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Need bags & Pannier advice

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Need bags & Pannier advice

Old 12-07-17, 04:23 PM
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thats pretty hardcore DIY right there..
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Old 12-07-17, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo
Fan of DIY stuff. Zip lock makes 2.5 gallon bags, great for keeping stuff dry and separated.
Even with waterproof panniers it makes sense to tote Ziplocs or trash bags for various things like food, shoes, dirty clothes, clean clothes etc. Waterproof is a nice extra luxury but putting something inside the trash bag takes just a few seconds more.

First tour w/minimal-pocket Ortliebs I sort of wished for more pockets but I got used to the style quickly; easy enough to pack rain jacket/snacks etc on top. In the evening one unpacks most of the stuff anyway.

My favorite thing about Ortliebs is the mounting system with quick-release & esp the adjustability for different racks.

BTW, Tajue17, it might make sense to invest more in racks than panniers to start. Tubus racks are light & strong, I saved significant weight by moving to Tubus front & rear racks & so far they've worked perfectly.
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Old 12-08-17, 12:00 AM
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Another Ortleib fan. Funny, but I got in to them because I asked around Portland, 1999, for yellow panniers fo winter visibility. One shop told me they had heard that Green Lake Cycles in Seattle had Ortleib make a special run of yellow for them since they were built from raft farbric and Ortlieb makes yellow rafts. I asked the shop to inquire. And voila! Yellow panniers in Portland with the first pair going on my bike.

Great panniers, great support. Any shop can order the hardware. I can still get hardware for those originals though I bought a new pair 7 years ago. The forst pair is still waterproof. (Easy check - fill them with water. After messy farmers market runs, I wash them like pots. I did compromise one of the original. Pierced it with a hastily packed, very large and sharp kitchen knife. Patched it with a standard raft patch. (Call any rafting company for what you need. They'll tell you and where to get it.)

I love that anything I put in them will be absolutely dry when I pull it out. Doesn't matter what I've done or where I've been. One of the best items I've used in my cycling days. Also that life expectancy with daily use is upwards of a decade.

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Old 12-09-17, 02:14 PM
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I highly recommend Lone Peak panniers (and I very rarely endorse any company). They're made in SLC, tho they will cost you around $200 now (depending on which model you get). Not exactly the best in customer service, however. I used them on several long tours and they held up until I was forced to get rid of them. I didn't like Jandd panniers, esp. the front with their rack. Difficult to get them off and I now stay away from front panniers altogether. Lone Peak did change the material of their handlebar bag years after I bought mine and it's crap now. Not recommended.

The questions for you to answer in order to decide are simple: are you an organized person (you'll need sectional panniers) or not (get the duffel bag type like Ortleib). Will you be riding in rain (Ortleib is the only company anyone will endorse if there are any other rain proof companies out there) or not (if not planning on it, you can spray your cloth panniers with a waterproof spray for shoes and then line the clothing sections with a plastic bag). Where will you be riding?? If, at this point, you don't even know if you'll like touring (who doesn't?!), I wouldn't invest in anything yet. Borrow or rent panniers if possible. I live on my bike and when I went on Amazon 2 years ago to get the cheapest panniers, they still cost me $45 each side. Also, I did a southern CA tour with a basket instead of a handlebar bag and loved it!! So much more room. Wouldn't use a handlebar bag again. Jump into this and don't be afraid. I've only ever heard of one person going back to backpacking after their first tour.
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Old 12-09-17, 05:48 PM
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my recommendation is to keep an eye on your local used stuff website, and buy some cheap panniers, and go and have fun and see if you like doing this here bike touring thing.

and go from there.
heck, if you decide you want better or diff panniers, just resell the used ones again and someone else will be happy getting them and you'll get some money back.
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Old 12-14-17, 02:06 PM
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Seems to me that asking touring guys about panniers is on par with asking "What oil should I use?" on a motorcycle forum!

I started with some Transit from Performance Bike about the same as Nashbar's, then went to Ortliebs. Ortliebs easier and quicker to mount, and no futzing with them once they are mounted.
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Old 12-14-17, 02:09 PM
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Second hand?:
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Old 12-14-17, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by sdotkling
Gotta put in my two cents for Lone Peak bags. They're less expensive than some, water resistant, not waterproof...but I count myself as one who much prefers the lots-of-little-pockets design to the big bucket design.
On the bike for days, it helps to organize your stuff, and not throw it into a bottomless hole. Otherwise you spend half your time looking for the damn fill-in-the-blank. With my Lone Peaks, I've got it all memorized--kitchen on the left front (stove & fuel in one pocket, utensils and dishes in the other), food pantry on the front right (divided by dinner and lunch stuff in one pocket, granola bars and candy in the other.) Rear left: clothes in the main compartment, parceled into ziploc bags (one change of clothes per day per bag); rain gear in the outside large pocket. Toiletries in the top pocket; spare tire and tubes and lube in the outside long pocket. Rear right: Sleeping bag, pillow,and air mattress in the main compartment; misc camping gear in the outside; electronics in the top pocket; and tools/parts/more tubes in the long outside pocket. Tent lashed to the rack between the panniers.
Why would anyone do it any other way?
LonePeaks are tough, half the weight of Arkels, not too big, and water resistant to all but the worst downpour. Rain covers, while not great, help in that case, and fold up small. (And if its raining that hard, what the hell are you doing riding your bike? Go get a cup of coffee and wash your clothes at the laundromat.)
+1 Lone Peak, often overlooked but made in USA, well designed, well constructed and hit a nice middle ground of built well enough but not overbuilt and price is very reasonable. I've used them for years with great success.
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Old 12-15-17, 01:21 AM
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Don't make your buying decision twice. Get a set of Ortlieb Bike packer Plus and be set for years. You can find them on sale for $180 or so.
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Old 12-16-17, 01:59 PM
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Lot of useful tips here, I also like to add my two cents.

Like mostly of people here I am also recommend Ortilieb Panniers. Being the gold standard for bike bags also means that almost all good racks that you can find in the market are going to be compatible with Ortilieb. They are made to last, tolerate a lot of abuse and are really waterproof. A friend of mine who toured in the southern Chile, had to cross a stream, but made a mistake of crossing with the panniers on the bike. So the stream pushed the bike from his hands, carrying it for about 150 meters, chocking with very sharp rocks inside the river. Everything got really soaked, but not a single pannier had leakage or torn.
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Old 12-18-17, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tajue17
a huge thank you to everybody for posting,,, everyone has a little something different but honestly it narrowed my search down a lot I was originally looking at Apidura bags only cause I saw some guy on YT with them and speaking of YT Zepkedic I watched your stuff also good stuff in your vids too!! and Doug64 your whole family goes touring together?? that's pretty priceless and good for all of you I think its the first I've heard of a family doing something together in a long time you have some good points and 4 or 5 people road testing that stuff.

out of everything I heard I might have to check out Nashbar first I'm thinking they are the cheapest and someone said easy returns too,, but like someone said its more about me than the bags because how serious will I take this? if I'm going to be out all weekend and the rain shows up I'd had to have to think about covering everything but if I decide to be a weekend "oh its nice out today" go for a long ride then camp a little maybe the non waterproof would work better.

good stuff to think about,,, thanks again to everyone who posted..
Having recently been in this position myself, for both self and spouse..... My spouse was doing the whole retro thing, because they were going to be touring on a fully restored (with mod drivetrain) 1989 C'Dale touring bike, so they found a set of very nice C'Dale rear panniers. They have the hooks on top like Arkel, bungee/hook anchor on the bottom. Nice pockets, not waterproof, but we wouldn't head out in the rain to tour anyway we reasoned, and could always get dry bags if it really mattered to us. I wasn't doing the retro thing, but at a LBS, ran across a steeply discounted set of Seattle Sports Co fast pack panniers Fast Pack Pannier Since I was going to go with front panniers only, I figured these would be just fine. They are supposed to be water proof, I haven't tested.

What we did discover...the C'Dale bags were roomy and light. One of them stayed where it was supposed to, regardless of bumps, etc. The other, would not. It was constantly popped up and off of one hook, and hard as heck to get the bottom bungee clipped in place, it was that tight, but yet never tight enough to actually hold the pannier down over cracks in the pavement, etc. We found that frustrating. My "cheapy" panniers, on the other hand, functioned quite nicely. The attachment system is like Ortlieb, So, when replacing the C'Dale panniers for next season, I could have gone with the larger version of my own, or for not much more, I could get the Ortliebs...I got the Ortliebs.

I had thought about the nashbar ones as well, but read several reviews where user's griped about the attachments not holding the panniers down on their racks....We found that very frustrating, so that's our experience. You can frequently find new never used, and/or lightly used name brand panniers on fleabay. With your trunk and handlebar bag, you may not need to start off with the larger capacity rear panniers, so can save some $$ getting the smaller ones capable of being mounted on front racks. Ortlieb now calls those sport packers.
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