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Cheap rack/pannier recommendations?

Old 08-02-11, 12:50 PM
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lennon_68
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Cheap rack/pannier recommendations?

I'm planning my first bike tour with my brother in a couple weeks. We're planning to do 280 miles throughout northern MN. I'm short on ca$h (who isn't right!) but will really need a rack and some panniers for the trip. Any suggestions on where to look for a good deal on some? I poked around eBay but don't know what I'm looking at or for


EDIT: Found I don't have braze-ons for a rear rack (or front for that matter) so looking for cheap rack options. Probably going to get the Nashbar waterproof panniers...

Last edited by lennon_68; 08-02-11 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 08-02-11, 12:59 PM
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Ortleib Back-Roller Classic @ Cyclocamping $131 shipped.

Not a bad price and they shipped them very quickly.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:16 PM
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That ain't cheap....
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Old 08-02-11, 01:19 PM
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Cheap and good the price if you don't pack too heavily. You really don't need to bring the kitchen sink. We're had two them on our bikes for more 20 years. https://www.amazon.com/Blackburn-EX-1.../dp/B004CXBVJU
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Old 08-02-11, 01:32 PM
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A lot of people like the Topeak Explorer rack - looks to be available for about $30 or so. I used a Racktime TourIt rack for my first tour - solid performance with no complaints; $55 or so.

Panniers? Well, that depends on what your needs are. What size? Waterproof or rain covers? I bought a set of Ortlieb classic rear rollers - for a three day ride (credit card touring), they were more than roomy enough. I could have probably gotten away with using the front rollers on a rear rack. If you are camping, then the regular rears would proably fit the bill.

The weather turns nasty on us and, despite a great sounding forecast when we left, it rained for two days, with five hours straight on the second day. The Ortliebs more than lived up to their waterproof reputation. Everything was bone dry, including a roll of toilet paper. Can't say the same for the stuff in my buddy's Vaude panniers with rain covers. The rain apparently found a way into the covers and formed a pool at the bottom, soaking the pannier.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:39 PM
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I've had good experience with Axiom brand racks and bags, fairly cheap going through Amazon especially if you can get the older models. The weight ratings on their racks seems outrageously high. Make sure you tighten the bolts on the footing really well otherwise the rack would sink with a loaded weight on the models that have the foot extension. I use the Monsoon (or is it Typhoon, which ever is smaller) waterproof pannier and it has worked well on the daily commute, no problems even on pouring rain. For the rack, I have the Streamliner Road and the Streamliner Disk. Both have served me well, has the footing that allows to move the load farther back to assist in minimizing heel strike, and can be used through the quick release skewer if you don't have a rack mount. The footing also clears the disk brake calipers.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:46 PM
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It's hard to beat the Nashbar waterproof panniers when they're 40-50% off (almost always). My wife and I use them. So far they've proven themselves to be inexpensive, light, sturdy and waterproof.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:52 PM
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I picked up a set of these Nashbar panniers earlier this year. No doubt they are not as nice as some but they are roomy and they are cheap. I picked them up at less then their current price, and if you had time to wait, you might find them even cheaper down the road, but even as is they come in cheaper then most. I haven't really put mine through their paces yet, just a few overnight trips, but so far they seem fine. They do not have the fancy attachment systems of the other, more expensive options, so you need to make sure they're well seated, and a little backup retention may save you some trouble down the road, but for what they cost, I think they're great.

Rack-- just watch the weight ratings. Almost anything will do. I use a Topeak Tourist that I got a great deal on, but as long as it's built for the weight, you should be fine. You might save some aggravation by making sure the rack is made to keep floppy panniers out of your wheel, and I really like the lower cross bar because it helps free up the top of the rack for more junk, but you can probably go cheaper by not worrying about those details.

When I wanted to do an overnighter last year and had no touring-specific gear, I put some grocery bag panniers on my rack and threw stuff in. I rolled my tent and sleeping bag up into a closed cell, foam pad, and bungeed that mess to my handlebars. Elegant, no, but it worked.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by sportridertex View Post
That ain't cheap....
Yeah, I wasn't very specific but I was (unrealistically) hoping to get on the road for less than $50 for rack + pannier... I'm thinking anything in that price range will probably be more like 1-time use though and certainly wouldn't be waterproof.

Originally Posted by Paul01 View Post
Cheap and good the price if you don't pack too heavily. You really don't need to bring the kitchen sink. We're had two them on our bikes for more 20 years. https://www.amazon.com/Blackburn-EX-1.../dp/B004CXBVJU
Thanks for the recommendation, I'm leaning more toward the Topeak Explorer though due to price (Amazon has them for $28 with free SS shipping)

Originally Posted by Altair 4 View Post
A lot of people like the Topeak Explorer rack - looks to be available for about $30 or so. I used a Racktime TourIt rack for my first tour - solid performance with no complaints; $55 or so.

Panniers? Well, that depends on what your needs are. What size? Waterproof or rain covers? I bought a set of Ortlieb classic rear rollers - for a three day ride (credit card touring), they were more than roomy enough. I could have probably gotten away with using the front rollers on a rear rack. If you are camping, then the regular rears would proably fit the bill.

The weather turns nasty on us and, despite a great sounding forecast when we left, it rained for two days, with five hours straight on the second day. The Ortliebs more than lived up to their waterproof reputation. Everything was bone dry, including a roll of toilet paper. Can't say the same for the stuff in my buddy's Vaude panniers with rain covers. The rain apparently found a way into the covers and formed a pool at the bottom, soaking the pannier.
Thanks, I'm leaning toward this rack now because of price. I hadn't considered looking for something waterproof but I'm thinking I should be. I don't know how much stuff we're going to be hauling but whatever it is I'm sure I'd prefer it stay dry I've never done anything like this so don't really know how much we're going to be packing. My brother is thinking 6-days for this trip, I was thinking more like 5 or 4 but it'll probably end up being 4. Mostly just be hauling clothes and whatnot, I think we'll be planning on getting food on the road.

Originally Posted by RT Metro View Post
I've had good experience with Axiom brand racks and bags, fairly cheap going through Amazon especially if you can get the older models. The weight ratings on their racks seems outrageously high. Make sure you tighten the bolts on the footing really well otherwise the rack would sink with a loaded weight on the models that have the foot extension. I use the Monsoon (or is it Typhoon, which ever is smaller) waterproof pannier and it has worked well on the daily commute, no problems even on pouring rain. For the rack, I have the Streamliner Road and the Streamliner Disk. Both have served me well, has the footing that allows to move the load farther back to assist in minimizing heel strike, and can be used through the quick release skewer if you don't have a rack mount. The footing also clears the disk brake calipers.
I'll take a look at these as well. It looks like the panniers are more than I'd like to spend at this time but the racks are in my price range.

Originally Posted by rogerstg View Post
It's hard to beat the Nashbar waterproof panniers when they're 40-50% off (almost always). My wife and I use them. So far they've proven themselves to be inexpensive, light, sturdy and waterproof.
I was just looking at these on Amazon and they're looking like a real possibility. One thing I hadn't considered but appears to be common looking at the reviews is kicking the panniers while riding. I'll be on a 2003 Giant OCR1 road bike which is a bit of an aggressive compact geometry, also it's a medium when I should be on a large. I'll have to try to estimate how much clearance I'll have back there... Is this a serious concern or more of a freak accident sort of thing? One specific review mentioning this issue was a Specialized Allez which was likely a similar geometry depending on the year.
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Old 08-02-11, 02:24 PM
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OK, I think I've narrowed it down but want to get opinions. The Nashbar waterproof panniers are $60 but if I buy today I can get free shipping (on orders over $50) which would save $10. For the rack I was looking at the Topeak but spotted this Axiom rack on Amazon for $5 more than the Topeak (just the shipping that's not free) it's rated for quite a bit more weight than the Topeak and it looks like it would keep the panniers out of the tire better: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002994ES4

Thoughts? The total's quite a bit more than I was hoping but more inline with what I thought I'd end up spending...
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Old 08-02-11, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by lennon_68 View Post
I was just looking at these on Amazon and they're looking like a real possibility. One thing I hadn't considered but appears to be common looking at the reviews is kicking the panniers while riding. I'll be on a 2003 Giant OCR1 road bike which is a bit of an aggressive compact geometry, also it's a medium when I should be on a large. I'll have to try to estimate how much clearance I'll have back there... Is this a serious concern or more of a freak accident sort of thing? One specific review mentioning this issue was a Specialized Allez which was likely a similar geometry depending on the year.
Heal strike is a concern. I don't know if it's one you can avoid by pannier choice, because I think it has more to do with your bike geometry, although some panniers may be narrower at the bottom which may help and some do have off-set mounting to make it possible to put them as far back on the rack as possible. I also feel like someone (Axiom?) has some hardware to move your lower mounting point back a little further which may help.
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Old 08-02-11, 02:41 PM
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Yard sales and the Goodwill and other Charity shops are worth looking thru..

We stock bailing wire in the shop
to patch together racks that gave out, just up the road.
& traveler was tripping on the scrimp and scrape.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-02-11 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 08-02-11, 02:43 PM
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Post up your bike, let's see its geometry...
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Old 08-02-11, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Yard sales and the Goodwill and other Charity shops are worth looking thru..
Good call I'll check out goodwill/salvation army

Originally Posted by reducedfatoreo View Post
Post up your bike, let's see its geometry...
Here ya go (hopefully I don't end up looking foolish throwing around words I don't fully understand lol - pretty new to biking in general ). I'm just over 6' (like 6' .5"). This is a pic from when I first got the bike, the seat's raised up quite a bit more than that now and pushed all the way back.



More recent:

Last edited by lennon_68; 08-02-11 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 08-02-11, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lennon_68 View Post
Good call I'll check out goodwill/salvation army


Here ya go (hopefully I don't end up looking foolish throwing around words I don't fully understand lol - pretty new to biking in general ). I'm just over 6' (like 6' .5"). This is a pic from when I first got the bike, the seat's raised up quite a bit more than that now and pushed all the way back.

Are you sure you can put a standard rack on there? I can't see braze-ons...
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Old 08-02-11, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by charbucks View Post
Are you sure you can put a standard rack on there? I can't see braze-ons...
I *think* I had checked for that but will have to take a look when I get home...
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Old 08-02-11, 03:03 PM
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What's the chainstay length?
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Old 08-02-11, 03:16 PM
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I really like Delta Sherpa or Mega rear racks. Very sturdy but lightweight. They are rated for about 60 lbs. I have one on my touring bike that was fine for a couple of tours. I have them on my commuter bikes also.

I use Blackburn or Delta lowrider front racks.

I have Jandd panniers. I got them at shop cost years ago and they are bombproof. At retail they are expensive.
If I needed panniers I'd certainly look at the Nashbar ones. They are often on super-sale price and have decent reviews.
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Old 08-02-11, 03:34 PM
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Get the Axiom Streamliner DLX. Fits on bikes without eyelets for normal racks. It mounts to the QR-Axle and to the rear brake hole. Just got one for my road bike to use on longer rides.
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Old 08-02-11, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by charbucks View Post
Are you sure you can put a standard rack on there? I can't see braze-ons...
You are correct... I suppose that limits my options a bit

Originally Posted by Altair 4 View Post
What's the chainstay length?
I measured 16.25" (~41.275 cm)


Originally Posted by psee View Post
Get the Axiom Streamliner DLX. Fits on bikes without eyelets for normal racks. It mounts to the QR-Axle and to the rear brake hole. Just got one for my road bike to use on longer rides.
Excellent I'll have t o check that out, any other recommendations?
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Old 08-02-11, 03:58 PM
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The Streamliner DLX is a great rack for the road bike like the OCR, no need to worry about mounting holes, and moves the backs further rear. Just make sure those bolts are uber tight to prevent the foot form rotating and causing the rack to sink. My first ride caused the pannier hooks to make contact with the tire. The Streamliner Disk is has some reinforcing welds between the two struts, a wider top platform and an option for center mount via the brake bridge or twin tubular struts via seatstay bosses or p-clamps. The DLX would probably look nicer on a sleek roadbike though.
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Old 08-02-11, 04:00 PM
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lennon68, You should be close to your budget with the Nashbar panniers and the Streamliner DLX. Have fun, but you may have to angle the panniers nose down to gain heel clearance with those short chainstays.

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Old 08-02-11, 04:27 PM
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Dear Lennon:

Don't bother with ebay as there are better local deals on Craigslist. I got a topeak rear rack and a pair or ortlieb panniers for $35 all from the same person. They even had the rain baggies!

John
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Old 08-02-11, 05:05 PM
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lennon, my $.02 is go for ultra light and if you want a pannier size load put it on the top of the rear of the rack and move everything else forward. Loading up a road bike with rear panniers makes for some funky handling. At 6' I'm assuming you're size 11 or so feet which pretty much requires you to put the panniers WAY back. My big tour was when I was 18 but it was a longer bike than that and I had a cheap Pletscher rear rack with small waxed cardboard backed panniers.

Next thing is to configure a small front rack that can carry a tight roll or at the least fork over some bucks for a compression sack and strap it on the bars between brake hoods and drops.

err, you've got a composite fork. Never mind, strap the compression sack with your sleeping bag on the bars and find places all along the top tube and forward of the seat tube to strap items.

Last edited by LeeG; 08-02-11 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 08-02-11, 06:32 PM
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These might be an option if your short of doe yet have a bit of spare time...https://youtu.be/CbrCl0tGx7s

Another example of the above idea put to pracitce
https://youtu.be/SN8LzgikELk
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