed with Skis for feet... 13.5-14.0 inches depends on the shoes. My bike shoes are 13.5 (48's I believe) I was going to get the Arkel Bug (backpack) Pannier, BUT, my heel was hitting it as I tried it on at the bike shop.
Now there is a solution, it would fit if I bought a LONGER rear rack, such as Jandd Expediton Rack. The price knocked that idea outta my head! I think they wanted 90.00 for the rack.
I have an old OLD Blackburn Expedition rack, (before they even called it an Expedition Rack LOL), You might do a search on eBay or somewhere for Kirtland Panniers. They don't make them anymore, but they will fit. Here is a photo of mine below...
Good Luck
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Old 09-03-05, 05:57 AM   #7
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Ortlieb panniers with the QL2 mounting system (such as the Backroller Plus I have) have a neat feature. You can rotate the mount relative to the rack. This allows you to angle the pannier back somewhat for heel clearance. That's the way I use them on my Soma Double Cross, which has chainstays shorter than a true touring bike.
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Old 09-03-05, 07:56 AM   #8
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For get replacing the panniers. Get a new bike. A new Surly LHT frame comes to mind...
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Old 09-03-05, 05:18 PM   #9
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This is where a touring frame is real handy. I know the trek 520 is 5cm longer then their road bikes. That moves the Panniers 5cm back from a standard bike. Which is 2.54cm per inch show that means almost 2 inches more room.
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Old 09-04-05, 12:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelnel
Ortlieb panniers with the QL2 mounting system (such as the Backroller Plus I have) have a neat feature. You can rotate the mount relative to the rack. This allows you to angle the pannier back somewhat for heel clearance. That's the way I use them on my Soma Double Cross, which has chainstays shorter than a true touring bike.
I second that. Ortliebs are great panniers in every way.
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Old 09-04-05, 06:17 PM   #11
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JandD makes a rear rack called the Expedition, i think. This rack is extra-long, longer than a typical rack and allows you to set back your panniers.

JandD Expedition Rack
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Old 09-04-05, 07:00 PM   #12
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Here's another vote for the Jannd Expedition rack,
(prevents heel strikes with my size 13's really well)
and a photo of my trail bike and rack:



Just like the earlier posts mentioned, I also rigged some stops to move the
pannier-clips as far aft as possible without sliding off the rack frame.
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Old 09-04-05, 10:26 PM   #13
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Try front lowriders. I've used them to commute for ages and prefer them to rear bags. The front wheel is stronger and the front bags don't adversely affect the handling of the bike. Actually improves it a bit.
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Old 09-06-05, 04:10 PM   #14
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For get replacing the panniers. Get a new bike. A new Surly LHT frame comes to mind...
You're all heart, aren't you?

I ended up finding a way to push them back that was so simple I can't believe I even asked. For some reason I thought moving them from their ultra-tight mounting would make them sloppy and loose, but all I did was push the panniers back about two inches and put the velcro around the crossbar there. Then I stuck the front edge of the pannier (which is backed by a hard piece of plastic) through the upright bars holding up the rack, which keeps them not only back but also too far inside to hit my heels. I did 31 miles with the panniers on yesterday, no problem. Thanks guys!

(Actually, the front bag idea sounds interesting. Maybe later.)
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