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  1. #1
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    Secondary retention on panniers

    Does anyone not entirely trust the attachments that hold panniers to racks?

    If so, does anyone normally use additional straps or bungees to hold their panniers more securely to the rack?

    Does anyone have horror stories about pannier attachments failing?

  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
    Does anyone not entirely trust the attachments that hold panniers to racks?

    If so, does anyone normally use additional straps or bungees to hold their panniers more securely to the rack?

    Does anyone have horror stories about pannier attachments failing?
    I've flung off panniers that use a simple hook to hold them onto the rack...and that's even with the supplemental bungies on the back. The attachments used on my Ortliebs, on the other hand would probably rip the bag off before they let go of the rack. They grip like a pitbull on a rope
    Stuart Black
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  3. #3
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I haven't heard many "horror stories." A secondary attachment would also make it harder to take the bags off, which could be bad (less convenient) or good (if you're nervous about someone stealing your dirty underwear).

    If you get good panniers, though, I don't see any cause for concern. Just inspect 'em every once in awhile.

  4. #4
    Senior Member NeezyDeezy's Avatar
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    I looked down once and saw that I was missing one of my rear panniers with a traditional hook and bungie connection. I freaked out and backtracked, luckily it had come off at a particularly bumpy attachment joint at the bottom of a nearby bridge. I was lucky because the pannier had some important pieces of gear.

    Incidentally, I also use ortlieb now and I like Cyccommute's description, it's spot on.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    I have these Avenir Excursion Panniers.

    They have a top, spring loaded clip that keeps them from going up as well as two hooks that hang the bag on the rack.

  6. #6
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    Put a zip tie around each hook, and rack bar. the 4 th hand tool ? the one that pules cables tight , works wonders on zip ties too.
    A child learns what the village teaches!

  7. #7
    Dances a jig. Mchaz's Avatar
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    I don't worry about it with my Ortliebs. They are the classics with the more basic retention system. I once had the lower hook disengage, so the pannier was only hanging on by the top two hooks. I'm pretty sure it happened because I was carrying a light load so the bag could flop around a lot. Even with only the top hooks engaged it didn't fly off (the top ones wrap around the rack rail).

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    I would worry about retension with an old-fashioned hook and elastic system but with a well designed modern locking system it is not a concern. Ortleib and Rixen&Kaul are both well proven. I have ridden some pretty wild descents on mountain trails with no problems at all.
    There are some modern system (here)which use a hook in 2 parts, ie not a hook at all. If this mechanism fails,there is nothing to prevent the panniers pivoting out and down in a Bad Way. That link has lots of great touring info so take a look.

  9. #9
    Newbie Thewetyeti's Avatar
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    I retrofitted all of my panniers with a cut inner tube with a knot in it.....no episodes since.
    Riding into the sunset takes longer than you would think!

  10. #10
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I have Ortliebs with a buckle for a secondary retention strap. I use it during rough road (gravel-fire road) tours) and usually not on road tours. I had a (inexpensive) pannier jump the rack in the 80's on a washboard gravel descent, spilling the contents down a steep gully. I lost some gear that I couldn't recover. I doubt orts could jump the rack, but the secondary strap limits the rattling on rough, high speed descents.

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    My Seratus have a good system, the lower "hooks" are attached with webbing loops that adjust with fastex buckles, and the tail ends of the webbing velcro down for additional security. The system was really designed for the Blackburn rear rack that have little horns on them. The paniers don't actually have hooks, but metal loops. once the metal loops are popped over the horns, and the straps are velcroed, it's never coming off, and it's a 4 point system so it doesn't shift at all, that used ot be only on stuff like Needleworks or Gordon.. The only problem is that isn't how the Blackburn front racks worked, and this pannier was lousy for them. When I built my new front rack, horns were part of the deal.

    Overall you best consider the bike, racks, and panniers as a package. Just radomly sampling and assembling off the net may get you into more trouble since the integration is pretty key. The three best individual products may be a disaster together.

  12. #12
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    MEC panniers are so snug on my rack that I have a hard enough time taking them off as is.

  13. #13
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    The attachments used on my Ortliebs, on the other hand would probably rip the bag off before they let go of the rack. They grip like a pitbull on a rope
    +1
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  14. #14
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeezyDeezy View Post
    I looked down once and saw that I was missing one of my rear panniers with a traditional hook and bungie connection. I freaked out and backtracked, luckily it had come off at a particularly bumpy attachment joint at the bottom of a nearby bridge. I was lucky because the pannier had some important pieces of gear.

    Incidentally, I also use ortlieb now and I like Cyccommute's description, it's spot on.
    I don't get this. I can't imagine how a pannier can fall off without you hearing it. I have had things that were tucked under a flap fall out and I always heard them, even if they were smallish items. I guess I am careless that way, but I have had stuff that was tucked under a flap fall with an embarrassing frequency. A tube of Fig Newtons, a ziplock with lunch, a full waterbottle, and a package of jerky all were noticed instantly and retreived. Gloves or a jersey could fall off un-noticed, but a loaded pannier? You would have to be deaf or unconcious to not hear it.

    I think the normal hooks and bungee arrangement is pretty adequate and consider the elaborate attachment systems to be a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist. Don't get me wrong they are nice and also have other advantages like being able to move the attachment points along the rail to their optimum position for the rack and bike in question.

    I do inadvertantly use a second retention system of sorts though. The way I attach the tent and sleeping pad on the top ties the two rear panniers together so even if one were detatched from it's mounting it still would be hanging from the straps.

    The Ortleibs are nice and if you have the money to spend and the inclination that is fine. OTOH: I don't see how they would have enhanced my summer of living on the bike a bit beyond the experience I had while using a set of 4 panniers (Nashbar waterproof) that totaled about $50 with a good sale price and a 20% off special.

  15. #15
    Senior Member hockey's Avatar
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    Axiom panniers have a great locking device that holds the pannier snug against the rack. It can be difficult to initially set up if your rack has multiple tubes.
    Hockey

  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    I don't get this. I can't imagine how a pannier can fall off without you hearing it. I have had things that were tucked under a flap fall out and I always heard them, even if they were smallish items. I guess I am careless that way, but I have had stuff that was tucked under a flap fall with an embarrassing frequency. A tube of Fig Newtons, a ziplock with lunch, a full waterbottle, and a package of jerky all were noticed instantly and retreived. Gloves or a jersey could fall off un-noticed, but a loaded pannier? You would have to be deaf or unconcious to not hear it.

    Rattling down a dirt road with all kinds of stuff clattering and clanking around and the bag takes a flier? I can see how you'd miss it flying off.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    I threw the Performance brand panniers off the rack. The come with a safety strap that holds them on if they come unhooked so no damage. The Arkels that I have now won't come off without major metalic failure so I don't worry about them.
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  18. #18
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    -MEC panniers are so snug on my rack that I have a hard enough time taking them off as is.-

    Those would be the new ones with the snap on plastic mounts. Im still using the old ones that have metal hooks, as they did when I bought them 20 years ago, or whatever it was. I like the hooks because they are very simple and clean to attach and position, but they need a 4 point attachment to work properly. The four point is super secure adjustible, but hasnèt been all that popular, and now we have these snap on ones. i tried some new MECs and hated them compared to the earlier models. There were far fewer positons they could mount on a rack, and they were as heavy empty as my odd one is loaded. I think I have internal frame backpacks that weigh less.

  19. #19
    40 yrs bike touring
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    The idea of needing "secondary retention straps" for panniers made me laugh a lot!

    Robert Beckman Designs Panniers solved the retention problem long ago. They will not move unless I want them to no matter the on or off road conditions.

    A well designed pannier should include an attachment system that does not spontaneously eject the panniers at random moments.

  20. #20
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    I hook the handles on my rear ortleibs under the spring thing most carriers have, to be extra secure. They don't come off until the top of the rack is cleared of junk.

    I've had a few issues with front ones, they are cheap phillips ones and the mount is not the best. Ok now Im very careful about putting them on.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    My MEC panniers don't let go for anything. I used to have Lugger panniers with metal hook mounts, but they were never as secure.
    Life is good.

  22. #22
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    -MEC panniers are so snug on my rack that I have a hard enough time taking them off as is.-

    Those would be the new ones with the snap on plastic mounts. Im still using the old ones that have metal hooks, as they did when I bought them 20 years ago, or whatever it was. I like the hooks because they are very simple and clean to attach and position, but they need a 4 point attachment to work properly. The four point is super secure adjustible, but hasnèt been all that popular, and now we have these snap on ones. i tried some new MECs and hated them compared to the earlier models. There were far fewer positons they could mount on a rack, and they were as heavy empty as my odd one is loaded. I think I have internal frame backpacks that weigh less.
    I disagree about the weight having both a set of old and new ones. The difference is pretty small, mostly being the thickness of the board inside, neither of them are really light panniers, but they're not really performance equipment.. But the positioning, absolutely! The big clips can make it hard to put the panniers in that "perfect" position, if they happen to collide with any of the lateral brace tubing - which they often do considering how wide those clips are. Big pain on the one bike with the aluminum racks, but thankfully perfect for the rack on the Peugeot. You could always drill new holes into the pannier and re-mount the clips though, I think.

  23. #23
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    I don't get this:
    "I think the normal hooks and bungee arrangement is pretty adequate and consider the elaborate attachment systems to be a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist. "


    Every pannier I've owned with the normal hook and elastic had a problem of flying off if the rear wheel hit a good bump. I have a pair of Performance tranist epic panniers with the plain rubber coated hook, but no elastic. Instead, of an elastic it uses an adjustable nylon strap that doesn't flex if you hit a good bump. They've never come off. I've also owned Eclipse panniers with a sliding rail attachement--they never flew off. Neither do my deuter's which have a locking hook. Friends of mine with lone peak panniers--which also have a locking hook system--have never had their Lone Peak panniers jump off. Only the panniers with plain, non-locking hooks and elastic bottom hooks jump off. So the problem is indeed real. What I don't get is how you can use these and never have them jump off. The only way I can figure is:
    1. The roads and routes you use don't have any serious pavement issues and are butter smoothe.
    2. You ride really slow.
    3. You are super observant, and slow down for any bump which will throw your panniers.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
    Does anyone not entirely trust the attachments that hold panniers to racks?

    If so, does anyone normally use additional straps or bungees to hold their panniers more securely to the rack?

    Does anyone have horror stories about pannier attachments failing?
    You can get the hook kits from Arkel but they're a bit expensive... An excellent mounting system though.

  25. #25
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    My purpose for the original post here was that I had just bought a pair of Avenir panniers with locking hooks. But they looked flimsey and I didn't trust them.

    6 months later, no problems.

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