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I am a pannier convert!

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I am a pannier convert!

Old 01-04-12, 12:23 AM
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I am a pannier convert!

Took my first commute with the new rack (Topeak Explorer) and pannier (Arkel Commuter). It was much more relaxing and comfortable than with my backpack and my speed was even a little higher (15.1 mph with pannier versus 14.3 mph with the backpack on essentially an identical 18-mile route). Although I felt the weight on the rack at times, it wasn't a problem and seemed to move along fine in all conditions.

After years of being a naysayer about racks/panniers, I think I am now a convert!
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Old 01-04-12, 01:53 AM
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I find it most practical to put backpack on the rear rack. When I stop, I can put it on my back and carry stuff with free hands, and less worry about thieves.




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Old 01-04-12, 04:02 AM
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I don't think I'll convert to pannier any time soon, You got to carry your backpack here and there for school.
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Old 01-04-12, 08:43 AM
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Nice to have the bike carry all the weight, rather than your back and arms. You'll like it even better having it off your back in the summer.
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Old 01-04-12, 09:04 AM
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I have the Topeak rack with the MTX Trunk bag and I absolutely love it. It fits all of my work clothes, lunch, bike tools and I still have plenty of room. It's even great for shopping.
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Old 01-04-12, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by channeleaton
I have the Topeak rack with the MTX Trunk bag and I absolutely love it. It fits all of my work clothes, lunch, bike tools and I still have plenty of room. It's even great for shopping.
+1! Carries everything I need on a daily basis. Mine came with a shoulder strap too so you can still have free hands if needed.

I have noticed though, the panniers can only hold so many groceries..something to keep in mind while shopping.
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Old 01-04-12, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by FastRod
I don't think I'll convert to pannier any time soon, You got to carry your backpack here and there for school.
I agree with you.. I just switched to a better backpack and wow!! I was able to carry a complete change of clothes plus size 11ew cowboy boots, food, tools, all the stuff, and it still felt light as a feather..

It will be a while before I go to panniers.. All my bikes are sport/racing road bikes.. I love to keep that look..

Here is the backpack I am using now, sweet!!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...N2KJFT3HFFX6AR
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Old 01-04-12, 09:55 AM
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I've said it before and I'll say it again. Once you go rack, you never go back.
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Old 01-04-12, 09:57 AM
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I would love to get some panniers, I'm sick of using a backpack! Glad you like yours.
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Old 01-04-12, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by wwiding
I would love to get some panniers, I'm sick of using a backpack! Glad you like yours.
When I get a touring bike, I am going to try some panniers. I just didn't want to put any panniers on my sport/racing bikes. Just like with my motorcycles. They are sport/race machines, they couldn't pay me to put any bags on them, but people do.

IMO, on a touring bike, panniers are at home.

On my backpack, this one seems to be a quality one. I can carry more gear in it, but yet if feels lighter and more comfortable.. Quality!!
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Old 01-04-12, 11:38 AM
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I commuted with panniers for a couple of years before switching to a trunk bag. I realized I was carrying stuff just because I could. The trunk bag has plenty of room to carry what I need but doesn't tempt me to throw in a bunch of stuff "just in case" (like the jacket I carried for a year but never wore). I actually noticed a difference when fighting headwinds not having the panniers. Seemed to be a little less drag. But either panniers or trunk bags are superior to backpacks IMHO.
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Old 01-04-12, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by modernjess
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Once you go rack, you never go back.
you said it brother!

i don't even like to wear my fanny pack.
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Old 01-04-12, 12:14 PM
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I heart my panniers. !
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Old 01-04-12, 12:16 PM
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I switched to rack/panniers 3 years ago, and haven't looked back.

The only time I like using a backpack is if I have VERY little to carry and I'm in the mood for a fast blast on my road bike. Otherwise, gimme my panniers!
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Old 01-04-12, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar
I find it most practical to put backpack on the rear rack. When I stop, I can put it on my back and carry stuff with free hands, and less worry about thieves.



i'm with you. i've found this to be the best compromise for around town usage.
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Old 01-04-12, 05:01 PM
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No panniers for me

I love my backpack. It's a Wingnut Adventure Pack. I don't even use my Ortlieb panniers. The reasoning is that my backpack has a lot of small pockets, perfect for organizing. When I get off my bike all I have to do is lock up the bike and walk away. No awkward pannier to lug around. The backpack just becomes a part of me and I hardly notice it until I need something out of it. My essentials are in there all the time so I never even have to think about what to bring. Carrying the usual stuff is not heavy at all, either. I can throw in an extra jacket in the main compartment when it's cold or food for longer rides. I don't like putting too much stuff in it because then it rests weird on my back, but I could. It also has a pouch for a hydration pack for the summer. I love it.

If I were to try something else, it would probably be Arkel's Trunk Bag. It looks like it has awesome design features and that makes all the difference.

The only reason I see for riding with panniers all the time is if you carry a crapload of heavy and or bulky stuff every single day, but I don't. Also, grocery shopping is easier with panniers.

Last edited by SurlyLaika; 01-04-12 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 01-04-12, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CACycling
I commuted with panniers for a couple of years before switching to a trunk bag. I realized I was carrying stuff just because I could. The trunk bag has plenty of room to carry what I need but doesn't tempt me to throw in a bunch of stuff "just in case" (like the jacket I carried for a year but never wore). I actually noticed a difference when fighting headwinds not having the panniers. Seemed to be a little less drag. But either panniers or trunk bags are superior to backpacks IMHO.
This.
Even with smaller panniers, the temptation to carry things needlessly is just too great.
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Old 01-04-12, 05:14 PM
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I use a convertible backpack/pannier combo. It can be a hassle to convert back and forth. Pannier for heavy stuff and summer. My back sweats too much with it on my back. It'll be soaking wet. Backpack for a lighter packing.
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Old 01-04-12, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ROJA
Took my first commute with the new rack (Topeak Explorer) and pannier (Arkel Commuter). It was much more relaxing and comfortable than with my backpack and my speed was even a little higher (15.1 mph with pannier versus 14.3 mph with the backpack on essentially an identical 18-mile route). Although I felt the weight on the rack at times, it wasn't a problem and seemed to move along fine in all conditions.

After years of being a naysayer about racks/panniers, I think I am now a convert!
The quality of that pannier- as well as it's mounting system- is probably the main contributor of your joyous conversion. If you had to deal with cheaper, not as secure mounting systems, you'd probably still be on the fence.

Much as I'd love to get the backpack off, pannier(s)- in my price range- wouldn't be the ideal solution to my bike/bus commute on my one and only bike with it's 16.3" chain stays and 26" wheels.
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Old 01-04-12, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by SurlyLaika
I love my backpack. It's a Wingnut Adventure Pack. I don't even use my Ortlieb panniers. The reasoning is that my backpack has a lot of small pockets, perfect for organizing. When I get off my bike all I have to do is lock up the bike and walk away. No awkward pannier to lug around. The backpack just becomes a part of me and I hardly notice it until I need something out of it. My essentials are in there all the time so I never even have to think about what to bring. Carrying the usual stuff is not heavy at all, either. I can throw in an extra jacket in the main compartment when it's cold or food for longer rides. I don't like putting too much stuff in it because then it rests weird on my back, but I could. It also has a pouch for a hydration pack for the summer. I love it.

If I were to try something else, it would probably be Arkel's Trunk Bag. It looks like it has awesome design features and that makes all the difference.

The only reason I see for riding with panniers all the time is if you carry a crapload of heavy and or bulky stuff every single day, but I don't. Also, grocery shopping is easier with panniers.
Nice backpack..

It seems that the quality backpacks, have a way more comfortable fit which makes them feel lighter, therefore one can carry more gear without feeling weighed down.
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Old 01-04-12, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cehowardGS
It will be a while before I go to panniers.. All my bikes are sport/racing road bikes.. I love to keep that look.
A backpack is good for the look 'cause you can't see it when you're wearing it.

Just kidding, I know there's a lot of components to a decision and not everybody has the same priorities or measurements or anything really.

I am struck by the comments about not using panniers because you need to carry your bag once you get there; I got panniers w/ shoulder straps!

I am a big rack/pannier fan, but I am also keeping half an eye open for a messenger bag, in case I do start commuting, once it gets nice out (July? August?) on this road bike I picked up that I don't want to put a rack on... want to keep that sport/racing look!
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Old 01-04-12, 08:02 PM
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I had a rack and went back !

Can totally see why people prefer panniers and I could make it work but I like the idea of my stuff staying with me whether I'm on or off the bike. Yes I know that some panniers have shoulder straps and some double as backpacks, but I'd rather not throw a bag that's a slushy mess on my back. Plus I didn't really like the way my bike felt with panniers on. Not so great for bunny hopping and I'm not that good at it as it is.
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Old 01-04-12, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CACycling
I commuted with panniers for a couple of years before switching to a trunk bag. I realized I was carrying stuff just because I could. The trunk bag has plenty of room to carry what I need but doesn't tempt me to throw in a bunch of stuff "just in case" (like the jacket I carried for a year but never wore). I actually noticed a difference when fighting headwinds not having the panniers. Seemed to be a little less drag. But either panniers or trunk bags are superior to backpacks IMHO.
Same here. One point my gear weight with bike and everything was approaching 50-60 lbs easily... if not more.
Now, it tops out at 25lbs. Makes world of difference when you climb 1500ft a daily basis for commuting.
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Old 01-04-12, 10:31 PM
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I was forced to switch to panniers last July following a rib injury. (Bike vs pothole. Pothole won.) I would have had to stop riding for at least 6-8 weeks before I could wear a pack again. With panniers I was riding again after 2 weeks. I never thought I would have been but I've since been converted to panniers.
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Old 01-04-12, 10:41 PM
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I use a pannier rack and bags as well as a top/trunk bag. On my Seek 2 it's a SunLite PakRak rack and top/trunk/grocery bag. ON my Hardrock it's a Topeak rack (for disc brakes) and a "no name" pannier bag that has an attached top bag that can be unzipped and used as a backpack with mesh netting for wet clothes and to carry one's helmet. I thoroughly enjoy that setup, but it is in serious need of repairing.

Both pannier sets of bags are joined together and have a handle to carry them by. Really the only time that I see myself removing them is when I go shopping. Then they hang over the side of my shopping cart and I fill them as I'm shopping.

I do have an excellent backpack with frame and padded waist belt and sternum strap. It's the large military backpack I purchased and used when I was on Active Duty in the US Army. I do NOT see myself wearing that as I'm commuting.

Actually I can't see myself wearing anything larger then my 3l GI CamelBak.

As others have said, I would much rather have the weight on my bicycle rather then on my back. YMMV
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