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Old 07-16-08, 03:10 AM   #1
Lou627
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how did you nashbar bags hold up?

I ordered the nashbar waterproof front panniers and their handlebar bag (the elite I believe, the big one). Anyone use them on long tours? How did they hold up?
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Old 07-16-08, 05:01 AM   #2
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Three of us used various combinations of Nashbar or Performance panniers and I used the handlebar bag you mention for the TransAmerica. Each of us had two Nashbar Waterproof Panniers, some the larger rear ones and some the smaller front ones.

Everything held up fine and we found them all quite satisfactory. A couple of the little Velcro tabs tore off of the panniers, but the panniers stayed on fine until we got around to sewing them back on.

Gear stayed quite dry in the panniers.

When the panniers are off the bike be careful not to lose the metal hooks on the bungee retainer system. We almost lost one a couple times when we had them off the bike.

My handlebar bag was pretty overloaded and there were rough roads a good bit of the time. As a result it did sag a bit during the 73 days on the road. It was never a real problem though and I beefed up the stiffening stuff inside after the trip (fairly easy to do). The waterproof zipper is pretty stiff at first, but loosens up over time. The bag is pretty waterproof, but when it REALLY rained I put a plastic grocery bag over it just to be sure since it had my electronics in it.

All in all... I would buy the same stuff again.
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Old 07-16-08, 07:43 AM   #3
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I haven't use mine for a long tour yet but i've done plenty of groccery shopping with them. not the same fatigue but defenetly a heavier load. so far they have worked very well.
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Old 07-16-08, 09:19 AM   #4
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Mine lasted about 200 miles loaded before they started to fail. I had a set of the small ones up front. The hooks for the rack fell off one by one (each held on by bolts by the end of the trip) and the velcro ripped off one. If you are going to buy them, I recommend retrofitting the hooks before the trip with bolts and loctite. I complained to Nashbar and they offered me a new set, but I wouldn't even take them after my experience with them. But on the plus, they are very waterproof and did last 3600 miles with some rigging.
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Old 07-16-08, 09:24 AM   #5
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I used the cheapest handlebar bag on a two day trip earlier this summer. I overloaded it and it went kaput at the end of day one. There was enough of it left to hang on for the forty mile ride home the next day, but that was it. Treat them gingerly would be my advice.
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Old 07-16-08, 10:29 AM   #6
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Mine lasted about 200 miles loaded before they started to fail. I had a set of the small ones up front. The hooks for the rack fell off one by one (each held on by bolts by the end of the trip) and the velcro ripped off one. If you are going to buy them, I recommend retrofitting the hooks before the trip with bolts and loctite. I complained to Nashbar and they offered me a new set, but I wouldn't even take them after my experience with them. But on the plus, they are very waterproof and did last 3600 miles with some rigging.
Interesting. Between three of us we have two sets of the large rear ones and two sets of the small front ones and we had no issues with those hooks at all. We were fully loaded for camping and cooking and were on the road for 73 consecutive days (4244 miles).

Ours were probably all purchased between Feb. and May of 2007. I wonder if there was a bat batch or if they either were improved or went downhill at some point. When did you purchase yours?

Were you particularly hard on them or did they fit your rack poorly?
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Old 07-16-08, 12:08 PM   #7
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I found a nashbar handlebar bag to be the worst bag I'd ever seen, but it wasn't the elite.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:13 PM   #8
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I use a Nashbar handlebar bag that I got brand new for 20 bucks, I think it's the big elite one.

I think it's decent for how much it cost me, but I would suggest a higher quality bag with a better attachment system. The bag I have works 95% of the time until I hit a big bump and the bag comes loose off of the attachment.

My solution? I just use one of those velcro ankle-biters to secure the bag nylon handle to the handlebars as backup, so in the case that it bumps loose, it will just hang from my bars and not fall to the ground.
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Old 07-16-08, 01:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Interesting. Between three of us we have two sets of the large rear ones and two sets of the small front ones and we had no issues with those hooks at all. We were fully loaded for camping and cooking and were on the road for 73 consecutive days (4244 miles).

Ours were probably all purchased between Feb. and May of 2007. I wonder if there was a bat batch or if they either were improved or went downhill at some point. When did you purchase yours?

Were you particularly hard on them or did they fit your rack poorly?
I bought them right around the same time, about a month or two before the start of my 63 day tour in June 2007. Admitedly, they weren't a 'perfect' fit on my rack, the clips were spread a little bit, but i bent them to fit with some pliers before the trip. In one, i had a sleeping bag and pad (very dry in there) and in the other I kept limited food such as peanut butter, bread, fruit, stuff to live for a day or two, nothing extensive or too heavy. It could have just been my set but all-in-all, I was entirely unhappy with them.
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Old 07-16-08, 06:52 PM   #10
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I had a different model, the Nashbar Mountain panniers. Actually still have them, but don't use them. The sewn on draft collar (terminology??) separated at the seam on the first use. There is another seam starting to come apart as well. The pannier was full, but not stuffed or heavy. I've since switched to a pair of Deuters, and have found them to be much more durable. I'll neve go back to Nashbar bags, although I've found many of their other products to be great.
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Old 07-16-08, 08:18 PM   #11
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Can't beat Nashbar panniers for the price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou627 View Post
I ordered the nashbar waterproof front panniers and their handlebar bag (the elite I believe, the big one). Anyone use them on long tours? How did they hold up?
Nashbar panniers definitley are NOT the last bags youll ever buy(such as Ortliebs), but they should hold up for a fairly long tour without any significant failures. And they really are waterproof. I used them on a Seattle-Ft. Lauderdale tour (5000+ miles) and they worked fine. And they were stuffed to the gills. Never even had a bag jump off the rack once. My girlfriends bike had them also... no problems. If you are on a tight budget, these are a great option. They wont last forever, but they will work for at least 5000 miles.
And they ARE WATERPROOF.
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Old 07-17-08, 10:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by bicyclebilly View Post
Nashbar panniers definitley are NOT the last bags youll ever buy(such as Ortliebs), but they should hold up for a fairly long tour without any significant failures. And they really are waterproof. I used them on a Seattle-Ft. Lauderdale tour (5000+ miles) and they worked fine. And they were stuffed to the gills. Never even had a bag jump off the rack once. My girlfriends bike had them also... no problems. If you are on a tight budget, these are a great option. They wont last forever, but they will work for at least 5000 miles.
And they ARE WATERPROOF.
To me the fact that the set of 4 bags was pounds less than the set of Ortliebs was significant. Also, I would be very surprised if mine didn't last at least 10,000 miles of touring and for many riders that would be the rest of their lives. I might buy the Nashbar bags over the Ortliebs even if price were no object. I feel the same about overbuilt racks (Surly Nice HEAVY Rack) vs the Blackburn rear or Nashbar/Performance front ones. Good enough is good enough and when extra weight is pounds it is a huge deal to me.
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Old 07-19-08, 10:26 AM   #13
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I have both the elite handlebar bag and waterproof panniers.

I found the handlebar bag itself to be fine, but the mounting system is lacking. Note my bag is a few years old and Nashbar may have changed it since then. The problems were two: the interior bracing is a flexible piece of plastic that sags under weight and the mounting bracket seems weak and is untrustworthy. To correct the first problem I removed the mounting bracket rivets from the bag and inserted a thin piece of lexan behind the interioir plastic to make it more rigid. To add support to the mounting bracket, I added two velcro strips that secure around the handlebar. Now the bag is very sturdy and won't budge once mounted. Below is a picture showing the velcro strips I added.

The primary problem most report with Nashbar panniers results from the small rivets pulling through the pannier interior support. To correct this problem I removed those rivets, added a small square peice of lexan as added support, and remounted the hooks with nuts and bolts. Below is an interior picture showing the lexan and nuts-bolts.

If I were to buy inexpensive waterproof panniers again, I would probably try the Axiom Monsoons or Typhoons. I think they can be bought for about $70 (e.g., aebike.com); I think the Axiom models are better quality for only a bit more in price.
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