Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

panniers and weighting

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

panniers and weighting

Old 08-04-07, 07:50 PM
oOooo, five bucks
Thread Starter
~Stuart~'s Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto, On
Posts: 846

Bikes: Giant OCR touring(06), Norco Storm (05)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
panniers and weighting

I have a giant OCR touring bike, and im about to head off on a 17 day trip. im carry all my gear and some food, and was wondering how best to weight my bike, and do i need front panniers.

finding panniers that work with the disk brakes is a real pain in the ass, and expensive (well the only ones i can find are crazy expensive)...

so if i front panniers are a must (instead of piling everything on my back, and in my handlebar bag) does anyone know of a rack that will work with disk brakes? (that isnt crazy expensive)
~Stuart~ is offline  
Old 08-04-07, 08:34 PM
In Real Life
Machka's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,152

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3203 Post(s)
Liked 596 Times in 329 Posts
Front panniers are not a must.

I prefer to ride with front panniers, but I've done tours with just rear panniers and I'm about to embark on another one tomorrow. I thought about putting my front rack back on for this tour, but decided I wouldn't bother.
Machka is offline  
Old 08-05-07, 09:55 AM
Senior Member
lighthorse's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 498

Bikes: LeMond Buenos Aires, Trek 7500, Scattante CFR, Burley Hudson

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
While I have nothing against front panniers, they are in no way a must. I have crossed the country twice unsupported with just rear panniers. It is all in reducing the amount of gear that you take.
lighthorse is offline  
Old 08-06-07, 10:21 AM
Senior Member
BigBlueToe's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I agree that there's no rule against only using rear panniers, but there are some considerations. One of the most common mechanical problems while bike touring is breaking spokes. It's always on the rear wheel, and almost always on the cassette side. This is because most of the rider's weight is on the rear wheel, and the spokes on the cassette side have less dishing, and are under more stress. If you have a heavy rider, carry lots of stuff, and have a rear wheel of questionable sturdiness, this is a fairly likely occurence.

It can spoil a tour. I experienced this on a trip from Seattle to Santa Cruz. Once the first spoke broke, I started breaking them with greater frequency. By the end I was breaking spokes every other day, on average, and broke two the day I called the trip off.

The solutions to this are: 1) reduce the load on your rear wheel by putting some of it on your front wheel; 2) get a better rear wheel; or 3) lose some weight, Fatso! #3 isn't an option for me, so I've concentrated on #1 and #2. I put as much weight as I can on the front wheel with front panniers, and I have a very strong rear wheel, hand tuned by an experienced bike mechanic. On my last few tours I haven't broken a spoke.

I weigh about 210 lbs. I've never weighed the load I bring on tour, but say I bring 40 lbs. of stuff. That makes my total load 250 lbs., the majority of which is on my rear wheel (if I don't have front panniers.) If you only weigh 150, say, and bring 40 lbs. of stuff, that would make your weight considerations far less of a problem, and the weight on your rear wheel with only rear panniers would be quite a bit less than mine with both front and rear.

So, I guess my input would be that distributing your weight by using front panniers becomes less important if the rider weighs less, and if the rear wheel is sturdily built.
BigBlueToe is offline  
Old 08-06-07, 09:05 PM
deep stuff
brucewiley's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Nampa, ID
Posts: 250

Bikes: Road, Touring, Mountain Bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I agree on the rear wheel, nice to have a good one for having a load on it.

Did a few days last year on the mojave desert with my wife's OCR3. Rear racks, Ultegra/Open pro 32h wheels, two gallons of water (with camelback) camping gear, and only a sleeping bag bungied to the handlebars with a feed bag. That much weight on the rear makes it tough to pedal out of the saddle but overall what a comfortable bike for a tour. Did 97m first day with no problem except I was too tired to pitch my tent so slept on top of it.
brucewiley is offline  
Old 08-06-07, 10:07 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,410
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
You don't really provide enough information to answer your question. But. Provided you are relatively light yourself, try to reduce the amount of gear you take. Can you get away without a tent? Can you take a light-weight sleeping pad and bag? Are you going to be cooking or can you eat your big meals in restaurants and just carry cold food (no stove)? Really examine what is absolutely essential.

Regarding racks: Have you looked into Old Man Mountain or are these the ones that are "crazy expensive"? (I agree).

Do you have the 36-hole wheels? Probably you will be okay if you go relatively light...It also depends on how remote you are going to be.
The Smokester is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.