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- Posts: 1154
- Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:00 pm
Roswheel rear pannier bag (single) 12L capacity
Where bought and price
Online purchase through Aliexpress
Normal price: US$27
Special price: US$23 including shipping.
Other places can be google-searched.
How it is used
Seems primarily designed for travelling, but quite good for commuting also. Quick-detachable single-sided pannier bag for rear bicycle racks ( or front racks too I suppose )
Doing the daily commute several times a week, the first lesson I learned was that having a backpack on me wasn't the most comfortable way to end a ride – even with assist turned on all the way, so it wasn't too long before I was looking around for a good pannier system to carry the few things that needed to travel with me to the office each day.
Aside from a tablet computer, keyboard and some small parts that I regularly use, I also wanted something strong enough to fit a decent set of tools, including electrical tools in case I suffered an electrical failure on the assist motor or batteries. Cable ties and duct tape were a must ( and have come in handy several times ) and a few other parts were quite bulky too. And finally, I don't have room for a drink bottle in the open area of the frame, so somewhere to carry a little water was a must.
My early experiments involved cheap – often around $30 – panniers that spanned the rack and dropped each side, with each having a somewhat rectangular shape, rounded at one corner. Yet the material was weak and flimsy and with sharp tools jiggling around, they didn't last long – perhaps around 30 or so rides.
But watching other commuters on the way back home, I saw a number had single sided panniers and decided that might be the way to go.
Ahhh, but not so fast. Ebay had nothing under $100 and I couldn't find anything in the local shops. So it was quite a surprise to find the Roswheel 12L single-sided pannier on Aliexpress – and more so, within my pre-set ideal budget of under $60.
But at US$23 ( plus exchange rate ), was it any good? Sure, the price did vary from time to time, but this was the only suitable looking pannier at that price range and I was already nervous about the price. Well, at around $30 Australian, including shipping, it was worth a try and so I bought one and decided whether I got a second would depend on how it was when it arrived. Meanwhile, some stitching and duct take kept the old pannier in operation for a few more commutes.
Well, when it arrived, it was a surprise. The 12L pannier from Roswheel was actually a very good pannier. Made out of what appears to be a heavy duty synthetic material claimed to be canvas which looks and feels like canvas but does seem to be synthetic, it felt both tough and robust, but the features I was looking for didn't end there. The bag has no shoulder straps, but does have a handle sewn and looped into the webbing that runs across the surface of the upper pack. Stitching appears to be heavy duty 1mm webbing itself, which is reflective adding one more area of safety to the bicycle, as the panniers can restrict visibility of the wheel reflector at times.
The Roswheel 12L Canvas single-pannier.
But the features didn't stop there. Around 45cm high, this pack featured a plastic rear plate, with heavy eyelets going through in three places for each hook, with the two primary fixing hooks appearing to be heavy duty flexible plastic, fixed through the pack material, the back fixing board, a waterproof rear-layer and 50mm wide heavy duty belt webbing! This was worlds apart from my last thin-material pannier and felt solid. Additionally, the stiff plastic layer felt like it would reasonably keep the bag sides well away from my spokes.
The high neck allows some serious stuffing.
Further down the waterproof rear panel, there was a velcro strip for attaching the pack to the rear of the bike ( I don't – because I like to be able to remove the bags ) and the height was so that it fitted well above the rear sprockets, rising up as it filled so that it wasn't likely to get in the way.
Because of this design, it can fit anywhere from 35 to 45cm tall, making it quite versatile. Additionally, the floor of the pack is reinforced with sewn-in stiff plastic protecting the base of the pack, and the uper section of the pack is a 12cm pull-string nylon sack that allows the packs to be overstuffed if necessary.
The floor plate of the sack measured 25 x 12cm, so this provides internal space of 13.5L, and I'm pretty sure if I filled it with water ( which I'm not going to do ) I could get around 15L in there, so the stated 12L maximum capacity seems well and truly reasonable.
Other features include two zip-sealed pouches, a smaller one up top around 14x20cm and a larger one at the front approximately 20 x 20cm, which protrudes from the face of the pack so that it can be easily filled when the bag is already packed.
Official dimensions though are stated on the packaging as H40xW30xD13
Two drink-holder meshes on the sides can take smaller drinks ( up to 600ml ) but are difficult to fill when the pack is heavily laden - Also, these are possibly the only weak point of the pack, being elastic webbing stitched to the outside of the pack with normal stitching. Still, as long as they are not overloaded, they should last a while, and for me without a drink-holder on the bicycle – they are quite welcome and I might search for some smaller thin-profile drink bottles to fit them without overstretching them.
The final touches are a reflective strip around the outside, and reflective lettering on the pack increasing safety. Two colours are available when I bought mine, black and dark-olive-drab, and I went the green one as I liked the look of it. At first I was a little worried about grease from the bike, but so far in a few uses, it hasn't picked up any and I'm finding it quite convenient to clip and unclip at the start and end of each ride.
The clips that hold it on.
Additional features are supposed to be what appears to be some kind of fabric coating to aid cleaning, but since I haven't dirtied mine with mud as the manufacturer's picture shows, I figure I'll wait to try that feature.
It's been quite a while since I bought something this cheap that felt so well manufactured and solid to use. It's well designed and thought out and seems more oriented to the travelling cyclist than the commuter, but I can easily fit my laptop back into the sacks and head off. I liked it enough that I bought a second one, so I can leave one permanently connected too.
About the only thing I am missing is the lack of mount points for backpack straps – Not that I want to carry it that way, but sometimes things go wrong and it would be a nice-to-have, but on the other hand, I guess the design represents a minimalistic approach, where everything is built to a reasonable standard and just the items that are likely to be necessary are attached.
The handle looks strong enough.
So if you're looking for a cheap pannier to try out, I'd say to give this one a go. It's only available from Aliexpress, and they keep your payment in escrow, so don't forget to log on and release the payments on receiving it. Delivery was in about 2 weeks, which is very fast for Aliexpress ( typical 4 to 8 weeks ) and both bags I ordered came in a similar timeframe. For the price, I'm happy that I got it – and even had I paid more I would have been satisfied with the quality of what I actually received. It comes in a heavy duty post satchel, in a retail bag, with no padding, but that seems more than sufficient for this product.
+ good things about the product
Waterproof, Heavy duty and well made. Strong webbing and reflective tape and stitching. Comes in green and black.
- bad things about the product
Drink-holder webbing was only stitched normally and may not hold up to extensive use with larger bottles.
Aliexpress is where I got this one - It's like China's version of Ebay.
Would definitely recommend.
5 out of 5.
5 out of 5.
Value for money
6 out of 5. ( Bonus point for extra satisfaction based on price ).
- Posts: 1154
- Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:00 pm
After a few months of use, the bag is still holding up well, and the external surface is pretty solid. I've noticed some light coming through the canvas from the stitches in the bottom, but no tearing yet, or any other sign of failure.
The side pouches are not so good for drink bottles. Even if convenient, I pass a mangled drink bottle in the middle of the road everyday that reminds me that bottles will bounce out of the pouches quite quickly.
The side compartments are holding up well, and although a little dirty for wear, the structure of the bag, which frequently holds heavy items, is still solid.
The bottom corner is hitting the wheel spokes at times, due to the rack I use, and the fact I don't strap the pannier down, but a cable-tie to form a basic stop has prevented that from occuring. Still, the damage from spoke strike isn't more than a dirty corner so good use there.
After a couple of months, I liked it enough I bought another for the other side, but have yet to fit it. Compared to my original cheap pannier, I am still feeling pretty happy with this one for the price I paid. Mostly, I just leave my daily tools in it, and throw my day bag in there too, but from time to time, do remove it from the rack, which has turned out easy enough, since I don't strap it down.
Still a good buy at the price.
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