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  1. #1
    Senior Member badger_biker's Avatar
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    Anyone using REI panniers - stability issue?

    I have a pair of REI Keystone panniers for the rear and am just wondering if anyone else using them has any issue with a twisting movement.
    My bike seems to easily go into a shimmy action and I think it may be due to the stiffness of the pannier backing. It seems they kind of occilate in kind of a sideways (in and out, not front to back) motion that gets the bike going.

    The clips hold nice and tight on the rack and they are not adjustable regarding the spacing width. The bottom has a kind of sideways hook that slides around the rack tubing. Everything seems solid but you can easily twist the bag.

    Any suggestions on stiffening it up or any other similar experiences? I've tried extra bungees from the lower rear back to the rack but that didn't seem to have much impact and I've experimented with where the lower hook catches the rack.
    The weight is balanced but I do have one quite filled out with a sleeping bag and that seems to force the backing into a bit of a rounding curve which probably doesn't help.
    Thanks for any feedback.

    BTW- I do also have front panniers and the bike is an older Specialized tourer so weight distribution and bike design shouldn't be the issue.

  2. #2
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    That sure sounds like a bike problem, not a pannier problem. A well-designed touring frame can still get whacked and lose rigidity, leading to the symptoms you describe. Obviously, you can test by sticking the same cargo in different panniers to see whether symptoms change. But I wouldn't begin by blaming the panniers.

  3. #3
    Senior Member badger_biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takara View Post
    That sure sounds like a bike problem, not a pannier problem. A well-designed touring frame can still get whacked and lose rigidity, leading to the symptoms you describe. Obviously, you can test by sticking the same cargo in different panniers to see whether symptoms change. But I wouldn't begin by blaming the panniers.
    I had not experienced any problems with previous panniers, but decided to test your theory anyway. I loaded same gear into Cannondale internal framed panniers and I did not experience the same kind of shimmy so the panniers do seem to be the issue.

    The REI panniers are tall (rise above the rack about 6") and the lower mounting hits the bike about mid rack instead of most bungee, hook styles that go to to the bottom of the rack.

    I guess I'll have to devise an additional attachment nearer the wheel center to help firm them up.

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