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Old 23.01.2008, 14:06
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Bicycle panniers

Hello,

I need panniers if I want to do anything more than 30KM!
I am thinking of only buying rear-panniers as they offer 40L which sounds like it's enough for someone who's not camping. Right?

These are the ones I am looking at:
http://www.cyclestore.co.uk/productD...productID=7475


I would probably be carrying:
3 x underwear & socks
1 set of normal clothes
2 x cycling shorts
2 x cycling tops
a waterproof jacket
waterproof over-trousers (is it necessary?)
mobile phone and charger
camera and charger
maybe a small computer?
a minimal bike kit
toothbrush etc
documents

The question is: should 40L be enough for these? And are the panniers "good enough"? (e.g. are they water-proof as advertised)
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Old 23.01.2008, 14:22
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Re: panniers

How many km do you plan on doing???? I've done an entire weekend with a mere fraction of that!
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Old 23.01.2008, 15:38
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Re: panniers

Around 600km in ten days (or that order of magnitude). It is going to be in April around Benelux.
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Old 23.01.2008, 15:45
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Re: panniers

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Hello,

I need panniers if I want to do anything more than 30KM!
I am thinking of only buying rear-panniers as they offer 40L which sounds like it's enough for someone who's not camping. Right?
...


The question is: should 40L be enough for these? And are the panniers "good enough"? (e.g. are they water-proof as advertised)
Ortleib paniers are great. When correctly closed, they are practically monsoon-proof, and travelling with just rear panniers is a lot easier than with front and rear.

2 x 40L should most certainly hold what you're planning on bringing, but I'd advise to not bring along a computer (by which I assume you mean a laptop) in the event of theft or damage, not to mention the extra weight. Also, add a sturdy bike lock and a cable to your packing list, as well as bike lights (front and rear) and a pair of sandals or lightweight shoes to wear when off your bike. I'd also strongly advise more than just a minimal bike repair kit: you can't predict where you'll run into mechanical troubles, so it's best to be prepared.

HM
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Old 23.01.2008, 15:50
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Re: Bicycle panniers

I've gone on week long trips with just two panniers. I only need the front panniers when I bring the tent, sleeping bag, thermorest, and other camping gear.
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Old 23.01.2008, 16:14
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Re: Bicycle panniers

The Ortlieb panniers that you linked to are the ultimate in waterproof panniers. Although their waterproof-ness cannot be questioned, some people do criticize them for generally just having one big compartment, and no smaller compartments or divisions to help organization. However, they have addressed this concern with some of their newer designs, like this pair.

Another alternative would be to get a set of regular panniers, which do generally have side pockets, lid pockets, etc., and then buy some rain covers to put on when the weather is bad. See this set from a Canadian camping store. This is what I use, except that my rain covers are flourescent yellow, which is a good idea because if it is raining then visibility is probably reduced.

However, I also have a pair of the Ortlieb front panniers (see here). I originally toured with front and back panniers but have since learned to carry less stuff, and so only need the rear ones. However, I use one of the Ortlieb front panniers on my rear rack as a daily commuting bag or a day pack on a long ride, and it is awesome - I've been using them like this for 10 years now without them showing much wear!

Ortlieb also have a very good attachment system which will work on just about any rack, stays on very solidly when riding, and is easy to take off and put onto the rack. This is another very important attribute to look at when buying panniers.

If you're not camping then 40L should be more than enough - even when camping I can keep it down to a pair of 40L bags plus tent and camping pad strapped to the top of the rack. The amount of clothing is similar to what you stated, plus I have cooking gear and a sleeping bag to squeeze in, so you could certainly switch all that for a small laptop if you so wish (although I wouldn't).

You asked whether the waterproof overtrousers are necessary - I would recommend that you get a pair or at least something to wear on your lower half in the rain. I have a pair of cycling pants that are waterproof on the front side, and are just spandex on the back - they keep me mostly dry and I never overheat. Obviously, a good pair of fenders/mudguards is essential to avoid the water coming off of the rear wheel and spraying the back of your legs. Make sure that whatever you get it is very close-fitting around your legs, otherwise it will be very annoying while riding.
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Old 23.01.2008, 18:40
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Re: Bicycle panniers

Also if your bike shoes are your only shoes you will have then a pair of waterproof shoe covers are well worth it,as we found out last summer!!! We now have the Gore Goretex overcovers.A handlebar bag from Ortlieb is also a very good investment.
Cheers and good luck with the tour
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Old 23.01.2008, 19:58
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Re: Bicycle panniers

I think veloplus.ch may stock what you are looking for here in Switzerland. (Am not affiliated, by the way)
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Old 23.01.2008, 20:25
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Re: Bicycle panniers

Hey, I've used the Arkel T-42s and loved them. They fit everything you mentioned and space for more! The only problem is they make them in Canada so you have to order from there. But they're awesome and the best part is that they open from the side, with a zipper, like a normal piece of luggage so you can pack and unpack quite comfortably without feeling like you're just piling stuff into a random weirdly-shaped bag.
See for instance here: http://www.arkel-od.com/panniers/t42...asp?fl=1&site=

Two rear panniers ought to be more than sufficient for the stuff you're taking. Not to mention you can always add a backpack on top of the rear wheel rack with a pair of bungee cords to fasten it, for instance.

As for the bike computer, make sure you get one with odometer/spedometer at the very least. Altitude is nice to have for when you curse those hills (though in Benelux there won't be any). They cost like 20 CHF or so and it is always fun to see the statistics. Not to mention they give you bragging rights and all.

Happy cycling!
http://elisabiketrip.blogspot.com
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Old 23.01.2008, 20:29
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Re: Bicycle panniers

Forgot to say, the Arkel panniers are not waterproof, so you will need a cover if you're planning on cycling in heavy rain.
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Old 23.01.2008, 20:52
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Re: Bicycle panniers

Thanks! Jesus Christ though, why would anyone cycle through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey? Did you have a gun with you? :-P
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Old 24.01.2008, 08:51
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Re: Bicycle panniers

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Thanks! Jesus Christ though, why would anyone cycle through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey? Did you have a gun with you? :-P

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