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Thread: Panniers?

  1. #1
    The Human Guy
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    Panniers?

    Hello-

    I`m just getting into touring and am curious about any recommendations anyone may have on what kind of panniers to get. I don`t want to spend an arm and a leg but I definetely want something that lasts. I live in southern Japan and it gets quite humid during the summer and also tends to rain like you wouldn`t believe through June and part of July other than that the conditions are pretty accomadating. Lots of paved roads and bike friendly culture.

  2. #2
    The Human Guy
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    P.S.

    If a similar thread already exists, please refer me

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    Senior Member kk4df's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor C. Mearn View Post
    P.S.

    If a similar thread already exists, please refer me
    There's one active now in the Commuting forum: Best panniers for commuting?

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor C. Mearn View Post
    Hello-

    I`m just getting into touring and am curious about any recommendations anyone may have on what kind of panniers to get. I don`t want to spend an arm and a leg but I definetely want something that lasts. I live in southern Japan and it gets quite humid during the summer and also tends to rain like you wouldn`t believe through June and part of July other than that the conditions are pretty accomadating. Lots of paved roads and bike friendly culture.
    You will get a lot of recommends for Ortleibs, but I will suggest that you consider going cheaper (and much lighter). I have had excellent luck with Nashbar Waterproof (Performance sells the same thing under their name). I used them for a 73 day tour last year and they worked great, kept everything dry, and are holding up well. Between the three of us on that trip we used a mix of Nashbar Waterproof and Performance Transit Pro (not waterproof). All were quite satisfactory and I wouldn't hesitate to use any of them. Given the conditions you describe I suggest the waterproof models.

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    I just picked up some Nashbar gear (non waterproof) on ebay. I got everything at verly low cost and I am happy with what I have. I will post more info after I take them on their first tour in a couple of weeks.
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    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
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    Don't play around, if you have the money go for the Ortliebs. There are well known and traveled all over the world.
    And if you decide to stop touring (for one reason or another) there will be someone out there to buy them off you.
    Difficult to sell used cheap panniers.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xilios View Post
    Don't play around, if you have the money go for the Ortliebs. There are well known and traveled all over the world.
    And if you decide to stop touring (for one reason or another) there will be someone out there to buy them off you.
    Difficult to sell used cheap panniers.
    That is all true, but they weigh several pounds more for a set of 4 and cost several times as much. When the Nashbar ones work well enough and cost a fraction as much (they are frequently on sale) and hold up well I am inclined to go cheaper.

    Maybe it makes sense and maybe it doesn't but I am really averse to spending a lot more for gear that weighs several pounds more. Surly Nice Racks are another example of more expensive gear with a big weight penalty. .The lighter cheaper gear would have to have serious downside for me to not go that route and I have not found that to be the case with either the Nashbar or Performance panniers or the Blackburn EX-1 rear rack and Nashbar lowrider clone front rack. Between the racks and the bags I saved quite a few pounds and a LOT of money.

    The weight alone would have been enough for me, but when it is the weight and the money...

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    People often site the weight penalty on Ortliebs...but I just don't see it. Nashbar says their front water proof panniers are 2 lbs 6 ozs (38 ozs) for a capacity of 1056 cu in. Ortlieb says their fronts are 46.2 ozs for a capacity of 1526 inches. 50% larger for 8 ounces.

    Nashbar didn't give a weight on their non-waterproof so I can't make a comparison directly to that.

    You have more of a point on the Surly Nice racks But I don't think the difference is overwhelming. Surly says the weight on the Nice rear is 2.45 lbs (40 ozs) with all hardware and bolts. Tubus gives the weight of the Cargo as 22 ozs (which may not include hardware and bolts). So the difference is probablly about 1pound.

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    PS The Blackburn is several onces heavier than the Tubus so the diffrerence is even less.

  10. #10
    Crazyguyonabike
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    If I was choosing again between the "Classic" and "Plus" version of the Ortliebs, then I would go for the Plus. The difference is that the Classics are made of thicker PVC fabric, which may last longer (debatable), while the Plus are made of a thinner coated cordura fabric (which Ortlieb claims is actually more durable than the PVC). Both Classic and Plus are 100% waterproof fabrics. I prefer the Plus because it is easier to roll up, if you're using the Front or Rear Roller panniers. I also like the Roller models because they really are waterproof, if you roll them up properly then they will keep out torrential rain no matter what. Sometimes people cite the opinion that you don't need that degree of waterproofness, since the pannier always stays upright anyway, but I haven't found that to be true. I tend to leave my panniers overnight next to the tent under the vestibule, and many times if there is a torrential downpour, then the panniers end up on their side in a big puddle. So 100% waterproof is my favorite. The final advantage of the Plus over the Classic is that the panniers are lighter. Also the Plus version of the handlebar bag has a couple of additional pockets on the side, which the Classic does not.

    Some people prefer compartmentalized panniers (like the ones from Arkel, another fine maker of panniers), over the "one big bag" approach of the Ortliebs. I think this comes down to a matter of personal preference. Some people don't like having to dig down from the top of the rollers, whereas others don't like the wasted space that can occur with compartments. Also, the more zips there are, the more seams and things to wear out and break. The rolltops are very, very simple, and there isn't a lot to go wrong there.

    Another benefit of the Ortliebs is the attachment system - the clip is rock solid, and the bags simply cannot jump off the bike if they are attached properly. It is possible to mount the bags in such a way that the clips don't close properly around the tubing of the rack, in which case the bag could dislodge. But you soon get into the habit of making sure that the clip mounted in the right way.

    Any pannier will probably work, at least for a while. The big questions to ask about panniers are:

    1. Waterproof or non-waterproof?
    2. Compartmentalized or one-big-space?
    3. Top loading or side access?
    4. What is the mounting system? Can the bag jump off the bike?
    5. Reliability - what is the quality of construction?
    6. Weight
    7. Volume - not the first concern, but should be considered.

    I personally would probably go with the Ortlieb Rear Rollers, both front and back. I have used the Front Rollers on the front rack for years, and I find them to be really too small. I like a bit of extra volume. More space doesn't necessarily mean more weight; it can mean being able to take more cold weather clothing, which can be bulky but light.

    I also like the Ortlieb Rack Pack, in the medium size it attaches across the top of the rear rack to the Rear Rollers. This worked pretty well. Since the arrangement makes it a bit more inconvenient to gain quick access to the rear panniers, I put the stuff I don't generally need during the day in those - things like tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, stove, water filter. Most of my clothes went in the Rack Pack, for easy access to rain gear, cold weather stuff etc.

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...?pic_id=281733

    Neil
    Last edited by NeilGunton; 08-01-08 at 03:28 PM.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcahill844 View Post
    People often site the weight penalty on Ortliebs...but I just don't see it. Nashbar says their front water proof panniers are 2 lbs 6 ozs (38 ozs) for a capacity of 1056 cu in. Ortlieb says their fronts are 46.2 ozs for a capacity of 1526 inches. 50% larger for 8 ounces.

    Nashbar didn't give a weight on their non-waterproof so I can't make a comparison directly to that.

    You have more of a point on the Surly Nice racks But I don't think the difference is overwhelming. Surly says the weight on the Nice rear is 2.45 lbs (40 ozs) with all hardware and bolts. Tubus gives the weight of the Cargo as 22 ozs (which may not include hardware and bolts). So the difference is probablly about 1pound.
    I agree that the Tubus racks are nice, if a bit spendy.

    Front-Roller Plus - Greenpeace-Line - 50.8 ounces
    Front-Roller Classic - 56.1 ounces
    TransIt Small Waterproof Panniers -almost 40 ounces

    Back-Roller Plus - 59.3 ounces
    Back-Roller Classic - 67 ounces
    TransIt Large Waterproof Panniers - 52 ounces

    So by those numbers the difference ranges from a 1 pound 2 ounces to 2 pounds. less than I thought, but still enough to matter.

  12. #12
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    You are correct on the weight of the front roller classic. I got the weight I sited from the touring store site. When you quoted a different weight I went and weighed mine. That being said...they are 50% larger for that extra pound.

    I've had problems with cheap (to be fair ... non-Nashbar) panniers flying off my rack in traffic. The mounting system on the Ortlieb is rock solid and everythng about them is quality.

  13. #13
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    Another option for panniers that provides waterproof and better quality than Nashbar panniers at a reasonable price are Axiom Typhoons or Monsoons. They can be had as a pair for about ~$70 (e.g., aebike.com).
    Last edited by bwgride; 08-01-08 at 05:01 PM.

  14. #14
    Dismember Lou627's Avatar
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    also Dueter, I got my rears on ebay a couple years ago and they have held up great. They adjust to fit most racks, but the top tubing they hook onto needs to be circular. Shipping to japan might be expensive on ebay though.

    they were about 60 bucks

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    deuter^^ (sp) are nice and often cheap at campmor - though very well designed and crafted.

    Also you might look into lone peak (again, check campmor), which are American-made high quality bags crafted by people who are paid a living wage to assemble them in a true cottage industry. I would personally steer clear of the super-waterproof bags in high humidity, because they will lock moisture both out and inside. Better I think to have breatheability and covers/bags, which is a tried and true versatile method of keeping things dry while allowing you to air out/dry things during a days ride, also potentially cheaper? Just something to think about- 'kayak bags' for the bike seems so sensible until you have a combination of wetness, heat, and a hermetically sealed chamber... guess what, now everything is damp and stinks of mildew.

    I have both the Ortliebs (classic rolltop rear, classic bikepacker front) and Carradice Super C sets. I personally prefer the Carradice by a large margin, though I have no complaints about the ortliebs aside from that mentioned above -they are both excellent designs. I am confident the Carradice will out last the Ortliebs but I will get back to you in a couple decades... They are both high quality and built to last.

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    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    Get the Ortliebs. They are expensive, true, but worth every penny. I'm not an experienced tourer yet (only one tour so far), but I do use my bike every single day for literally all of my local transportation, and my Ortliebs have performed flawlessly through three very rainy Seattle winters. They are utterly waterproof, and they come on and off the bike in less than a second, but when they're on the bike they're totally solid.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    Mountain Equipment Co-op sells good panniers. The waterproof panniers are not Ortliebs but I've been using them for several years, including on some wet tours. My gear has always stayed dry. These panniers are also quite durable and so far mine are not showing signs of wear.

    MEC Aqua-Not 46L Rear Panniers
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  18. #18
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwgride View Post
    Another option for panniers that provides waterproof and better quality than Nashbar panniers at a reasonable price are Axiom Typhoons or Monsoons. They can be had as a pair for about ~$70 (e.g., aebike.com).
    I have these panniers and have been very happy with them. Have the typhoons and monsoons. Very reasonable price. They attach very easy and are very secure. Never had them even think about falling off.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcahill844 View Post
    I've had problems with cheap (to be fair ... non-Nashbar) panniers flying off my rack in traffic. The mounting system on the Ortlieb is rock solid and everythng about them is quality.
    Also to be fair I will say that others have said they had problems with the mounting system on the Nashbar Panniers. They have worked fine for the three of us though.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Also to be fair I will say that others have said they had problems with the mounting system on the Nashbar Panniers. They have worked fine for the three of us though.
    What racks did all 3 of you use that worked well with bags???

  21. #21
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    There are lots of good panniers. There are also some great ones. With cheaper panniers there seems to be more of a tendency for things to break - straps that are riveted on that pull out, snaps that fall off, etc. If you want something that will last for many years, spend the big bucks. If you want something that will last a few years, after which you'll be willing to replace them with something better, go for one of the less expensive models.

    Don't forget REI, Cannondale, and Lone Peak. You can also usually find panniers on Ebay. I've bought a couple of sets for friends and they've been fine.

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    If you decide to go for cheap panniers, you can use plastic trash bags to line them, to keep out the rain. I've used cheap panniers (and cheap backpacks, and cheap tools, etc.), and decided that life is too short for cheap gear. Ortliebs are not only very waterproof, they are very durable, well made, and easy to use (on and off the bike, etc.).

    There are also a few companies making waxed canvas panniers and other bags (Rivendell, Carradice, Gilles Berthoud). They idea is that the cotton thread in the canvas swells up to keep water out, but when the rain stops the canvas will breathe and let trapped moisture evaporate out of the bag. I don't know how they would work in the monsoon conditions you describe, but my canvas seatbags and handlebar bag work well in the rainstorms I've been in. They are not cheap, prices are equal to or more than Ortlieb.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwl6464 View Post
    What racks did all 3 of you use that worked well with bags???
    On the front, two used the Nashbar rack that is a blackburn low rider clone and the other used the similar Performance one. I think the Performance one was a bit nicer, but that is a judgment call.

    On the back two of us used the Blackburn Ex-1 and one used the rack that came with the bike. It looks like a Bor Yueh, but I am not sure if it is. It was kind of flimsy and flexed a bit, but held up OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    ... less than I thought, but still enough to matter.


    i don't get this weight argument when you're talking about loaded touring. your bike is going to be heavy no matter what. i would rather get something that is going to be durable and last, than sacrifice quality for a little less weight. on a fully loaded bike. makes no sense.

  25. #25
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I have a problem with my Nashbar bags coming off on bumpy roads. thetouringstore.com has some clamps you can retrofit to their bags.
    This space open

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