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Three or four grocery bags on a bike?

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Three or four grocery bags on a bike?

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Old 01-17-18, 11:28 AM
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mc510
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Three or four grocery bags on a bike?

Any good ways to get three or four grocery bags on a bike? I'm currently doing the obvious thing with a rear rack and (Nashbar Townie) panniers, so I'm good for two bags. I don't have room at home for a trailer, so that's out. Same goes for an Xtracycle or similar (plus $$). Anyone got a nice way to put a third bag on top (center) of the rear rack? Or two additional bags on the back ... maybe extra-wide panniers that each hold two bags laterally instead of one bag longitudinally?

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Old 01-17-18, 02:26 PM
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Large trunk bag? Or another bag lashed to the top rack?
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Old 01-17-18, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmie65 View Post
Large trunk bag? Or another bag lashed to the top rack?
Not sure if that would work for me. Grocery bags stick up out of the top of my existing panniers, above the level of the rear rack, so a trunk bag would need to be very narrow to fit between them.

Lashing a bag to the rack is one of the arrangements that I'm picturing, but I'm wondering if anyone has created a more secure way to hold a bag in that position without crushing its contents.
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Old 01-17-18, 05:35 PM
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Regular 20 liter touring panniers would hold 2 bags of groceries each.
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Old 01-17-18, 06:55 PM
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Front basket? Larger panniers? I have as set of Basil XL IIRC they are something crazy large like 60L?

Aaron



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Old 01-18-18, 01:40 PM
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How far are you riding?

I've seen people at the store with a half a dozen bags hanging off their handlebars.

Most of the trailers will come apart and/or fold up, so the size might not be too bad. Especially trailers

I use a typical kiddie trailer, but the Burley Travoy may be a size to your needs.

https://burley.com/product/travoy/

It apparently folds pretty small. 18x21x8




Hopefully it would work with a rear rack & panniers, but probably not a trunk bag.
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Old 01-18-18, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
How far are you riding? I've seen people at the store with a half a dozen bags hanging off their handlebars.
It's about four miles. I've done it with bags hanging in all sorts of weird configurations, but I'm ready to spend a little money to make it safer and more convenient and comfortable. I could probably find room to store that trailer (folded), but it doesn't look real convenient for holding grocery bags.

Reflecting on all of the input (thanks everyone!) I think what I'm going to look for are extra-large townie-type fabric baskets/panniers that can each hold two grocery bags.
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Old 01-18-18, 03:10 PM
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Those Nashbar bags look nice.



Most of my bikes have too short of chain stays to carry square panniers without heel strike.

There are also front panniers, or as mentioned a front basket.

If your panniers are clean and empty, you could probably take them into the store. Load them up in the store, and then empty them at the checkout.

I do that when I'm shopping in Portland with re-usable bags. Just carry the bag around the store until I have what I want, then take it up front, dump it out, check out, then load it up again.
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Old 01-18-18, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Those Nashbar bags look nice.
Yeah, they're what I have now, and they are super convenient. Perfectly designed for one standard grocery bag each. No messing around with flaps, drawstrings, rebagging, etc. Only problem is that I need to carry more than two bags!
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Old 01-18-18, 05:31 PM
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I shopped for years using 4 front Ortleibs, two on LowRiders, two on the rear rack. I'd pull them off the racks and throw them in the shopping cart. At checkout I'd ask the checker to just put everything in the cart. I'd then pack the Ortleibs for the ride home. (It was 4-10 miles depending on which store I went to. 10 miles was the usual.) I found I regularly packed more efficiently than a checker would plus I did a better job of getting weight low, wet stuff where appropriate, etc. The Ortleibs are child's play to clean, even after real disasters. When I got home, I'd just lift the 4 bags off the bike and carry them into the kitchen. Unload, rinse as needed and set at the garage door, ready for the next use. Really easy as well as really good riding. (And going paper free, you get to look magnanimous. I just like skipping the paper because it's one more layer if stuff I have to carry and it really doesn't like the Oregon wet.)

Going to the large Ortleibs in back would add a lot to your capacity.

Ben
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Old 01-18-18, 09:17 PM
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Yeah, I'm going with what CliffordK said as well. Front Panniers and a basket will solve the problem. And if you don't like all that stuff hangin' on your bike, just go with the front panniers and remove the bags themselves when not in use.
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Old 01-21-18, 11:08 AM
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I simply use my panniers insead of consuming a carry out bag.. My Ortliebs get year around use..

the checker loads the groceries directly in the bags. and I hang them on the bike, locked to the rack outside.

unlock the bike & ride home. Rain or shine..
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Old 01-29-18, 06:31 PM
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I use the Burley Travoy and it holds an amazing amount of stuff, then folds and goes in the back of a small closet or under a chair for storage. You can even get a rack mount for the hinge attachment and then run some panniers on the rear rack as well if you're carry-crazy.
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Old 01-29-18, 06:36 PM
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I used to carry 30 lbs. including cat food but it got to be hard on my Schwinn Cruiser SS' rims and bearings. Still use it for lighter duty, 3-4 bags is no problem with saddlebags or paperboys, and I loop the bag handles over the bars and work to keep them from swinging.


Always double bag though, modern plastic bags have come full circle from 20 years or so ago and are as flimsy as they were when made in the USA, but now made in China.
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Old 01-29-18, 06:38 PM
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that v v v v v


Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
front basket? Larger panniers? I have as set of basil xl iirc they are something crazy large like 60l?

Aaron



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Old 01-29-18, 10:35 PM
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Valid concern. I've been using the Nashbar Townies for a couple of years. Perfect for standard paper grocery sacks, or reusable totes of the same size. I also use the excellent Braum's totes, which are fiber reinforced plastic.

But most stores use disposable plastic bags. Usually I repack when I'm back out with the bike. When I use the self check aisle I can pack appropriately so the heavier, non-crushable stuff goes on the bottom. The lighter and more fragile stuff gets stacked on top.

If the stuff on top isn't easily crushed I'll use a bungee net over the top. If it's fragile stuff like bread I'll tie the handles of the plastic bags through the carry loops on the Townies. So far that's been good enough to get home safely.

I have carried the equivalent to 4-6 full paper grocery sacks on my errand bike, just using the Townies and rear rack. But it's a hassle and demands a lot of time arranging and securing everything. And it makes the bike very top heavy.

Additional baskets in front or a trailer would be better, but most of my shopping is within a mile so I just make more frequent trips.

If the store were farther away or I was shopping for a family, I'd consider a full cargo bike. But our shops are close and I'm shopping for only two people and three cats.

Pardon the rant but regarding sanitation and hygiene concerns...

I don't bring the panniers inside because they're usually filthy. Doesn't take many trips for the fabric to get gritty and grimy. One of my pet peeves is reusable cloth totes. They're potential vectors for communicable disease. Smooth plastic coated panniers may be okay. They're easier to wipe down. But the Nashbar Townies and many non-weatherproofed panniers are ballistic nylon. Very difficult to clean properly.

Ever worked in hospitals, health care or nursing homes, or spent a lot of time visiting family and friends in those places? If so you've stomped around through e-coli and staph, mostly from the feces of patients. A common scenario is when patients are given bowel prep before surgery, a powerful laxative that works very quickly.

Many patients underestimate how quickly and powerfully bowel prep works. So they'll ignore the nurse's advice to sit on the toilet or bedside toilet immediately after taking the bowel prep. They think "Oh, I'll feel a bowel movement coming, no problem." Wrong. Next thing you know there are quarts of diarrhea spewing across the floor, humiliated patients moaning "It won't stop coming out!!!" and embarrassed visitors lurching away from the spreading brown pool.

When housekeeping cleans up they'll often reuse the same mop the rest of the shift on the entire unit -- common hallways, every patient room, even the break room where food is stored and prepped. They may discard the mop after the shift, but they think the mild disinfectant solution in the mop bucket is a magic bullet against pints of feces.

Then aunties and grandmas set their purses and cloth totes on the same floor. Later they'll set those on the grocery store conveyor while fumbling for their credit cards or cash or whatever.

Or, as with my mom during her rehab after surgery while on a feeding tube of liquid/paste diet, an aide would need to clean her up often after messy bowel movements. And the aides would often pile up soiled adult diapers, cleanup towlettes and gloves on top of the rolling tray table used by patients for eating and by visitors for keeping their cell phones, magazines, snacks and drinks, purses and cloth totes off the floor.

Most health care aides have little or no training in basic hygienic practices. These are minimum wage jobs, very hard and unpleasant work, often performed by folks with little education and experience outside the home. They're often unemployable in any other capacity. In my experience with many of them they're good women, hardworking, but desperate for work and not trained for anything else. They have kids, families to support, often with health problems of their own that makes it impossible to do other jobs. They don't receive any training from their agencies. I've seen some of them use the same sponges and brushes in both the kitchen and bathroom.

So whatever happens in the bathroom ends up in the kitchen where those dreadful cloth tote bags end up on the now-contaminated floors and counters where food is prepped.

It's the reason why the disposable and one-time use culture evolved: toilet paper rather than sponges on sticks; paper tissues rather than cloth handkerchiefs; plastic bags rather than burlap sacks fashioned from sacks of potatoes and grain.

Economy of scale. In our economy it's cheaper and easier to manufacture disposable items than to educate and train people to work safely and hygienically.

For several years most grocery stores have used plastic bags that degrade quickly in sunlight, dumps, water, or even stored in cars for several weeks or months. You may already have found forgotten plastic sacks under your car seat or trunk that were crumbling. These are designed to break down quickly and must be manufactured fresh routinely because they don't keep long in storage.

That's why I prefer disposable plastic bags, or the fiber reinforced plastic totes from Braum's.
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Old 02-04-18, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I shopped for years using 4 front Ortleibs, two on LowRiders, two on the rear rack. I'd pull them off the racks and throw them in the shopping cart. At checkout I'd ask the checker to just put everything in the cart. I'd then pack the Ortleibs for the ride home. (It was 4-10 miles depending on which store I went to. 10 miles was the usual.) I found I regularly packed more efficiently than a checker would plus I did a better job of getting weight low, wet stuff where appropriate, etc. The Ortleibs are child's play to clean, even after real disasters. When I got home, I'd just lift the 4 bags off the bike and carry them into the kitchen. Unload, rinse as needed and set at the garage door, ready for the next use. Really easy as well as really good riding. (And going paper free, you get to look magnanimous. I just like skipping the paper because it's one more layer if stuff I have to carry and it really doesn't like the Oregon wet.)

Going to the large Ortleibs in back would add a lot to your capacity.

Ben
Ditto on the Ortleibs x 4; 'cept I used back-rollers all around instead of front-rollers. When I was riding to school I'd have my Ortleib briefcase-type-thing on one side of the rear rack and then one back-roller stuffed with two empty back-rollers on the other side of the rear rack. That way, when I was moving around campus I only had to carry my brief-case-thing and one full-ish back-roller. On my way home from school I'd stop to grab packages at amazon lockers, get groceries, or pickup random free stuff left out by the curb. I'd usually end up with four full panniers worth of stuff but getting all the things done en-route to my place from school worked out great. I also have one of those Travoy trailers for when I need to haul something particularly bulky. But really, I think the best solution for the OP's problem is to get a front low-rider rack and another set of panniers. The rack takes up no additional space in your home, is pretty low-profile on the bike when not in use, and all that's required is a couple more panniers to double your capacity. I personally don't like the big front baskets because of their bulk/weight when I'm not using them and if my front load is heavier, the ride-feel is considerably less stable with the load higher-up.
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Old 02-05-18, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanescapee View Post
I think the best solution for the OP's problem is to get a front low-rider rack and another set of panniers. The rack takes up no additional space in your home, is pretty low-profile on the bike when not in use, and all that's required is a couple more panniers to double your capacity. I personally don't like the big front baskets because of their bulk/weight when I'm not using them and if my front load is heavier, the ride-feel is considerably less stable with the load higher-up.
Yeah, I agree about the front handlebar basket; too unsteady. I'll definitely check out front low-rider rack/pannier option. Thanks!
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Old 03-02-18, 09:04 PM
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What kind of bike? Some will handle a front basket better than others. I use a Schwinn World Tourist with a Wald 137 in front and a 582 on the rack in back. I tried the milk crate on top of the rack but between not being able to get a leg over it and how even slight shifting of a modest weight affected handling, I hated it. Seemed like a good idea but did not work out. The basket in front and folding baskets in the back is working well for me.
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Old 03-03-18, 12:52 AM
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Old 03-05-18, 10:58 PM
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Wald folders in the back and an old desktop letter tray zip-tied to the front. The front basket has enough of a lip to hold a bag without it rolling off the rack and I just throw a bungie or piece of string over it so it won't bounce out.

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Old 03-08-18, 04:01 PM
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I have possibly the weirdest solution: I own a packbasket (traditional canoe-camping equipment -- it's a giant basket with backpack straps). I also own a low-stepover, upright bike. The basket will carry several grocery-bags worth; I can load it with more than I should. (My nearby grocery options range from 1.5 to 4 miles away, depending on which one I want.)

But really, any sort of larger backpack/duffel/messenger bag for ~2 grocery bags full + your current solution would probably work, if you can ride in an upright enough position to make a heavy backpack comfortable.
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Old 03-09-18, 03:14 PM
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Used to get the same discount as if I had a reusable shopping bag, when I brought in my empty panniers , and use them as my shopping bags.

they have since then ceased the nickel per bag not needed, discount.
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