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  1. #1
    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    First tour ride with a Bob - Panniers also?

    I now have a Bob trailer on loan from a friend. A 5 day tour ride coming up soon will be my first time to ride with a trailer. My bike is a Surly LHT. I am considering taking the front panniers also. Good idea? Bad idea? Does not make any difference either way?
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeArkansas View Post
    I now have a Bob trailer on loan from a friend. A 5 day tour ride coming up soon will be my first time to ride with a trailer. My bike is a Surly LHT. I am considering taking the front panniers also. Good idea? Bad idea? Does not make any difference either way?
    I'd say choose the belt or the suspenders. Using both just looks goofy

    All kidding aside, you should be able to get by with either the trailer or with panniers. Having both just encourages you to carry much more stuff then you really need.
    Stuart Black
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  3. #3
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Agreed. For only 5 days I can´t imagine you would need the capacity of both. We are haulling trailers and 4 panniers each, but we´re out for a couple of years and are homeschooling our kids along the way so we need the space. I doubt you do.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

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    When I've toured with my family I've used front panniers and a BOB trailer. I didn't have any handling problems. So, if you need the extra space you can do it, I would agree that you probably don't need both though.

    If you are using the big yellow bag with the BOB I would suggest a handlebar bag or trunk rack in addition to the BOB. The big bag is a bit of a pain to open and close, so it's nice to have snacks and such someplace easy to get to.

    Chris

  5. #5
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Try packing the trailer first. If it fits everything, there is no need for the front panniers.

    You might want a handlebar bag though, just for convenience.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    The trailer I borrowed did come with the big yellow bag. My thought was that I did not want to get into it every time I needed some little item. I think I might have been correct.

    Also, I have toured on this Surly for about 10 days in the past year. I have used the panniers and the bike seems to like the weight on the front wheel. Probably not, but it seems that way.
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

  7. #7
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Having both just encourages you to carry much more stuff then you really need.
    +1 ...

    5 days and you'll understand: less is better/simpler/easier

  8. #8
    Have Beer Will Travel cupsal's Avatar
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    As others have said, you probably do not need both....
    However, i use a bob around town, and the bike is noticeably more stable when i have my front porter loaded along with the trailer.

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeArkansas View Post
    The trailer I borrowed did come with the big yellow bag. My thought was that I did not want to get into it every time I needed some little item. I think I might have been correct.

    Also, I have toured on this Surly for about 10 days in the past year. I have used the panniers and the bike seems to like the weight on the front wheel. Probably not, but it seems that way.
    I'd suggest doing a test run with the trailer before you go. Trailers can make the bike handling...um...funky In corners the trailer will tend to push your bike to the outside of the corner and under braking may lift the back end a little. Trailers tend to be the tail that wags the dog. Some people don't mind while others do. Try it and see before you go.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    Do some bicycle camping instead. Much better suited on a single track. Pavement tour loose the 15 lbs and extra worry of a tube.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    There should be plenty of room in the Bob for everything you want to take. Adding front panniers would be fine, but you'd be adding some wind resistance. That big yellow bag is waterproof, like a dry sack used for canoeing. I didn't need any waterproof bags (like on my sleeping bag) when I put everything in the big yellow bag. Just do a little planning so that the stuff you're most likely to use during the day on top. It's a big bag, and if you have to rummage around in it for something, it can take awhile.

    I also carried a handlebar bag. Despite the wind resistance, I felt it was worth it for the convenience. That's where I carry my wallet, keys, camera, maps, and snack.

    I didn't feel much effect on handling with the Bob. In fact, when I started from a rest stop I often had to look in the mirror to make sure it was hooked on. The hardest part was maneuvering it in the campsite, store parking lot, etc. - walking speed when I had to turn sharply. It can tip and put a lot of stress on the bike frame.

    Having said all of that, I've tried both panniers and the Bob and I prefer panniers - not by a huge margin, but it's a solid preference.

  12. #12
    weirdo
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    I used front panniers along with a BOB for exactly the reason the OP mentioned- it`s easier to get lunch (I eat a lot of lunches) out of the panniers than go rummaging around in the BOB and hoping not to knock the bike over. Absolutely not necessary, but it did make things a little easier. probably at the expense of some extra wind drag and an extra couple pounds of cordura. BTW, unless you`re planning on very wet weather or fording creeks, I suggest you leave the big yelllow bag at home and use a light nylon duffelbag. Those boogers are about four pounds, IIRC- I used mine once and it hasn`t been loaded since.

  13. #13
    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    As the OP of this thread I need to report that my question about the front panniers is now all for naught. Another person really needs the Bob for this 5 day tour, and I do have a full set of panniers. Therefore, I will transfer the Bob to the other rider and experiment on another ride. A little disapointed, but there is always the next time.
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

  14. #14
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    OBO and panniers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    Try packing the trailer first. If it fits everything, there is no need for the front panniers.

    You might want a handlebar bag though, just for convenience.
    When I bicycled Cairns to Darwin I had both as well as 2 spare tires for the bike and one for the IBEX. I also had a bar bag and a small duffle on the rear rack - lots of water too in a couple of gallon-sized plastic bottles lashed on top of the IBEX. That unsupported trip took 6 weeks, BUT I still had too much stuff.

    For your 5 day trip just stick with the BOB.

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