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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 12-10-09, 05:34 AM   #251
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Now that I eventually have the Low rider Pannier frames fitted to the front forks on my Hybrid, my trailer is being used less & less

I have just got in from a 2 miles each way grocery run: 5 kgs of Potatoes, 2 kg Carrots, 2 Kg Sweet Potatoes, 1 Kg Parsnips, 1 Kg Leeks, 6 Kgs Plain flour, 1.7 kg Honey, 2 litres Milk, 2 litres Bleach, 1 litre Orange juice, 1 litre Red Grape juice, and various other smaller items. That's a little over 25 kgs spread between the two pannier bags, and is the largest and heaviest load that I have carried in them so far. Apart from the intial starting off, I did not experience any problems, in fact all of that weight concentrated around the centre of my bike's front wheel made cornering at speed safer: I had one dodgy moment on some wet and slippery leaves whilst negotiating the small roundabout at the bottom of the hill that I live on, and without the extra weight on the front of my bike, I would have probably ended up a bit of a bruised, bloody and embaressed mess in the gutter. All in all I am getting to like these low rider front panniers of mine a lot; roll on the spring and summer camping trips and short haul bike expeditions.

Last edited by Gareth; 12-10-09 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 12-10-09, 05:38 AM   #252
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Bigshew, the tires were sort of an impulse purchase. I saw them in a bike shop/hardware store. I had been using basic kid's bike tires. At $33 each, these Primo Comets were almost 10x what I was paying for basic kid's tires (wholesale, through work). Unfortunately there are not any more puncture resistant. After I bought them, I found out a little about the tires over on the folding bike forum, apparently there is a kevlar belted version that is popular, but I think they go for around $50 each!

Pluses on the tires, smoother tread and higher pressure (100psi max vs. 45).

Good suggestion on the tire liners.
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Old 12-10-09, 05:49 AM   #253
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Gareth, why did you decide on front panniers rather than rear? I've never tried front panniers, always assumed the bike would handle better with the weight in back. Sounds like they are working well for you though. Riding without a trailer isn't really so bad, you'll get used to it. Haha. I rather enjoy running errands on weekends without the beast.
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Old 12-10-09, 07:59 AM   #254
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That's a very good question.

I already have a cheap set of rear panniers that I have used on and off for over 10 years now, and they are very far from ideal . I bought cheap from one of the catalogue stores, and for the first 2 years or so these rear panniers met my requirements. However they are of the one piece over the rack fitting type, with a zip on/off removalable back pack, and are very inconvenient for quick removal and installation. I've wanted a set of front panniers to suppliment the rear set for a long, long time now, and when a reasonably priced second-hand pair came up in the local classified ads, I bought them, along with a set of aluminum front low rider frames from ebay. These pannier bags have an elastic bungee type retainer and quick release clips, making them absolutely perfect for loadiing with groceries at the supermarket checkout point, and then fixing to the frames on the bike to haul the shopping back home. I originally bought them for proposed cycling/camping trips with my new partner (I am a widower of 5 years now) next spring and summer. Being the gentleman that I am, I intend that Lois will not have to haul anything on her bike, except a bar bag containing those absolute essentials that every woman seems to need everywhere that they go

The bags that I have are these: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...&ModelID=13690 and are suitable for fitting to front Low Rider frames or a rear rack; so I'll be purchasing at least one more pair for fitting to my rear rack in the coming months.

Ironically, the front forks of my Hybrid bicycle were not suitable for fitting Low rider frames to, and I had to make adaptor plates to pick up on the braze-ons for standard/high mounting front panniers. As I am a very adaptable and skillful Mechanical Engineer/welder/fabricator it took me all of 20 minutes to make these from a scrap piece of 4mm thick mild steel plate, using a 75 mm diametre holesaw, a 50 mm diametre holesaw, 12 inch hand hacksaw, 2nd cut file, 5.3 mm drill bit, and a cordless drill: I'll post some photos later.

Last edited by Gareth; 12-10-09 at 08:18 AM. Reason: Spelling & grammer
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Old 12-10-09, 08:46 AM   #255
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Gareth, why did you decide on front panniers rather than rear? I've never tried front panniers, always assumed the bike would handle better with the weight in back.
It depends on the bike. Some bikes handle worse with a front load than when empty. Some bikes handle worse with a front load than when empty. I grew up thinking front loads are always bad. Then I had a Motobecane Mirage which loved to have weight on the front. Notice that front loads are common in France and on French bikes. And Velo Orange is reviving this sort of practice.
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Old 12-10-09, 01:12 PM   #256
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Here are the promised photos:

The frames fitted to the front forks of my Hybrid:

[IMG][/IMG]

Close up of the adaptors that I made, so that the frames will fit the forks on my hybrid; basically a steel disc cut out with a 75 mm diametre holesaw, then the centre removed with a 50 mm diametre holesaw, and cut with a hacksaw into two 130* sections, 3 X 5.3mm holes drilled for fitting 5mm diametre set screws, and a section filed out to allow wrench/spanner/socket access to the front wheel's axle nut:

[IMG][/IMG]

I did however make a disposable plywood template first: Measure twice and cut once:

[IMG][/IMG]

And the pannier bags in postion on the frames:

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 12-11-09, 06:31 AM   #257
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Lois has found a new errend for me now that I have these front Panniers fixed to my hybrid ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... the laundry run. She lives appoximately 2 km from me. I have a washing machine, and Lois has an Iron and ironing board; so I wash her laundry and she does my ironing ... ... ... an exceptionally good collaberation and sharing of resourses in my opinion.
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Old 12-11-09, 11:42 AM   #258
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Plus you have the added bonus of keeping fit while your doing the small's run

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Old 12-13-09, 08:44 AM   #259
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Nearly finished building my smallish shopping trailer, just a lid and a better towing arm for the hitch to build.

My telly packed in during the week so I though Sunday I'll try out the little trailer and take the telly off to the local recycling dump, a round trip of about 3 mile.
The telly was a bloody heavy one and ended up lifting the back wheel of my bike off the ground! but I think that's due to the tow arms hight. I may also have to set the wheels a little further back on the frame.

Going to the dump with BIG telly.



Back home after telly had been dumped.
As you can see from this picture the trailer is sitting at an angle.



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Old 12-13-09, 04:25 PM   #260
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I would move those wheels back at least 4 or 5 inches. As you found out, you need more weight on the hitch to keep your back wheel earthbound.
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Old 12-18-09, 12:43 AM   #261
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Old 12-18-09, 10:45 AM   #262
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Only a hardcore bikeforums member would capture the guy on the bike and not the woman in the sexy boots.
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Old 12-18-09, 12:10 PM   #263
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Just to keep you happy bigshew....



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Old 12-18-09, 12:43 PM   #264
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BossCat,

Please PM this type of image to your friend rather than posting in the public forum.
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Old 12-18-09, 02:22 PM   #265
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She's not even riding a utility bike!
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Old 12-18-09, 02:32 PM   #266
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Christmas shopping this morning. Ten degrees light wind,thought it was great! Snow should be here in a
couple of days.
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Old 12-18-09, 03:37 PM   #267
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Christmas shopping this morning. Ten degrees light wind,thought it was great! Snow should be here in a
couple of days.
I love your xtracycle. Nice gifts--I hope the intended recipients don't read this forum.
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Old 12-18-09, 04:41 PM   #268
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Thanks nwtnbkr, Allways happy to ride through busy parking lots. A view from a camping trip last summer.
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Old 12-18-09, 05:42 PM   #269
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Thanks nwtnbkr, Allways happy to ride through busy parking lots. A view from a camping trip last summer.
Very nice. If I didn't live in the middle of bear country (I'm between 2 grizzly and black bear habitats), I'd get a tent and camp via bike.
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Old 12-18-09, 06:17 PM   #270
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Yeah, I try to get bikes in the pictures I post here. I waited for this guy to get in the frame. I wasn't paying proper notice to the sexy boot lady, but if her leg hadn't been in the picture, I wouldn't have posted that image here. The biker isn't in focus and my load is not impressive. The boot made the shot. The rest of her is left to your imagination. Chances are she is better looking in your imagination than in real life. Haha.

The image of the sexy bootie lady is one I've seen before, but only because people are willing to post it on forums such as this one. I think I may have done that once myself in fact. So while I'm sorry nwmtnbkr found it in poor taste, I thank whoever posted it the first time I saw it.

Boss, PM me the view from the front!

DC's sexiest utility biker.


Not just a pretty face, she's also a very friendly smart warm and caring type person. Lola's bike tour of Cuba with her sister was a cover story of our regional bike 'zine, Spokes a few years back. She built her own trailer. Sorry I didn't get her in good focus. I think my new camera is messed up. when I zoom in on the photos, I see a lot of black specks. I bought the extended service this time, and there is also another minor problem, so I will take it in for service, but maybe not until after the holidays...

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Old 12-18-09, 06:45 PM   #271
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What trips did I do today while I wasn't taking pictures of sexy biker chicks and other riders? In addition to the usual, tubs of mail, boxes, rolls of drawings, etc., some Christmas gifts.

I sold my first picture today. Sort of. I saw some people in an office posing around a chocolate Capitol, so I shot them.


When I got outside, a lady asked me if the picture came out OK. I showed it to her and she asked if I could email her a copy. When I said sure, she asked me if I wanted one. My chocolate Capitol.


While I declined an opportunity to transport cupcakes today, and thus redeem myself after destroying a load of cupcakes a few months back, I'm happy to say this confection survived undamaged nestled by plastic bags and a tarp in my Rubbermaid bin while I knocked out a flurry of "friday before Christmas" rushes.

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Old 12-18-09, 08:31 PM   #272
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She's not even riding a utility bike!
Don't jump to conclusions. I bet she has a rack up front.
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Old 12-18-09, 08:48 PM   #273
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What trips did I do today while I wasn't taking pictures of sexy biker chicks and other riders? In addition to the usual, tubs of mail, boxes, rolls of drawings, etc., some Christmas gifts.

I sold my first picture today. Sort of. I saw some people in an office posing around a chocolate Capitol, so I shot them.

When I got outside, a lady asked me if the picture came out OK. I showed it to her and she asked if I could email her a copy. When I said sure, she asked me if I wanted one. My chocolate Capitol.


While I declined an opportunity to transport cupcakes today, and thus redeem myself after destroying a load of cupcakes a few months back, I'm happy to say this confection survived undamaged nestled by plastic bags and a tarp in my Rubbermaid bin while I knocked out a flurry of "friday before Christmas" rushes.
Mmmmmmmmmm. That chocolate replica of the Capitol looks very delicious. I've only got the Waterford crystal replica of the Capitol dome (as a retirement gift). It looks nice but chocolate tops crystal any day in my book. I hope it tastes every bit as delicious as it looks.
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Old 12-18-09, 09:07 PM   #274
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I'll trade you! It's "Belgian" according to the label.
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Old 12-19-09, 08:55 AM   #275
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Thanks for the pic, BossCat, but I said sexy BOOTS not BOOTY.
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