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Bringin' home the groceries

Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

Bringin' home the groceries

Old 08-23-15, 11:10 AM
  #1  
Carson Dyle
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Bringin' home the groceries

I'd like to start making grocery runs larger than what I can fit in my backpack. Not sure where to begin. I'm figuring on a pretty standard rear rack, or do I need more of a heavy-duty touring rack?

After that, though, what to use as carriers? I see grocery panniers, collapsible baskets, some other solutions. I worry a little about having bags stolen while I'm in the grocery store. Do you take them inside? Looking for some ideas.
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Old 08-24-15, 05:32 AM
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It will boil down to what works for you. I have one bike with baskets on it that I can just plop my grocery bags in. Another has a large set of panniers that stay fastened to the bike, they are strapped on and have small stainless steel cables looped around to help stop them from walking off. You can use a stock rack, but I would take the weight of what you plan to haul into consideration. Things like canned goods and bottled liquids can add weight quickly.

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Old 08-24-15, 10:29 AM
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I use the Ortlieb back roller Panniers for my shopping trips. I pop them off , bring them in, empty,

put them on the check out belt first, and the checker puts the stuff in them ,

then they go back in the trolley and I roll the trolley back outside where the bike is locked up.
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Old 08-24-15, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I use the Ortlieb back roller Panniers for my shopping trips.
Nice, but $180 full-blown touring panniers seem like a bit much unless I'm also doing some touring when I'm not getting groceries. It also seems to me that touring panniers give up some capacity over baskets and similar fixtures built to haul goods around.
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Old 08-24-15, 10:48 AM
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the part that I find makes them most useful is the way they attach to the rack is both secure locking on,
to not pop off while you ride,

and quickly removable by simply lifting the strap connecting the 2 hooks . stuff stays dry inside both ways ..

& I use no disposable into the waste stream shop's bags.. [used to get 5c credit for each bag I didn't use]

if you can find a cheap bag which combines all those features go fo it.

what is your years auto insurance costing you + costs to run it? then a pannier that will last for decades will seem cheap.

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Old 08-24-15, 03:08 PM
  #6  
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For a rack, a regular 30-lb capacity rear rack will be fine - a gallon of milk (or beer) weighs a little over 8 lbs - your standard Blackburn rack will thus carry nearly four gallons of milk (or beer), or one gallon of milk and 22 boxes of cereal. Personally I have a 55 lb capacity Axiom rack, but it's not really necessary to have that much capacity.

For shopping panniers, I generally use cheap grocery bag panniers from Nashbar. (Other folks make them too.) Paper or reusable grocery bags fit right into them, or you can use the panniers themselves, "unlined". They do get a little flexy, which is where the extra side rails of my Axiom rack come in handy. I just as frequently use standard touring panniers.

I have also tried collapsible baskets by Wald, but I ride unloaded so often that the rattling got annoying, so I took them off in favor of easily removable panniers.

Whatever panniers you use, the method described by fietsbob is the way to go - carry them into the store and put them on the checkout first so the bagger can bag right into them. Ortliebs work for him, but any panniers with a wide top opening will do.
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Old 08-24-15, 03:49 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Carson Dyle View Post
Nice, but $180 full-blown touring panniers seem like a bit much unless I'm also doing some touring when I'm not getting groceries. It also seems to me that touring panniers give up some capacity over baskets and similar fixtures built to haul goods around.
No need for $180 ones for either touring or grocery shopping. I got Nashbar's Waterproof rear panniers when they were on sale for $30/pr. The initial use was for touring but they've been my standard way of hauling groceries home as well. Also got some generic rear rack for less than $10 around the same time. It holds my weight without any problem, so 60 or 70 lbs. of groceries are not an issue at all (my usual load is less, but it gets that high when buying lots of liquids and other high-density items). The rack and panniers have been in regular use for over 5 years now and still seem as good as new.
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Old 08-24-15, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
No need for $180 ones for either touring or grocery shopping. I got Nashbar's Waterproof rear panniers when they were on sale for $30/pr. The initial use was for touring but they've been my standard way of hauling groceries home as well. Also got some generic rear rack for less than $10 around the same time. It holds my weight without any problem, so 60 or 70 lbs. of groceries are not an issue at all (my usual load is less, but it gets that high when buying lots of liquids and other high-density items). The rack and panniers have been in regular use for over 5 years now and still seem as good as new.
I got my Ortliebs as outdated for about 70% off of retail Guess that 2011 stock had to go.

I like the features of the Ortlieb panniers, the more you use them the cheaper they are!

Aaron
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Old 08-29-15, 05:54 PM
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I use a Burley D'lite 2 seat trailer (FREE at the local drop-off/pick through for the poor) towed behind a 21 speed hybrid. I usually have my 4 year old, and there's plenty of room for groceries etc.
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Old 08-30-15, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Carson Dyle View Post
Nice, but $180 full-blown touring panniers seem like a bit much ...
You probably won't like my solution then; I bought a Burley Travoy and the upper & lower market bags.

Funded by the sale of my truck (along with a bunch of ther biking goodies), that trailer has changed my life. Easily one of the best peieces of kit I've bought to date.
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Old 08-30-15, 07:48 AM
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Grocery panniers, from Performance, bought for 28 bucks on sale for the pair. Reusable grocery bags fit perfect! A normal cheap rear rack has survived for 7 years, so far!
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Old 09-01-15, 12:41 AM
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I use the Arkel Shopper bag - it's pricey but very spacious. It can fit a shopping basket full of groceries, and if you "pop the top" an overflowing basket. I have a pair, but 95% of the time only use one for shopping. Capacity is four six packs of bottled beer per pannier, more if you buy canned.

The one major drawback is a that they are very deep and don't have heel clearance so if you don't have long chainstays, small feet, or a rack that extends back more than normal you likely will have heel strike. While you may knock half of the pannier off, I've never once dropped one. I have, on a couple occasions, ridden with only one of the Arkel cam hooks hooked and the bag hanging half off for several miles wondering why my bike seemed to be swaying...
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Old 09-01-15, 06:15 PM
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For years, I used a set of 1984 Cannondale Frannies and Overlands with a Blackburn rack. After adding a Winchester trailer, I weighed one trip and found that I was bringing home 85 pounds on the bike and hit the trailer's 100 pound limit. Another factor to consider is do you shop in bulk? Sometimes, you can save money buy buying bulk. Then, the weight can add up.
Getting ready for a party, or maybe there is a sale....
I may have six stripper clips of beer and soda, plus the rest of the groceries. With the Big Dummy, I don't need a trailer. Two stripper clips port and starboard, two on the upper deck. Groceries pad this out front and back. Oh, the Touring bikes rear Overlands become the Big Dummy's front Overlands. (funny how that works)
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Old 09-02-15, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by cvskates View Post
You probably won't like my solution then; I bought a Burley Travoy and the upper & lower market bags.

Funded by the sale of my truck (along with a bunch of ther biking goodies), that trailer has changed my life. Easily one of the best peieces of kit I've bought to date.
Those are awesome little trailers! I picked mine up from Camping World, they had it on the clearance aisle for $70. That was too good a deal to pass up!

Aaron
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Old 09-08-15, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Carson Dyle View Post
I'd like to start making grocery runs larger than what I can fit in my backpack. Not sure where to begin. I'm figuring on a pretty standard rear rack, or do I need more of a heavy-duty touring rack?

After that, though, what to use as carriers? I see grocery panniers, collapsible baskets, some other solutions. I worry a little about having bags stolen while I'm in the grocery store. Do you take them inside? Looking for some ideas.
i got a used kids' trailer. the wheels are quick release, the towbar is hinged, and the cabin folds flat. fits easily in a closet. assembly is fast, too.
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Old 09-10-15, 10:01 AM
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I use my Blackburn EX-1 disc rack ($49.99 installed), and two Blackburn EX-Delux Pannier bags ($24.99 each on clearance). They aren't the right size for grocery store bags, but the price was right and they fit what I buy. I subside mostly on fruits, vegetables, dried beans, and dried rice. Nothing I currently purchase from the store comes as a liquid. I take the bags in the store with me. They snap on and off in about 5 seconds per bag. I haven't needed the additional capacity, but I could always add a trunk bag to my setup if I wanted.
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Old 09-10-15, 11:13 AM
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I use the Topeak trunk bag, the DXP which is the largest one they make. It has fold out panniers. I use that and my Chrome Bravo backpack, which goes from 20L to 40L. Between that and the trunk bag all my groceries are a done deal. And yes, the trunk bag has a removable shoulder strap so you can take it with in the store. You need Topeak rack to use the bag. It slides in and out on the rack using a rail and locks and unlocks the bag. Check it out on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Topeak-Trunk-B...peak+trunk+bag

The Topeak rack,

http://www.amazon.com/Topeak-6310703...opeak+mtx+rack

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Old 09-30-15, 12:04 PM
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I use the Maya Cycle trailer. Fits the groceries and I can take the trailer and bag inside when necessary



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Old 09-30-15, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Carson Dyle View Post
After that, though, what to use as carriers? I see grocery panniers, collapsible baskets, some other solutions. I worry a little about having bags stolen while I'm in the grocery store. Do you take them inside? Looking for some ideas.
I use a variety of things. For some reason, not the panniers a lot. But, sometimes duffels with a cargo bike. Or, my backpack. Or, pulling the kiddie trailer when I do a major grocery run.

I do some errands, thrift store runs, whatnot. Perhaps up to $100 - $200 worth of stuff in my bags, trailer, etc. So far nobody has touched the bike, trailer, lights, speedo, miscellaneous cargo, etc. I always take the phone and wallet with me and lock the bike (but I don't lock the trailer).

I suppose I figure it would be a pain if someone stole $100 worth of stuff, but hopefully they need it more than me.

It is just not worth stressing over the little things that are beyond my control. And, it is not worth always stripping everything off the bike then remounting it. (the bike is secure at night).
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Old 09-30-15, 01:02 PM
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Thanks for all the great ideas. I just can't see myself ever hauling a trailer. I have a car for when it's necessary and I'm not on any kind of crusade.
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Old 10-01-15, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cvskates View Post
You probably won't like my solution then; I bought a Burley Travoy and the upper & lower market bags.

Funded by the sale of my truck (along with a bunch of ther biking goodies), that trailer has changed my life. Easily one of the best peieces of kit I've bought to date.
I like the trailer. Does it feel weird when pulling it? How does it corner? Any issues to know about upfront?
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Old 10-01-15, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by cvskates View Post
You probably won't like my solution then; I bought a Burley Travoy and the upper & lower market bags.

Funded by the sale of my truck (along with a bunch of ther biking goodies), that trailer has changed my life. Easily one of the best peieces of kit I've bought to date.
I can find the trailer but not the upper and lower market bags. Do you have a link by chance?
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Old 10-01-15, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Carson Dyle View Post
Thanks for all the great ideas. I just can't see myself ever hauling a trailer. I have a car for when it's necessary and I'm not on any kind of crusade.
Just think of it more as retail jihad.
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Old 10-01-15, 10:05 AM
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Calculate how many hours a month do you have to work, Carson, Just to pay the cost of owning the car , and insuring it ,
even leaving out the fuel cost to drive that ton of stuff just to get a few bags of Groceries ..

Work More , Cancel your Holidays .
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Old 10-01-15, 10:40 AM
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These REI Novara panniers will haul 3 bags worth of groceries. Use one or both, they clip to a standard rack and can be installed/removed literally in two seconds per side.

Novara Nucleus Commuter Pannier - Pair - REI.com




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