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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-18-07, 07:32 PM   #1
bikeutah
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panniers...any suggestions

So I am in the market for a pair of panniers and need some advice and direction. I will be using them mainly for commuting and occasionally for short trips with my better half. For commuting, I will need to bring a change of clothes and my work stuff (laptop, notepad, etc). I have looked around on the 'net and find I am more confused about panniers than I was about choosing a bike.

-Mike
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Old 04-18-07, 07:33 PM   #2
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panniers...any suggestions

Posted this in the General Cycling forum, but thought I would also post it hear.

I am in the market for a pair of panniers and need some advice and direction. I will be using them mainly for commuting and occasionally for short trips with my better half. For commuting, I will need to bring a change of clothes and my work stuff (laptop, notepad, etc). I have looked around on the 'net and find I am more confused about panniers than I was about choosing a bike.

-Mike
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Old 04-18-07, 07:42 PM   #3
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http://www.arkel-od.com/

These folks make awesome bags, I purchased their "Tailrider" and Map case and their construction and attention to detail are fantastic. Highly recommended and their cost are quite reasonable.
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Old 04-18-07, 07:46 PM   #4
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I got the $60 combo rack and panniers from Nasbar; they're working out fine. A days clothes and lunch fit in one side.
http://www.nashbar.com/profile_combo.cfm?combo=24024

They also have a front rack with panniers for $25
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Old 04-18-07, 07:52 PM   #5
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Visit the Arkel website and don't hesitate to call them! They are very nice and helped me choose a very nice "all-purpose" bag aptly named the Utlity Basket. Well built, great service ans the mounting system is GREAT!!! Bag never slips! Even when heavily loaded. I will buy from them again! (No, I don't work for them!)
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Old 04-18-07, 07:57 PM   #6
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Arkel, Inertia Designs, and Axiom all make some nice panniers. I know you can get Inertia designs stuff through Hawley, which is a wholesaler to many bike shops.

Inertia makes a nice laptop padded business pannier


I use the campus panniers, which do the job just fine.
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Old 04-18-07, 08:00 PM   #7
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I have been using a Jandd commuting pannier for going to work and a pair of their grocery bag panniers for shopping. Well made and very durable. The commuting pannier will hold clothes in one pocket and lunch in another. They also have a briefcase pannier and a commuter garment pannier. More expensive than Nashbar, but better made. Not so pricey as Arkel.
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Old 04-18-07, 08:18 PM   #8
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Check out Ortlieb, Arkel, and my favorite for your load is not a bicycle pannier proper but a courier bag that Osprey makes the Torque. Add a few carribeaners and it is the best laptop/clothes/etc. bag out, IMO
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Old 04-18-07, 09:09 PM   #9
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Wow and wow! I feel like a kid in a candy store. Those Arkel bags are awesome. Thanks for all your quick responses.
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Old 04-18-07, 11:46 PM   #10
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I'm very pleased with my Carradice panniers.
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Old 04-19-07, 12:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeutah
Wow and wow! I feel like a kid in a candy store. Those Arkel bags are awesome. Thanks for all your quick responses.
Yep, Arkel have been known to make people feel like that...
Check out their Commuter or Briefcase. I think you need not look any further.
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Old 04-19-07, 06:54 AM   #12
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It seems to me that most panniers are dark colored. Who makes them in bright, visible colors?
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Old 04-19-07, 07:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldenh
It seems to me that most panniers are dark colored. Who makes them in bright, visible colors?
These Nasbar bags come in bright yellow and are on sale for $25. They also have free shipping right now... can't beat it.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...%3A%20Panniers
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Old 04-19-07, 07:01 AM   #14
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Try this laptop, have an monitor, mouse, usb keyboard at work.
http://www.samsung.com/uk/products/m...q1_v000suk.asp
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Old 04-19-07, 07:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeutah
I will need to bring a change of clothes and my work stuff (laptop, notepad, etc).
If you want to take work clothes with you, the absolute best pannier is the Two Wheel Gear commuter bag. If it weren't for this bag, I wouldn't be able to commute. It's not constructed quite as nicely as the Jandd bag, but, on the other hand, I can get two suits to the office no problem, and there's plenty of space for other stuff. I carry dress shoes and laptop, and an occasional file or two.

This is the only bag that will get your clothes to work without wrinkles, and it's designed to work on bikes with any size chainstay; I don't hit my heel even when riding my MTB while wearing snow boots.
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Old 04-19-07, 09:19 AM   #16
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I use my Arkel T42's for commuting and recreational riding, also were excelleng when took my bike car camping last year for carrying food, rain gear etc.. for the family day rides

they are the best things since sliced bread

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Old 04-19-07, 10:10 AM   #17
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I bought a pair of cheap Nashbar ATB bags for $25 or so 3 years ago. I really only use the left one. It's getting a bit beat up these days but it still functions OK. In another 3 years I may give up and use the right one instead for another 6 years.

I do use the right one maybe 3 or 4 times a year when I have extra crud to carry. But it still looks like new.

If I were touring, I'd think about some high end waterproof ones. For commuting, if it's gonna rain, I just shove my stuff into a plastic grocery sack.
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Old 04-19-07, 11:32 AM   #18
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Useful features in a commuter pannier:
Quick-release, locking mount rather then hook and elastic for rapid and secure mounting.
A good, lightweight stiffening board on the back and base.
Tough, heavy duty fabric. Lightweight fabric wears rapidly and flaps in the wind.
Heel cutout profile for more forward mounting without clipping the bag when pedalling.
Large rear reflective patch.
External pocket.
Flap-top designs can be more easily overloaded compared to zip or rolltop designs esp if they have an expanding collar like Carradice Super-C. Useful for large, light items such as bread and 8-packs of toilet roll.
Flap tops are quick to dive into for stowing or retrieving waterproofs. You dont even need to open the bag.
I prefer few zips and compartments but others may prefer them.
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Old 04-19-07, 01:08 PM   #19
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Here's a newbie question:

If I get the rak n bak messenger/pannier combo (http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...nier+Type.aspx ), but only one of them and put them on one side of my rack when I ride, will it screw up my balance? Will I end up riding in circles?
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Old 04-19-07, 01:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakedsushi
Here's a newbie question:

If I get the rak n bak messenger/pannier combo (http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...nier+Type.aspx ), but only one of them and put them on one side of my rack when I ride, will it screw up my balance? Will I end up riding in circles?
Not badly. You notice it most when you are trying to get on and off your bike. Once you are moving you won't notice much of a change to your center of balance. Be careful bombing around sharp curves on steep descents, but in general you'll be fine.
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Old 04-19-07, 01:53 PM   #21
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I recommend Wayne at the Touring Store and the Lone Peak brand of panniers (made in Utah!). I have matching pairs of the P-500 and P-100. I have been using the panniers for over a year and have been very happy; plus I really like the red color!
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Old 04-19-07, 02:33 PM   #22
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6 months ago I retired the Timbuk 2 messenger bag and bought the Arkel "Commuter"

6 months later, two thumbs up. I will not go back. I love it. I'm so happy to have the weight off my back, It carries my laptop really well (when I need to), has plenty of room for clothes, easy on and off the bike, and built really well in Canada.

I hereby endorse the Arkel Commuter
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Old 04-19-07, 02:57 PM   #23
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After toting one of these rear panniers into a couple of meetings recently I've begun coveting this thing, cheaper than arkel briefcase lists at, at least (haven't looked to see what the arkel briefcase actually sells for though)
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Old 04-19-07, 08:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnamb
I'm very pleased with my Carradice panniers.
The Carradice Bike Bureau seems really nice. I am a little concerned about how it will fit on my bike, more specifically will my heel clip up as I pedal. My basic prob is that the LBS cater more to MTB riders and have a very limited selection of bags for me to see and feel.
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Old 04-19-07, 08:39 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DevLaVaca
If you want to take work clothes with you, the absolute best pannier is the Two Wheel Gear commuter bag. If it weren't for this bag, I wouldn't be able to commute. It's not constructed quite as nicely as the Jandd bag, but, on the other hand, I can get two suits to the office no problem, and there's plenty of space for other stuff. I carry dress shoes and laptop, and an occasional file or two.
Does your laptop and files fit snuggly or do they have a tendency to move around?
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