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  1. #1
    Master Procrastinator Cyclemaniac's Avatar
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    Can anyone recommend panniers?

    Hi
    Next spring I plan on commuting to school on my bike to save some gas. I have several regular sized textbooks to carry back and forth everyday and I am looking to spend up to 80 bucks on a pair of panniers to carry them. Does anyone have any recommendations?

    Note: they would be panniers for a rear rack

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Easily distracted...
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    I really like Carradice gear. The canvas Bike Bureau is a particularly good briefcase-style bag for carrying with you around school. A little bit more than $80 but all my Carradice equipment has lasted a really long time.
    Safe, efficient, and comfortable transportation.

  3. #3
    Master Procrastinator Cyclemaniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTcommuter
    I really like Carradice gear. The canvas Bike Bureau is a particularly good briefcase-style bag for carrying with you around school. A little bit more than $80 but all my Carradice equipment has lasted a really long time.
    Hey thanks for the reply! Do you know if it comes in a pair or just one bag? If it is just one, do you ever feel like you are off balance having all the weight on one side of the bike?

  4. #4
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Check out the Arkel site. Lots of good choices, and made by our neighbors to the north.
    http://www.arkel-od.com/specs.asp?fl=1&site=

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    I use my Osprey Torque bag for similar uses and love it. It's not a bike specific bag, but add a few carribeaners and it clips right on to your rack. Weight being on one side doesn't affect my ride.

    For a bike specific products check out M.E.C.'s selection of panniers. MEC has a good rep and prices.

    --A

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhchdh
    Check out the Arkel site. Lots of good choices, and made by our neighbors to the north.
    http://www.arkel-od.com/specs.asp?fl=1&site=
    I'll second the recommendation for Arkel. I use their "Utility Basket" for shopping errands, though the "Bug" may be more suited for your needs (seeing as how you can pull it off and wear it as a backpack during the day). My wife has one and loves it. Having a bag on one side does nothing for your balance once rolling, just be sure to hold onto the bike when you get off .

    Arkel makes good stuff, I imagine ours will last as long as we need them.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BikeManDan's Avatar
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    I bought an Axoim Appalachian pannier for a decent price and its a good bag. Capacity is sufficient for groceries and books and such (I mount a cardboard box on top of my rack when I need to haul a lot of groceries).
    Axiom backs their products with a lifetime guarantee too which is nice

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    I have a pair of BushWhacker panniers, specifically the YUKON at the bottom of the page http://www.bushwhackerbags.com/panniers.html

    What I like about these is they are connected, making them very easy to carry around, just throw it over your shoulder. I commute about 8-10 miles one way and will occasionally need to carry my laptop in addition to a full change of clothes, shoes, tools, etc... @2400 cubic inches they have served me well.

  9. #9
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    I'll second Axiom for a decent economy pannier which should hold up and has enough features to be useful. I have a set of Lasalles and a set of Champlains (probably overkill) originally purchased for a bike tour and now used mostly for commuting. Likes:
    - big (esp the Champlains!)
    - reasonably rugged fabric
    - pockets!
    - attachment is by u-hooks and a rotating locking tab on top (which sort of works) and decently strong bungee and hook mechanism. Not as good as the higher-end bags, but works MUCH better than the cheaper mechanism on the bags Performance sells (want a set of Performance bags, cheap ?)
    - comes with a rain cover (you WANT this!)
    - comes with a shoulder strap for carrying off the bike

    I bought my set on line at aebike Although I recall they cost a bit less in 2005!

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    + 1 for Arkel. I've been using the Commuter rear bag since it has a padded sleeve for a laptop, plenty of pockets, a handle & clips for a shoulder strap. I've loaded it with books, laptop, U-lock until it weighs 25-30 lbs and it still doesn't make any difference to the stability of my ride.
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  11. #11
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTcommuter
    I really like Carradice gear. The canvas Bike Bureau is a particularly good briefcase-style bag for carrying with you around school. A little bit more than $80 but all my Carradice equipment has lasted a really long time.
    I'm very happy with my Bike Bureau.

  12. #12
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    I chime in on the Arkels. I have the T-28s and they're perfect for my commute.
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

    --Robert Hurst

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    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    The Axiom Cartier or Kootenay should work well for you, as well as fit in your price range.

    I own the Champlains, and absolutely love them.

    Just a word to the wise though, you should pick up a pair of heavy-duty stuff sacks to place in the panns - otherwise, those sharp corners of the textbooks will wear a nice big hole in your saddlebags.

  14. #14
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    +1 again for Arkel. I have a variety of their bags and I use whatever is appropriate for the load that I have that day - T-42s and the Briefcase get the most use. Arkel products are not the lightest, but they are very durable.

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    Senior Member bbunk's Avatar
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    I have a Jandd Commuter pannier on one side and a small grocery pannier on the other. Jandd has worked great and has multiple pockets to separate stuff. It is big enough to haul my 15.4 in. laptop with room to spare in the large compartment and I can carry extra clothes or whatever in the other pannier.

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    Easily distracted...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclemaniac
    Hey thanks for the reply! Do you know if it comes in a pair or just one bag? If it is just one, do you ever feel like you are off balance having all the weight on one side of the bike?
    Comes as just one bag and looks like a shoulder bag or briefcase off the bike. Having weight on one side doesn't matter. I have to be careful leaning it but riding it is never a problem.
    Safe, efficient, and comfortable transportation.

  17. #17
    Cube-farm Boy dustinvallier's Avatar
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    I have an Arkel Bug and I love it for commuting to work. The only worry I'd have, if I were still in school, would be if it were big enough to haul all of the books.

    The Utility Basket might be a better catch-all. It would also work as a grocery pannier, and you've gotta go get food sometime, right?

  18. #18
    Master Procrastinator Cyclemaniac's Avatar
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    Thanks to all who responded! I will probably wait till Christmas is over to ensure I don't get one for a gift. The bug looks like it would suit my needs the best being able to convert into a backpack, but it is still a little pricey for me. Im also concerned with it being half pannier half backpack that it won't serve either task well. Anyone know if they work well as both functions? Also, are there any cheaper ones with the same idea as the bug that someone can verify work well?


    Also ks1g,

    Quote Originally Posted by ks1g
    (want a set of Performance bags, cheap ?)
    Could you PM me with with how much you want for them, shipping and condition etc.?
    Like I said I'll probably wait to get some but just curious.

    Thanks Again

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclemaniac
    Also, are there any cheaper ones with the same idea as the bug that someone can verify work well?
    The Osprey Torque. $80 Works very well.




  20. #20
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I am happy with the nashbar MTB panniers I just got for my birthday. AND BF got a kick-back 'cause I had the wife link thru here to e-order it. For the pair $39.95 + S/H
    This space open

  21. #21
    Senior Member Woodlark's Avatar
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    Nashbar has their MTB panniers on sale for $29.95.
    Earth is the insane asylum of the universe.

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  22. #22
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    +1 on the Arkel Bug. Just got one recently and I've been very pleased with it. It does carry a good deal of stuff -- I use it for commuting, but it could handle a goodly amount of books -- 1450 cu. in. if memory serves me right. It has a rigid back, but I have found that for short distances as a backpack, it is fairly comfortable. As a pannier, it is rock solid -- easy on and off but stays on the rack, even if you've got a bumpy ride -- their attachment system is excellent. The other thing about the Bug is that it oozes quality. The zippers, the fabric, the attention to detail on it ... it just feels like it is going to last forever. Also, for school purposes, there is a nice front pocket that would hold pens, pencils, calculators, and all kinds of stuff (holds multi-tools, maps, patch kits, inflators, and batteries for me). Also it has a holder for your helmet -- so you don't have to carry or wear it while inside, which is very nice.

  23. #23
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    The Arkel Bug has grown on me significantly. Initially I was a little put off by having less space than I was used to with my old backpack. But I found I was hauling around a bunch of junk that I didn't need anyway so I made some space and now I've got plenty of room in the Bug for my work gear plus all the lights I have to take off my bike when I park. The helmet holder is an absolutely fabulous idea. As soon as you park your bike you can slip the helmet into the holder which allows you to keep your hands free as you lock up, etc.

    It's good for short walks as a backpack but definitely not as comfortable as a true backpack with the rigid back. The one thing I wish it had was more pen loops and compartments so I added a mini-Purseket to the key ring on the interior by clipping it to a small carabiner.

    The Arkel fastener system is a bit quirky but after you've spent a couple of minutes initially adjusting it to your rack it's almost as easy as the Ortlieb system to use. Where it really shines is if you're riding over some bumpy surfaces. There is NO WAY that a properly secured Arkel pannier will come off your rack no matter what you're riding over. You'll lose your rear rack before you'll lose the pannier.

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