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  1. #1
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    Reasonably priced non-synthetic panniers?

    I just bought a 1993 Bridgestone XO-2 and I need to get some panniers for it. This bike will see commuting duty but will also be my errand/grocery/lock to a rack outside the mall bike. Therefore, I don't want to invest a lot in panniers that might end up being stolen. The Carradice Kendal panniers I already own are nice, but too flashy and expensive to risk it. I would like to stay away from nylon as it fades badly and hasn't been durable, in my experience.

    I know about Carradice and Ostrich panniers, but they're too expensive. Soma offers a grocery pannier made from hemp, but I don't want an open topped grocery pannier on a bike that will see rain duty.

    So, does anyone make small rear panniers made from hemp or canvas?
    "When I'm on a bike, it's like I'm 14 again, racing off to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters."

  2. #2
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about hemp but canvas rots after exposure to sun and rain given a few years depending on how much exposure it gets. At least with the synthetics it is just the color that goes. I've been commuting on and off with a set of nylon panniers for around 7 or 8 years now and while the yellow is a bit stained from dirt and spots that may be a bit of mildew they are holding up well.

    The point being that you may be trading one set of disadvantages for another. But if you want that look then go for it.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  3. #3
    Seņor Member ericy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    I'm not sure about hemp but canvas rots after exposure to sun and rain given a few years depending on how much exposure it gets.
    When I was a kid, we went camping and we had tents that were made of canvas. There was stuff you could put on it to treat it and keep it from rotting, and fix it so that it would shed water. The big downside to the canvas was that it weighed a lot.

  4. #4
    Mirror slap survivor
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    I'm not sure about hemp but canvas rots after exposure to sun and rain given a few years depending on how much exposure it gets. At least with the synthetics it is just the color that goes. I've been commuting on and off with a set of nylon panniers for around 7 or 8 years now and while the yellow is a bit stained from dirt and spots that may be a bit of mildew they are holding up well.

    The point being that you may be trading one set of disadvantages for another. But if you want that look then go for it.
    Thanks for the input, but I don't think that's the case. I've personally seen Carradice bags from the 50s which still are holding together without any rot. Yes, they may have to be re-waterproofed from time to time, but they hold up better than nylon. Plus, they're made from natural materials.

    Synthetic panniers support terrorism.
    "When I'm on a bike, it's like I'm 14 again, racing off to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters."

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Check out Frost River bags
    at http://www.frostriver.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member ratell's Avatar
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    Clever Cycles http://clevercycles.com/ here in Portland has Basil Panniers that are canvas for less than $100. Another option if you can still find it is the Arkel Sakaroo. http://www.calhouncycle.com/productc...idproduct=1445 It's synthetic, but it's 100% recycled plastic.

    There's always the local re-use option. A citybikes bucket http://www.citybikes.coop/buckets.html only $25 each.
    Last edited by ratell; 04-27-08 at 01:05 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Ostrich, at Velo-Orange (www.velo-orange.com), $98.00, very fine quality. Brick Lane, by Brooks, at Wallingford (http://www.wallbike.com/brooks/bags/...ers/brick.html) pricey at $325, but probably would last forever. See also Basil's offerings from the Netherlands, their Kavan group of canvas panniers (www.basil.nl).

  8. #8
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHenry View Post
    See also Basil's offerings from the Netherlands, their Kavan group of canvas panniers (www.basil.nl).
    Yes, and if you call Clever Cycles in Portland, they'll talk to you about shipping. I know they've done that before for people. They know they specialize in items that are hard to find in North America.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  9. #9
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratell View Post
    There's always the local re-use option. A citybikes bucket http://www.citybikes.coop/buckets.html only $25 each.
    You can also make them yourself.

    http://wheelrevolution.blogspot.com/...ucket-diy.html

    http://www.ibiketo.ca/node/372

    http://www.bicycletouring101.com/BikeDIYPanniers.htm
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  10. #10
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Cat litter or Laundry detergent buckets work great. Here is how I make mine.
    Easy built bucket panniers.
    If you google bucket panniers you'll see how other people made there's.

    [SIGPIC]http://www.bikeforums.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=57360&dateline=1197386754[/SIGPIC]
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  11. #11
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    I have Rhode Gear nylon panniers that are 33 years old,how long do they need to last?

    Of course they were made in Rhode Island,not China.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou View Post
    Cat litter or Laundry detergent buckets work great. Here is how I make mine.
    Easy built bucket panniers.
    If you google bucket panniers you'll see how other people made there's.

    How's the heel strikeback on those longer ones?
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  13. #13
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    How's the heel strikeback on those longer ones?
    Note how the aluminum angle is mounted under the handle support lip. This causes the bucket to be mounted higher on the rack than real bike panniers so there is less chance of heal strike. If required you can move the buckets toward the back of the rack as well giving a little more heal space.
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  14. #14
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwinnrider View Post
    Thanks for the input, but I don't think that's the case. I've personally seen Carradice bags from the 50s which still are holding together without any rot.
    Ditto for Filson raingear (at least, the stuff made in Seattle not the Eddie Bauer wannabe stuff they've switched to lately).

    Ostrich, Carradice panniers might be expensive but I'm not sure they *look* it enough to be a huge theft risk, but I dunno.

    I think your best bet is cold-war surplus military gear, something like this:

    http://www.galaxyarmynavy.com/item-glx-sbb.asp

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