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Rear Rack Panniers suggestions

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Rear Rack Panniers suggestions

Old 05-24-22, 10:27 AM
  #1  
jethro00
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Rear Rack Panniers suggestions

We ride our tandem every morning. We keep a Banjo Brothers Rack Top Expanding Bag on our rear rack and really like. That bag attaches with 2 velcro straps running under the rack and a loop in front that attaches to the seat post or rack front. That bag is cumbersome to remove and put back on. We leave it on at all times, except for when we need to use the "grocery" panniers. The panniers have a large pouch on each side and attach to the top of the rack and have a hook on the bottom of each side that attaches to the rack frame. The panniers work well for our use (carrying 2 portable chairs, a portable table, picnic gear, etc.). A picture of the Top bag and panniers is attached.

The problem is that attaching the panniers requires removing the Top Expanding Bag and then re-attaching the Top Bag.. We've been doing it for years. But, I would prefer panniers that are easier to attach and remove. I see some nice options, but none appear to have all of the features we want. So, I am hoping some of you can offer suggestions. Here is our list of features we want:
1) Easy to attach and remove;
2) Can be cinched closed without folding and/or rolling top of panniers to close so chairs and tables can protrude out the top, but still be cinched closed so they don't move around;
3) Large cargo capacity;
4) Handle or strap for carrying when off bike; and,
5) Bright color (Stoker insists.)

Our current panniers meet 2,3,4 and 5. If we could find panniers that include all 5 features, that would be great.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.
Attached Files
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Last edited by jethro00; 05-24-22 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 05-24-22, 11:54 AM
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You could also look at the Tubus Logo rack, which has a top platform and then another lower mounting point for panniers. Might solve your issue.
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Old 05-25-22, 02:49 PM
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Is red bright enough? We love our truly massive Ortlieb Back-Roller Plus Pro panniers (pix of ours below).
-They open up fully at the top, extending upward to contain all manner of tall and large stuff.
-The closure is versatile: You can close it at the top by clicking together the buckles (see bottom pic), or around the sides, or even leave it mostly open. (The Ortlieb site shows only the closure around the bottom, but that's only one way.)
-They attach/detach in about 2 seconds once you've got it down. It helps to have a rack with lower level, like our Tubus Cosmo shown, or Logo as Philly Tandem suggests above.
-The strap that goes underneath doubles as a shoulder strap. (We took ours off and keep it in the side pocket, so it isn't in the pic; see it on the Ortlieb site linked above)
-There's a great, voluminous side mesh pocket to stuff stuff in on the fly.
-They're well-built, easy to adjust, easy to repair.



Last edited by sapporoguy; 05-25-22 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 05-27-22, 09:16 AM
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<<You could also look at the Tubus Logo rack, which has a top platform and then another lower mounting point for panniers. Might solve your issue.>>

​​​​​​​That was a good thought. Alas, that won't work for us. Our current panniers have a continuous connection between the left and right bag that goes over the rear rack. A second higher platform (which the Tubes Logo has) would only work if it does not have any vertical connection between the top and bottom platform in the rear, so the panniers could be slipped between the 2 platforms from the rear and then the bag that sits on the top platform could be attached to the top platform. The Tubes Logo rack has vertical connectors in the rear between the 2 platforms, so we would have the same problem we have now.
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Old 05-27-22, 09:22 AM
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"Is red bright enough? We love our truly massive Ortlieb Back-Roller Plus Pro panniers"

Holly cow! The
Ortlieb Back-Roller Plus Prois huge.
Do you carry a Mini Cooper in there
Yeah, the color might be bright enough.
I am looking at the Ortlieb line and am trying to find out if the BACK-ROLLER CLASSIC has any type of internal cinching mechanism for when the top is left unfastened. So far, I have not been able to get an email to go through on the contact feature of Ortlieb's web site.

I found an email address for Ortlieb on the Internet and got a quick reply:
No, the Back-Roller Classic does not have any internal cinching straps to achieve your goal. The only item that would have such an option is a Bike-Packer or Sport-Packer model, which uses a lid closure with an internal drawstring cover underneath: https://www.ortlieb.com/usa_en/bike-packer-plus+F2704
Other than that, you would have to use some kind of aftermarket item like a sleeping bag stuff sack and then fill the rest of the empty space of the pannier with some other soft goods.

Last edited by jethro00; 05-27-22 at 10:17 AM. Reason: updated info
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Old 05-27-22, 02:10 PM
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Our portable chairs should just fit inside the Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus. The table (rolled up) would extend out the top. But, the Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus has a draw cord to cinch it closed and keep things from moving around. Equally as important, the Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus comes in a color scheme that should look good with our tandem. So, if we are going to upgrade our panniers, the Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus at $200+ looks like our best option.
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Old 05-27-22, 04:09 PM
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I have two sets of the Bike Packer Plus (one is easily 20 years old) and have generally been pleased with them. My only design complaint is that the top lid is fixed on the back side, meaning it won't "float" to accommodate a higher load. It's a weird design, since the inner bag actually has an extendable collar that gives a lot more space. It also has two sets of cinch drawcords: one on the main bag, and one on the extendable collar. (See two pics attached.) A lesser annoyance relates to the outer pocket. Although it's handy for maps and the like, when the pannier is fully packed it's hard to get stuff in and out of the outer pocket.


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Old 05-27-22, 04:13 PM
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By the way, we often pair our Ortlieb panniers with their rack-top duffle bag. It's super handy. Its buckles are designed to interface with the Top Roller pannier, but we manage to make it work with our Bike Packers, too (although not as elegantly). You can see it in the attached photo on our triplet (Danube route in Austria). https://www.ortlieb.com/usa_en/rack-pack

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Old 05-27-22, 08:20 PM
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Philly Tandem, that is helpful. When we carry our portable table (about 23" long rolled up), I guess I will tuck the top lid inside, let the table ride 6" or so out of the pannier, and just use the cinch cords to secure the cargo inside. That won't be waterproof, but that's generally not an issue for us. We take our portable chairs and table to outdoor festivals, music, and picnics. The table doubles as a foot stool. We like our comfort outdoors
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Old 05-27-22, 08:30 PM
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Buy nice, buy once, Ortlieb Panniers are the best.
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Old 05-28-22, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jethro00 View Post
We ride our tandem every morning. We keep a Banjo Brothers Rack Top Expanding Bag on our rear rack and really like. That bag attaches with 2 velcro straps running under the rack and a loop in front that attaches to the seat post or rack front. That bag is cumbersome to remove and put back on. We leave it on at all times, except for when we need to use the "grocery" panniers. The panniers have a large pouch on each side and attach to the top of the rack and have a hook on the bottom of each side that attaches to the rack frame. The panniers work well for our use (carrying 2 portable chairs, a portable table, picnic gear, etc.). A picture of the Top bag and panniers is attached.

The problem is that attaching the panniers requires removing the Top Expanding Bag and then re-attaching the Top Bag.. We've been doing it for years. But, I would prefer panniers that are easier to attach and remove. I see some nice options, but none appear to have all of the features we want. So, I am hoping some of you can offer suggestions. Here is our list of features we want:
1) Easy to attach and remove;
2) Can be cinched closed without folding and/or rolling top of panniers to close so chairs and tables can protrude out the top, but still be cinched closed so they don't move around;
3) Large cargo capacity;
4) Handle or strap for carrying when off bike; and,
5) Bright color (Stoker insists.)

Our current panniers meet 2,3,4 and 5. If we could find panniers that include all 5 features, that would be great.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.
We use the Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EXP. along with their quick rack system.Works great! The bag slides into the Topeak rack track and can be removed with just a click. The bag has two panniers that can be folded up into their own compartment when not in use. The top bag is plenty big enough for our uses. It's full setup is fairly expensive but is very user friendly. On summer weekends we take our tandem down to the market on the square, get groceries and goodies. The bag really fits our needs.
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Old 05-28-22, 06:37 PM
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<<We use the Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EXP. along with their quick rack system.Works great!>>

Thanks for the suggestion. Alas, the Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EXP and other similar panniers by Topeak only come in black. My stoker insists on a bright color, and she has a good reason. We ride on a levee path a lot. But, all our rides are in part on city streets. At various locations (including one walking distance from where we live), there are memorials with a bike painted all white, where someone died in a bike accident. So, we do what we can to increase visibility, including with our panniers. Fortunately, we have a lot of bike lanes on our roads, which helps. We wear bright helmets and a reflective ankle band. When it's cold, we wear ultra-bright jackets. When it's warm, my stoker wears a reflective vest like road workers wear.
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Old 05-28-22, 06:45 PM
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I would just get Ortelibs and deal with the roll up design. They otherwise meet your requirements. Its similar to a dry bag and will keep your stuff dry, better than zippers.
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Old 05-29-22, 12:49 AM
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70 liters are enough (?)

This is our setup for tours with overnight-stays (no camping) in the last years. Stoker and captain get a 70 liters Ortlieb Back Roller Pro Plus each and our mantra is: Wat's not fitting inside this cave of a bag - is not needed on tour ;-). I'm always fighting for the slim look Ms. Stoker is packing her bag... she's way better than me (also) here...
In addition to that we use an Ortlieb Handlebar Bag in the stokers compartment that provides a perfect spacing for it. Additional locks, raingear and some food find their place here. Ms. Stoker mostly likes to have a light backpack for her valuables and that's it. We just finished a tour through the Netherlands where the Ortliebs had to proof their rain-resistance. Worked perfectly ... even when riding in the rain is not our biggest fun .


Amsterdam: Tandem tour through the Netherlands...

Last edited by lichtgrau; 05-29-22 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 05-29-22, 09:44 AM
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<<I would just get Ortelibs and deal with the roll up design. They otherwise meet your requirements.>>

The Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus actually seems to meet all our requirements because it has a draw cord that will cinch it closed when the lid is unfastened.
My stoker is comparing the
Signal Red/Chili and Salsa/Dark Chili options to see which she thinks looks better with our metallic red daVinci Grand Junction.
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Old 06-02-22, 10:07 AM
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We ordered a pair of Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus in Salsa/Dark Chili and they are on their way to us from Oregon. I'll report back after we get them and take them on a ride. Thanks so much for all the suggestions and information.
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Old 06-12-22, 07:14 PM
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My first impression of the Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus panniers is that they are impressive - well designed, engineered, and made. They are spacious. They are very easy to put on and take off - a big plus for us. We have not been on a ride with them yet, just did a trial install and remove. The only issue I see is that the clamps that hold it to the upper and lower rack rails are designed to fit a variety of rail sizes. The panniers can slide forward and aft a bit on the upper and lower rails. Maybe there is an adjustment for that I have not yet found. Thanks for all the suggestions. I think the Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus panniers are going to be a big upgrade for us and meet all the criteria I wanted in panniers.

Update: We decided to extend our morning ride to stop at a grocery store. I installed one of the panniers (less than a minute). My stoker came out of the store with a large paper grocery bag. I dropped it into the pannier and closed the top. When we got home, I put my hand on the pannier handle on the back and the pannier pulled right off - couldn't be easier. These panniers are really easy to put on and take off.

Last edited by jethro00; 06-13-22 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 06-14-22, 05:53 AM
  #18  
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We have had these panniers since 2012 and they are still great. We bought the red ones and though they are quite faded they are still waterproof.
We don't tour on our tandem now as we prefer singles these panniers have been across the US ,Cananda and multiple European trips. Just replaced a number of the buckles but those are available from Ortlieb.
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