Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 37
  1. #1
    Senior Member awfulwaffle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Glendale, WI
    My Bikes
    Franken-mountain bike, mid-90s Performance TR1000, 1990 Cannondale ST400
    Posts
    464
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Oh no, another pannier thread! anything wrong with the cheap Chinese panniers?

    Hi all,

    Hoping some of you experienced tourers/loaded commuters can help me out. I recently picked up a Cannondale ST400 to use as a commuter, and am now looking at a set of rear panniers so I don't have to strap a stuffed backpack to my rack with bungee cords every morning. I usually carry a laptop, several textbooks and notebooks and various smaller items when I go to class or work (same location). Also, my riding partner and I are planning out a 5 day tour of the Kettle Morraine this summer. As such, I'd like to get something with decent capacity.

    Looking around, I see many thumbs up for the reputable brands such as Ortlieb and Avenir, but nary a peep regarding the cheap Chinese panniers you see on eBay. Do they just suck compared to the name brands, or what? If so, what is the difference? To my inexperienced self, it seems pretty difficult to screw up stitching a bag together. $30 for a pair of panniers is a very attractive price, but I've experienced Chinese quality control before and don't want to get something that'll come apart at the seams with all my stuff in it. In case someone has experience with this exact model, the bags I'm looking at are these:

    New Black 28L Cycling Bicycle Bag Bike Rear Seat Bag Pannier with Rain Cover | eBay

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    In The Wind
    My Bikes
    GTO
    Posts
    25,913
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
    Senior Member awfulwaffle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Glendale, WI
    My Bikes
    Franken-mountain bike, mid-90s Performance TR1000, 1990 Cannondale ST400
    Posts
    464
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    I had completely forgotten about Nashbar as a source for this kind of thing. The capacity looks great too. I suppose these also qualify as Chinese panniers too , glad to hear you've had no issues with them. Oh, and nice bike!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NE Tx
    My Bikes
    Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial
    Posts
    2,667
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As it sounds like you will be using the panniers to haul stuff daily, better stick with the reputable brands. OTOH, not much money lost if the eBay bags fall apart. Maybe they won't.

    My first panniers were designed exactly like those shown. Worked just fine. Replaced with Axioms for more capacity for a long tour. Before I learned to pack light.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  5. #5
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    In The Wind
    My Bikes
    GTO
    Posts
    25,913
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by awfulwaffle View Post
    I had completely forgotten about Nashbar as a source for this kind of thing. The capacity looks great too. I suppose these also qualify as Chinese panniers too , glad to hear you've had no issues with them. Oh, and nice bike!
    On Sale Today...
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  6. #6
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    My Bikes
    The same GT Outpost Mountain bike I've been riding since 1996. I also have a collection of cruisers, folders, and some antiques.
    Posts
    2,108
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think I am in the minority, but I have used many "cheap" panniers with great success over the years.

    About a year ago, I got the bug to invest in something better. After shopping for several months -- and after trying and returning endless models by Ortlieb and others -- I decided that, for my purposes (commuting and light touring), the cheap stuff is just fine.

    Right now, I am using a $25 set sold at Walmart under the Schwinn brand. It's a "trunk" style bag that converts to a double pannier. Probably too small for you, but my point is that there is nothing "wrong" with cheaper cycling accessories. They're just not suitable for everyone.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    3,416
    Mentioned
    50 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    just depends on the way they were sewn together .. cold cut pieces depend on the PU coating to hold them together ,
    once that begins to fray , the seam comes apart , and you have to sew them back together again .. probably by hand ..

  8. #8
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora
    Posts
    4,381
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    I think I am in the minority, but I have used many "cheap" panniers with great success over the years.
    I have used only one set of bags over the years. How much have all of those bags cost you in total?



    OP,

    Please see my post int this thread:

    What's a good pair of rear panniers?

    It is what cheap bags can get you.
    "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

  9. #9
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,682
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I replaced my previous panniers about 10 years ago. I bought Ortlieb rear panniers because of the length of the trip and their reputation. At the last minute, I wanted to also use front panniers, although I was really uncertain about how well I'd like a loaded front end. Consequentially, I bought a set of Nashbar front panniers that I used on several trips, including a ride across the U. S. I use the Nashbar panniers daily on my around town bike, and they are still waterproof. I've had to replace the mounting bungees and hardware which was an improvement, but not a big deal. Rather than go super cheap, I'd suggest something like the Nashbar panniers. They can be used singly or as a pair, and are reasonably priced and durable. I have since replaced the Nashbar front panniers with Ortlieb panniers, once I realized that I really like the weight distribution with front panniers.

    They are used daily, and just stay on the bike most of the time.

    ]

    On sale right now at Nashbar for %50 off!Nashbar Waterproof Rear Panniers - Bike Panniers/ Rack Trunks/ Handlebar

    I've upgraded a lot since this picture, but those are spanking new Nashbar front panniers.

    Last edited by Doug64; 04-13-14 at 10:47 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Hainan, China
    Posts
    598
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    howdy! in china now, living the, um, dream. hard to get real bike stuff, so do most
    of my online shopping on taobao (chinese ebay). have had a wide range of experience
    with chinese crap. some is just plain crap, some is truly crappy, and other stuff is
    amazingly crappy. of course, things sold domestically are of lower quality than the
    stuff made for export.....

    quality control is unheard of. really. they don't even pay lip service to "quality is
    job one." substandard labor using substandard materials to making substandard designs.
    chinese crap. it's counterfeit. it falls apart. don't count on it!

    so....you wanna carry a laptop? do you like your laptop? do you care whether the
    stitching holds together? that the bag leaks? that the mounting clips break off?

    if you're gonna carry something valuable, or if you're gonna go touring where you
    must depend on your bags holding together.....get the real deal.

    if you're just tooling around town, carrying sneakers to the gym.....save a few bucks
    and go chinese.

  11. #11
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    5,854
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OP, the main problem I would have with the panniers you linked to is, it seems you cannot separate them. Carrying two joint bags with you off the bike is PITA. Also, no way to just take one if you don't need both. The mounts may not be very good as the canvas running across the top is designed to carry the bulk of weight (heck, there may not be mounts at all, just a couple of velcro straps to stop the pannier sliding off the rack). Depending on the width of your rear rack they may or may not sit well on the rack. Etc.

    I know this because... well, because my first panniers were a cheap, one piece set. I got by, but replaced them pretty soon with better design. You don't have to jump all the way to newest most expensive Ortlieb model either (unless you want to). I've seen decent PVC type panniers (Ortlieb Bikepacker copies) around, and there are always cheaper brands such as Arkel.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


    Become a Registered Member in Bike Forums
    Community guidelines

  12. #12
    jwa
    jwa is offline
    moron
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    286
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Back in the day, one sewed one's own panniers from a Frostline kit. Or convinced one's mother to do so.
    Got several thousand miles from mine....

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bay Area, Calif.
    Posts
    5,057
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Back in the mid-70s I bought a cheap Nashbar (was 'Bike Warehouse' back then) imitation of Cannondale panniers. I was rather disappointed by the quality - much thinner material than the genuine Cannondale ones, but they did hold up ok on many trips plus grocery runs. I've had to make some repairs but they're still in use after 40 years. A few years ago I supplemented them with Nashbar's current rear 'Waterproof' model panniers - partly so I could lend one set to touring companions - and those have been doing fine so far.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    3,416
    Mentioned
    50 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oh and the way they attach to the rack .. Not expecting the locking hooks to open up and needing to go back and pick the Ortliebs
    up, off the road behind me.

    bungee and j hook mounted bags can bounce off the rack on bumpy roads ..

    but you can add a strap and buckle rigid pull down scheme to prevent that , on your own.

  15. #15
    Senior Member awfulwaffle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Glendale, WI
    My Bikes
    Franken-mountain bike, mid-90s Performance TR1000, 1990 Cannondale ST400
    Posts
    464
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the replies everyone, certainly food for thought. Heck, if I wasn't a college student on a budget I'd be inclined to buy a nice set of panniers and be done with it, but alas I don't have that luxury yet. Methinks I'm staying away from the eBay special bags, some very good points in here regarding the value of the items I want to carry, as well as the long term value of the panniers themselves. The one-piece vs individual bags point is also something to think about, though right now I can't afford to have convenience be one of my primary deciding factors. My main concern remains whether or not the panniers I buy are going to burst at the seams and spill forth my cargo.

    Spinnaker, that is quite a story! I wonder, however, if that's something to be overly concerned about or just a freak accident. It seems like most of the folks on here think the Nashbars are at the very least passable, and some have certainly been getting years of trouble-free service out of them. The price is definitely attractive, and I find a little comfort in buying them from a reputable US seller instead of factory direct from China.

    Perhaps I should trawl CL for a used set of nice bags.
    Last edited by awfulwaffle; 04-14-14 at 06:01 PM.

  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,988
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Juha View Post
    OP, the main problem I would have with the panniers you linked to is, it seems you cannot separate them. Carrying two joint bags with you off the bike is PITA. Also, no way to just take one if you don't need both. The mounts may not be very good as the canvas running across the top is designed to carry the bulk of weight (heck, there may not be mounts at all, just a couple of velcro straps to stop the pannier sliding off the rack). Depending on the width of your rear rack they may or may not sit well on the rack. Etc.

    --J
    My thoughts exactly. Ease of mounting is worth the cost. Those bags would be difficult to mount and difficult to carry around.

    Ortliebs are wonderfully waterproof but the mounting system outshines that feature by far. They snap into place and stay there no matter how much you bounce the bike around. That alone is worth the cost.
    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'.

  17. #17
    Clark W. Griswold
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    ,location, location
    My Bikes
    2012 Surly Disc Trucker, Specialized Langster, Cilo Dura-Ace 12 Speed Road Bike
    Posts
    414
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a friend who got the Nashbar ATBs and I was thinking about getting a pair for when I get my front racks because I have a set of Arkel mounts that I got with my GT-54s for this very reason. Yes I would have loved to get a full GT kit from Arkel but I could only afford the rears so now I can have the great mounting system with cheaper panniers I can more easily afford.

    I wouldn't go non-brand ones. Nashbar seems to have decent ones that people like but crap shoot eBay cheapies are no bue˝o because it is a gamble.

    As far as Ortlieb they make great stuff but the problem with waterproof panniers is when water gets in them, it stays in them. You notice pretty much all if not all backpacking backpacks are non-waterproof, for that very reason. Plus it allows wet stinky gear to breathe and maybe become less wet and stinky.
    I have heard of people having to poke holes in the bottom of their waterproof panniers to let the water drain out making them not waterproof. Granted yes plenty of people have used them on tour and haven't had major problems but I am leery of using a system like that where I might have to do the hokey pokey ; )

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New Zealand
    My Bikes
    LHT disc, Cannondale CAAD8, Cannondale Super 6, Avanti Agressor MTB
    Posts
    145
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Over the years, I have worn out a number of cheap panniers and had a set of joined rear panniers. As others have mentioned, a PITA to carry. They all did OK for a few years each until they wore out but they all were not waterproof and stuff needed to be packed into plastic liner bags to stay dry.

    Now I have Ortliebs all round, front, rear, handlebar bag and rear rack pack. Waterproof, easier to carry (with shoulder strap) and durable. Far better value in the long run and no running repairs as happens with the other panniers with normal wear and tear. I have mended some holes in the panniers with plastic patches and PVC cement but these were extraordinary wear events.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Chapala, Mexico
    My Bikes
    Habanero Titanium
    Posts
    285
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When I was deciding whether or not to get panniers, I bought a cheapie set for a trial run. Like the ones you┤re looking at, mine didn┤t come apart, but that wasn┤t a deal breaker for me. The quality wasn┤t especially high, but they only cost $47, including a "rack pack" topper. The zippers were the first to go. Still, they lasted long enough to convince me that I was a pannier gal at heart. Once I made that decision, I coughed up for a set of Ortleibs. I don┤t regret my decision at all.

    FWIW, you can always make your own if you┤re on a tight budget. Heck, I bought some picnic tablecloth material and made some temp front bags. They held up until a bus hit me...but that┤s another story. Anyway, you just have to be comfortable with your decision. Don┤t worry about whether or not they┤re "pretty" or a name.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,682
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post

    As far as Ortlieb they make great stuff but the problem with waterproof panniers is when water gets in them, it stays in them. You notice pretty much all if not all backpacking backpacks are non-waterproof, for that very reason. Plus it allows wet stinky gear to breathe and maybe become less wet and stinky.
    I have heard of people having to poke holes in the bottom of their waterproof panniers to let the water drain out making them not waterproof. Granted yes plenty of people have used them on tour and haven't had major problems but I am leery of using a system like that where I might have to do the hokey pokey ; )
    I really believe this is an old wive's tale started by Arkel before they started making waterproof panniers. Trapped moisture never was an issue in a trip with 35 days of rain, and the tent packed away wet most of those days. We've been using waterproof panniers for over 10 years and many miles with no mildew, mold or odor problems. To dry them out if water happens to get inside a towel does a good job. I accidentally left my Ortlieb rack pack open on a picnic table during a thunderstorm, and it had substantial water in it. Just emptied it out and used my towel to dry it. I also left my Ortlieb bar bag open at the same time. Same fix.

    Packing anything wet in any kind of bag, does not allow those wet items to breathe. Most backpacks and non-waterproof panniers are made with a coating to repel water. The better ones even seal the seams in an attempt to keep water out. It repels it from both sides. I've made and repaired a lot of mountaineering gear made from Nylon Codura and packcloth, the same material good panniers are made from, and both are urethane coated.

    I've never heard of anyone punching holes in their waterproof bags to let the water drain.

    Try this with non-waterproof panniers without unloading them. Washing the mud off after riding through the recently flooded areas near Calgary, Alberta last summer.



    I believe once you try waterprof panniers there is no going back.
    Last edited by Doug64; 04-14-14 at 11:05 PM.

  21. #21
    Clark W. Griswold
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    ,location, location
    My Bikes
    2012 Surly Disc Trucker, Specialized Langster, Cilo Dura-Ace 12 Speed Road Bike
    Posts
    414
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    I reallly believe thsi is an old wive's tale started by Arkel before they started making waterproof panniers. Trapped moisture never was an issue in a trip with 35 days of rain, and the tent packed away wet most of those days. We've been using waterproof panniers for over 10 years and many miles with no mildew, mold or odor problems. To dry them out if water happens to get inside a towel does a good job. I left my Ortlieb rack pack open on a picnic table during a thunderstorm, and it had substantial water in it. Just emptied it out and used my towel to dry it.

    Packing anything wet in any kind of bag, does not allow those wet items to breathe. Most backpacks and non-waterproof panniers are coated with a coating to repel water. The better ones even seal the seams in an attempt to keep water out. It repels it from both sides. I've made and repaired a lot of mountaineering gear made from Nylon Codura and packcloth, the same matrial good panniers are made from, and both are urethane coated.

    I've never heard of anyone punching holes in their waterproof bags to let the water drain.

    Try this with non-waterproof panniers without unloading them.
    No no that is fair. I don't deny your story or the picture and maybe it is an old wives tale? Who knows but I am still going to be cautious and still not use waterproof panniers. Plus the organization and luggage like opening on my GT-54s is great, superior to the Ortliebs. However like all things biking especially we will disagree and argue that our system is best and we are probably all wrong and right in one way or another ; )

  22. #22
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,682
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree with you. It is really about personal preference. The important thing is we are out there riding. I didn't mean to come across so strong. There are no best systems, they all have compromises.


    Take care,

    Doug

  23. #23
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora
    Posts
    4,381
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post


    I believe once you try waterprof panniers there is no going back.


    This scene looks awfully familiar. Looks like the same place we took refuge out of a downpour. A hot springs spa just outside of Kelso, BC.
    "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

  24. #24
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    So Cal
    My Bikes
    85 Specialized Expedition, 07 Motobecane Immortal Spirit built up with Dura ace and Mavic Ksyriums, '85 Bianchi Track Bike, '90 Fisher Procaliber, '96 Landshark TwinDirt Shark Tandem, '88 Curtlo
    Posts
    546
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For the last 2 years I have commuted about 30 miles a day using the Nashbar waterproof panniers that are linked above. I carry clothes, lunch, textbooks, and one or two laptops. Some days see them with 25-40 lb loads. They have lasted and seemed to have been a great investment. Some have had bad luck with them, but mine have been great. And not once have I had to poke holes in them to let the water drain out, although once my lunch exploded inside, and it kept it there.

    When I tour I have a full set of Carradice Super C panniers that seem to be indestructible.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    My Bikes
    The same GT Outpost Mountain bike I've been riding since 1996. I also have a collection of cruisers, folders, and some antiques.
    Posts
    2,108
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Comment >>>>I think I am in the minority, but I have used many "cheap" panniers with great success over the years...<<<<


    Reply: :::I have used only one set of bags over the years. How much have all of those bags cost you in total?:::::

    Actually, I ran a bicycle recycling club for kids and the low-line bike distributors (for some reason) used to give me all sorts of gear to try out for nothing. Most of the panniers I used were no-name prototypes that would have sold really cheap at Mom and Pop bicycle stores. I still have one of them twelve years later and I still use it for light touring when the Schwinn bag I described above is too small. This particular model (not waterproof, by the way) has been through a lot and hasn't torn, broken at the straps, or busted a zipper yet. I'm not saying it's as rugged as an Ortlieb or any of the other pricey ones, but I'm suggesting to the OP that the "cheap Chinese brands" are not necessarily the crap that many people write them off as.

    FYI, though...As a "light" tourist and one that does not carry a tent, laptop, etc., but DOES like to have easy access to all my stuff, I've never been happy with the Ortliebs (or comparable brands) I purchased and tried, only because they were basically one big sack with very few compartments. The cheaper brands, like my current Schwinn, may not be as durable (or as waterproof, without wrapping contents in plastic), but they seem to be a little more creative in design.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •