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Old 06-08-11, 08:15 PM   #1
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Leaving Panniers on the bus rack? Multimodal question

Hi everyone. New commuter here. I am starting out with multi-modal, hopefully eventually getting to commuting all the way to work (about 25 or 30 miles). I bought my first set of panniers today to go on my rear rack, and will be taking the bus tomorrow. The bus has one of those front loading racks for your bike. the question I have is whether or not you should / could leave the panniers on the rear bike rack while it is loaded on the front of the bus (outside, obviously). will the panniers come off during the ride? They are not sturdiest panniers. Just a few velcro attachments and one strap on the bottom. It will be a pain to take them off before and after the bus, so I am trying to decide if the messenger bag is a better idea when going multimodal. Thanks, as always, for your assistance.
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Old 06-08-11, 08:18 PM   #2
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If you are worried about it, strap or tie wrap the panniers to the bike rack.

If the panniers are properly mounted, there is little chance they will bounce off.
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Old 06-09-11, 05:03 PM   #3
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Welcome to multimode mode! I've used bike racks on buses for many years.

I see lots of people load their bikes on our transit buses with panniers attached. Haven't seen any come off. It helps to keep your panniers as narrow as possible to give fellow cyclists room to use the adjacent rack spaces; if they're large, it's best to remove them before loading your bike on the bus.
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Old 06-09-11, 05:19 PM   #4
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My experience here has been that some Bus drivers will ask you to remove them. Depending on the rack they could obstruct the lights. The regulations regarding the bike racks do say you are supposed to remove all bags and water bottles too so the drivers are within their rights to ask you to remove them. You might want to consider investing in some good panniers that are easy on easy off. There are several makes that have this feature. The ones I use are made by Arkel. And, as rnorris points out panniers can be a nuisance to other rack users.
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Old 06-09-11, 05:30 PM   #5
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Personally, I got some panniers that simply slide on/slide off the rack easily. That way I can load them up with everything in my apartment, carry the bike downstairs, slip off the panniers, load the bike onto my car, and carry everything important inside the car with me in the dreadful event that my bike rack fails and I lose the bike and everything important in the panniers. Then I just slip it back on and take off riding when I get to my starting point, no hassle.
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Old 06-09-11, 05:48 PM   #6
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You might want to figure out a different way. If you want to use panniers, then you'd better invest in some that are easy on/off yet secure. Some bus operators don't mind, but there are those few that will cop an attitude. I tried using panniers when I first started, but had heel strike and have pretty much gone with the backpack option for as long as I have this bike.

And wait until you get 'bumped' for the first time...
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Old 06-09-11, 05:51 PM   #7
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I've always left my panniers on the bike when it is on the bus rack.
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Old 06-10-11, 08:14 AM   #8
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I keep one locked to the rack, and that one goes with the bike on the bus rack. I carry the other around with me with more important stuff in it. Mine are Ortleib front paniers that I use on the rear rack, and they don't come off unless I want them to.
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