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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 09-23-12, 03:45 PM   #1
Rimmer
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Pannier(s) for Groceries

I already use a backpack, but I can only carry so much in it. I only buy for myself, and I don't mind a couple trips per week. I just need more space. I don't tour either. Budget isn't much of an issue as I'm working full-time now and car-free. It's hard to say how much space I need. Sometimes I get a huge watermelon. Then, there's no room for anything else, lol. I don't get watermelons much anymore. I intend on getting a gallon of milk and a couple dozen eggs with a pack meat or so for each trip. If running low, I'll get some fruits, veggies, cheese or whatever. I eat a lot probably enough for two people. The Kroger grocery store is less than 2 miles away, and the the majority of the route residential houses. I buy stuff in glass, so I rather not have a basket with stuff falling out. Would too much weight on one side of the bike be too awkward, or should I get two panniers?

Suggestions?
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Old 09-24-12, 06:32 AM   #2
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For groceries, etc., etc., I like Wald double rear wire baskets better than anything else. Some newer ones can be folded together.
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Old 09-24-12, 07:05 AM   #3
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I intend on getting a gallon of milk and a couple dozen eggs with a pack meat or so for each trip. If running low, I'll get some fruits, veggies, cheese or whatever. I eat a lot probably enough for two people. The Kroger grocery store is less than 2 miles away, and the the majority of the route residential houses. I buy stuff in glass, so I rather not have a basket with stuff falling out. Would too much weight on one side of the bike be too awkward, or should I get two panniers?
Not really a problem just using a single pannier. My last trip to the grocery store had me carrying a gallon of milk, 2L of soda, loaf of bread and a few smaller items in a single pannier. But I bring both panniers if I'm planning on buying more stuff. I usually use my Nashbar waterproof panniers but I bought them mainly for touring and they're not really ideal for grocery shopping where I don't need the waterproofness (don't do my shopping on rainy days) or the secure closure. Plenty of shopping panniers available.
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Old 09-24-12, 07:23 AM   #4
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I have some REI shopping panniers that I got on a good clearance. Not a current model anymore, but Performance and Nashbar have a similar one that is frequently on sale. About the size of a paper grocery sack, so they work nicely. Put the panniers in your cart and when they are full, you know it's time to head for the register.
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Old 09-24-12, 10:12 AM   #5
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I've come across this nifty link: http://bicycletouringpro.com/blog/bicycle-panniers/
It's not an exhaustive list, but I'll just look through them when I get the time.

Now I'm leaning toward a double pannier. I was just wondering what pros/cons the attached/detached pannier systems serve for those that tried them? I noticed some have locking mechanisms, too. I'm just a bit paranoid about theft.

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Old 09-24-12, 12:13 PM   #6
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If you are worried about theft, then the baskets are a better choice. But, I never leave my panniers on my bike when I go somewhere. Either I leave them at home or they come into the store with me. Like mentioned above, I bring them in so I know when I need to stop buying food. I also don't care for baskets. I like soft sided panniers because the can deform to your load.

I almost always use 2 or 4 panniers. There are a couple of reasons for this. I can't stand when things aren't symetrical. That's why I never wore a watch. I know that's stupid, but that is the way I am. I have carried things using one pannier, but I'd rather have the weight balanced. Also, if the items are heavy, like a couple of gallons of liquied, I would rather that weight be spread out between the two panniers. Why stress the material when more than you have to?
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Old 09-24-12, 01:12 PM   #7
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Back when I used my bike as a grocery getter I bought some really nice panniers off ebay for cheap. That extra space was enough.
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Old 09-24-12, 02:57 PM   #8
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I use these.
http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Metro-2.../dp/B00165Q8ZO
Very rugged and versatile. had them for several years, no sign of wear and tear.





12 pack fits nicely, and they don't rattle and clatter like the wire baskets do. Fully collapsible.
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Old 09-24-12, 03:03 PM   #9
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if money is not an issue.... go with the Arktel utility basket .....
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Old 09-25-12, 12:04 PM   #10
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I used plastic crate/baskets (NOT milk crates) I found dumpster diving on a bike, zip tied to the rack and frame, and the grocery 'recycle/no plastic' cloth bags fit inside. Practical, low investment, fun project.
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Old 09-25-12, 12:22 PM   #11
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if money is not an issue.... go with the Arktel utility basket .....

I second this. I have two of them, they are fantastic. I've never actually owned panniers with lots of pockets, and I'm not sure I really care to. I use mine for daily use, commuting to work, gym, getting groceries, etc. Having a big bag to just toss things in is pretty nice. They have zipper closures, a built in rain-fly (only covers the top, so not suitable for hours in heavy downpours, though I've never had them get wet inside), two elastic pouches on the front and back, a top pocket good for things you want close at hand, etc.
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Old 09-25-12, 02:18 PM   #12
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I just take my panniers off the bike. put them on the check out counter,
and the person at the register loads them , and gives a .05$ credit for not using a bag .

ORegon coast .. wet often .. I use the touring Ortlieb roller set.
so stuff stays dry and no water in the bottom of the bag when empty, either ..
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Old 09-26-12, 04:22 PM   #13
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I use kitty litter bucket panniers. It works decent. I wish they were angled for more foot clearance so in the end the weight is higher than I like. I also have some ortlieb shopping panniers at the REI scratch and dent, but those things are stupid expensive if you are paying retail. They are nice though. I usually ride with the kitty litter buckets because I can put a 12 pack between them on top of the rack and it is very secure.
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Old 09-26-12, 06:47 PM   #14
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I eat a lot, consequently I buy a lot of groceries and I usually use my Axiom Champlains. They're huge, fairly well-made, and relatively cheap. With two, you can fit a gallon of milk on one side, a watermelon on the other, and still have room left over for other stuff. If one gets full it still has side pockets and built-in bungee cords to hold other things.
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Old 09-26-12, 06:51 PM   #15
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I use the grocery bag panniers from Performance. Each one contains a shoulder strap which makes it easy to carry them into the store and into the house.
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Old 09-27-12, 05:09 AM   #16
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It is easy to find cloth shopping bags that fit baskets, so they are easy to remove & shop with , or acrry inside the home.
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Old 09-27-12, 11:47 AM   #17
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For me, it's Coroplast TM Corrugated Plastic Panniers. Nothing else will do.


Here is the general pattern, marked out on the Coroplast Board.
http://s134.photobucket.com/albums/q...t=IMG_0896.jpg
Go to this page of my album, and click "NEXT" to see the step by step instructions.
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Old 09-27-12, 05:50 PM   #18
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I use a pair of Arkel Shoppers, http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...-foldable.html

They work great, are easy to carry into the store, and have the best mounting system I have encountered. Two of them can easily carry a weeks worth of groceries for me.
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Old 10-11-12, 07:19 PM   #19
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I used Wald double baskets for a while, even had them mounted up front too. In the end, I've gone with racks and rollup Panniers. They are lighter and fruit doesn't get as banged up in them. I have this vivid image locked in my memory, "I was cruising down a nice grade and came to a new section of "repaired" road. It was actually a substantial dip. Coming out of it, the groceries in the Wald baskets got airborn! " Fortunatley everything stayed in place, but it was a startling moment....Shorthly there after, I switched to panniers and have never looked back.
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Old 10-12-12, 08:43 AM   #20
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I use a pair of SunLite Grocery Getters. Since I bought them, I've almost stopped using my backpack entirely. I'm like you. Living alone. The capacity is just right. I no longer get hassled by the grocery store security guards. Definitely, get a pair, that way you can balance your load.
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Old 10-12-12, 01:21 PM   #21
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Although I have an old pair of Nashbar Townies, I typically walk to the store. I used to use the bike, but the store is being remodeled and the best place to park the bike is currently unaccessible.

There are two ways that you can go shopping with these bags- take them with you inside and fill them up until their full (and pray that the cashier/sacker puts stuff back in the same order or you'll be doing some repacking) or leave them on the bike and drop the contents inside. The first method can be a PITA depending on the mounting hardware... which leads to employing the second method of hoping for the best.
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Old 10-12-12, 06:02 PM   #22
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Had a chance to use a Burley Travoy for a week, and it is the perfect grocery getter. Awesome part is that you can use it as your shopping cart in the store, wheel it on out, hook it up to your bike, and roll away. Very functional little trailer.
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Old 10-12-12, 07:40 PM   #23
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I'd like to start shopping with my bike, but I've been wondering what people do about frozen food. I'm about 5 miles away from the grocery store and at my current pace I definitely need some cooling for the food.
Currently I can use my kids' trailer when they're sleeping, but it's not really ideal for groceries. It catches the wind a lot and it's meant to seat kids, not hold groceries. So while I could put a small cooler on the seat, I'm looking for a better long term solution.

Panniers don't seem to be made plastic lined on the inside to hold ice or ice packs and the resulting condensation, or are they? I think I'd prefer the pannier route rather than baskets, though I don't even have a rack yet. But what do people put in their panniers to insulate the frozen stuff?
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Old 10-12-12, 07:53 PM   #24
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I've seen a few insulated panniers. Can't remember the brands off the top of my head, but if I do I'll post back here. Another option is to get something like the insulated Mountainsmith cube and drop that inside of a pannier.
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Old 10-12-12, 08:53 PM   #25
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Don't know how much frozen goods you buy at a time, but you have a couple of options. First, quite a few rack trunk bags have an insulated main compartment. Frozen veggies and smaller frozen dairy wouldn't have a problem in one of those, but things like frozen pizza or family/party sized Stouffer's products ain't gonna fit. Option 2 is to check and see if your grocer has those reuseable insulated bags for sale- usually located near the frozen food section. I know Wal-Mart has them, my primary store doesn't.

A possible third option would be to use a waterproof backpack. The Banjo Brothers would make a good perishable goods hauler. If there is condensation (which there probably will be) and you still need the backpack after your grocery run, simply remove the waterproof liner so that it can dry while you use the shell pack.
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