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Riding with one pannier

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View Poll Results: Is it ok to ride with only one rear pannier?
Yes!
107
93.04%
No!
1
0.87%
Only if it is very light
6
5.22%
other (explain)
1
0.87%
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Riding with one pannier

Old 06-09-09, 12:51 PM
  #1  
kylecrispin
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Riding with one pannier

Hi all-

I completed the first leg of my first bike commute on the new bike this morning. It is about 7 mi (through Golden Gate Park and then down market st.). I ended up only bringing one rear pannier which I put on the non- drive train side of the bike. It was not super full, maybe 10-15 pounds. I did notice a little imbalance while riding and especially when taking a hand off the bars to signal. What do other people think about riding with one loaded pannier?
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Old 06-09-09, 01:06 PM
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I do it just about every day. I never notice any issue with it.
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Old 06-09-09, 01:06 PM
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It looks imbalanced.
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Old 06-09-09, 01:08 PM
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It just looks imbalanced - when I'm not planning on a large load I only take one pannier. Just to carry my extra tools/tubes etc.

I can imagine it would cause a problem if it was overloaded and heavy - but if thats the case just take them both!
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Old 06-09-09, 01:28 PM
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It may look imbalanced, but in practice it doesn't feel imbalanced.
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Old 06-09-09, 01:33 PM
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One pannier on the front, can cause an imbalance in a high speed descent, about 70 kph will do it, Guess how I know? The back? Can't imagine it having any serious effect unless it's pretty heavy.
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Old 06-09-09, 01:45 PM
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I do it frequently and can't saw I have ever had an issue.
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Old 06-09-09, 01:50 PM
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I do it on occasion and normally do not notice any issues, I just naturally lean a little bit to the non-pannier side to balance the weight. However, on my ride home last Friday, there was a good tailwind so I got up to about 25mph or so, and when the bike path turned a bit so that it was more of a crosswind from the non-pannier side (thus forcing me to lean further over), I did manage to almost lose the bike and had to slow down.
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Old 06-09-09, 01:50 PM
  #9  
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why would this NOT be ok? if I could get all my gear in one pannier I would. as for not looking good? right we're commuters and probably too fred for looking good.
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Old 06-09-09, 01:55 PM
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Works fine. No issues at all.
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Old 06-09-09, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
It may look imbalanced, but in practice it doesn't feel imbalanced.
My experience is that it's fine on flat ground, but you'll notice it on steep climbs and cornering in the right conditions at speed.
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Old 06-09-09, 03:06 PM
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Every day. Got a briefcase style pannier on the left side only, it usually has my laptop, some papers and office supplies, and other goodies in it.
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Old 06-09-09, 03:09 PM
  #13  
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I've never had a problem with just one.
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Old 06-09-09, 03:56 PM
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I never ride with two. It is hard to walk the bike or carry it down the stairs with only one loaded down, but I have not noticed anything while riding.
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Old 06-09-09, 04:32 PM
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I will add to my original post... while for some it may be imperceptible, you'll notice usually if you follow someone with one pannier they usually have a noticeable list to the side that the pannier is not on.

I'm sure it's a balance issue, but for this old man (crappy left knee) that tilt throws my geometry off enough that in the long haul it causes me pain. To each their own tho.
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Old 06-09-09, 05:03 PM
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I ride with one Ortlieb pannier every day to work, 10 mi round trip. It's moderately loaded, maybe 10 pounds. it works just fine and i've gotten totally used to it. I don't want to corner sharply like on my road bike, but you don't need to do that on a commuter anyway. It actually only feels weird on the weekends, when i ride my road bike without the ortileb pannier. it's like i have trained myself to ride with it there and it only feels different getting used to it not being there! funny!
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Old 06-09-09, 05:09 PM
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I ride with a pannier on one side and a collapsible basket on the other. I figure I could always put some rocks in the basket if I feel off balance. Never had to yet.
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Old 06-09-09, 05:13 PM
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If every cyclist decided to use a single pannier on the same side at the same time, it could cause problems with earth's orbit, but that is so unlikely that I wouldn't worry about it much.

Matt
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Old 06-09-09, 05:59 PM
  #19  
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When I get lots of groceries, I'll sometimes put a gallon worth of Gatorade jugs in one pannier with nothing on the other side. That's about as much weight as they'll hold without it being full of metal of some kind and is around 8 pounds. I've had no problems.
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Old 06-09-09, 06:23 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
It looks imbalanced.
Is that a real word?
I always thought it us unbalanced. Not that it matters.

I ride with one all the time. The only time that it is in/un balanced is when I'm off the bike and pushing it or leaning it up against something. When I'm in the saddle it feels fine and I already look unbalanced so looks don't mater to me
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Old 06-09-09, 06:24 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by mharter View Post
If every cyclist decided to use a single pannier on the same side at the same time, it could cause problems with earth's orbit, but that is so unlikely that I wouldn't worry about it much.

Matt
That's not EXACTLY right. We would all have to be going the same direction too.
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Old 06-09-09, 08:22 PM
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Looking imbalanced [real word] is a problem of aesthetics.
Not a problem for the cyclist but could be a problem for someone looking at the bike and thinking "hmmmm, that looks funny with only one pannier"
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Old 06-09-09, 08:51 PM
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I ride with a single grocery bag pannier and frequently have it loaded down with stuff I am taking to work or taking home. Never been a problem at all.
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Old 06-09-09, 08:56 PM
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I would do it all the time if my wife wouldn't email me a grocery list just before I get off work. I check the mail too, I usually roll with both panniers.
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Old 06-09-09, 09:05 PM
  #25  
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Since I carry a light load (a uniform shirt and pants) alonmg with my bike repair stuff, I'll use just 1 pannier. My panniers have nice reflective stripes so I use the one on the left side so cars can see me better in the morning darkness.
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