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affordable Pannier

Old 01-21-16, 01:46 PM
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Trentkln27
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affordable Pannier

I'm going to bike across the United States in just over a year and need cheap but durable panniers for the journey. Any suggestions or recommendations? Should I just go on eBay?
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Old 01-21-16, 02:06 PM
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dont buy new for cheap ....

I bought a cheap double pannier set made of plastic and they lasted 2 months

I have now bought Carradine Overlander panniers which seem to get good reviews. Hand made in the UK ....

I shopped around and managed to get these for 20 (used) off ebay and in very good condition ....

look for panniers made of canvas or similar if you want strength. They may not be 100% waterproof, but you can store your goods in plastic bags or large tupperware lidded containers, then pack them into your panniers
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Old 01-21-16, 02:23 PM
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I have used some from the army/navy store, used canvas bags of various sizes. Usually have plenty of straps and mounting points. Look up kitty litter panniers. I used a 5 gallon one to hold my clothes. Totally waterproof, cheap and doubled as a seat when off the bike. Plus bright yellow. Also when people ask, tell them it's your tour sponsor. They will stop asking questions after that.
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Old 01-21-16, 02:36 PM
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That's a long way and therefore, a lot of time. The cheapest panniers might break or tear so you might need to spend a bit more. Furthermore, you might need to think about waterproofing at least for some of your gear because although you can plan to start and end a week long tour during a dry week but you can't plan a completely dry trans-US tour. You don't need to buy waterproof panniers (which are more expensive) and handlebar bag because you could just pack the stuff you need kept dry into dry bags inside non-waterproof panniers and that stuff will/should stay dry. However, a lot of people keep electronics and valuables in handlebar bags (cellphone, camera, wallet, etc) so that might be a good reason to consider a waterproof handlebar bag (although a small dry bag would also work too).

The advantage of good quality (and not the least expensive) panniers is that if you don't feel you need them after this trip, you could sell them for a decent price and likely the "capital loss" would be less than had you purchased cheap panniers (and not been able to sell them).

Just my 2
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Old 01-21-16, 02:37 PM
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Old 01-21-16, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
That's a long way and therefore, a lot of time.
The advantage of good quality (and not the least expensive) panniers is that if you don't feel you need them after this trip, you could sell them for a decent price and likely the "capital loss" would be less than had you purchased cheap panniers (and not been able to sell them).

Just my 2
I will double that to make it $0.04. OP: I would sock away a little money every day, week or whatever towards a good set that is going to last for a long time and will have a better resale value. $1/day for a year would get you very close to a full set (front and rear) of Ortlieb Roller Pluses. It would me more than enough for a full set of Roller Classics. And keep in mind that Ortliebs are at the high end. There are other higher-quality options that are less.
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Old 01-21-16, 03:29 PM
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Kitty Litter is another source of plastic Buckets

there are plain ones already made as The Bike Bucket - Bike Buckets
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Old 01-21-16, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Trentkln27 View Post
I'm going to bike across the United States in just over a year and need cheap but durable panniers for the journey. Any suggestions or recommendations? Should I just go on eBay?
I went the cheap route 25 years ago and still use the same panniers. Nashbar...I think....they are so sun faded I can't read the brand name on them anymore.
Waterproof is not necessary.
Plastic bags work just fine.
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Old 01-21-16, 04:05 PM
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Nashbar waterproof rear panniers.
If you want to spend less, then dont get waterproof- tons of options.
I like Axiom panniers and racks because its what I first got and they are good quality for my needs.

You will be riding for a couple months across a continent- I dont think saving $40 or however much to buy something with cheap zippers or whatever is worth it.
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Old 01-21-16, 04:12 PM
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Nashbar is cheap and they work.

That said, I swapped my Nashbar set out for Ortleibs. I had a lot of reservations given the huge price difference, but I have never been sorry. I did wait until I found a good deal on Ortleibs, but even then, they were several times what I paid for the Nashbar set.
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Old 01-21-16, 06:32 PM
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I really like Lone Peak stuff - been using for a few years now and think it hits a nice happy medium between functionality and price....made us USA too.

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Old 01-21-16, 07:52 PM
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Before you buy you should decide if you want (1) waterproof or (2) lots of pockets. In general the waterproof panniers lack pockets, but some people would rather have the organization of pockets more than they value waterproofness. Also, some that have used waterproof have commented on the problems of putting wet stuff in waterproof/air tight panniers all day long in the warm sun, so before you say you want waterproof think about the issues. I use waterproof, but I am careful to try to minimize how often I pack wet stuff in them.
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Old 01-21-16, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Trentkln27 View Post
I'm going to bike across the United States in just over a year and need cheap but durable panniers for the journey. Any suggestions or recommendations? Should I just go on eBay?
You can get a set (F&R, 4 bags total) of the economy version of the ubiquitous Ortlieb Classic Rollers for ~$200 here.

The economy version of Classic Rollers are called City Rollers. City lack the shoulder strap, interior hang pocket and overload capability of the Classic. City come with QL1 fasteners whereas Classic come with QL2 fasteners.

All Classics came with QL1 fasteners up until 2014 when QL2 was created, so don't think QL1 is junk because QL1 are the fasteners which Ortlieb built their reputation on. The difference between QL1 and QL2 is that 1 are fitted with an allen wrench and 2 are toolless. The QL2 hardware also weighs a little more than QL1. If you are fitting your bags to only one bike the fasteners make no difference. If you frequently swap bags between two or more bikes then the QL2 fasteners may come in handy, otherwise they are no more convenient than QL1, since fitting with an Allen wrench/hex key takes only a minute, and you do it only once.

Finally, the Classic Rollers come in more colors than City, available in red, black or white only.
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Old 01-21-16, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by nickw View Post
I really like Lone Peak stuff - been using for a few years now and think it hits a nice happy medium between functionality and price....made us USA too.

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I second the Lone Peak suggestion. I have briefly used Arkel (too heavy) and also cheap brands and Lone Peak smokes them all, especially for the price point. I have two full sets of front and backs--just in case-- because I like them so much.
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Old 01-21-16, 08:40 PM
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I've been looking at the nashbar panniers but there is some complaints in the reviews of the hooks being a little cheap. I know I'm gonna need something high quality and preferably waterproof.
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Old 01-21-16, 09:17 PM
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I'll just throw this out there, then will step back and let the touring experts take over. Start saving your money while also keeping an eye open on your local classifieds and thrift shops and bike shops. I've got a few panniers of various manufacturers that I've found at thrift shops, but I'm also looking to up grade them if they don't work well locally since my touring plans are still a ways out. Also do searches on craigslist and other online sites for "panniers" and additional searches for "touring", and watch for package deal bikes where the owner just might be willing to sell the bag set separate from the bike, it doesn't hurt to at least ask.

Don't be in a hurry, and don't settle for "good enough". Enjoy the search and research, and have a good tour.
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Old 01-21-16, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Trentkln27 View Post
I've been looking at the nashbar panniers but there is some complaints in the reviews of the hooks being a little cheap. I know I'm gonna need something high quality and preferably waterproof.
I wonder where you could find such a thing...
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Old 01-21-16, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
I wonder where you could find such a thing...
perhaps almost hiding in a link by a tilde in your posting up the page a bit. 8)

I like the orange/black set as well as the denim blue. Would like to see them in a forest green to match my bike.
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Old 01-22-16, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Trentkln27 View Post
I'm going to bike across the United States in just over a year and need cheap but durable panniers for the journey. Any suggestions or recommendations? Should I just go on eBay?
What are you looking to spend? You mention here you need cheap but durable. You mention later that you need high quality and waterproof.

So high quality, waterproof, durable, and cheap? You cant get the first three while also getting the last. But 'cheap' is relative. So list a total you would want to spend and what size you need and you will get some better specifics since as of now, you have gotten everything from kitty litter plastic boxes to Ortliebs. Thats basically the full spectrum of options.
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Old 01-22-16, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
...
So high quality, waterproof, durable, and cheap?
Yeah, they are called US Army Surplus Ammo Boxes.

With a little bit of ingenuity, you can mount them on pannier racks (even doubles in the back, singles in the front).
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Old 01-22-16, 09:51 AM
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I just don't want to spend tons of money on an expensive set of panniers if a much cheaper set will do the same thing. For me durable and high quality are basically synonymous. Even though waterproof is preferred I can make do without it.
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Old 01-22-16, 10:09 AM
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Look for a Nashbar Sale

Got mine 7 years ago from them.

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Old 01-22-16, 10:19 AM
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Do those use zippers? If not they seem pretty nice. Which panniers are those?
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Old 01-22-16, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
........ Look up kitty litter panniers. I used a 5 gallon one to hold my clothes. Totally waterproof, cheap and doubled as a seat when off the bike. Plus bright yellow. Also when people ask, tell them it's your tour sponsor. They will stop asking questions after that.
They are BIG, and very noticeable. Four of them on your bike (two front, two rear) and you are set. You should be able to get the Kitty Litter buckets for FREE, and build out the rest for less than $20- (aluminum angle, stainless steel screws, washers and nuts, Blue Thread Locker)
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Old 01-22-16, 11:26 AM
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I have over 3,000 miles on my litter boxes. They are cheap, waterproof, durable, double as camp chair and table, and weigh the same as ortlieb back-rollers. A purpose designed mounting system (like ortlieb's) might be better than what you come up with, depending on how clever you are, however, I have never had a problem with my mounts, even on some rough trails and washed out dirt roads.
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