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  1. #1
    Velocipedist
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    Best combination of Ortlieb, Carradice, and Arkel.

    It seems that one could save a lot of money by buying a package deal and sticking to just one brand of bags, but would there be advantages to combining different brands? IE Would it make sense to use Ortlieb Rollers as front panniers, Arkel T-42s as back panniers and a Carradice Super C as a saddle bag?

    Are their specific pieces between these brands that stand head and shoulders above the competition? I would feel much better with at least a pair of Ortliebs as I'll be touring in the NW United States where the rain is no joke. At the same time, I'd like some more breathable panniers to prevent any mustiness that I hear can be a problem with Ortliebs.

    Conversely are their bags from certain brands that fall far below the competition? Should I avoid a certain company's handlebar bag because of poor design? Are saddlebags from one of these top companies notoriously difficult to attach or maybe excessively loose etc.?

    Also is their a good tip or trick for preventing mildew growth in the Ortliebs? Would silica packs work? Daily airing out? Is this problem completely overstated?

  2. #2
    Johnny Vagabond
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Somewhere in California
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    2006 Surly Long Haul Trucker, 2005 Surly Pugsley, 2004 Surly Karate Monkey with an Xtracycle,
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    My experience with Ortlieb bags has had NO mildewing, mustiness, or anything of the sort. If you have problems with growing mildew on multiple pairs of clothing, try carrying fewer pairs to alleviate the packed time of your clothes.

    Also, it'd be pertinent to mention that my most recent experience in Texas, where in two days there was a total 5.5" of rain dropped, none of my clothes were damp from rain or lack of drying. I also wasn't carrying many changes of clothes, so I didn't have clothes to pack damp...

  3. #3
    Senior Member CyKKlist's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    Triangle, NC
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    Trek 520
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    I took a similar approach with my bags. I settled on "mostly" Ortlieb (rear Bike Packer Plus bags, one medium rear rack bag) plus the Arkel Big Bar Bag. I sourced the Ortlieb bags from Wayne at TheTouringStore.com at very reasonable prices (below suggested list price, and with free shipping). I found the best price on the Arkel bag at PedalThePlanet.com (online arm of a bike shop in Lexington, KY).

    I did extensive research last year before committing limited funds to purchasing gear, and feel that I was able to afford two "best in category" items: the Arkel handlebar bag and a Brooks saddle (B-17, British racing green to go with my green frame). Arkel does a great job of explaining and selling the features/benefits of their products. Read the description for that Big Bar Bag and tell me you don't want it!

    In practice, the bag is as good as advertised, but I have to say sometimes it feels like it weighs a ton LOL. And I really like the Ortlieb bags both for commuting and for touring.

    Have fun shopping, buying and using.

    Ken
    Latest bike tour journal now posted -- PALM ride across Michigan!
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/palm2009

    Also -- NC Courthouse Tour, using Amtrak to Charlotte
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/nccourthousetour

    Trek 520 for commuting, touring, family rides and smiling at life.

  4. #4
    Senior Member geoffs's Avatar
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    Ortleib.
    IF you use panniers that aren't waterproof you will have to put your things in plastic bags to keep them dry. Dry things don't get musty.
    If you put something wet in a plastic bag it will get musty. So keep things dry
    Ortleib

    Here's our setup
    http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c1...VersFrance.jpg

    Cheers

    Geoff

  5. #5
    Velocipedist
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    Yeah, I've been talking with Wayne. He seems like a cool guy. Will definitely buy through him. After talking with a few friends, I think that I'll go Ortlieb all the way. Might have to check out that Arkel handlebar bag.

  6. #6
    Velocipedist
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    Geoff,

    Nice set up! That looks like the package I'm leaning towards.

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