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Help with Rack and Pannier Combo

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Help with Rack and Pannier Combo

Old 06-29-17, 12:25 PM
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bryguy27007
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Help with Rack and Pannier Combo

Hello, I just recently purchased a new bike and am planning on commuting to work on it quite often and also using it to get groceries and such items.

My bike (Raleigh Clubman Alloy - 2017) comes with full fenders with a place to attach a rear rack. I have always wanted to try a rear rack and not having a full backpack and getting a really sweaty back in the summer. I just have a question on what a good set-up will be. I do get discounts on a couple of brands (I'm an outdoor industry professional and that's relatively common) so I'm really only focusing on a couple of brands that I get discounts for (sorry, not trying to rub it in just trying to give a more complete picture to make an informed decision).

I was thinking about Topeak's Explorer MTX (Disc Model) Rack with Spring (my bike has disc brakes). https://www.todsonb2b.com/products/t...iant=907200315

That rack I think would be a good fit for me. The place I'm having trouble deciding, is to go with Topeak's compatible bag - the MTX Trunk bag with foldable panniers that locks into that rear rack - https://www.todsonb2b.com/collection...panels-tt9635b

The other option would be going with a more traditional pannier like the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Pair (or the Back Roller Plus - pair).

I've never used panniers or a rear rack before so I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for. Just that I need to bring a decent amount of gear with me when I commute to work (outdoor professional again) and would like to make grocery/farmers market runs as well. I've heard good things about both of these bags, just not sure what would be better suited for my interests.

Is there a way to know if that rear rack will fit my bike well? I found no information on Raleigh's website about compatibility with different racks. And from Topeak I saw that the rack I picked out fits 700c wheels and bikes with disc brakes which makes me think I'm covered. Are there any other fit considerations to be concerned about? I was reading about people hitting their panniers with their feet while peddling because the bag was large. Thanks for all of your help!

Here's a link to the bike I purchased in case that helps:
https://www.raleighusa.com/clubman-alloy-1563

And if it matters the length of my commute is 16.5 miles one-way but hopefully (if I get a promotion and move locations) just under 8 miles each way. The reason I mention that is that I heard that having a bag inline with the center of the bike (like the topeak bag) is more aerodynamic and could potentially make a difference in commute speed over a relatively longer commute like that.

Last edited by bryguy27007; 06-29-17 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 06-29-17, 12:37 PM
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Boondocksaints
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Hi Bryguy,

Rather than the Topeak Explorer, I would get the Topeak Super Tourist. Pic and link below.

It is a little bit more robust and additionally it has a lower "rung" where you can choose to put panniers lower if you wish. This model is the "uni" version meaning it is designed to be more universal and fits most bikes.

https://www.topeak.com/global/en/pro...urist-dx-(disc)




From there, you can choose to get a Topeak bag or Ortlieb (or both.)

Last edited by Boondocksaints; 06-29-17 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 06-29-17, 01:07 PM
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bryguy27007
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Thank you for the tip! I was looking at that one last night and ruled it out thinking that I wouldn't need the extra 'beefyness' but I will reconsider and look at some reviews of that one. Appreciate the help!
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Old 06-29-17, 03:41 PM
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I use ortlieb back roller in reflective neon.

Waterproof, high visibility, easy to carry, durable.

Waterproof in both directions as you will learn if your packed lunch ever escapes!

Ortlieb reference F5151
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Old 06-29-17, 05:24 PM
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Hey Bryguy27007,

first off, i love that bike you have, i didn't buy one because i couldn't actually see one without having to pay for it first. beautiful bike. i hope you enjoy it.

I currently use the Ortlieb sportpacker plus panniers on the back with an Axiom Road Disc DLX rack for my GT Grade also with disc brakes.

i used to use the the Ortlieb Office Bag to hold my laptop and i still have this bag, but i use it more often when i'm in school. i commute to an office job about 4 mile commute and then from that job to school, another 3 miles away and then i go home after class. i usually have to pack a lunch, a change of office clothes, and when I'm in school, i also carry my notebook, school book and laptop.

generally i always keep one of the sportpackers on my bike - it holds my u-lock, rain gear and other miscellaneous things like a power bank and cord for my phone and lights and stuff since i dont have a dyno hub. in the morning, i usually place my lunches in this pannier.

on the other side, i place my clothes and random other stuff i might need for the day and this the pannier that i take off the bike when i go to work, and when i'm in school i swap that pannier for the office bag which in addition to my clothes holds my school stuff.

i keep shoes and hygiene stuff at work in a locker.

initially i strongly considered the topeak offerings and because it was my first ever rack and pannier set up, i went for something that had a little bit more carrying capacity and more waterproofing to it. in hindsight however, i think the topeak and the trunk bag with expandable pannier pockets would have served me well except i dont know how that would work inteh rain if you only use one pannier or something with their rain cover.

i hope that helps.

Last edited by srestrepo; 06-29-17 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 06-29-17, 08:35 PM
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SylvainG
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I went with a Ibera rack and Ibera bag with expandable pannier. Bag clips in place so no need to tie down to the rack. The pannier are folded to the side of the bag and can be extended if you need them. Would cost you less than $100 for both.

Rack compatible with disk brake

Bag with expandable panniers





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Old 06-29-17, 09:04 PM
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Is there a performance bicycle store near where you live? They have good return policy should things don't work out. I like this pannier much more than the ortlieb: TransIt Torrent Waterproof Pannier

And get a kickstand too
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Old 06-29-17, 09:44 PM
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Thanks for the advice everybody. I pulled the trigger on the Topeak Super Tourist rack with their bag with their fold out panniers. I'm excited. I went on a long ride to celebrate (30 miles after having not really biked for 2 years, I feel so dead, worth it though). Bikecommuter, yeah we have a lot of bike stores in the Twin Cities, Minnesota - but I don't get my discount in person so I went with online for now.

Thanks for the help everybody.
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Old 06-30-17, 06:27 PM
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I have the Topeak Explorer rack and the MTX DXP trunk bag/pannier and I am very happy with them. Which trunk bag/pannier did you get? I had tried the smaller one before upgrading to the larger (DXP) version for more space.

I think you will enjoy whichever Topeak setup you bought. Just treat those zippers with TLC. They don't make things like they used to!
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Old 07-01-17, 01:02 AM
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When I bought my rack and panniers I just went with what I believed would be the best quality (i.e. would last me a long, long time.) That combo ended up being a tubus cargo rack and ortlieb panniers (couldn't even tell you the model... I don't believe they are sold anymore.) 10 years straight using them 3-5 times per week... still going just as strong as the day I bought them. As for the cost? Yes, I probably could have found something cheaper... and I have a feeling that I would have replaced them at least once in these last 10 years. So, I'll vouch for tubus and ortlieb... I don't have any experience with anything else... which is exactly the way I wanted it when I made the purchase.
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Old 06-14-20, 08:50 AM
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Ortlieb classic with topeak babyseat ii

Can I pickyback here? I have a topeak babyseat rack (long, dumb story) whose stem bends outward on either side to span the wheel hub. It's called babyseat ii. I cant share a link here because I am a new member. Seems like if I got Ortlieb panniers for it the back of the pannier bag would have to bow to latch around the bar at rack stem. Would this be a problem?
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Old 06-14-20, 08:57 AM
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I donít see how it would be a problem. But itís an MTX rack, why not use that stuff?

https://www.topeak.com/global/en/pro...ii-rack-(disc)






Last edited by Darth Lefty; 06-14-20 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 06-14-20, 09:46 AM
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Thanks Darth Lefty well everyone seems to rave about the ortliebs and their durability and water proofness. And they seem like they would less awkward off the bike, whereas the topeak trunk bag is a unit, I believe, and seems like it would be a bit unwieldy off the bike.
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Old 06-14-20, 01:50 PM
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The trunk bags are great for staying attached, and carry real easily by the handle. When I was a little bigger (245lbs, 5'11", 36x32 jeans) I could roll my shirt inside my trousers and fit them in the mtx bag (no roll out panniers). As I acquired rear panniers, the trunk bag became more auxilary. The trunk bag is both durable and semi flexible. I have some doubts about strapping things on top, but no direct experience:


With proper front low riders, and even a front rack, you should be able to carry most things, imo.
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