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Panniers for hauling the goodies

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Panniers for hauling the goodies

Old 03-31-10, 02:28 PM
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Panniers for hauling the goodies

I am new to the idea of panniers, but I need some to haul groceries.

Any recommendations?

Your insights are appreciated.
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Old 03-31-10, 06:01 PM
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Get good ones. Generally this means either Arkel or Ortleib.

And don't bother with the "grocery bag" kind.
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Old 03-31-10, 06:15 PM
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Honestly, I paid $28 for a pair of nashbar ATB panniers 4 years ago, and they're still doing fine by me. They're not even water resistant, but I don't care. I use one of them every day, I just put stuff in plastic bags if it's likely to get wet that day.

For hauling groceries, I'd probably look for the big wire baskets rather than panniers though, and put reusable grocery bags inside them. Panniers aren't really big enough to hold a bag of groceries.

https://www.waldsports.com/index.cfm/...ingbasket.html
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Old 03-31-10, 06:35 PM
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Depends. On a lot of variables.

We're a car-free household of two. My partner is 6'2", 230ish, and bikes to work every day that the roads are free of ice. I don't work, but put on about 45 miles a week chasing after various household errands. For a pretty large share of grocery trips, I use just a little QR front basket. Same size as a grocery store shopping basket. For slightly larger trips, I add a small messenger bag. Call it 10L each.

For giant trips, I add a set of Novara Safari rear panniers. REI doesn't seem to have them this year, which is simultaneously a pity and a good thing. They're PVC, so from an environmental point of view they're horrific. It's a pity because they're about 40 L and have no fiddly bits. No pockets, no straps, no nothing. So they're really pretty light for how big they are, and the full capacity is available for cargo. They're waterproof, and reasonably easy to manage off the bike. I'm pleased as hell with 'em.

I can fit over 60lbs of cargo in the basket + panniers. This is more than I can safely wrangle over curbs and up stairs. It's not more than my bike can handle. For comparison... the basket's contents usually would end up split between two grocery bags if I can't stop the cashier in time. So the panniers are probably holding about 6-8 bags worth. That's a pretty decent sized shopping trip for a family of 4-5 adults too.
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Old 03-31-10, 06:49 PM
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I got a pair of these 2 years ago on sale. Each holds a very large paper bag of groceries + they fold flat for the journey to the store.
I paid $50 for the pair (I see they're now being sold as singles).
They are holding up very well.

https://https://www.rei.com/product/780449

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Old 03-31-10, 07:25 PM
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Make a pair from kitty liter buckets.
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Old 03-31-10, 07:53 PM
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I've gotten four good years out of the Nashbar Townie Basket grocery panniers. If you wait for the good sales, they're under $20 each. They still work just fine, although they've gotten a little floppy over the years.

I've wanted to upgrade them for a while, but until recently Arkel only had a closed-top non-folding grocery pannier. This spring, they've added an open-top folding grocery pannier to the line up. I hope to get a pair for my birthday.

EDIT: You'll want to avoid the ones made by either Trek or Bontrager. (I forget which. One is fine, the other isn't.) They don't have a hook to secure the bottom. Thus, they can fly right off the rack on a good bump. I know two people who have had this happen.
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Old 03-31-10, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
Honestly, I paid $28 for a pair of nashbar ATB panniers 4 years ago, and they're still doing fine by me. They're not even water resistant, but I don't care. I use one of them every day, I just put stuff in plastic bags if it's likely to get wet that day.

For hauling groceries, I'd probably look for the big wire baskets rather than panniers though, and put reusable grocery bags inside them. Panniers aren't really big enough to hold a bag of groceries.

https://www.waldsports.com/index.cfm/...ingbasket.html
I drag groceries with a pair of moderately cheap Axiom panniers. They will hold about 30 pounds of food, which is about all I have the energy to drag home (home is uphill from the grocery store.)

Anyway, I've had these for 3-4 years and they show no serious signs of wear. They are a little funky because I drag empty soda cans from the house.

I'm not sure exactly how to get them clean. Right now, I wipe them with a sponge and apply Febreze.
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Old 03-31-10, 10:36 PM
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When you can, buy the best. About 12 years ago my wife and I bought the best Egyptian cotton towels we could find (and we weren't rolling in mulah back then, BTW. $100 out of pocket). 12 years later we still find our towels at home better than any 5 star hotel we may be lucky enough to spend a night in. Similarly, I've rarely been disappointed with any any high-end bike component I've ever bought, even if the cost *seemed* cost prohibitive at the time.

Arkel Utility Baskets.
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Old 03-31-10, 10:44 PM
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I have been using MEC panniers for well over 5 years and they still look and work like new... I have two children and am fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most delightful ethnic markets as well as some major grocery stores.

I usually stock up when there are sales and also have an extrabike that will carry 100 pounds of groceries or more with ease... big bags of rice and potatoes can be strapped to the rear deck and the bike can be fitted with 6 large panniers.

I make frequent trips to the grocers for fresh produce and bakery items but they are not far and I enjoy the ride... my daughters also have nice panniers on their bikes (Basil) and help carry groceries with them.
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Old 03-31-10, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon
I am new to the idea of panniers, but I need some to haul groceries.

Any recommendations?

Your insights are appreciated.
Never used it, but I'd get a Wald 535 if I were in your shoes.
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Old 04-01-10, 04:43 AM
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I have the Axiom Kootenays. I think i've only brought grocies home in them once. I like all the compression straps it has.
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Old 04-01-10, 04:57 AM
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Some good Canadian options:

I use my panniers for loaded touring, commuting, and grocery shopping.

I've used a set of Axioms for a couple of years, and have found them to be very satisfactory. There is nothing fancy about them, but they're soundly designed and well made. I like the shock chord lacing my model has on the lid: they're perfect for drying laundry while on tour. They're also very well priced, especially if you're in Canada.

I also have a set of MEC World Tour panniers. Another solid product. These have rear pockets sized for fuel bottles or oversized waterbottles, which I find useful. They also have a good quickrelease hook mechanism. My complaints are that these panniers do not come with rain covers (shold seperately in your choice of yellow or black) or shoulder straps, which the Axiom does.
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Old 04-01-10, 05:17 AM
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I have Lake Mountain P-500's and transport pro's for the front and they did the job okay. A freeradical kit for my Dummy does the hauling now.
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Old 04-01-10, 05:55 AM
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M-Wave Double Day Tripper. It can be found other places, but here was the cheapest. I paid around $24 after shipping. My full review is on the page. Perfect fit for grocery bags.

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Old 04-01-10, 07:15 AM
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I've been using a pair of Avenir grocery panniers for most of a year now, and they work reasonably well. They fold flat when not in use, which is nice, and since they're open top you can actually load a bit more stuff than the listed volume if you're careful. You can also more easily load oddly-shaped items.

The down side is that they have an open top and mesh sides, so there's little protection from the elements. You want to make sure everything you don't want wet or dirty is in plastic or water-resistant fabric bags if they're likely to get rained on, snowed on, or splashed. It's not a big problem, but it's something to be aware of.
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Old 04-01-10, 09:27 AM
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Man, thanks for all the input.

I've got my eye on some Axiom panniers and these by Ortlieb, called Backroller Classics: https://www.rei.com/product/604989

Those aren't cheap but as I will be using these for years, I don't mind the $.

I tried some Wald 535 baskets -- those don't work well for groceries, because the baskets taper down. A lot of groceries -- gallons of milk, for example -- don't fit well because of that taper, and grocery bags are a bad fit.

I replaced those with some Wald baskets designed for groceries -- those work very well.

But, I am retiring that grocery bike (a Robin Hood) and having a custom frame welded as my utility bike and commuter bike.

I don't want to put baskets on this one because you can't take the baskets off when you don't need them, and I don't want to be commuting with baskets I don't need.

So I'm considering going the pannier route instead.

Anyone know if Axiom or Ortlieb Backrollers are big enough, or too big?
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Old 04-01-10, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon
Anyone know if Axiom or Ortlieb Backrollers are big enough, or too big?
You don't ever say which Axioms you're looking at... Machka has a set of LaSalles that she really likes. And the Typhoons get decent reviews. But I had a set of Seymours that were just AWFUL. Each one is about 13L, and it's not as efficiently laid out as my basket, so it's less usable space. The fabric was cheap and did not wear well. If you took both, it'd be too big most of the time. If you took one, about 90% of the time it would be too small.

We can't readily tell how big is too big for you. For me, about 50% of the time, 40L is too big... but I always have my little basket on the bike too. So it's pretty easy for me to end up with seriously massive cargo capacity.

The Ortleibs are about the same as my Novaras, tho probably a bit heavier, and with more doodads.
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Old 04-01-10, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Arcanum
I've been using a pair of Avenir grocery panniers for most of a year now, and they work reasonably well. They fold flat when not in use, which is nice, and since they're open top you can actually load a bit more stuff than the listed volume if you're careful. You can also more easily load oddly-shaped items.

The down side is that they have an open top and mesh sides, so there's little protection from the elements. You want to make sure everything you don't want wet or dirty is in plastic or water-resistant fabric bags if they're likely to get rained on, snowed on, or splashed. It's not a big problem, but it's something to be aware of.
I have one of those on my Felt. As a matter of fact, the two customer submitted images on that amazon link are of my bike.

It works fine for me. All the cautions stated by Arcanum do apply but as he said, it hasn't been a problem. I do have some heel strike, but that is probably a problem with the rack, though I have considered looking into panniers with the front corner cut-away.
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Old 04-01-10, 11:48 AM
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The Back-Roller Classics are 40-liter panniers -- Ortlieb doesn't make panniers any bigger. I have a pair, plus an Ortlieb Velocity backpack. When I use all three and leave the panniers open, I can carry a lot more than would fit in three grocery bags. (And I don't use grocery bags when I go shopping by bike, so no issue of fit arises.) I didn't buy the panniers primarily for shopping; I wanted something tough and weatherproof for year-round commuting. But ever since I got them, I haven't touched my old folding grocery-bag panniers.
Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon
Anyone know if Axiom or Ortlieb Backrollers are big enough, or too big?
Big enough for me. But I try to integrate grocery hauls into my daily commuting routine, rather than making one big trip per week.
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Old 04-01-10, 11:55 AM
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My wife bought me Avenir Metro Panniers for my birthday last year. As soon as I got them I read the reviews here and everybody hated them. But they work great for me.

They aren't waterproof, but like ItsJustMe, I just stuff everything in plastic bags when I think it's going to rain (here in Sac that's only four months out of the year anyway).

The bungees they come with are downright dangerous so I took them off. Now I attach the panniers with a Delta cargo net. Quick and easy, works on any rack I've seen so far.

I like that it's saddlebag style. I can carry the whole thing with the handle on top. I also like the 4 pockets, easy to keep my stuff organized that way. And it's got reflective stripes on the back and the sides.

For the price I think it's a bargain.
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Old 04-01-10, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
Honestly, I paid $28 for a pair of nashbar ATB panniers 4 years ago, and they're still doing fine by me. They're not even water resistant, but I don't care. I use one of them every day, I just put stuff in plastic bags if it's likely to get wet that day.
+1 on these.
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Old 04-01-10, 12:54 PM
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I own a set of axiom "journey series" panniers- big ones.

Overall they are decent for the price, come with rain covers and a shoulder strap, which is important for me because I am allways locking my bike up unsafe places, and have a pretty good layout. a couple small peripheral pockets and a nice big main pocket, fits a 24 case of beer easy.

A couple of gripes I have with these panniers:

The rubber on the hooks is thin and weak and will basically be gone after a couple months.

The securing system ins a thick elastic cord with a knot at either end up top with a hook on it at the bottom (in the middle of the cord). the pro of this system is you can shorten/lengthen the cord to deal with different racks. the con is that I have had one of the knots come undone on more than one occasion, leading to a pannier falling off. not cool.

I should also mention that the axiom rack I bought with the panniers broke after a few months. it was the big model with the wheel protecting bits, and one of those broke. I think this was partially because i was using it with a short chainstay road bike and had to keep the bags farther back than usual. They replaced the rack free though, and I have a better hauler bike now so hopefully it won't be an issue.
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Old 04-01-10, 01:27 PM
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The Axiom panniers I was looking at (that is, looking at online -- can't find anything in the stores) were the Monsoon model, a step down from the Typhoon.

The panniers would be for a family of two ... and the store is only three miles away, so I can make emergency grocery runs on short notice if need be.

One problem ... liters. I have no idea what "20 liter" bag means. Bigger than 10 liters, I get that, but ...

And ... this one, by Arkel, looks promising:

https://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...ty-basket.html
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Old 04-01-10, 04:05 PM
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I like the REI grocery panniers Jtgyk mentioned.

The top mounting clips lock onto the rack bar and are adjustable in position to mount them so no heel strike.
They include lower adjustable hooks so are stable.
They fold when not in use and do not rattle like Wald folding baskets.
Quickly removable and installable for when you do not want/need them.

Not cheap unless you find them on sale and not water proof but the latter is not vital in Reno. My usage is less since I got my Big Dummy though.
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