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Thread: Pannier Advice

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    Senior Member aloysius's Avatar
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    Pannier Advice

    I'm currently piecing together a grocery hauling/ touring bike and I'm trying to choose a set of panniers. These REI Paniers (see link below) look like they'd suit me -- they're cheap and capatious, probably ideal for holding grocery bags. The Nashbar bags linked below look very similar. Could anyone recommend one over the other? Any other ideas?

    REI:http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...HP_CYCLING_TOC

    Nashbar:http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...%3A%20Panniers
    Last edited by aloysius; 03-12-07 at 08:07 PM.

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    Senior Member joseph senger's Avatar
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    i know it may not matter to you, but the fact Arkel is
    -backed with a lifetime warranty, regardless of receipt, and low cost repair on accidental misshaps
    -100% made in north america, (not supporting bad labour practices)
    -some of the nicest people ive ever dealt with.

    give there site a look, buy one bag, judge for yourself.

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    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Arkel or Ortleib if you will use them a lot. Nashbar panniers are simply rubbish with horrible, outdated hooks and a weak bunji cord.

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    Senior Member eibeinaka's Avatar
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    See this thread

    and this one.

    The Earthtote bags are a great idea for grocery shopping with either set of panniers.

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    Member Gudeman's Avatar
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    I have purchased two sets of the REI ones over the last few years. One for me and one for my wife's bike. They work real nice for commuting and grocery shopping on the small scale. Good quality product.

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    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I've had an REI Novara pannier set (front and rear with matching handlebar bag) that's still working fine after 15 years and lots of tours. I like them. Those panniers you mentioned don't look like touring panniers to me though. I guess just about anything could work, but if it was me I'd save those for trips to the market, and get some real touring panniers for touring. REI would be good. Arkel is probably better. Ortlieb looks really good but also heavy. But I've never actually examined Ortlieb panniers in person, so what do I know? I'm just saying they LOOK heavy. (But in a rainstorm, if they don't leak, heavy isn't all bad.)

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    +1 on the Ortliebs. heavy? I think you mean they're meant for heavy duty touring.. and you would be right. I have the Ortlieb classic rollers. They are awesome. I use them daily when I commute. Absolutely waterproof. Easy on and off the bike. I don't know how much they cost new... I've heard they are expensive. I got a lightly used pair for $80 off of Craigslist. I'm completely happy with them. I'm sure they will still be functional and usefule 15-20 years down the road.

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    Senior Member aloysius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe
    I've had an REI Novara pannier set (front and rear with matching handlebar bag) that's still working fine after 15 years and lots of tours. I like them. Those panniers you mentioned don't look like touring panniers to me though. I guess just about anything could work, but if it was me I'd save those for trips to the market, and get some real touring panniers for touring. REI would be good. Arkel is probably better. Ortlieb looks really good but also heavy. But I've never actually examined Ortlieb panniers in person, so what do I know? I'm just saying they LOOK heavy. (But in a rainstorm, if they don't leak, heavy isn't all bad.)

    You know, these will primarily be used for groceries, but it did occur to me that I might use them for some long dist. touring, maybe the Pittsburgh-to-DC trail this summer. I'm generally a bit of a weight weenie, but I figured, when it comes to touring bikes, these considerations go out the window. You think I'd regret the purchase? The REIs don't appear to be covered on top, but were it to rain, I might just throw a plastic bag over 'em. Bad idea?

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    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I got a set of Nashbar MTB panniers and have found the rubber cord that is supposed to hold the bags securely on the bike is woefully inadequate. By themselves they come off on almost every commute. Worse yet one of the two cords pulled loose at one end and that pannier is useless as-is. They were a bargin at a time I was short on cash but you know the saying, "You get what you pay for."
    This space open

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    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    For grocery shopping, neither of those appear to have shoulder straps. You might look at the Performance grocery panniers (which may or may not be on sale, depending which catalog you look at) which do have the shoulder straps. Here's the thing, when you go into a business for whatever reason, you're going to want your stuff with you. Unless, of course, you're a very trusting person. The shoulder strap makes it easy to take stuff with you. Even if you just want to bring the empty pannier with you its easier with a shoulder strap.

    Another thing about a good grocery pannier is that you can load it up with just about any backpack you want and immediately increase its capacity as well as its weather resistance. Then, in a pinch, you can wear the backpack and use the pannier for overflow.
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    Senior Member eibeinaka's Avatar
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    I just grab a trolley and put the panniers inside the trolley with gear inside that. If using them to buy groceries is the aim, you can manage without a shoulder strap. I tuck the hook over the carrying handle on my Novara panniers so I don't spend irksome moments freeing them from the bottom of the trolley.Take gear out when loading, then take the loaded panniers in the trolley to the bike, free the hooks as I take the panniers out of the trolley and put them on the bike.

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    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eibeinaka
    I just grab a trolley and put the panniers inside the trolley with gear inside that. If using them to buy groceries is the aim, you can manage without a shoulder strap. I tuck the hook over the carrying handle on my Novara panniers so I don't spend irksome moments freeing them from the bottom of the trolley.Take gear out when loading, then take the loaded panniers in the trolley to the bike, free the hooks as I take the panniers out of the trolley and put them on the bike.
    The problem with that approach is that it requires a trolley aka shopping cart. For quick shopping trips a cart is a nuisance. Especially for places with narrow aisles. And, for non-grocery shopping like bookstores there will be no trolley available.
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    Senior Member eibeinaka's Avatar
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    If I'm going book shopping, or going anywhere that doesn't involve trolleys, I'd take my Carradice Bike Bureau along. I'll admit I don't really shop anywhere with narrow aisles. I think it depends on one's own shopping profile. For you, clearly the shoulder strap on the grocery pannier is essential, but I haven't found it necessary. I certainly didn't want to sound dogmatic about the necessity or otherwise of shoulder straps.

    What I like about this forum is the multiplicity of solutions offered that one can fit to one's situation.

    My problem is buying just that little bit too much to fit everything comfortably. I'd like some sort of open rack box thing, but one that wouldn't make it cover the rails for the panniers.

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    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eibeinaka
    My problem is buying just that little bit too much to fit everything comfortably. I'd like some sort of open rack box thing, but one that wouldn't make it cover the rails for the panniers.
    Put that way, one realizes that the problem isn't the panniers -- its the rack. What the world needs is a bike rack that's at least 9 inches wide. Then a full size box could fit on top while leaving easy access to side panniers. It would also be neat if the box was lockable, creating a trunk (aka "boot") for the bike. The lockable bike trunk I've seen was short on capacity.
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    Senior Member eibeinaka's Avatar
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    Yes, I've seen that lockable trunk; it was on the small side.

    I don't think a very wide rack is necessarily the way to go. If the centre plate was set 2-3 inches or so above the level of side rails, and the box could be clamped to that, there would be enough room to attach the panniers underneath it.

  16. #16
    Patria O Muerte!
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    Quote Originally Posted by eibeinaka
    Yes, I've seen that lockable trunk; it was on the small side.

    I don't think a very wide rack is necessarily the way to go. If the centre plate was set 2-3 inches or so above the level of side rails, and the box could be clamped to that, there would be enough room to attach the panniers underneath it.

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    Senior Member eibeinaka's Avatar
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    The Logo is a bit overkill for my grocery beater, but the set up would work...

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