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Pannier recommendations

Old 02-04-18, 07:22 PM
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Pannier recommendations

I am planning on doing a fixed tour in South Australia. International flights allow for only two pieces of checked luggage and one carry on. My tour will last for one month.

My panniers will have to suffice for luggage. Any recommendations. My primary question, what materials best serve the harsh treatment they receive from baggage handlers. 2. How much stuff do you need to take on an international tour that might ultimately last for up to two months? My likely choice of panniers would be 2,441 cu. in. times two. Sufficient volume for a one month plus bike tour. Again it will be a fixed tour centering about one city

My likely choice of panniers will be made of a PVC coated polyester fabric. A good choice of materials that hold up well to being banged about in the hold of an airplane. ?
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Old 02-04-18, 09:03 PM
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Where are you going to find panniers that are 40 liters each?

My rear panniers (Ortlieb backrollers) are 40 liters for the pair. If I am carrying a lot of stuff, I also will add a 31 liter duffel on top, also made by Ortlieb. That is a total of a bit over 70 liters when I have the duffel stuffed full. (My front panniers add another 25 liters.)

I did not use my panniers as luggage on the flight, instead I had a fabric bag that was essentially a rectangular duffel bag that was shaped like a suitcase (olive green in the second photo). That fabric bag I left at the hostel I stayed at during the beginning and end of my trip.

My luggage for my Iceland trip in the second photo, the duffel that I had on top of the rear panniers was also my carryon bag. Handlebar bag was my "personal item" that I carried onto the plane. And I wore my helmet onto the plane so it did not get damaged. My bike was in the big black case, that is the S&S backpack case. (The bike frame splits into two halves so I can pack it in a smaller case.)


A luggage scale is the travelers best friend.

Will your bike be checked too? That only leaves one other bag to check if the limit is two. I would not dream of trying to take my 120 liter duffel bag on a bike, but that is pretty close to the upper limit for airline luggage sizes. If you can find a place at your destination to store something like that so you can retrieve it later, that may be what you need to do. Put your panniers and all your gear in it, but watching the weight limit.
https://www.rei.com/product/851365/p...le-duffel-120l

A military surplus sea bag might be another good option to put all your stuff into instead of a duffel like mine, it would certainly be cheaper. Worst case scenario is that you could leave it in the bottom of a pannier during the trip if there is no place to store it.

Some airlines have a carryon weight limit, some do not. I often put my densest stuff into the carryon for that reason.

A bike that is that heavily loaded in back does not handle that great. I suggest you try that as soon as practical so you can figure out if that plan is going to work for you.
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Old 02-05-18, 03:15 AM
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Some decent Ideas there. Thanks. My Bike has couplings on the top tube and down tube; so that too will constitute a third piece of luggage. My tour will center around one central location and I'll branch out. I hope that means I will need less stuff. Iceland, that might seem to involve some camping. ?
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Old 02-05-18, 05:04 AM
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Consider shipping some of your luggage separately.
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Old 02-05-18, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
Some decent Ideas there. Thanks. My Bike has couplings on the top tube and down tube; so that too will constitute a third piece of luggage. My tour will center around one central location and I'll branch out. I hope that means I will need less stuff. Iceland, that might seem to involve some camping. ?
1. you'll need the same amount of stuff generally whether domestic or international.
2. you'll need the same amount of stuff generally for one week or one month or three months.
3. does "central location and branch out" mean you will do day rides, always returning to
original location....hotel/guesthouse in same city....so no camping gear?
4. 2441 inch^3 = 40 liters. x2?!!! if not camping 2x15L is more than enough.
5. put both saddlebags into one duffel. protects the bags and your wallet. some airlines
will not permit bags taped or clipped together, so would have to pay for a 3rd bag.

this is a 15L bag. dimensions 40*30*13 cm. (= 915 cubic inches)



this is fully-loaded, 2*15L bags + h-bar bag for two month trip
from bangkok to kunming...(no camping)
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Old 02-05-18, 07:23 AM
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I used a large rolltop dry bag (Sealline 55L, IIRC) as my checked bag when I went to Iceland, the blue one strapped to the top. One pannier had clothes, that was my carry on, the rest of the panniers just got packed into the blue bag. It'll roll down quite small, or give you extra storage space. I used mine on the road for my sleeping bag, water bladder and other beverages.

Only thing it didn't contain was the sleeping pad, that was wrapped around my bike frame on the way there and left in a freebie pile of camping goods at the hostel when I left.


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Old 02-05-18, 07:30 AM
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Missed the part about being centrally located, does that mean you are keeping your stuff in a hotel and just doing day rides? If you aren't camping, what you need for two months is all down to what you prefer. I could personally do it on carry-on only.
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Old 02-05-18, 08:21 AM
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Are you not also allowed one free "personal item" to carry on? If so, one of the panniers can serve as that if it's small enough to fit under the seat in front of you.


As noted above, put your gear, etc., in a duffel bag that you don't mind parting with if you have to. You can usually get them cheap at thrift store.


Yea Eagles!
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Old 02-05-18, 08:52 AM
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This is the touring forum, thus assumed you were camping since almost everyone does.

But, if you are not camping, not sure why you would need 80 liters of capacity (the two panniers at 2441 cubic inches each is about 80 liters).
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Old 02-05-18, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
My primary question, what materials best serve the harsh treatment they receive from baggage handlers.
Your panniers will receive much harsher treatment while on tour...leaning against trees... lying on the ground... exposed to the the sun and elements. They just ride around on conveyor belts at the airport and then are hand loaded into the plane out of the weather like any other suitcase. I zip tie my two rear bags together to make them one without an additional duffel bag. I carry on the others, put one overhead and one beneath the seat as others have suggested.
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Old 02-05-18, 10:52 AM
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I did remember one that is as massive as you are looking for: https://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRO...nniers-Touring

I assume since you are quoting 2441 cu in, you were looking at Ortliebs. Sierra Trading has the Back Rollers for $119 in stock right now, if you don't mind black.
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Old 02-05-18, 10:54 AM
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You are not going to be forbidden to take more than 2 pieces , you just have an extra baggage fee, charged ..

Separate your gear into 2 duffel bags*, empty the panniers and fill the duffle bags with them and your contents

then you can take 4 panniers and have a balanced load on the road.

*Returning Aberdeen to SFO, via AMS .. my gear was in tough plastic bags used to ship grains to feed chickens,

Or as my Aussie friends called them.. Chooks..





....
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Old 02-05-18, 12:39 PM
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If you do proceed with panniers for checked baggage, the lower hooks could hang up on things in the luggage handling process. You should remove them first. Upper hooks, it would depend on the bag design if they could hang up or not. You don't want anything that can catch on their automated luggage handling equipment. Upper hooks are designed to be strong enough to carry the weight, but the lower hooks are often pretty fragile.
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Old 02-05-18, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
Your panniers will receive much harsher treatment while on tour...leaning against trees... lying on the ground... exposed to the the sun and elements. They just ride around on conveyor belts at the airport and then are hand loaded into the plane out of the weather like any other suitcase. I zip tie my two rear bags together to make them one without an additional duffel bag. I carry on the others, put one overhead and one beneath the seat as others have suggested.
This is what I was thinking. Plan for bike equipment that will hold up over a month of continuous touring, and it should handle rigors of air travel.

I think the biggest issue I haven't seen addressed is whether or not you are sure about the capacity you require. That's a fair amount more than I use, and I know that I overpack. Even if you can get two, 2,440 cu. in. panniers, you might not want to. I would go four panniers instead. Four Ortleib backrollers should get the job done. But first I'd take a good, hard look at my gear, and see if I really needed four panniers worth of gear. I'm curious as to how you came up with 2,441 X 2 as your space requirement.

And for packing, just don't plan on each pannier being it's own piece of baggage. I have traveled with something like this: https://www.rei.com/product/870770/r...duffel-x-large

I've never put four panniers in there, but just going by capacity, they might fit. Of course then you have the issue of what to do with your duffel while you're on tour, but maybe that's not an issue if you're doing a hub and spoke tour. Or maybe it's an issue you're already prepared to deal with since you're packing your coupler-equipped bike.

So I guess if it were me, I'd take Ortleibs, but I'd take four, not two, and I'd put them on the plane in a duffel or other bag to both protect them and to allow them to fly as one piece of checked baggage.
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Old 02-05-18, 02:42 PM
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Maybe strapping pairs together, back to back, would be considered one piece? it would protect the mounting hooks too..





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Old 02-05-18, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
I am planning on doing a fixed tour in South Australia.
When are you coming down mate?

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Old 02-05-18, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Maybe strapping pairs together, back to back, would be considered one piece? it would protect the mounting hooks too..





I have done this on Amtrak. I had no problem, then, but TSA never opens my Amtrak baggage, so I could get away with that.
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Old 02-05-18, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Maybe strapping pairs together, back to back, would be considered one piece? it would protect the mounting hooks too..
you would think so, but some desk agents would not.
they may require that you separate the two parts, weigh them separately,
charge for extra bag if they're in the mood.
but, but, but.....

same as when fitting your folding bike in a standard suitcase, within
weight and within size limits. they find a bike in your bag and decide
to charge you the sporting goods fee.
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Old 02-05-18, 08:26 PM
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I had an Amtrak station manager insist that I had to unstrap my panniers from each other, he specifically said that I had to do that because that way he could charge for the extra baggage. He was clueless on lots of things, but if he has the authority to refuse to put you on a train, he has a little kingdom where only his rules apply. So, you have to follow his made up rules.
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Old 02-05-18, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
Your panniers will receive much harsher treatment while on tour...leaning against trees... lying on the ground... exposed to the the sun and elements. They just ride around on conveyor belts at the airport and then are hand loaded into the plane out of the weather like any other suitcase. I zip tie my two rear bags together to make them one without an additional duffel bag. I carry on the others, put one overhead and one beneath the seat as others have suggested.
I am sensitive to how my stuff gets treated while entering or exiting the holds of airplanes.
My issues with airlines have been. 1. The loss of a bike, breaking about every spoke on my front wheel, and destroying my handlebars. Call me sensitive. That over the course of three different flights. .That is why I now have a bike that can be folded up and transported in a suitcase. - My Titanium Lynskey.
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Old 02-06-18, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
I am sensitive to how my stuff gets treated while entering or exiting the holds of airplanes.
My issues with airlines have been. 1. The loss of a bike, breaking about every spoke on my front wheel, and destroying my handlebars. Call me sensitive. That over the course of three different flights. .That is why I now have a bike that can be folded up and transported in a suitcase. - My Titanium Lynskey.
To be fair, to actually achieve that level of damage you bike must have encountered a catastrophic event that would likely affect any suitcase just as much.
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Old 02-06-18, 09:00 AM
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I can understand wanting to bomb proof the bike but the contents of most panniers are just not that fragile... a few clothes, tools, cook kit, a rain jacket, maybe a tent, sleeping bag and pad? I could drop my packed bags from a second floor window without damaging anything. Camera and other fragile items would be in carry on bags. It's like worrying about scuffing up your hiking boots. Their purpose is to get muddy.
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Old 02-06-18, 10:03 AM
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I did talk to a Cyclist on tour , here , a couple summers ago
His boarding pass was held hostage to the demand to open case, and although he had gone the S&S coupler route, so within dimensions,

seeing it was a bike , had to pay the fee anyhow...


Anyhow storage between uses, @ home I put the other 3 , 2 front and the other rear inside, 1 rear roller Ortlieb , until needed. that's 1 piece..





.....

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Old 02-06-18, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
To be fair, to actually achieve that level of damage you bike must have encountered a catastrophic event that would likely affect any suitcase just as much.
Jef. I used to fly so often, my bags looked pretty worn. As I did with my bike, I guess I needed to have invested in a hard shell suitcase. One time the TSA so damaged my bike box, I am amazed the few bike parts, I had duct taped to the side of the box, where not lost. Guess, I just had bad luck with the bag handlers.
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Old 02-06-18, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
Guess, I just had bad luck with the bag handlers.
I think that is more the truth, just hitting some bad luck, than anything. IME, baggage handlers as a group are no rougher on my baggage than I am, but that isn't to say I don't occasionally catch one having a bad day.

I've had the misfortunes of watch the contents of my carry-on bag, which was forced to be gateside checked on a tiny airplane, scatter all over the runway with some baggage handlers. Just managed to catch the zipper on something and opened it wide up, sometimes that is just how the dice rolls.
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