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Old 09-15-12, 03:07 AM   #1
Machka 
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Panniers with Wheels

Have you ever seen panniers with wheels? You know how a lot of luggage these days have wheels and pull handles so that people can roll their suitcases through airports, train stations, and hotels more easily ... that's the sort of wheels I'm talking about.

The biggest challenge I find with panniers is when they are not on the bicycle. When they are on the bicycle, they can be moved around reasonably easily, but take them off the bicycle in order to carry them to your room in a hotel, and they are awkward and heavy.

So ... do you know of any companies that sell panniers with wheels?

Or as an alternative to that, are there small, light, foldable "trollies" onto which one could place panniers (or suitcases) to transport them around?
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Old 09-15-12, 05:31 AM   #2
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You could use an extrawheel trailer.
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Old 09-15-12, 05:48 AM   #3
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I've used a folding plastic luggage rack myself on several ocassions. They're fairly generic, are rated for about 60lbs and sell for between $10 and $30 dependind on who's selling it. They fold very flat and compact when not in use. Here's an example: http://item.mobileweb.ebay.ca/viewit...d=260896326576
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Old 09-15-12, 05:51 AM   #4
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Before they started putting wheels on luggage, they sold small fold up carts with two wheels to carry your luggage. I traveled a lot for work in the 1980s and used one quite a bit, I also used the same cart this past week to haul a big box into the shipping company. They are in less demand now so they are harder to find, but are still made for people that fly around the country that have to host convention booths, etc. But I have no idea if it would be very easy to stack four panniers and a handlebar bag on them, that might not work so well. I am sure you could find them in a travel store or for sale in an airport.

Kayaks have small hatches and you can't carry large packs or stuff sacks in a kayak. When I go kayak touring and have lots of small items packed in my kayak, I carry a huge mesh duffel that I can put a bunch of the small items into and then carry that duffel with a shoulder strap up to the campsite.

Mesh folds down very small and is very light. I have not tried to put panniers in it, I am sure my front panniers would fit but not sure about the rear. The handlebar bag, helmet, etc., would fit quite nicely for carrying in the motel.

Wheels on panniers? Never seen them.
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Old 09-15-12, 06:26 AM   #5
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I've never seen panniers with wheels.

Get your husband to carry them up stairs. Or the bellhop. There's no way I would lug around a cart for 4-8 hours of riding to solve a problem that takes 10 minutes of my day.
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Old 09-15-12, 07:58 AM   #6
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The folding luggage carts described here are still available at Staples, but they are surprisingly more expensive than you'd expect. I saw a 100lb capacity model at $32.99. I seem to remember paying about $19 just a few years ago.

Also, I agree 100% with the statement above about lugging around an extra piece of gear to provide a minor convenience. Same problem with a wheeled pannier. You'd need a long handle, which would add extra weight and consume a good amount of space within the bag.
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Old 09-15-12, 08:18 AM   #7
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I've never seen panniers with wheels. I have almost always been able to just wheel the bike into my room. I think the only exception has been at two hostels. Are you finding wheeling the bike to the room to not be allowed where you are traveling?
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Old 09-15-12, 08:27 AM   #8
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^^ Someone who works a the same place I do has one of the Magna Carts, and I know someone else with one that regularly hauls 20+ lbs on his, they said they paid about $20 for them but saw the prices jump to $30 last time they looked, so it seems to be a price hike trend.

About those Magna carts [not sure about the other brands], they seem pretty solid with a decent aluminum build, but if you put something heavy on them the collapsing handles feel a bit wobbly/ loose [its noticeable, but I doubt it would be a problem ever]. They are basically little hand carts and you would have to stack your stuff vertically. The other problem is they fold flat to the general shape of a thick pizza box so storing them on a bike could be a problem.


You should also consider a old and cheap folding stroller from a store like Goodwill [don't know where you could find a place like that where you are] but for $5-20 you could get a ~5lb folding stroller that would be able to take ~50-100lbs, just fold it up and strap it on the top rear rack with 2-3 cinch straps
Something like this but smaller maybe [its a $16 kmart 'Folding ''Umbrella'' Stroller']:


If you want to have panniers with wheels and you cannot find any then you could potentially modify the panniers you have. For each pannier get: 2 straight rolling castors [not the swivel kind, get solid looking metal and plastic 25lb+ load bearing ones], aluminum bar stock [probably 1"] then a box of pop-rivits and a pop-rivit tool, you will also need/ want some saw to cut and a drill to make holes in the aluminum stock and something to bend it easily (if you find someone with the tools, or convince a local store to let you build it there that would be a great option, or maybe a 'buy it, use it, and resell it to them' deal. I can post a quick sketch later, but a quick description of what it would be like would be you take about 1ft of aluminum stock, bend it ~120 degrees in the middle, drill holes for the castors at one end and pop-rivit it on there, then on the other end you would attach it to the rigid back of the panniers with pop-rivits [you may have to back it on the inside with washers or a thin sheet metal plate], when its done the aluminum stock should not interfere with the rack, and the wheels will be away from the rack/ bike wheels but be useful when you go to move the panniers around -you could strap/bungiee several of the rolling panniers together and have it act as a single cart, handling/ turning will be terrible though
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Old 09-15-12, 09:10 AM   #9
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Have you ever seen panniers with wheels? You know how a lot of luggage these days have wheels and pull handles so that people can roll their suitcases through airports, train stations, and hotels more easily ... that's the sort of wheels I'm talking about.

The biggest challenge I find with panniers is when they are not on the bicycle. When they are on the bicycle, they can be moved around reasonably easily, but take them off the bicycle in order to carry them to your room in a hotel, and they are awkward and heavy.

So ... do you know of any companies that sell panniers with wheels?

Or as an alternative to that, are there small, light, foldable "trollies" onto which one could place panniers (or suitcases) to transport them around?
Yes, and it is called the Burley Travoy trailer. It can be folded and considered carry on on airlines.

I do own one and had used this extensively with my folding bike on tours.
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Old 09-15-12, 09:18 AM   #10
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We've carried our tandem upstairs in hotels. Now that's awkward. OTOH, we only have one pannier apiece, so even that's just two trips. In airports, our tandem is in a big wooden wheeled box, so we just pile our stuff on top and push. OTOH, that means we would have to ship the box ahead if we wanted a tour that wasn't a loop.
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Old 09-15-12, 09:25 AM   #11
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I did a quick sketch of how you could modify your panniers to be rollers:

The Aluminum may bend a bit under load, but at a certain point the stuff in the bag will keep it from doing so further. The only problem with it is you guys don't have the hardware or free access to the necessary tools.



Another [silly] idea, you could take one of the 4 wheeled walkers like pictured below, then add some small rod/ tube stock to it so your panniers could be hung from the sides like it was a rack. I am sure it would look hilarious with the gear from both of your bikes hanging off it!

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Old 09-15-12, 09:39 AM   #12
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One thing about panniers , Ortlieb , i find no way around the individual bag juggling off the bike.
they dont even pair up as is..

Though I used webbing strips to join mine into pairs.. [over the wheel racks
not lowriders]
Trailers do start to seem better for the off the bike handling luggage..

Carry freedom City is quite Robust , sling bag within the frame,
lets additional duffles be added on top, etc.
even can hand tow it behind me with the Brompton folded up on it ..
and its 2 12.5" wheels are far enough back to do well on stairs and so forth http://www.carryfreedom.com/city.html

And of course Bike Fridays Travel package .. bike goes into suitcase to get there

Samsonite Wheely suitcase, bike inside. plus trailer kit, uses same 12.5 wheel ..
suitcase tows behind bike filled with gear.. instead of the bike, folded and dismembered a bit.


In-airport luggage trolleys so common in European airports, are not so frequent at US airports

in fact Newark NJ seemed to have a designed by 'red cap' doorway where the trolley out
of international arrivals would not go thru the door, to the curb.
and all connecting flights were in a separate building..

with some guy expecting a fat tip for :01 of time was holding the only trolley
between you and the connecting shuttle bus..

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Old 09-15-12, 10:11 AM   #13
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What I'm envisioning is something like what Agent9 drew up, a base on panniers to allow cyclists the option of screwing in a set of wheels when they need them, or unscrewing the wheels and popping them into a side pocket when they aren't needed.

I wouldn't want a trailer, and unless the cart/trolley folded down into practically nothing and didn't weigh very much, it would be impractical too.
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Old 09-15-12, 10:15 AM   #14
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I've never seen panniers with wheels. I have almost always been able to just wheel the bike into my room. I think the only exception has been at two hostels. Are you finding wheeling the bike to the room to not be allowed where you are traveling?
It's not even an option.

1) The lifts are too small.
2) The rooms are too small.
3) They have storage rooms for bicycles, and often escort us there, so entertaining the idea of somehow taking a bicycle into our room is out of the question.

It's great that so many of the places we've been having storage places for the bicycles, but it usually means hauling everything up flights of stairs and down long hallways. Thank goodness we only have 2 panniers and not 4!! But combined with a Carradice and handlebar bags, it's a lot of stuff to haul around, especially up stairs.
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Old 09-15-12, 10:56 AM   #15
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We don't run a rear fender on our tandem. Thus we can stand it on end in almost any lift. No problem. That's why we only run the front fender. We only have to carry it when there's no lift. Some hotels and hostels won't let us take the bike up, but many more have done. We've always been able to fit it into the room. One tandem is smaller than two singles, though. I hate it when they won't let us bring up the bike. Then we have to strip it completely, worry about it, etc. Hey, it's all good cross training. We never use escalators, either.
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Old 09-15-12, 11:25 AM   #16
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What I'm envisioning is something like what Agent9 drew up, a base on panniers to allow cyclists the option of screwing in a set of wheels when they need them, or unscrewing the wheels and popping them into a side pocket when they aren't needed.

I wouldn't want a trailer, and unless the cart/trolley folded down into practically nothing and didn't weigh very much, it would be impractical too.
Oh I see what you mean. Why not attach a pair of small caster wheels to your panniers plastic backing. They are small enough not to interfere with the rack as long as you position them correctly. Then buy a MEC Terabyte luggage retractable handle and screw it to one side of the front rack low rider and snap it on to your pannier. Voila, you have a carry on bag with wheels. To strap a second bag, use a momma hook ( giant carabiner) and a bungee cord. In fact, I am making one of this on the MEC shopping bag and bought all parts from MEC except the wheels and momma hook to make one. Purpose. Easier to drag around shopping at Safeway.
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Old 09-15-12, 11:48 AM   #17
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We don't run a rear fender on our tandem. Thus we can stand it on end in almost any lift. No problem. That's why we only run the front fender. We only have to carry it when there's no lift. Some hotels and hostels won't let us take the bike up, but many more have done. We've always been able to fit it into the room. One tandem is smaller than two singles, though. I hate it when they won't let us bring up the bike. Then we have to strip it completely, worry about it, etc. Hey, it's all good cross training. We never use escalators, either.
Some of the lifts we have seen on this trip have been tiny. I mean, you'd be lucky to fit four moderately large people in them comfortably.

But on the whole, the hotels just are not amenable to letting bikes into the rooms, even if they and the lifts were large enough. However, everywhere we have gone, the staff have been more than amenable to allowing us to leave the bikes in conference rooms, or under shelter at the back of the hotel, or a store room at the side with access through an outside door.

And that would be OK, except that more often than not there is quite the trek between the bikes and the lift, or the stairs to the room. After Machka's bike was stolen several Easters ago, we are, well, I admit it, paranoid about leaving any of our stuff unattended, and CFB's tales about bikes being stolen off trains in Central/Eastern Europe hasn't been reassuring, either. So we carry everything with us as we go.

Getting on an off some of the trains here has been a real chore, too. Often the panniers have to come off the bikes to get the bikes up three steep and narrow steps into the allocated area. We tried this with the panniers still on the bikes, and ended up with Machka falling out of the train with my bike.

Then when the bikes are separated from our panniers, we might have to walk two or three or more carriages further down the train to get to our booked seats.

And some of the stations here don't have lifts or ramps to every platform.

So our motivations are more than laziness and the idea that you "get your husband to carry your panniers" (whatever that is supposed to mean).

-----------------------------

Wheels on the bottoms of suitcases and bags have been a viable option for travellers for a long time now. The thought struck us that to make travel where the bike has to be separated from our panniers a pair of wheels on one pannier might be the ticket, with a retractable handle so one pannier could sit on top of the other, with a handlebar bag, and away we would go.

Admittedly, using a Bike Friday with the suitcase/trailer might make things a tad easier in this regard. But not everyone uses BF on their international travels, and not everyone wants to travel light or UL.

Thanks, Agent9 for the drawing. It does reflect what I have been thinking since, oh, Japan over two months ago. And yes, pacificcyclist, you get it! That's exactly where we're coming from.

We are using the English brand, Altura panniers at the moment, and they proving to be robust, and I have been considering a way to discreetly attach something like scooter wheels or a pair of plain caster wheels in place of the rubber pads on their bases. I have been considering a handle made of a collapsible alloy walking stick, and that could fit where the pump pegs are on the bikes' seat stay when not in use.

But on tour where we're moving about a lot, getting all that stuff together is not as easy as it seems... so I will have to wait until I get to Machka's parents in Canada or home to try to bring it all together.
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Old 09-15-12, 04:52 PM   #18
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We ordered the casters for our bike box from grainger.com:

[TABLE="width: 586"]
[TR]
[TD]1[/TD]
[TD]Stem Caster Mounting Socket,PK5
Item no: 5VT35
P.O. Line #: 1
[/TD]
[TD]1[/TD]
[TD]Yes[/TD]
[TD][TABLE]
[TR]
[TD]$9.81 [/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
[/TD]
[TD]$9.81 [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="colspan: 6"][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="bgcolor: #666666, colspan: 6"][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="colspan: 6"][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]4[/TD]
[TD]Swivel Stem Caster,13/16"W,2"D
Item no: 4X948
P.O. Line #: 2
[/TD]
[TD]4[/TD]
[TD]Yes[/TD]
[TD][TABLE]
[TR]
[TD]$8.59 [/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
[/TD]
[TD]$34.36 [/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

You would use smaller, lighter ones for your project. I reamed out the holes in the mounts so that the casters were fairly easy to push in and pull out. There are a variety of styles of caster mounts besides the ones we used.

The more stories like yours I hear, the more I think that bikes and trains don't mix very well. I met a woman whose partner got on the train, but a train official said there was no more room and shoved her and her bike off the train. Her partner had the tent and all the money and credit cards. They didn't have cell phones. She did find him after searching for a couple of days. How's that for pure terror?

We bought a 4-band phone and a SIM before we left the States. Lucky that we did, because one of our flights was delayed over 24 hours.
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Old 09-15-12, 07:28 PM   #19
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What I'm envisioning is something like what Agent9 drew up, a base on panniers to allow cyclists the option of screwing in a set of wheels when they need them, or unscrewing the wheels and popping them into a side pocket when they aren't needed.

I wouldn't want a trailer, and unless the cart/trolley folded down into practically nothing and didn't weigh very much, it would be impractical too.
I guess my thinking is that six sets of casters on six different pieces of luggage probably wouldn't weigh any less than one compact collapsable cart and you'd still have six seperate items to deal with. With a little imagination I'd think that the key components to one of those racks could be incorporated into one pannier - replacing the rear stiffner and frame assembly, and be capable of expanding to handle several stacked items in one trip.

Not exactly ultralightweight touring, but from the sounds of things, you're not travelling exclusively by bicycle anyway and if you're using any site as a base camp - you'd have the option to leave a bunch of stuff behind and just take what you need for the day.
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Old 09-16-12, 02:06 AM   #20
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I guess my thinking is that six sets of casters on six different pieces of luggage probably wouldn't weigh any less than one compact collapsable cart and you'd still have six seperate items to deal with. With a little imagination I'd think that the key components to one of those racks could be incorporated into one pannier - replacing the rear stiffner and frame assembly, and be capable of expanding to handle several stacked items in one trip.

Not exactly ultralightweight touring, but from the sounds of things, you're not travelling exclusively by bicycle anyway and if you're using any site as a base camp - you'd have the option to leave a bunch of stuff behind and just take what you need for the day.
6 sets of casters?

I'm thinking 2 wheels in the bottom of 2 panniers (for each of us). We don't travel with more than 2 panniers each.

But yes, a stacking system like what pacificcyclist talks about might work.
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Old 09-16-12, 04:24 AM   #21
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That extrawheel doesn't seem like it would be good for moving panniers around when not on the bicycle. How would it balance?
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Old 09-16-12, 05:25 AM   #22
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6 sets of casters?

I'm thinking 2 wheels in the bottom of 2 panniers (for each of us). We don't travel with more than 2 panniers each.

But yes, a stacking system like what pacificcyclist talks about might work.
LOL OK - so maybe I misread your previous post.
Quote:
Thank goodness we only have 2 panniers and not 4!! But combined with a Carradice and handlebar bags, it's a lot of stuff to haul around, especially up stairs.
I wasn't quite sure where you wanted to draw the line. That could have been up to 8 items that you might have wanted to attach wheels to. At this point making two trips doesn't seem like all that big a deal to me - but its all about personal choice and preferences.

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Old 09-16-12, 10:20 AM   #23
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Or as an alternative to that, are there small, light, foldable "trollies" onto which one could place panniers (or suitcases) to transport them around?
yes there are, traveller's shops and even some big box stores
should have some..
handles telescope out, to luggage towing height.

Plan on adding a folding luggage trolley to the touring load?

it may be rigged up to make a wider platform on the rear rack
while en-route..


A square figure 8 ring,,that you can clip the pannier hooks onto,
that will then support a padded shoulder strap?

Ortleb bags each have a shoulder strap, but juggling a F & R pair
+ a rack bag and a HB bagis still a PIA.

but there is the old Chinese model of a long pole with a load on either end of it.. Hod carrying the old fashioned way..

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Old 09-16-12, 12:13 PM   #24
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LOL OK - so maybe I misread your previous post.
I wasn't quite sure where you wanted to draw the line. That could have been up to 8 items that you might have wanted to attach wheels to. At this point making two trips doesn't seem like all that big a deal to me - but its all about personal choice and preferences.
Well, remember in the context of our security concerns, it can become four trips, and when a hotel staffer says "follow me", and leads you and your bikes through a labyrinth of corridors, then waits until you have unloaded before securing the door... and then leads you to the stair up five flights to your room... with no lift... it's a scenario that has been repeated several times for us in some of Europe's older hotels and accommodation establishments.

And that train station thing is something many Americans cannot connect with because they simply don't travel by trains often, if at all in their lifetimes. But it's a common form of travel in Britain and Europe, and for loaded touring cyclists, there are certain challenges when confronted with no lift, no ramp, no escalator, 50 steps that have to be negotiated and a connection time of less than five minutes.
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Old 09-16-12, 12:43 PM   #25
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had good secure load, got a custom sewn rain cover over my rear
panniers-racktop-load ..
one piece, and the attachment scheme was not obvious..

Did my trips solo, hostels seemed to be OK , couples a shared room may be mutually better.
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