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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 06-04-07, 04:11 PM   #1
Cassiel
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Best versatile panniers?

I'm looking for panniers I can use to haul small amounts of groceries, textbooks (I'm a student) and general small/medium loads. Preferably <$150, definitely need to be waterproof and durable. What do you like best? At the moment, I'm using a ginormous timbuktu messenger bag which I love but which tends to crush my bread and mush my tomatoes if I try to carry groceries in it.
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Old 06-04-07, 04:43 PM   #2
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In another thread, I posted owning this one from REI.

http://www.rei.com/product/710473?vcat=REI_SEARCH

Reasonably priced so if there's a REI store near you, go visit the store or you can order on line.
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Old 06-04-07, 05:03 PM   #3
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I think you can get a pair of waterproof Ortleibs for $150 or less at Citybikes, Cassiel.
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Old 06-04-07, 05:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrafl
In another thread, I posted owning this one from REI.

http://www.rei.com/product/710473?vcat=REI_SEARCH

Reasonably priced so if there's a REI store near you, go visit the store or you can order on line.
This is the same setup I use on my daily commuter. The only caution I would give is that the side "pockets" are thin so they can be folded up easily. I tore a small hole in mine when I caught it with the zipper. For a durable rig look for real panniers with heavier, thicker fabric.
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Old 06-04-07, 07:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoridog
This is the same setup I use on my daily commuter. The only caution I would give is that the side "pockets" are thin so they can be folded up easily. I tore a small hole in mine when I caught it with the zipper. For a durable rig look for real panniers with heavier, thicker fabric.
I thought it was made of ballistic fabric material. I didn't know that they tear easily. I have mine over a year now and have had no problem other than a good dust collector when in the closet unused.
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Old 06-04-07, 07:56 PM   #6
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Are the Ortliebs good? They look more akin to what I want - I'm afraid the Topeak one is only 700 cubic inches, which isn't quite big enough. The Ortliebs I looked at at REI were 2800.
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Old 06-04-07, 10:06 PM   #7
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Ortlieb makes the best waterproof panniers on earth, IMO. At least for now. They're not cheap -I paid about $125- but they are totally waterproof, they're very durable, and they go on and come off the bike in about a second.
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Old 06-04-07, 10:56 PM   #8
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Another vote for Ortliebs! I picked up a pair of the back rollers at Citybikes for $130. (cheaper than a wet textbook, depending on the class...) I often ride my bike ten miles each way to my evening college classes, sometimes in the rain, and have never had so much as a drop get in that I didn't put there with my own rain soaked hands.
They're great for groceries, too. If it's not raining, you can leave them open and stack up groceries two feet deep, stack up more in between on the rack, and intermingle the pannier straps between each side to help hold it all together. Well, maybe with a bungee or three depending on the load.
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Old 06-05-07, 05:38 AM   #9
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Ortliebs a good choice.
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Old 06-05-07, 07:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by zoridog
Ortliebs a good choice.
You said waterproof, my Ortliebs keep everything dry even in heavy rain with nasty car spray.
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Old 06-05-07, 07:59 AM   #11
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Sounds like the Ortliebs may do the job. I'll check Citybikes; $130 is cheaper than REI's $150. Thanks so much for all the input, everybody.
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