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  1. #1
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    Wanted: cheap panniers... (nashbar, perf, advice?)

    Hi, folks.

    I've got the idea to try a little bike/camping expedition - just an overnight trip on the Katy Trail (Missouri) with my son on our tandem. I'm going to need some panniers.

    I don't think I'm going to become a real bike tourist, but I might try it again if we have fun. I have been known to do some bike commuting, so commuter-friendly bags would be a plus.

    I looked at Nashbar - they had these peanut-shaped "Euro" bags. Hmm:


    And then, there are these at Performance:


    The ones at Performance have quite a few gripes in the reviews. I guess the Nashbar "peanut" might fit better if I want to use my road bike for some commuting next year.

    For our trip, I'm going to be carrying a small tent, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, and some clothes.

    Any tips, advice? I wouldn't mind a used set, either...
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  2. #2
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Between the three of us we used the Performance one you are looking at and the Waterproof Nashbar ones (Performance sell the same thing under their name too). We did a 73 day 4244 mile tour with them and they worked out great. My daughter uses the Waterproof Nashbar ones for commuting and I think they would be my first choice for shopping or commuting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sumguy's Avatar
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    The transit Epic are pretty big - rated 2860ci. Bought a LonePeak rated at 3200ci and the LP easily fit inside; they must include the outer pockets for volume. I use the Transit for commuting and grocery shopping over a year/4 seasons and they are holding up great.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumguy View Post
    The transit Epic are pretty big - rated 2860ci. Bought a LonePeak rated at 3200ci and the LP easily fit inside; they must include the outer pockets for volume. I use the Transit for commuting and grocery shopping over a year/4 seasons and they are holding up great.
    Just to clarify... I think the one he pictured is not the Transit Epic, but rather the Transit Pro which is smaller at 2489 cubic inches. Not sure if you meant to imply that the Epic was the one he is looking at or not.

    FWIW: I found the Pro plenty big enough for a rear pannier.

  5. #5
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Senior Mumbler m5nardi's Avatar
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    My daughter has the smaller Axiom handlebar bag from the same waterproof line as the Typhoons, and it's fabulous. Axiom makes a good solid product at great prices, I'd buy more of their stuff in a heartbeat.

    I had the Nashbar ATB panniers for years, probably at least 300 shopping trips worth, and only had minor issues with them. I replaced the rivets with nuts/bolts/washers, had to resew velcro straps, reinforced the straps a little, etc. Overall I was always very happy with them and got them cheap, fixed them cheap. My Nashbar handlebar bag was another story. I think it was the basic, velcro straps didn't fit and fell off almost immediately. The bag material itself just wasn't up to the daily use my handlebar bags get.

  7. #7
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m5nardi View Post
    I had the Nashbar ATB panniers for years, probably at least 300 shopping trips worth, and only had minor issues with them. I replaced the rivets with nuts/bolts/washers, had to resew velcro straps, reinforced the straps a little, etc. Overall I was always very happy with them and got them cheap, fixed them cheap.
    If these are the ones I am thinking of, we had one pair of these too. My companions each used one on one side of the front and a Nashbar Front Waterproof Pannier on the other side. They liked the fact that it had pockets. The MTB panniers were the least robust of the ones we used though. They tended to flop into the spokes and we had to rig a little stick to the rack with tyraps to keep them out of the spokes. They were OK, but wouldn't be my first choice.

  8. #8
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    I have a set of the Performance Epic panniers and carried them on the Southern Tier on a standard road bike. They worked fine. They don't have the quality attachment fittings as do my Arkel panniers, but then they don't cost as much either. They worked fine.
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  9. #9
    Dismember Lou627's Avatar
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    get a front rack that has a platform, so you can stack those sleeping bags/pad and tent up. jandd has one, but a bit pricey, around $70 (and sold out most places).

  10. #10
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    If you want to do light touring then take a look at Sunlites. Not bad bags for $30.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  11. #11
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    Thanks... I might have a lead on a used set locally; otherwise, the Epics are looking pretty good... I got some TP points that I need to burn, too...
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoj View Post
    Thanks... I might have a lead on a used set locally; otherwise, the Epics are looking pretty good... I got some TP points that I need to burn, too...
    Be sure to watch the sales. The Epics seem to go on sale often. Then be sure to use a coupon code to get another 10-20% off (check the coupon forum). Then with your 10% Team Performance points it will be really inexpensive.

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    I got these online a couple weeks ago at Tree Fort Bikes for $38 for all 4.I added the zippers in the side pockets and net pockets.

    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  14. #14
    Occasional poster countrydirt's Avatar
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    I have a pair of the Nashbar Euro. Have them on the MTB tourer. As long as I get the kidney shape pointed the right direction, no heel strike. I can put more in them than I need to carry on tour, but they work fantastic for grocery trips (gallon of milk in each one, plus assorted smaller foods). I just need to cinch them down with the straps and they are solid on gravel roads. They didn't work so great on a non-pannier specific rack - bounced around without a solid bottom anchor spot, but are very solid on a rack designed for panniers. I pair them with a small set of Lone Peak Sundance on the front and can carry everything I need. A pic is somewhere in the loaded rig sticky and in my avatar.

  15. #15
    Junior Member BikesnBlues's Avatar
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    The only thing I don't like about the Nashbar ATB panniers is that the lid does not fit well, at least on my pair. If it was just a bit wider or would at least stretch with elastic or something, It would be okay. As it is, I never use them in the rain for fear that water will blow up under the lid. And what's with the top "pocket"? Wouldn't it have made more sense to just make the lid taller and wider than to incorporate a pocket which throws the whole thing out of whack?

    On the other hand, the quality is high, the reflective striping is outstanding, the volume is quite good for commuting and short camping trips and the rear (or "side", depending on how you look at it) pockets are tall enough to easily hold a Bernzomatic propane tank for my old grasshopper stove.

  16. #16
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    these may not fit the category of cheap but I liked them a lot. I don't know how much foot clearance you have on your tandem but these would fit great on the front.

    http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FEP

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    A much cheaper alternative is to get the Nashbar front rack (usually less than $20 incl shipping) that attaches to the brake mounts. Not for heavy stuff, but I've used one with no problems with my tent and it allows my bike to be nicely balanced. I found it really cheap and effective -not sure I'd use it for a round the world trip, but still effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou627 View Post
    get a front rack that has a platform, so you can stack those sleeping bags/pad and tent up. jandd has one, but a bit pricey, around $70 (and sold out most places).

  18. #18
    Bike Nerd Mr. Jim's Avatar
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    I have the Nashbar/Performance waterproof panniers front and back. I like them, they work well, my only complaint is no pockets what so ever. It's just a big dry sack with attachment points, however I use a front on the back for day to day commuting and use the larges for groceries so all in all they work well for my uses, commuting most days (car free here) and touring when I do that. I'm currently looking at what i want for a front bag setup and that will take care of the missing pockets issue.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    In transit pro.
    +1

    I used a bungee cord to hold them on. I tore off the hooks on the bottom and left the hooks on top.

  20. #20
    Zweckentfremdung enigmagic's Avatar
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    Axiom panniers are my favorites for cheap panniers; Great durability, excellent design, no frills panniers.

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