All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
I've been thinking of getting the Downtown pannier as it would be more versatile for work use to carry books and laptop in it and be able to walk about - better than my Bikepacker Classic. The new mount looks very good too. But a question - how do you find it works with regular Ortlieb panniers being used at other times? Can you mount one on with the rack attachment or do you have to remove it? If so, how easy is it to remove/replace?
I've been using a pair of these for a year now, and they've served me well.
I also used a pair of tioga panniers for a long time. Bought 2nd hand, they've also worked quite well. I wouldn't go kitchen-sink touring for weeks on end with them, but they've proven to be quite satisfactory, particularly since they get filled with tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and spare clothes.
Front panniers are usually 2/3 the size of rear panniers. This means generally less weight with easier steering and ride handling.
Having said that I find, using low-rider front racks, that I can load the front a good bit more. My front bags usually carry the food supplies, tool kit and first aid kit, while the rears carry clothes, sleeping bag and 'inside the tent' bits, stove, mess kit and fuel bottle. On some trips, carrying food for 5-7 days, the front panniers are as heavy or even heavier than the rear bags, but the bike rides very well.
I don't have the regular Ortlieb panniers (using QL1 or Ql2) but from what I have seen of my brother's panniers with the QL2, depending on where you place the QL3 (which is fixed on the bike) you might be able to get away without removing it. The QL2 clips onto the top of the rack and you can place the QL3 mounting frame further down on the side rails of the rack. QL3 removal is easy, just undo the 3 M5 hex keyed bolts. Take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-whf3DMpV5A (Ortlieb clip on the QL3) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-whf3DMpV5A for a quick preview - I have the same bag in white.
I think those Brooks panniers are a good bit more expensive than Ortliebs though...
Cancelled the order with Wiggle yesterday when they said they wouldn't be getting stock til later in March (I ordered them a month ago and am going on a trip on the 16th). Ordered replacements from PBK and they were shipped within hours. Ordered some from Cell as well - shipped within 24hrs. (Neither had both the colours I wanted).
It'll be interesting to see which ones arrive first!
Cell Bikes order arrived today.
No promo code.
$135 for Backroller Classics on PBK, $109 for Front Rollers. Backroller Classics $169 from Cell Bikes.
I've the Vaude Roadmaster panniers and Vaude Roadmaster bar box.
I like them because they are strongly made. They have a rigid back plate. They have outside pockets which makes life easy but you need a Ph.D. to remember where you put things in the bar box. The old adage, a place for everything and everything in its place are what the panniers are about. They come with excellent hi-vis dust/rain coats. I use a garbage bag inside them to give the best waterproofing for crossing streams. They keep the rain out but not the rivers. The seams have stitched-on tape inside to strengthen them. I like that they have a draw string to keep the supplies nice and snug. Would I buy them again, most definitely and they are a good colour too. Black and Anthracite. I don't get to enjoy the colour much in the rain. I still haven't warmed to their orange dust/rain coats like colour blind people might.
The only weakness in the system (that I've found) is the securing of the sliding hangers in place, which is done with a small wheel, just finger tightening. I would have preferred to use an Allen Key. I could simply modify them to take a small stainless steel bolt and nylock nut in place of the wheel ... maybe one day, if the wheel eventually gives me the irrits.
The bar box has an efficient quick release feature and lots of inside pockets with zips and a detachable by Velcro, map case. The window is made from ultra-clear TPE, and doesn't appear to scuff or scratch. So far.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.
"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
Only suitable for e-bike. 6kg rack weight
I'm starting to look into options for a front pannier bag. I already own a pair of Ortlieb Back Roller Plus bags which are really nice. The only two issues I have has is the sticky plastic inside is annoying sometime when putting larger items in the bag, and also the shape of the pannier means it is difficult to stand up which is annoying if it is full of groceries. Other than those small niggles it has been excellent.
I can get the Ortlieb Front Roller for $106.10 delivered from Evans in matching red/black colour as my back rollers, or I can get the Carradice Super C Universal Front Panniers for $105.80 from Wiggle. Both are very popular and have different features. The Front roller being fully waterproof fabric and the Carradice being water resistant (possibly proof after treatment) cotton duck (but more breathable). I'll mainly be using the front pannier bags for long distance touring, as well as a substitute for my back rollers if I don't need the extra capacity. I was thinking that a breathable front pannier bag with plenty of pockets and compartments might be good to put my dirty clothes/cooking gear in it as it is breathable.. however I also imagine how non-fun it would be if it were soggy, wet and heavy after riding in the rain for a few hours... thoughts?
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Carradice panniers are proofed cotton and should not become "soggy, wet and heavy" at all, even after a whole day of riding in rain. However I believe they are a bit heavier than the Ortliebs. They do come with pockets.
If you do go for Ortlieb front bags, the Sportpackers are noticeably larger capacity than the Front Rollers (30L versus 25L), and I also prefer the use of a flap, under which some things can be stuffed if wet. Ortlieb also have clip-on pockets available. These are easy to fit and give extra versatility - I love them. I generally carry most of my food in the front bags. I've never had any issues with wet/damp items making the whole bag wet.
PBK order hasn't arrived and I leave tomorrow. My wife doesn't leave until Saturday so if they arrive tomorrow it'll work out, otherwise she'll be using the old Velogear ones with the holes in them. The dude abides...
I also have a PBK order taking its time. Not that it is a big issue for me at the moment.
They are here. Be sure you get these small ones (not the large - designed for backpacks, no reflective patch).
After years of trekking I have concluded single compartment bags pack most efficiently, so I don't care for lots of pockets. Organise your touring gear into silnylon stuff sacks - they are plenty slippery and can be stuffed into empty corners. XS and XXS sizes are the most useful, I use different colour sacks as a coding system. Dirty (or wet) clothes are carried seperately in a light dry bag so they don't stink or wet other gear.
The Rollers are intended for touring, and are tapered for heel clearance - Ortlieb offer other bags for urban use. But front Rollers are squareish and stand much better when packed.
With my tent, sleeping bag, mat and rain gear in a rack bag, I find the capacity of the front Rollers perfectly adequate without overloading the front end of the bike. Front and rear Rollers, medium handlebar bag and rack bag add up to almost 100 litres of packing capacity. If that is not enough then perhaps you should consider rationalising your load. I put the small but heavy items in the front - netbook, cables and chargers, bike spares, food, cookware, toiletries bag. Any incidentals go in a handlebar bag. Once I've rolled the panniers up in the morning I don't open them again until my destination is reached.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
What do you use for a rack bag?
I'm using the Alpkit Gourdon, which I posted earlier in this thread. It is a drybag with a harness and is very versatile - it's my cabin bag when flying, my shopping bag and my back pack for sidetrips. The harness cinches up and tucks away fairly neatly when not in use. I have it in 20 and 30 litre sizes, but prefer the 20 litre for its shock-cord and bidon pockets, which the other sizes don't have.
I also have a couple of Orlieb rack bags but they are single-purpose, stiff and heavy. I never use them now.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
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