Anyone tried any of these;
front waterproof pannier
Euro compact pannier
They look pretty decent, but I can't tell anything about the rack attachments
I have the rear waterproof panniers. They look like are a larger version of the front waterproof pannier, so I would guess that they have the same rack attachment.
The pannier is waterproof and roomy. No complaints there, although the material seems a bit thin so I'd be careful about packing anything with sharp corners (I haven't had any punctures after a year of commuting).
However, the construction & rack attachments SUCK. There are 2 flat rubber-coated metal hooks that hook onto the rack. A 2-pronged metal hook on an elastic band hooks onto the bottom of the rack. If this starts to stretch out, there are buckles you can use to re-tension the elastic. There are 2 velcro straps sewn onto the top of the bag that can be wrapped around the rack for extra security. On my bags, the velcro straps are not spaced out evenly, allowing me to fit the straps around the rails on one side of the rack, but not on the other.
Also, the hooks are attached by rivets. I normally commute with a notebook, change of clothes, spare tube, mini-pump, patch kit, tire levers, and my lunch. Nothing terribly heavy. The rivets broke, leaving the hooks dangling from the bag...unusable. I drilled out all of the remaining rivets and replaced them with nuts & bolts, reattching the hook. Now it is secure.
Also, the webbed handle is sewn onto the bag's cover, not the bag itself. The cover is attached to the bag with 3 rivets. When you lift the loaded bag by the handle, all of the bag's weight will be placed on the rivets attaching the cover to the bag. Replace these rivets with bolts as well. My cover broke off before I swapped the rivets with bolts. Now that I have bolts, it is much stronger.
I do not recommend buying these bags unless you plan to upgrade the rivets to bolts. Then it will be worth it if you are on a tight budget. I bought all the nuts, bolts, & washers I needed for $2.
Otherwise, just fork out the dough for a good bag.
That's unfortunate about the attachment quality because the Euro compact looks like it would resolve my heel strike issue.
Well, the Euro compact might be different. I'm really only speaking about the quality of the waterproof panniers.
I have a pair of the euro panniers I bought last year for a Katy trail ride (Staying in B&Bs). They worked well for that and I had no heel strike problems. However I agree the attachment to the rack looks weak. ( I had no problems in several days of use) Also these will not have enough space for a long extended tour or a camping type tour.
Three of us used the Nashbar Waterproof and were happy with the quality. After 4244 miles of abuse on the TransAmerica they are still in fine shape with the only exception being that I needed to reattach a couple of the Velcro straps. They aren't that critical though and I didn't even bother until we were home to sew them back on. No complaints with the hooks or the attachment in general.
I too have the waterproof panniers from Nashbar and found the rivet attachment to be the weak link in the design. Like KonradNYC, I removed the rivets (tedious job), added small squares of Lexan for added support to the pannier plastic backing, and replaced the rivets with screws. Now the hooks on the bag will not pull through. After this upgrade I think the bags are very good for on-road touring and I have been using them for several years now on commutes. If you plan to do any off road touring or plan to ride on very bumpy terrain, then the attachment system is suspect.
If looking for economy panniers (when compared to Ortliebs), I think I would try Axiom's Typhoon panniers next (about $80 at aebike.com for a pair).
Well, what I have so far is a pair of Lone Peak p-100's with a 2000 cu inches. I was able to find them on ebay for 65.00 and they are really well-made.
I bought them for the front, but may need to use them in the back for heel clearance.
I'll check out the axioms. If it makes any difference, the panniers will be staying on the bike most of the time (not taking off at night).
I found front panniers to be plenty adequate in size for both the front and rear for extended touring especially if you will stack some bulky gear on top of the rack. Obviously it depends on the panniers and what you will carry, but I think smallish panniers on the rear make good sense.
That's a good point that I had not considered.
Originally Posted by staehpj1
I do plan to at least carry my tent and sleeping pad on top of the rack, and maybe my sleeping bag.
If I do that maybe I can get by with P-100s in the front and back.
Would you go with a platform up front or not ?
I agree with what's already been said about the Nashbar panniers. I lead bicycle tours for teenagers during the summer, and the kids typically run Nashbar. I haven't had a problem with the clips on top of the Nashbar bags, but the elastic that links the pannier to the hook that attaches to the bottom of the rack detaches from its fastener. It's fixable, and not too big a problem if you're handy and patient. I wouldn't recommend them though. Kitty Litter buckets (waterproof) or converted mini Alice backpacks (water-resistant with treatment) would be better if you're looking to save money.
I have not used a front platform and haven't felt like I was missing anything. It depends I guess. I will say that some of the racks with a platform (the Surly front Nice Rack comes to mind) are awfully heavy, expensive, and seem overbuilt to me. I just used the low rider type front rack from Nashbar. It seems to be well designed, cheap, light, and sturdy. It is basically a clone of the Blackburn Low Rider that I don't think is in production any more.
Originally Posted by 1-track-mind
I got a pair of their MTB rear panniers last summer. A rubber cord pulled loose in two weeks, A handle broke in 6 weeks, and one of the bolted hooks started loosening in 3 months. The cord was easily fixed.
True, they were their least expensive bags and I am hard on equipment, but still? If I were going on tour I'd want something better.
Well, allrighty then, I'll skimp elsewhere.
I did run across another option in the well-made category, Dueter.
I wasn't aware they were in the pannier business, but they look terrific.