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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 09-26-07, 03:21 PM   #1
chipg5
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My panniers keep flying off!

I commute to work, which involves a pretty steep uphill, but on the way home it's a wonderful downhill cruise.

The problem is that the road does have some bumps, and when I hit those bumps, my back panniers tend to want to come flying off of the bike. In fact a couple of days ago one of them did just that. Fortunately to date when that has happened I've never had a car run over them or had them fly into my spokes.

The panniers I have hook over the rack by a metal hook. I've seen panniers that clip onto the rack securely, but they are very expensive.

I need to be able to take the panniers on and off, so I can't fasten them on permanently. I've tried bungies, which help somewhat in that they don't let the panniers fly off the bike, but they don't stop the hook from coming off of the rack.

I'm wondering if there are any panniers out there that clip onto the rack securely and that don't cost an arm and a leg?
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Old 09-26-07, 03:27 PM   #2
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Not sure what your price range is, but I like my Ortlieb Backroller panniers. Easy on and easy off. And very secure. It uses a strong hook system instead of a bungee cord system.
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Old 09-26-07, 03:35 PM   #3
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I had that problem, even with my nicer Jandd panniers. I always tie the handle to the rack, which is kind of like your bungees. I had some nice Novara panniers (REI) which had the clip things, I think I spend $75 on them when they were on sale. That has the release mechanism you're talking about and were pretty nice. I see a LOT of people around here with those panniers.

I can't use them anymore because I switched bikes to one that came with a heavy - duty Delta Touring rack (came with the Jandd panniers) and it's rails aren't round so the securing mechanism won't work on it. On my panniers I just really cranked down on the elastic that pulls the hook on the bottom toward those hooks on the top, and that seems to have worked pretty well... that and I try to choose my line so I don't hit the worst of the potholes, and go slowly when popping up or down curbs and such.

Good luck, let us know what solution you find!
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Old 09-26-07, 03:39 PM   #4
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Have you tried shortening the straps by tying a knot in them or something to increase the tension?
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Old 09-26-07, 03:46 PM   #5
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Can you swap out the elastic on the hook for some nylon webbing looped back to a tensioner? That is how my old Jannd units with metal top and bottom hooks do it. Once you get that bottom one tight, they stop bouncing off. (and rattling) I ride about 3 miles single track on my commute every other day.
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Old 09-26-07, 03:53 PM   #6
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whatever you do solve the problem. I almost really got zapped when my straps hooked onto a spoke. Luckily I was moving slow enough to stop almost immediately. You could get really hurt.
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Old 09-26-07, 04:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions, I'll try to tie knots in the straps to get a tighter hold. I've also used pliers to make the hooks more secure -- I've been using these panniers for at least five years now.

RIH, I'll check out the Novara panniers; the one's I've seen so far are much more expensive than that.
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Old 09-26-07, 04:06 PM   #8
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RIH, are those the Novara Safari Panniers?
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Old 09-26-07, 04:11 PM   #9
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If you panniers are good but you want a secure clip I know you can get just the clips from arkel (dang not as cheap as I thought though)
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Old 09-26-07, 04:15 PM   #10
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I had panniers like that (Sunlite??) and sold them for a set of Arkels. I use the Arkels everyday, sometimes loaded till they burst and they've only fallen off once and that was because I didn't hook them up correctly.

Check out the Arkel site as they do sell just their hook/clamp system which locks on the rack really well.

Edited to add: evblazer beat me to the punch
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Old 09-26-07, 05:35 PM   #11
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I'll definitely check out Arkel, they do look like what I need, though yeah,they're somewhat pricey...
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Old 09-26-07, 05:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evblazer View Post
If you panniers are good but you want a secure clip I know you can get just the clips from arkel (dang not as cheap as I thought though)

The kit from Arkel used to be like $25 but then they added all the plastic to "protect" your rack and the price went up. Still it is a pretty good system.
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Old 09-26-07, 07:03 PM   #13
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Options:
- Replace the whole shebang with quality panniers
- Replace just the attachment system with good clips eg. Ortlieb QR2 system
- Replace weak elastic with strong bungy cord
- Replace weak elastic with nylon webbing + tensioner (cam lock safer than friction lock) as above
- Cable ties to secure top clips to rack (there is usually a metal ring/triangle where the elastic attaches which is a good spot to use) (Makes it a hassle to remove panniers)
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Old 09-26-07, 07:09 PM   #14
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My old Cannondales use a spring with loop ends instead of bungee for the bottom hook- I copied this setup on my Wald folding baskets & both work well- I think I've only ever bounced the panniers off once...
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Old 09-26-07, 07:11 PM   #15
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I just bent my metal hooks tighter. Sometimes I bungee if I'm carrying a laptop or camera.
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Old 09-26-07, 07:12 PM   #16
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Cheap fix:

I have a pair of Sunlite panniers that somebody gave me that do the same thing. Especially if they're loaded light. Might be why they gave them to me. Anyway, what I did was cut a thickish rubberband from an old innertube for each hook.
Put the rubberband over the hook.
Put the hook on the rack.
Run the rubberband under, around, and over the bar on the rack.
Put the rubberband over the hook.

Viola, no more problem with self-detaching panniers.
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Old 09-26-07, 07:27 PM   #17
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Ortlieb replacement parts are are another route you can take.
With them you can turn almost any bag into a pannier that will never fall off.
http://www.ortliebusa.com/cartgenie/...st.asp?scat=21
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Old 09-26-07, 07:55 PM   #18
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If you want cheap and secure, replace the hooks with 3" angle brackets from your local hardware store. The steel is thin enough that you can bend it with just pliers, giving you ~2.5 inch deep hooks. Those bags aren't going anywhere.

Total cost - under a buck.
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Old 09-26-07, 08:23 PM   #19
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Tie-Wraps.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:50 AM   #20
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cccorlew, I did use pliers to tighten up the hooks, and that helped, but I'm going 30mph down this hill and even small bumps have a big impact.

the inner-tube rubber band idea sounds good, the angle brackets too. Maybe I'll try those and then ask Santa for some new panniers...

anyway, some great ideas here. Thanks!!
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Old 09-27-07, 05:54 AM   #21
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If you want cheap and secure, replace the hooks with 3" angle brackets from your local hardware store. The steel is thin enough that you can bend it with just pliers, giving you ~2.5 inch deep hooks. Those bags aren't going anywhere.

Total cost - under a buck.
How do you then attach the angle brackets to the pannier?
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Old 09-27-07, 06:02 AM   #22
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If you panniers are good but you want a secure clip I know you can get just the clips from arkel (dang not as cheap as I thought though)
I have some REI panniers which had a plastic locking mechanism that fatigued and broke after a lot of use. I bought an earlier version of the Arkel hooks (back when they were ~$25) and they've been fantastic. They lock on really well and are very solid and well fixed to the rack while in motion.

I had to drill out the rivets that held on the hooks which came with my panniers and drill holes to fit the Arkels.

I've also made some of my own pannier hooks for some plastic bucket panniers like this:
http://www.bicycletouring101.com/BikeDIYPanniers.htm
This guy uses the Arkel hooks, but I was a poor grad student at the time, so I searched McMaster-Carr for some simple hooks and used a bungee to hold the bucket to the rack. I love the bucket panniers... cover then with reflective tape... totally Fred and totally waterproof.
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Old 09-27-07, 07:04 AM   #23
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I had the same problem with what are supposedly quite good Trek panniers. I think that most pannier manufacturers just don't understand what happens when you combine a heavy load with a rough road. I use a backpack now -- I just can't afford to have my laptop go flying.

(plus, with the backpack, it's a lot less of a PITA if I want to stop and go into a store or restaurant or something)
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Old 09-27-07, 08:04 AM   #24
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I bought a pair of Voyagers from my LBS with safety clips and they ran me about $80 CDN. Really nice bags and most of all I am no longer losing my stuff all over the road.
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Old 09-27-07, 08:16 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipg5 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions, I'll try to tie knots in the straps to get a tighter hold. I've also used pliers to make the hooks more secure -- I've been using these panniers for at least five years now.

RIH, I'll check out the Novara panniers; the one's I've seen so far are much more expensive than that.
You can get parts from Ortlieb for their mount system. I've converted bags to their classic and QL1 mount. Problem solved. And the parts are reasonably priced.
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