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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 03-01-12, 02:52 PM   #1
profjmb
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organizing panniers

I've just been throwing stuff in mine and think that it'd be better if I somehow kept related stuff together (like rain gear versus tools). Does anyone worry about this and if so what do you use for internal containers?
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Old 03-01-12, 02:56 PM   #2
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I don't worry much about this, other than my work badge is always in the same place and my extra gloves in the winter I always have near the top.

Otherwise I just jam crap in there. Been doing it like that for years now, no reason to change.

do you have a proper pannier rack? This is one with the extra support (dog leg) in the rear to keep the panniers from swining into your spokes. If not, you may need to pack both pretty full to keep them "in shape" on the rack. With a good rack designed for panniers you can pretty much use any panniers, packed however you want and not have problems.

BTW - I have baskets on one bike and panniers on the other. Both do the same task for me.

Last edited by TurbineBlade; 03-01-12 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 03-01-12, 03:00 PM   #3
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I have my tools and spare tube in a seat bag. One of my panniers (Koki Bagatelle) is my 'main' one. Rain jacket is in a ziplock bag to compress as much as possible, and goes in the large internal zip pocket. My clothes get rolled up into a compression bag, with shoes on top. Anything small and losable (pens, etc) goes in the small internal pocket, and wallet goes in external zip pocket. So basically, that pannier is for my daily essentials. The other pannier (homemade from a shopper-style purse) is normally empty, but attached to the rack and rolled up. It gets used for random large things that have to go back and forth to work, groceries, etc.
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Old 03-01-12, 03:09 PM   #4
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That's one of the reasons why I don't use panniers. My main backpack goes into a Nashbar Townie*. Rain gear is kept in my Banjo Brothers backpack. I only use the Banjo Brothers if it is cold and is or will be wet, otherwise I don't carry the rain gear with me. And all of the tools are kept on the bike.

*Allows me to look like a normal person off of the bike, and I can always put extra stuff in the basket.
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Old 03-01-12, 03:47 PM   #5
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No. Don't worry about this. Even if you organize everything neatly, most likely you won't be able to find what you need anyway
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Old 03-01-12, 03:49 PM   #6
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I use the classic ortlieb panniers and I always get pissed off because I can NEVER find my keys. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR
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Old 03-01-12, 03:58 PM   #7
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Well all my tools and flat kit go in a tool roll, that I throw in the panniers.

When I try to organize stuff, I use zip lock bags. The big freezer ones!

Other than that, I just stuff in all in there.
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Old 03-01-12, 04:27 PM   #8
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*Allows me to look like a normal person off of the bike, and I can always put extra stuff in the basket.
You can use panniers and still look like a normal person off the bike. Why the hell would using a basket vs. pannier change how you look?
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Old 03-01-12, 05:06 PM   #9
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You can use panniers and still look like a normal person off the bike. Why the hell would using a basket vs. pannier change how you look?
Perhaps a poor choice of words on my part. But my system works for me. And I can use my backpack(s) even on days that I don't ride the bike. Using a pannier as a "man purse" while off the bike for an extended period time would be less than ideal.
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Old 03-01-12, 05:41 PM   #10
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My "bike stuff" goes in the rack trunk, and my "work stuff" goes in the pannier or backpack. Indoor parking makes it easy to leave the bike stuff in place and not have to worry about it.
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Old 03-01-12, 05:44 PM   #11
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I use the classic ortlieb panniers and I always get pissed off because I can NEVER find my keys. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR
You can attach an external pocket to Ortlieb panniers:


I really like mine for keys, phone, wallet etc. It is waterproof of course since it is a miniature roll-top. Not cheap, but very good quality.

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Old 03-01-12, 05:54 PM   #12
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Have a couple white canvas bags, they go in the 2 front panniers , the pannier, black,

rain gear on one side , money check book and so forth , other side
pull the canvas bags out [ they have a smaller pocket in them]
the puncture repair stuff is under them..

having a white liner bag is easier to see stuff,
, pull them out and bike bags stay on the bike
or just pull the whole works off the bike , sport packer
Ortlieb bags are paired together with webbing strips ..

the Ortlieb ' Put In' gives older bags the inner pockets
against the stiffener panel, that come with the newer ones..

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-01-12 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 03-01-12, 06:18 PM   #13
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I've got a padded insert with a zippered mesh face that REI made a few years ago. I can't remember what it was called. I got it on clearance for like $7.83 or something and haven't seen one in their stores since. I use it for things like clothes that I change out every day and leave everything else in various pockets.
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Old 03-01-12, 07:05 PM   #14
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I use Axiom LaSalle's. They each have large pocket/bag and an external pouch.

One side gets work clothes, my "man purse" which contains my wallet, a camera, a C123 flashlight, my cell phone, and key, and my lunch. In that order. The small outer pocket has a cable lock and sunglasses in a hard case-it's dark for the AM ride. If its nasty or going to be nasty weather this side gets the gear. The top of the bag also has built in bungees to strap on a jacket if I get to warm.

The other side carries a small accordion file with the evenings work and my laptop. The outer pocket has tools and tubes.

I load this way so the weight is even side to side. Volume is off slightly. But I'm not exactly aerodynamic anyway......
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Old 03-01-12, 07:32 PM   #15
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I have multiple bikes, and one seat bag and pump I move from bike to bike. All the tools, spare tube, patch kit, emergency money, etc rides in the seat bag, each bike has a clip for the pump. This leaves the panniers free for only freight.

I take a week's worth of stuff in to work at once so that I don't need to haul the panniers around every day. I load food and a library book or two on one side, and clothes and a library book or two on the other side.
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