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Old 01-16-02, 11:50 AM   #1
ibikeinpdx
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Panniers for the Big One

Riding the Big One this summer. Portland, OR to Portland, ME loosely based on AC's Northern Tier and others. I have questions about long-distance (and I do mean long) road touring panniers.

I'm waffling between Arkel gt54s and Beckman El 2000s for the rear. Your vote or recommendation?

I have used waterproof Vaudes on several tours and I'm disappointed with the lack of "compartments." Also, if something wet gets in there, it makes everything else damp. It's a pain to get to things on the bottom. On a positive note, they do keep things nice and dry.

I will be carrying full camping equipment, stove included. I'm not an overpacker, but I don't obcess about shedding ounces.

Cheers!
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Old 01-16-02, 01:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by ibikeinpdx
I have used waterproof Vaudes on several tours and I'm disappointed with the lack of "compartments." Also, if something wet gets in there, it makes everything else damp. It's a pain to get to things on the bottom. On a positive note, they do keep things nice and dry.
You can keep things dry in such a situation by separating the wet stuff from the dry with plastic bags. However, having commuted on many occasions in tropical downpours, I remain skeptical about the "waterproof" claims of any pannier on the market.
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Old 01-16-02, 02:24 PM   #3
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I haven't used either of those models for touring, but I did use an Arkel pannier for commuting for a long time. The construction and quality were great. I can't say which would be best in your situation, but I can definitely give Arkel a thumbs up.
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Old 01-16-02, 02:30 PM   #4
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I did the what seems like a very similar trip two summers ago and used REI rear panniers. They are very good value for the cost and have held up without any complaints. They have a few outside pockets and are very easy to get on and off. I've never used the ones you mentioned, but Beckmann certainly has a great reputation.
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Old 01-16-02, 02:52 PM   #5
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hi another suggestion is use a bob yak trailer
and for clothes ect use ortlieb canoe sacks
with this combination all you do when you stop for the nite is take tent out put it up then dry clothes are in sack to put on

also if needed for stability small low rider racks with small
front panniers
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Old 01-16-02, 04:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris L


You can keep things dry in such a situation by separating the wet stuff from the dry with plastic bags. However, having commuted on many occasions in tropical downpours, I remain skeptical about the "waterproof" claims of any pannier on the market.
Chris. Were the "waterproof" bags you used made of welded polyester like Ortleibs, or sewn nylon/cordura cloth ?
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Old 01-16-02, 07:02 PM   #7
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Chris. Were the "waterproof" bags you used made of welded polyester like Ortleibs, or sewn nylon/cordura cloth ?
They are of the nylon type, but have a "raincoat" that comes out from the top and covers them (a similar material to my similarly ineffective rainjacket). This is good for a shower or something, but as I said before, I commute in literally any kind of weather including downpours that have caused widespread flooding in just a couple of hours. In these situations, you need additional protection.
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Old 01-17-02, 05:11 AM   #8
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Orteib style of waterproof pannier are really waterproof. The polyester fabric is tough and used in canoe bags, the seams are welded, and totally sealed, and the closure is immersion proof.

The downside to this is that dampness stays inside the bag, and the rolltop closure is more hastle to open. They aften lack an outside pocket .

No other style of bag can really claim to be waterproof, and nylon cloth bags leak like a seive after a little use.

They are especially good in cold wet climates, and bad in warm wet ones.
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Old 01-17-02, 05:45 AM   #9
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So far I've been happy with my Altura Skye Panniers - they're the nylon cordura type with a pull-out 'waterproof' cape, with a sprung clip, hook and rail system. I've only used them for three months commuting so I can hardly claim it's been an exhaustive test... without the cape in use they've held up to an hours light/moderate rain with the contents still dry. With the cape in use they've held up to an hours moderate/heavy rain with the contents still dry. I haven't tried them under truly heavy rain or for longer periods, so I don't know about touring.

Michaels points about the welded type of pannier are good advice - breathability goes out the window.

It's also worth thinking about how long you're going to be out in the rain for - whilst you might not ride for more than an hour or two in heavy rain, you might not be able to get you're bike undercover afterwards.

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Old 01-17-02, 08:25 AM   #10
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The people I met on the road using ortleibs, swareby them. Thjey have all said the same as Michael W. said. Totaly water proof but almost too water proof being that they dont breathe.

I have used Madden Buzzards on the rear and Lizards on the frount. they are of the cordova sp? type and water resistant but not water prrof. I spray them with camp dry befor i take off on tour which helops a little in light misty days . They have light weight covers to put on as as extra protection in wet weather. these help a bit but still not fully water proof, The real bennifit of these covers i think is that they are the color of 10 mile ornge. It helps to be seen on days thatare dark and dreary rainey .

I do like most anyother tourers does I pack everything in plastic bags befor putting them in the panniers. this keeps things somewhat organized and saves time looking for items. Ive developed a system of packing where everything is allways in the same place (makes life on the road much easier)

The maddens attach quickly, and are secured by a simple locking device which keps them secure while riding they come off and on quickly ionce in camp.

there are many choices in touring bags one you will have to make and be happy with. YOu are wise to get opininons and gain knowledge form othere experiances.

good luck in your hunt for the right bag.
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Old 01-17-02, 08:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by stever

also if needed for stability small low rider racks with small
front panniers
I've got to give the low rider front panniers a plug. Its an added initial cost and will take about 2 days of riding to get used to them, but they will reduce wear and tear on you back wheel and make your bike a lot more stable.
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