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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 03-24-11, 04:55 PM   #1
andrewkirk
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Pannier keeps getting stuck in rear wheel spokes.

I use a pannier to carry things to work, to avoid getting a sweaty back from a backpack. I've had my existing Tioga panniers for about seven years and in the last year one has started flopping round into the back wheel spokes after I go over a bump and bringing me to a rapid stop. It flops around in toward the rear wheel from behind the rearmost strut of the rack.

I know this is because the pannier structure is getting a bit floppy after many years and thousands of km, and I could solve it by buying new ones. However, being an ardent environmentalist that regards replacing as a last resort to only be applied when something is beyond mending, I would like to fix the problem with the existing pannier if possible.

Does anybody have any good ideas about how to stop the pannier flopping around into the wheel?

Thanks very much for any suggestions.
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Old 03-24-11, 04:59 PM   #2
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Stiff piece of plastic inside?
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Old 03-24-11, 05:02 PM   #3
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why not get a better rack with supports that prevent the problem? Seems to me that compromising safety for a poor design isn't good for your wheels or safety. A crash will have environmental consequences.
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Old 03-24-11, 05:16 PM   #4
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Stiff piece of plastic inside?
+1

My panniers came with a piece of plastic against the inside walls. Otherwise, you'd need a rack with a "dog leg" or be able to fashion dog legs for your existing rack.
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Old 03-24-11, 06:20 PM   #5
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get a better rack with supports that prevent the problem? Seems to me that compromising safety for a poor design isn't good for your wheels or safety.
+1

Not all rear racks are designed for use with panniers.

Generally, the number of legs will tell you. Racks with 0, 1, or 2 legs are designed for use with trunk bags. Racks with three legs are designed for panniers. Doglegs at the rear are the best.

The right rack will keep even cheesy, sloppy, floppy panniers out of the spokes.

Putting a stiffener in the pannier is a bad idea. Then you'll have a stiff thing swinging into the spokes instead of a flexible thing. I learned the hard way that you don't want a stiff-backed pannier swinging into your spokes. Instant crash. Mine was in front of a bus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewkirk View Post
However, being an ardent environmentalist
You can recycle the old rack, re-use it on a bike where you'll use only a trunk bag, or sell it to someone who will use it only with a trunk bag.

Here's an example of a rear rack with three legs, with the rearmost having a dogleg.



That's the Jandd Expedition. It'll outlast any bike you put it on. There are racks of similar design that are less expensive.

Last edited by tsl; 03-24-11 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 03-24-11, 06:55 PM   #6
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+1

Putting a stiffener in the pannier is a bad idea. Then you'll have a stiff thing swinging into the spokes instead of a flexible thing. I learned the hard way that you don't want a stiff-backed pannier swinging into your spokes. Instant crash. Mine was in front of a bus.
Not if the rack hooks on the panniers are bolted through the plastic stiffener.
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Old 03-24-11, 07:25 PM   #7
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Not if the rack hooks on the panniers are bolted through the plastic stiffener.
They were. The hooks are at the top. It's the bottom that swings into the spokes.
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Old 03-24-11, 08:46 PM   #8
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It's a rather simple solution- mount whatever Wald baskets you'd like and put your panniers in those.
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Old 03-25-11, 12:34 AM   #9
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Borrow one of those plastic campaign signs and mount it to the pannier. Or get a rack with a larger support.
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Old 03-25-11, 08:40 AM   #10
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+1 for mounting a proper rack with a dogleg and recycling/re-using/donating the existing rack.

It would be best if you could test fit your specific pannier on to the rack before purchasing it to ensure that things mesh up okay.

I'm environmentally aware, as well, but there has to be some semblance of balance IMO and safety is a worthy reason to replace something (IMO, of course).
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Old 03-25-11, 08:54 AM   #11
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I had the same pannier/spoke issue as well, like others here I went to a dog legged rack, recycled the previous rack to another bike that now uses compact panniers.

I eventually ended up with a Tubus Cargo rack, expensive but rigid as hell and it can carry some really heavy loads with very little flex.
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Old 03-25-11, 10:07 AM   #12
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good value, DX version has lower rails.
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Old 03-25-11, 10:24 AM   #13
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+1 on Coroplast, it's free right after the election is over. and very useful..
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Old 03-25-11, 10:54 AM   #14
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Time for a new backboard.Jandd panniers used to do that after a few years.The backboards they used would get weak and floppy.

I always make aluminum backboards for my panniers.Weighs less than plastic,doesn't deform,supports the panniers better.It's good to be a machinist....

Last edited by Booger1; 03-25-11 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 03-25-11, 04:00 PM   #15
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Thank you very much for all the helpful replies. I shall get one of those dog leg racks, which look like they should solve the problem permanently. I can move the current rack onto another bike that doesn't use panniers.
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Old 03-25-11, 04:03 PM   #16
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I find that photos of the problem (and the solutions) can be a great inspiration.
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Old 03-30-11, 05:45 PM   #17
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Update on the problem:

I've swapped my rack with the one on one of my kids' bikes that has a dogleg. He doesn't use panniers so it's no loss to him.
New rack arrangement works like a charm. I'll try to get some photos of the before and after and put them up here.
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Old 04-01-11, 09:52 PM   #18
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Photos of the rack with the problem and the rack that solved the problem

The bad rack has only two struts each side. The good one has three.

The two-strut rack is now on a bike that isn't ever used to carry panniers, so that's fine.
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