Small panniers for a small bike?

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Small panniers for a small bike?

Postby thecaptn » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:24 pm

Hi Everybody,

I'm setting up a Tubus rear rack on my wifes bike. It's a smallish bike (cannondale quick) maybe 16" and I'm planning to put some Ortlieb panniers on it. I have roller classics front and back on my bike and I'm considering putting front panniers on the rear of my wifes bike due to the smallish size of the bike.

Has anyone any advise for me in regards to this plan?

Something different in style to the Roller Classic may suit and I'm not married to the idea of using Orlieb panniers. I have no expirience using anything other than Ortlieb but i do like the ease of use they offer from the way they conect to the rack to the simple clossing mechanism.

Is it possible to get a medium sized rear pannier?
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by BNA » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:46 pm

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Re: Small panniers for a small bike?

Postby il padrone » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:46 pm

Assuming your wife's Cannondale has 26" wheels, any Ortlieb pannier should be quite OK. The rear rack will be a 26" sized one and will take rear (or front) panniers. The only reason to go for a smaller front pannier used on the rear rack, may be if the chainstays were so short she has heel-clip problems, but with a small sized bike I'd assume she has small feet and her heels are more likely to be clear of the bags.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Small panniers for a small bike?

Postby thecaptn » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:02 pm

il padrone wrote:Assuming your wife's Cannondale has 26" wheels, any Ortlieb pannier should be quite OK. The rear rack will be a 26" sized one and will take rear (or front) panniers. The only reason to go for a smaller front pannier used on the rear rack, may be if the chainstays were so short she has heel-clip problems, but with a small sized bike I'd assume she has small feet and her heels are more likely to be clear of the bags.



The bike has 700c wheels. Good tip on the potential heal clip problem, I hadn't thought of that. I ordered the rack two weeks ago from bike24 and I can't test my panniers on it until it arrives.
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Re: Small panniers for a small bike?

Postby il padrone » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:19 pm

700C - bigger wheels, longer chainstays. Even less likely that she'll have any heel clip issues.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Small panniers for a small bike?

Postby RonK » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:48 pm

There is nothing wrong with using front panniers on the rear rack, but front rollers are quite small do luggage capacity will be reduced significantly if only a rear rack is used. Four front panniers could be quite workable though.
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Re: Small panniers for a small bike?

Postby Uncle Just » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:24 pm

As Ron said no probs with smaller panniers. I have fitted the smaller front ortliebs to my Tubus Fly rear rack for minimalist touring on a roadie with 700c wheels and to avoid heel strike with its 42.5cm chainstays. A lesson in lightweight touring. :)
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Re: Small panniers for a small bike?

Postby thecaptn » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:33 pm

RonK wrote:There is nothing wrong with using front panniers on the rear rack, but front rollers are quite small do luggage capacity will be reduced significantly if only a rear rack is used. Four front panniers could be quite workable though.


I don't think she'd like riding with 4 panniers so I might just leave it up to her which size she gets and yes that's a good point about the capacity, I'll be carrying anything she can't fit in so the bigger the better for me. :mrgreen:
I think roller city could be ok.
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Re: Small panniers for a small bike?

Postby thecaptn » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:36 pm

Uncle Just wrote:As Ron said no probs with smaller panniers. I have fitted the smaller front ortliebs to my Tubus Fly rear rack for minimalist touring on a roadie with 700c wheels and to avoid heel strike with its 42.5cm chainstays. A lesson in lightweight touring. :)



I can't imagine my wife ever being minimalist with anything. :cry:
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Re: Small panniers for a small bike?

Postby RonK » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:06 pm

thecaptn wrote:
Uncle Just wrote:As Ron said no probs with smaller panniers. I have fitted the smaller front ortliebs to my Tubus Fly rear rack for minimalist touring on a roadie with 700c wheels and to avoid heel strike with its 42.5cm chainstays. A lesson in lightweight touring. :)



I can't imagine my wife ever being minimalist with anything. :cry:

Better get her a travel hair dryer then...
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
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Re: Small panniers for a small bike?

Postby il padrone » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:49 pm

thecaptn wrote:I don't think she'd like riding with 4 panniers

I know many people start out with just rear panniers, but if you intend to do any cycle-touring with camping gear, front panniers are much better for balanced bicycle handling..... and safer. I've witnessed three friends taking nasty falls when on gravel/dirt roads, all of whom were using just rear panniers and a handlebar bag. The loss of control was related to steering and front wheel traction loss.

Just my recommendation - 4 panniers are better than 2.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Small panniers for a small bike?

Postby il padrone » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:51 pm

RonK wrote:Better get her a travel hair dryer then...

My wife uses one of these on tours - took it all around Tassie for 18 days :P
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Small panniers for a small bike?

Postby JJBLOOD » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:14 am

il padrone wrote:Just my recommendation - 4 panniers are better than 2.


I´m with you... 4 better than 2 (if you go full loaded)
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