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Pannier & rack selection

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Pannier & rack selection

Old 02-13-09, 07:28 PM
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Pannier & rack selection

For my upcoming tour i've managed to nail down my preferences for quite a lot of the gear but i'm still not quite there on panniers and racks.

For panniers I've decided to go with Ortlieb as I don't want to have to deal with rain covers or anything like that. Setting aside the choice of "plus" or "classic" material, I'm not sure whether I want the rollers or the packers. At the moment I'm leaning toward rollers on the back and sport packers on the front (the smaller ones). I think with this setup I get the ease of use and cost saving of the rollers but I still have some mesh pockets for drying wet clothes.

Does anyone else use this combination of rollers and packers?

I quite like the look and feel of the "plus" material, but i've never seen the "classic" PVC up close. Is the plus material worth the extra cost? Is it as waterproof and durable? I've heard countless opinions about this issue so i'd appreciate the response of anybody who has toured with both.

For racks I was originally set on Tubus Logo for the rear and Tubus Duo for the front, but the prices have just skyrocketed because of the value of the £ against the $ and euro so i've been looking at alternatives. It seems that many people have managed with cheaper racks. I'd be interested in hearing anyone's opinions on some of the cheaper brands that are available in the UK such as Blackburn, Tortec, Topeak etc. I want something that will do the TransAm without breaking and fit the Ortliebs well enough.

I'd appreciate any advice you lot could give.

ChrisH120 is offline  
Old 02-13-09, 09:13 PM
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I've used Jannd Expedition II, Blackburn Custom Lowrider and Tubus Tara & Cargo racks, they are all fine.

What bike did you end up with?
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Old 02-13-09, 10:59 PM
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I got the back rollers plus because it has by far the highest volume/weight ratio. Only one overnighter so far, but i liked the bags.

I have an old Blackburn front rack with old Cannondale panniers and they go together well. I got the whole front setup for $50 on ebay, i think.

For a back rack i have the Topeak Super Tourist DX, which is pretty lightweight while also providing the most features of any of the racks i looked at. It has the MTX rail for the Topeak quick-release bags, which are excellent (mostly for non-touring use), an extra, lower set of side rails to put the bags lower and keep the top clear, and the "dog-leg" to keep panniers out of your spokes. It also has a no-nonsense mounting system (nothing funky for bikes lacking the necessary eyelets and brakeons), is lightweight (aluminum alloy) but seems sturdy, and costs about $50. The Super Tourist is similar, but without the extra side rails.

Last edited by Flandry; 02-13-09 at 11:03 PM.
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