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Old 03-15-21, 07:46 AM
Tourist in MSN
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,295

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

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My rear Ortlieb rollers are 40 liters for the pair, the front rollers are 25 liters for the pair. I also use a handlebar bag. I often strap my rain gear on top of my front panniers where it is handy, thus the rain gear is not within that total volume.

In this photo, the only thing on top of the rear rack besides those bags is a tent pole bag.

In the photo below I have the Ortlieb 31 liter rack pack on top of the rear, this is a full 31 liter capacity increase over the above photo.

And in the photo below I have a much smaller dry bag on top of the rear rack as an in-between example of needing more than the panniers but not the full 31 liters.

For me for pannier volumes, 40 liters in back and 25 up front works well, plus the ability to put more on top in back. I have some bigger and some smaller panniers but the Ortliebs are a good size.

You want the rear panniers set as far forward as practical so that you have adequate heel clearance when you pedal, but not a lot more clearance than that. If your center of gravity is too far back, that can lead to bad handling, especially if all weight is on back.

No two people are going to pack the same way, you might get by with a lot less or you might need more. I met this gal on Cape Breton Island, she had been traveling for weeks when I met her and she did not have front panniers, she was packed lighter than I was.

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