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Panniers - Calling All Pannier & Touring Experts (or anyone w/ opinions) Suggests?

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Panniers - Calling All Pannier & Touring Experts (or anyone w/ opinions) Suggests?

Old 04-07-23, 08:03 AM
  #51  
Harhir
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I have a pair of Ortlieb Backrollers from 1994 which I have been using as my commuter bags. Almost 30 years old and still working great and still watertight. I have never done any overnight trips but I have been commuting by bike for many years. I have also used the panniers for grocery shopping trips. I also prefer to have my panniers on the front. I am a tall and heavy guy and having the panniers on the front I found the bike more balanced.
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Old 04-08-23, 04:42 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Sorry if I offended you. No offense was intended. I was just pointing out that avoiding climbs isn’t something that is easy to do. I’ve ridden in 48 or the 50 states and have never found a tour that didn’t include at least some climbing. Even something as flat as the Katy Trail, requires climbing if you go off the trail in any direction. Climbs are actually worse east of the Mississippi than here in the west. While they may not be as high nor as long, there are more of them and they are steeper.
Yes I know, climbing is not easy, low gearing helps (a lot). No offense taken. Just want to keep cadence with panniers. Thanks for the advice. I appreciate your experience and know you are trying to help. I may find this bikes gearing is not suitable? but have no plan to change drivetrain, chainrings or rear freewheel on this vintage bike. I can say it is super comfortable and easy to ride. My newer bike with modern components would be easier to mod drivetrain but not as comfortable. I will start small with day and weekend trips, loops, out and backs, before tackling anything more adventurous like week plus road trips. We'll go from there. I am sure there are bike clubs that organize long rides. Cheers.
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Old 04-08-23, 06:30 AM
  #53  
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Okay, first of all we really have no idea what you will be carrying. When folks say they "have very light compact gear" it can nean a wide variet of weights and volumes. Even your more detailed list could be given by folks with a wide range of loads both weight and volume. So rather than try to hard to give really specific advice I'll suggest that you get all your gear together and pack it in stuffsacks or a backpack or whatever to figure out how much volume you need. Include clothing and all Then choose a pannier setup that suits that load. That could be only two panniers or some other option other than a 4 pannier setup.

I'd advise carrying very little food and shopping close to where you eat daily as much as possible. I'd also advise keeping a gear list that you can tweak over time. Mine is a spreadsheet that includes weights and I can check items I want on a given trip to predict base gear weight.
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Old 04-08-23, 07:04 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by gmcjetpilot
...Once a long distant backpacker with gear for a week on back, I have very light compact gear....
I returned to bike touring after a "career" in long distance hiking. My pack weight by the time I finished the Triple Crown of hiking was below 10 pounds. When I put that equipment on my old touring bike, I couldn't believe how different it felt. I think with that weight, it doesn't matter where you put it. I had better rear packs, so I put it on the rear. I gave away my whole front pack set-up with low rider rack, even the old handlebar bag.

I now have a pair of Arkel Drylite bags and I like their simplicity, light weight and low cost. They might appeal to a long distance hiker.

I know you're done with gearing, but if you carry a light load you don't need the lower gears.
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Old 04-08-23, 10:14 AM
  #55  
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I would head out on a 1 week trip on your bike loaded up any which way without hesitation. Buy any old panniers that meet your budget and will hold your gear and go. Any handling characteristics you will adjust to within 10-15 miles. If bike touring is for you, you will enjoy the trip regardless of how you load your bike up and will learn for yourself what works best for you and make adjustments.
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Old 04-08-23, 12:50 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by gmcjetpilot
I don't want to spend a fortune on Panniers.
I was in the same boat, but also wanted to have really good ones. So I scoured eBay, Craigslist, and FB Marketplace until I found a used set of Ortliebs for the price of brand-new no-namers of questionable quality. They've been on two tours, both of which I was 'blessed' with serious rain, and nary a drop got inside. I run a no-name bar bag for tools/tubes and a trunk bag for snacks, drinks, and anything else that can get wet.
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Old 04-13-23, 06:06 PM
  #57  
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Ortlieb or Arkel and a 20 inch low
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Old 04-13-23, 09:28 PM
  #58  
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The only thing I will add is this, at one time I owned waterproof panniers and later replaced them with non waterproof panniers but kept everything in large freezer storage bags. After a time or two of water finding its way into my bags and stuff, I went back to waterproof bags (Ortliebs and Axioms) and won't be changing again. Buy the Ortlieb new or used and you can always sell them later if touring doesn't suit you.
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Old 04-14-23, 02:07 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus
I returned to bike touring after a "career" in long distance hiking. My pack weight by the time I finished the Triple Crown of hiking was below 10 pounds. When I put that equipment on my old touring bike, I couldn't believe how different it felt. I think with that weight, it doesn't matter where you put it. I had better rear packs, so I put it on the rear. I gave away my whole front pack set-up with low rider rack, even the old handlebar bag.

I now have a pair of Arkel Drylite bags and I like their simplicity, light weight and low cost. They might appeal to a long distance hiker.

I know you're done with gearing, but if you carry a light load you don't need the lower gears.
How do these attach. I tried to see on Arkels site but no obvious picture

OP: make sure whatever panniers you choose they have good attachments. Ortliebs are excellent albeit heavy, Lone peak are also decent.
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Old 04-14-23, 02:40 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by balto charlie
How do these attach. I tried to see on Arkels site but no obvious picture.
There are Velcro straps attaching the tops of the bags together to drape over the rack, and there's a bungee-loaded clip on each to attach to the bottom of the rack.

As shipped, you have to keep the bags together. But I changed the mounting by adding wire hooks so I can attach the bags separately. There are two "D" rings on the top of each pack.
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Old 04-14-23, 03:37 PM
  #61  
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Waterproofness should not be a major factor when choosing panniers. Durability and attachment system are far more important considerations.

No matter what kind of panniers you have, you will still be using plastic bags inside the panniers for organization. Plastic bags are waterproof. Therefore the waterproofness of the panniers themselves are irrelevant.
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Old 04-14-23, 06:06 PM
  #62  
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Iíve never used plastic bags, either with my highly compartmentalized Beckman bags or my mostly one pouch Ortlieb Packers. Organization has never been an issue. I know where everything is and can access it and stow it without the need for additional bags.
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Old 04-15-23, 03:15 AM
  #63  
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Though I do use some plastic freezer bags for organization within my waterproof Ortliebs/Axioms, I would find it a royal pain to have to plastic bag everything such as my sleeping bag, another for my pillow, another for mattress, another for my food, another for my stove, another.....well you get the idea.
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Old 04-15-23, 05:19 AM
  #64  
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I toured tens of thousands of miles on a similar bike in the 80's and I had cheap panniers. My preference was low riders, handlebar bag, and a rear rack. I put my sleeping in a plastic bag along with tent and pad into a compression stuff sack on top of the rear rack. I could add junk to the compression sack if needed and I would use the top of it as a place to dry clothing or carry a couple baguettes (bungie corded). If my travels were more remoted and lots of cold gear were needed, I'd throw rear panniers on. But I prefer not to carry anything that isn't essential. Nowadays, I go much lighter.

Get a Low Rider rack

Did I mention the low rider?
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Old 04-15-23, 05:42 AM
  #65  
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I should amend what I wrote about bags. My Kindle, external battery, cur sheets and any other important pieces of paper get bagged. The bag keeps the papers from getting damaged. So does my phone, which I carry in my jersey pocket.
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Old 04-15-23, 06:05 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus
There are Velcro straps attaching the tops of the bags together to drape over the rack, and there's a bungee-loaded clip on each to attach to the bottom of the rack.

As shipped, you have to keep the bags together. But I changed the mounting by adding wire hooks so I can attach the bags separately. There are two "D" rings on the top of each pack.
Thanks.

I found a few posts about the bags. The price looks great, currently low availability but the attachments have folks concerned. They appear well attached to the bike but I wonder how easily they detach. For bikepacking this is not an issue but road touring it might be if you detach your panniers routinely.
Here is one of the sites having information on the Arkels.
https://weightweenies.starbike.com/f...c.php?t=160479
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Old 04-15-23, 06:22 AM
  #67  
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There is no reason not to have waterproof bags in this day and age, even the cheap chinese made amazon stuff might be waterproof as claimed. Keeping stuff dry is possible in lousy bags, I did it and it is a PITA. Get good bags.

Ortleib front bags are only something like $200. If that is too much, you really do not have the budget to tour to be honest. This is a one time purchase.

Personally, I now prefer more a bikepacking approach to affixing my gear to the bike due to lighter weight and better aerodynamics, but in a traditional touring setup, a set of waterproof bags on lowriders is almost a standard(?). I like to cheap out on some stuff but not on a sleeping bag, tent, pad, wheels, tires or bags. Bike? Sure.
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Old 04-15-23, 08:14 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
There is no reason not to have waterproof bags in this day and age, even the cheap chinese made amazon stuff might be waterproof as claimed. Keeping stuff dry is possible in lousy bags, I did it and it is a PITA. Get good bags.
Gotta add that itís not all that easy to keep stuff dry even when it is packed in some kind of plastic bag. Spent a night in Blairgowrie, Scotland trying to dry everything after getting caught in a biblical rain across the Tay Bridge. Ziplock bags arenít all that waterproof and they are easily damaged. Iíve only used them for organization since.

​​​​​​Ortleib front bags are only something like $200. If that is too much, you really do not have the budget to tour to be honest. This is a one time purchase.
Thatís a bit harsh. Iíll agree that they are durableÖmine are over 20 years oldÖbut cheap panniers and plastic zip bags are a way to get into touring. I didnít get my Ortliebs until Iíd been touring for 20 years. I certainly wouldnít discourage someone from touring because they didnít have money to buy top of the line Ortliebs.

Personally, I now prefer more a bikepacking approach to affixing my gear to the bike due to lighter weight and better aerodynamics, but in a traditional touring setup, a set of waterproof bags on lowriders is almost a standard(?). I like to cheap out on some stuff but not on a sleeping bag, tent, pad, wheels, tires or bags. Bike? Sure.
There are trade-offs to using bikepacking bags vs traditional panniers. Weight of the bags isnít all that different since you need more bags to carry gear. Handling the bikepacking bags if you have to take the bike on some kind of other transportation is a royal pain. They donít fit together and they have odd shapes. Carrying the bags off the bike is a pain. The weight of bikepacking bags is carried poorly on the bikeÖitís too highÖwhich has a negative effect on handling while carrying the weight low has a positive effect on the handling. Packing and organization is problematic with bikepacking bags due to the shape. Your stove might fit in that little corner of the triangle bag but your fuel is in another bag entirely. Your eating and cooking utensils fit in another little corner with your clothes on top of those.

I use both bikepacking bags and traditional panniers. Given the choice, Iíd pick panniers hands down for smooth road travel. If Iím going off-highway and/or on 4 wheel drive roads, I put up with the warts of the bikepacking bags because they stick to the bike better.
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Old 04-15-23, 10:40 AM
  #69  
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this bike's retired now but I used these small panniers that I bought with the rack, apparently of similar vintage. Worked great. If I were to buy new, I would buy Arkel. Price of that brand is extremely competitive here in Canada and I prefer the more old fashioned design and materials used.

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Old 04-15-23, 12:12 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by balto charlie
Thanks.

I found a few posts about the bags. The price looks great, currently low availability but the attachments have folks concerned. They appear well attached to the bike but I wonder how easily they detach. For bikepacking this is not an issue but road touring it might be if you detach your panniers routinely.
Here is one of the sites having information on the Arkels.
https://weightweenies.starbike.com/f...c.php?t=160479
I agree the stock attachment is cumbersome. That's why I modified it. I started using them for errand trips around town, mostly one at a time. The modification cost nothing and works well enough. Any pack that minimal and inexpensive will have some trade-offs and/or a learning curve.
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Old 04-15-23, 01:53 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
There is no reason not to have waterproof bags in this day and age, even the cheap chinese made amazon stuff might be waterproof as claimed.
very true, a buddy of mine bought a pair of Chinese Ortlieb knockoffs on Amazon and though the quality was not quite as nice, the design was the same and yes they were waterproof
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Old 04-15-23, 03:07 PM
  #72  
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Pelago makes a very nice front rack. It resembles the OP's front, except it is available in three widths (up to pizza box) and as an addition you can buy a set of lowrider supports to replace the originals. The advantages are:
-fits any bike with normal fork tip eyelets and brake bridge hole--no mid-fork holes or squirrely brackets needed
-allows carrying a bulky load on top
-low rider like all other racks of that type don't offer, but with the top platform that most lowrider racks don't have (unique, I think)
-not too expensive.
-you can even make it up with a basket on top and lowriders below!

The plain rack is made in aluminum and SS but the lowrider legs only come in SS.

I wish I'd bought this one first! https://pelagobicycles.com/shop/equi...racks-baskets/
There are dealers in the US who carry them.
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Old 04-15-23, 07:04 PM
  #73  
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Some items are "buy once cry once" and despite having suffered with cheap, lousily attachment panniers that leaked......I wish $200 Orlleibs were available when I was young. That $200 won't get you a week's worth of campgrounds in many areas and maybe 2 nights in motel post 2020, if you are lucky. Harsh but fact. eBay and FB Marketplace often is a good place to snag a deal.

Ziplock bags are stupid to keep stuff dry. Use a variety of garbage bags and roll the tops to keep your sleeping bag will stay dry although I would trust dynema bag inside a dynema bag but a wet sleeping bag isn't something I'm fond of.. I've never found ziplocks to work well or perhaps my hands don't close them well I like to put medical supplies in a ziplock to find things easily but they go into a waterproof pannier. Kit can also go inside thin plastic bags and just roll the top
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Old 04-15-23, 10:46 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Some items are "buy once cry once" and despite having suffered with cheap, lousily attachment panniers that leaked......I wish $200 Orlleibs were available when I was young. That $200 won't get you a week's worth of campgrounds in many areas and maybe 2 nights in motel post 2020, if you are lucky. Harsh but fact. eBay and FB Marketplace often is a good place to snag a deal.
Most people donít think that way. Itís not an either/or situation. Personally, I donít think ďIíll buy panniers but wonít campĒ or ďIíll buy panniers and wonít buy food for a weekĒ because the panniers cost so much. I, like most people, started with what I could afford at the time. ďAt the timeĒ just happened to be several decades ago and equipment, even cheap equipment, has gotten a whole lot better. Some equipment like waterproof panniers like Ortliebs didnít even exist when I started. But if you canít drop $200 or, more realistically, $400+ on a set of front and rear panniers and racks or close to $800 for a full set of Revelate Design bikepacking gear (yet another count against bikepacking gear), that shouldnít mean you shouldnít go touring. Go with what you can afford and save for better gear as you get hooked on the activity.

[Ziplock bags are stupid to keep stuff dry. Use a variety of garbage bags and roll the tops to keep your sleeping bag will stay dry although I would trust dynema bag inside a dynema bag but a wet sleeping bag isn't something I'm fond of.. I've never found ziplocks to work well or perhaps my hands don't close them well I like to put medical supplies in a ziplock to find things easily but they go into a waterproof pannier. Kit can also go inside thin plastic bags and just roll the top
Iím not suggesting putting sleeping bags in ziplocks. You can get really big ziplocks but even the largest would be difficult to get a sleeping bag into. Iíve used them in the past primarily to keep my clothing dry and fairly well organized. Ziplocks are better than garbage bags because they are thicker and more durable. Garbage bags are too light to stand up to much more than a few days uses. Ziplocks generally only last a few weeks of constant bumping around in panniers.

Iíve never understood the idea of putting a sleeping bag inside a pannier. In more than 40 years of touring, Iíve never carried a sleeping bag anywhere other than on a rack or in a bikepacking handlebar carrier in their own waterproof bag. Pannier space is too valuable to fill it with a sleeping bag.
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Old 04-16-23, 10:17 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
'I like to put medical supplies in a ziplock to find things easily but they go into a waterproof pannier.
Thanks for reminding me that I keep my pills, a few medical supplies and my toiletries in a Zip-Loc. But it's not for waterproofing reasons. They are relatively small items, and several often get used at the same time, so keeping them all together in a way that I can easily transport them to a bathhouse makes senses. Bag goes in the sleeping bag stuff sack along with the towel, phone, walltet and change of clothes and I am off to the shower.
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