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  1. #1
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    Racks/Panniers are freakin' expensive!

    After trying to save money in every area possible, I bought a Windsor Tourist (Fuji Touring) bike for $560. Awesome deal. I love the bike and was proud that I didn't waste more money than I had.

    At first I thought I would be pulling a trailer. But after getting a touring bike I decided against it. After all, the damn bike is built for touring, so why pull a trailer? Right?

    And then I actually priced racks/panniers today. I almost had a heart attack. I thought a $350 bike trailer was insane.... until I priced some Lone Peak Panniers (set) / Tubus racks at $500+. That's what I paid for bike!

    Someone tell me I am looking at the wrong places (LBS, eBay, TheTouringStore.com).

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    You are DEFINITELY looking in the wrong places!!

    Here's the rack I've been using for three years, including a 3-month, self-supported, loaded tour: http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1152858049285 ... $15.00

    I added a front rack for that 3-month tour: http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1152858049284 ... $17.50


    I spent a bit of time hunting around for panniers and ended up with a set of Axiom Lasalle's which I really like. And I actually like the look of the new Lasalle's in the link even better than mine. I got the set of two for just under $100.00
    http://www.axiomgear.com/bags_panniers/lasalle.php

    But any of these would do:
    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1152858178848

    http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?c...it=y&pagename=
    (I have the Nashbar Daytrekker panniers too, but haven't used them yet)


    Shop around a bit!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    While I love my Tubus racks, other companies also make good ones. Jandd, Blackburn, and Axiom all make good racks for less money than Tubus.

    Panniers are expensive, but if you plan to use them a lot you'll find good ones will pay for themselves as they will stay on your bike and they won't fall apart. Stay away from cheapo panniers which attach with just a hook and bunji cord with no locking mechanism. They tend to fall off on bumpy roads.

    Here are a couple of links with a number of pannier manifactures, maybe you can find one that fits your budget and needs. Good luck.

    http://www.mikebentley.com/bike/panniers.htm

    http://www.lancerushing.com/bicycling/panniers.cfm

  4. #4
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    If the $500 got you front and rear panniers and front and rear steel racks, then that sounds about right. Good panniers that go on and off the bike easily, stay on the bike when they're supposed to, and keep the water out when it's raining are expensive. Through in a few extra pockets and accessories on the panniers and the price goes up a little more. Consider a slightly smaller pannier (and don't bring so much crap), a simpler design with fewer pockets and accessories, and consider using plastic bags as liners instead of splashing out big bucks on completely waterproof panniers.

    Steel racks (like Tubus) are expensive, people who buy them claim that steel doesn't fatigue and can be welded back together when it breaks. The truth is that plenty of people have crossed the US carrying their gear on good quality aluminum racks, which cost a fraction of what a good steel rack costs. If an aluminum rack breaks you splint it together with hose clamps and a stick (and maybe some duct tape) until you can buy a new one or have one shipped to you. Aluminum racks are also a good bit lighter than steel racks.

    Having said all that, I love my Ortlieb panniers and handlebar bag, and I really like my Nitto (steel) rack for touring.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by subigo

    At first I thought I would be pulling a trailer. But after getting a touring bike I decided against it. After all, the damn bike is built for touring, so why pull a trailer? Right?
    There's a lot more to a touring bike than being designed to accomodate panniers and racks. The longer wheelbase, gearing, head tube angle, wheels/tires etc. are all aimed to making a long day on the bike with a load a more pleasurable experience. Whether you take your gear in a trailer or panniers is another matter for debate, and there are plenty of threads to debate the merit of each.

    Quote Originally Posted by subigo
    And then I actually priced racks/panniers today. I almost had a heart attack. I thought a $350 bike trailer was insane.... until I priced some Lone Peak Panniers (set) / Tubus racks at $500+. That's what I paid for bike!

    Someone tell me I am looking at the wrong places (LBS, eBay, TheTouringStore.com).
    As noted, you can find racks from Jandd and Blackburn for cheaper and they'll still do the job. I'm not sure where Lone Peak falls on the price scale, but depending on how many years you plan to keep touring and how long you'll tour, spending a bit more may not be a bad idea. However, if you're just doing short tours infrequently, there are plenty of people out using "house brands" from REI.com performancebike.com and nashbar.com (though I don't see REI's budget Novara panniers on the site right now.)

    Nashbar has their waterproof panniers on sale for $49.99 (rear) and $39.95 (front). Performance is selling a front rack and pannier combo for $69.99 and rear rack and pannier combo for $99.99.

    You have options!

    Edit: Just so you know, I had the same sticker shock you're experiencing, and I bet most others do when they first get into touring. I found Jandd's for my wife for a pretty decent price by watching ebay for long enough. I finally sucked it up and bought the Arkel mountain paaniers for myself because I also used them off-road.

  6. #6
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    Checkout MEC's panniers too. I have a set of the 43l ones and the 21l ones. They have both performed well for me, just enough room to fit it all, but not so much that you end up carrying lots of stuff. I replaced the larger bags attachment system with the Arkel hook kit because I have Jandd rack (has oversized tubes compared to most aluminum racks). They are well made and very reasonably priced.

  7. #7
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    Anyone use this rack: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...lisearch=true#

    Trans-It Front Pannier Rack - $24.99

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by subigo
    Anyone use this rack: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...lisearch=true#

    Trans-It Front Pannier Rack - $24.99
    I would suggest that you are going to far in the opposite direction now. From high end to low end. Why not stick with quality in the mid-price range? Jandd racks are excellent quality and very strong, and a F/R set shouldn't cost more than $100 or so if you shop around. Check Ebay, and the Jandd site for clearance specials. Blackburn Exped rear and low rider front are a bit lighter weight but still have carried many people across the country, about the same price, perhaps a bit less.

    Here is an example of what I would do:

    P-400 & P-100 F/R Matched Set from the Touring store, $207.00 + $11.00 Ship = $218

    Jandd.com (specials) Low-rider front $35, plus Exped rear $49 = $84 + ~ $15 ship = $99

    For a little over $300 you're set up. This is all quality stuff, new, not used. Get going.
    Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc, Cannondale T2000 (touring), Stumpjumper M5 (Mtn - hardtail), Cannondale Rize4 (Mtn - full susp)

  9. #9
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    My ortlieb backroller classics lasted 7-8 years before getting thier first hole after a lot of abuse.
    That was worth $100.
    Also, with Tubus you're paying for the fact that they get you replacement parts oevernight, free, anywhere, which can be worth a lot of money when you're in the middle of nowhere.
    Generally you get what you pay for. However, you can go much cheaper on racks as long as you watch the weights and don't need the warranty of tubus or other expensive rack builders.
    However, cheaping out of panners can be counter productive as itcfan be pennywise, pound foolish. Discount panniers won't last nearly as long as high end ones.
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
    Titus Racer-X AL/Trek 520 (Cracked)/Trek 930

  10. #10
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    I recommend the Banjo Brothers waterproof panniers--- they are truly waterproof. Unlike models that just use a nylon rain cover, these basically have a dry bag like you would use kayaking inside. Also, they are very reasonably priced (on par with house brands).

    Quote Originally Posted by Shemp
    There's a lot more to a touring bike than being designed to accomodate panniers and racks. The longer wheelbase, gearing, head tube angle, wheels/tires etc. are all aimed to making a long day on the bike with a load a more pleasurable experience. Whether you take your gear in a trailer or panniers is another matter for debate, and there are plenty of threads to debate the merit of each.



    As noted, you can find racks from Jandd and Blackburn for cheaper and they'll still do the job. I'm not sure where Lone Peak falls on the price scale, but depending on how many years you plan to keep touring and how long you'll tour, spending a bit more may not be a bad idea. However, if you're just doing short tours infrequently, there are plenty of people out using "house brands" from REI.com performancebike.com and nashbar.com (though I don't see REI's budget Novara panniers on the site right now.)

    Nashbar has their waterproof panniers on sale for $49.99 (rear) and $39.95 (front). Performance is selling a front rack and pannier combo for $69.99 and rear rack and pannier combo for $99.99.

    You have options!

    Edit: Just so you know, I had the same sticker shock you're experiencing, and I bet most others do when they first get into touring. I found Jandd's for my wife for a pretty decent price by watching ebay for long enough. I finally sucked it up and bought the Arkel mountain paaniers for myself because I also used them off-road.

  11. #11
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    My new Sunlite pannier is very nice for $36 including shipping. I ordered it here.

  12. #12
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    Okay... so maybe the Trans-it rack is a little cheap. But how about the rear rack that comes with the Fuji Touring? Does anyone have any information on it at all?

  13. #13
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    Racks are a little trendy, both my local stores have boxes full of the lattest sculpture that didn't sell, prices like 15 dollars for old man racks. I have the MEC aluminum racks from when the Blackburn was sold by them. I assume the chinese replacement is pretty good or they wouldn't sell it. A lot of people would outfit for their trans canada right out of the MEC catalog. That type of rack is not going to last for a world tour but 10 thousand miles it easily would as long as you pack sensibly. Their simplest paniers used to be made by seratus, but they now have a replacement for them that looks similar, and they work great too.

  14. #14
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Meh... I've got a Delta Universal rack on my bike.... It's been there for over 1000 miles, and I've loaded it down! It hauls 20 lbs of stuff to and from work every day, and hauls a half a cartload of groceries home from the store twice a week. Other than the one bolt that fell out of it (I really should put some threadlock on...) it's had no issues whatever... no movement, no creaks, no signs of metal fatigue from the many times I've exceeded it's weight limit.
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  15. #15
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markf
    Steel racks (like Tubus) are expensive, people who buy them claim that steel doesn't fatigue and can be welded back together when it breaks.
    As you are probably aware, that second claim is questionable at best. These are tubular steel racks, for the most part. Finding the welding skill and equipment to fix a broken tubular steel rack wouldn't be easy in the wealthy, developed countries. In developing nations or out in the boonies, it's a joke. Steel is stronger, true, but a quality aluminum rack will carry lots of weight for thousands of miles with no trouble. I have to throw in a recommendation for Jandd racks. Their low front rack has served me admirably, and even saved me from potentially serious injury when my fork blade cracked almost all the way around near the fork crown. Good stuff, not too expensive. Go for it, have fun.

    As for panniers, I have the Performance TransIt Epic rear panniers, and they're still going strong. Someone once posted a photo here of his bike that went across the country with these bags. Not bad, for less than $100. My front panniers aren't technically front panniers at all - they're Jandd economy panniers. A small rubber-coated p-clip at the bottom of my front rack gave me a place to hook them on. They've worked great as front panniers, also for less than $100.

  16. #16
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    Well, I decided to go for it and got some good mid-grade panniers. I bought a matched set of Lone Peak panniers from Wayne at the Touring Store.

    Full Set:
    P-500
    P-099
    H-100
    RP-700
    Raincovers

    Everything plus shipping = $366 - (a little more than I would have spent on the B.O.B. trailer)

  17. #17
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    It's a crapshot as to whether you can find the skill you need when you need it, but welding a steel rack back together would be a piece of cake. It's one thing to make a steel rack with beautiful tig welds or fillet brazing. Sure, that is a specialized skill. Tacking it back together would not be a big deal. Basically the material thickness is about the same as sheet metal and that is a pretty comon material for bubba welders the world over. If somehow a tube was broken through, the way to repair it would be a comon 5/16" drill bit on the inside with rose welds and the best job one can do on the materials where they meet. A person could improve their chances at getting a repair by bringing along a few pieces of chromo, and some 1/16" sheet metal sparklers for arc welders.

    If you had some really good epoxy and a piece of 1/4" stock you could probably fix you aluminum racks. With steel it's a lot easier, but I think one could bridge an aluminum rack back together. I find it interesting that some of the toughest mountain bike rides are being done with Old Man racks, that are built out of aluminum.

  18. #18
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    I'd imagine JB weld would work, although I think it takes 12-24 hours to entirely set. It's at least small and light.

  19. #19
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    I got the same sort of sticker shock as you. So me and my dad made our own, out of home depot mop buckets, a total cost of maybe $30. They survived a 2500 miles tour just fine, and didn't look half bad.

    So if you like DIY projects, it can be a fun one.
    Check out my website, has a bunch of photos (a ton of pictures I took of cycling events). See pictures and journal of my first (and so far, only) tour

  20. #20
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim24
    I'd imagine JB weld would work, although I think it takes 12-24 hours to entirely set. It's at least small and light.
    Oooo.... JB weld. Best stuff EVER! I would most definitely take that with me on a tour! (I have it in my 4x4 at all times!)

    JB weld sets up in about an hour, reaches full strength in 24 hrs.

    I once got a hole in the radiator of my truck... right in the center... The radiator shop says no way you can repair that, it'll cost $300 for a new radiator, installed.

    I pry the hole a tiny bit larger, and use JB weld on it.... 2 hours later (No, I didn't wait the full 24 hours!) I fill the radiator and go on my way.

    I drove it like that for 2 years (about 20k miles!) till I blew the head gasket on the truck.
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  21. #21
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    If a set of Jandd lg mtn panniers new unused shipped to L48 for $70.00 help the delema, I can help!
    A child learns what the village teaches!

  22. #22
    Dar
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    Hey, I'm currently in the market for panniers also. I'm looking at the lone peaks(sort of taking advantage of the research you've already done). Have you had them on your bike yet? If so how do you like them so far? Are they moving around much? good space? I would also like to use the rear panniers for groceries. Is there going to be enough room for a large basket of food? not a cart, just a very full hand basket. If anybody else has the lone peaks, what are your opinions? and do they lock down to the rack for security? I'd hate to have them stolen sitting outside the grociery store.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dar
    Hey, I'm currently in the market for panniers also. I'm looking at the lone peaks(sort of taking advantage of the research you've already done). Have you had them on your bike yet? If so how do you like them so far? Are they moving around much? good space? I would also like to use the rear panniers for groceries. Is there going to be enough room for a large basket of food? not a cart, just a very full hand basket. If anybody else has the lone peaks, what are your opinions? and do they lock down to the rack for security? I'd hate to have them stolen sitting outside the grociery store.
    I have had them on the bike and they are perfect. I have had them fully loaded at 40 pounds and they didn't move at all. Yes, you would have room for a basket of food...

    As far as security, well they just use normal hooks (better than most hooking systems I have seen). They don't lock. In fact, I don't know of any panniers with locking hooks.

    All in all, I give them a 8/10.

  24. #24
    I am not a car Map tester's Avatar
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    I have been using my Lone Peaks since Christmas, and don't have any complaints. Right now I am just using them around town and for commuting. In the winter I used the larger P-500 for the extra clothing, but during the warmer months I have been using the smaller P-100 on the back. Wayne at the Touring Store answered all my questions, and was quick to ship. I have used the rain cover in a pouring rain with no leaks, but the panniers themselves seem very watertight without the covers, at least for my 55 minute commute. I also like the small top compartment on the P-500. If I am concerned about the panniers walking away, I just run my cable lock through the handles--if someone really wants them, I don't think any lock will prevent it. Recommended.
    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

  25. #25
    Dar
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    Thanks for the input. I'm probably going to go with them. Next is the camping grear.. man it takes a lot of research to start touring... I just moved to the Pheonix area, and want to explore on my bicycle when things cool off a bit. I agree with the "if they want it, a lock won't stop it" theory, but it's nice to make it a little more difficult anyway.

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