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  Topic Name: Panniers? on: March 18, 2010, 08:21:43 PM
verve825


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« on: March 18, 2010, 08:21:43 PM »

Having just read Vik's thread on the Pugsley bikepacking setup sans panniers, I am ready to ask a question that will no doubt reveal me to be a real dork: what's wrong with panniers? Or rather, why do most bikepackers seem to feel so strongly about not using panniers? Is it simply a weight issue, or are there other considerations I'm unaware of? (I've used both panniers and frame bags, and see value in each approach, for whatever it's worth...)

Thanks and regards,

jb
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  Topic Name: Panniers? Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010, 04:07:05 AM
MonkeySpacePilot


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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010, 04:07:05 AM »

The problem with panniers is getting you kit weight down (and bike width) to enjoy some nice singletrack. It all depends on the length of your trip, if your going for a week or more then panniers are a good option, but I would stick to front/lowrider panniers on the back. With decent modern equipment you still should be able to carry quite enough to keep going indefinitely.
If you set up with rear and front panniers, there is a tempteation to fill all the available space.
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  Topic Name: Panniers? Reply #2 on: March 19, 2010, 06:39:47 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2010, 06:39:47 AM »

I think it depends on what you want to ride, and perhaps a lot of people on here want to ride single track. From my personal experience over the years it is a lot easier if the bike is lighter. Panniers and the racks that go with them make a bike heavy in the first place then add gear and you will end up with a pretty heavy bike.



* Starting the AZT 2004.jpg (358.64 KB, 1024x653 - viewed 1695 times.)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 07:20:39 AM by AZTtripper » Logged

  Topic Name: Panniers? Reply #3 on: March 19, 2010, 07:04:31 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2010, 07:04:31 AM »

Starting in March of 2004, 6 years ago now I rode my 2001 red, white and blue Razorback Team bike fully loaded with panniers front and back. I had so much stuff with me stove, food for up to 9 days, a heavy synthetic sleeping bag, pad and the chair kit to go with it. Sandals to wear in camp not to mention all of the things that I actually needed like tools, tubes, ect, the bike weighed in at about 75 lbs.

By 2006 I had a completely different kit, the Kona hardtail is lighter to start with one rack light weight duffel on top of that so nothing on the sides to hit during hike a bike sections. Everything is lighter on this one down sleeping bag, prolight pad, no chair kit and I never carried more then a couple of days worth of food. At least for the AZT it is never more then 3 days between towns, and I got there a lot faster and with less effort along the way. I also spent more time in town staying in rooms overnight rather then camping like I did in 04. The 06 trip was more expensive but all in all things came off a lot better getting a room sounds wimpy but in the end I was able to keep my stuff cleaner (washing bike clothes in the sink) and feed myself better (eating more fresh food rather then freeze dried).


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  Topic Name: Panniers? Reply #4 on: March 19, 2010, 07:24:16 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2010, 07:24:16 AM »

The latest kit is the lightest of all dropping the weight of the rear rack wasn't that much only a couple of lbs but it makes a big difference in how the bike rides. For starters the balanced load is way better and I can get into the same body positions as with the bike unloaded. Most importantly getting not only back behind the seat but also below it makes a big difference in the down hill sections.


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  Topic Name: Panniers? Reply #5 on: March 19, 2010, 03:42:44 PM
Done


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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2010, 03:42:44 PM »

Dork or not, I'll be attempting the CTR this year--with panniers. My bike, an old Cannondale Delta V frame, doesn't have much room for a frame bag. I don't want to compensate for the lost space by carrying a backpack since I really hate carrying stuff on my back while riding a bike. Despite the relatively extravagant capacity of my panniers, I'll be exercising some self-control and going as light as I can.

Not all panniers are horribly heavy. Check these out:
http://www.rei.com/product/799603

Aluminum racks are renowned for metal fatigue, so I'll be using a steel one.

I don't hold any illusions that this is a better setup than a "modern" frame pack configuration, but hopefully it'll work for me. If it really sucks, I'll try something different next year. But it's gotta really suck before I'll strap on a backpack!
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  Topic Name: Panniers? Reply #6 on: March 19, 2010, 05:54:20 PM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2010, 05:54:20 PM »

Toby clearly you should not wear a backpack!

Steel is real after all. Do you have a Tubus those are nice.

Those are REI branded panniers on the back of my Razorback they were light and had a large capacity, I don't think they would have held up as well as the Jandd set on the front but for the trip they were great. I gave them away in Flagstaff when the rack broke and I had the Bob sent in.

Dork or not I have no doubt you can finish the CTR. And I would even say that there are people who could be fairly competitive riding/pushing a heavier bike. Then again if you don't have a pack you may in the end have to go lighter then some who have a pack on even without panniers on their bikes.

One thing that I have learned, and then also had to relearn, lighter is always better for making good time on a bike. No mater the length of the trip if there are stores along the way there is no point in trying to carry too much food, even if I don't night ride I can get by with a simple camp kit. Tho I do like my new lightweight stove and ti-pot kit.

At one point in my weight shaving but still using panniers days I do recall doing short trips with just one, still had the pack tho. I guess I have been wearing one for so long I just can't relate to the whole hating on the backpack thing. Again I see it as a balance thing, I have carried way too much at times but I can't see having all of the weight on the bike either. Plus I really like, bite valve hose feed water access.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 06:02:15 PM by AZTtripper » Logged

  Topic Name: Panniers? Reply #7 on: April 03, 2010, 08:15:32 PM
Arctos

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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2010, 08:15:32 PM »

The distance,duration, season, weather and altitude expected have determined my equipment and method of carrying the equipment on the bike over the last forty years of bike touring.

For a two month trip in 1986 in the Andes of Ecuador I carried 35# in two small front panniers and a Gregory Day and a Half pack strapped to the rear rack. Conditions at 5000 meters/16500 feet were snow, wind and ice and single digit temps at night so I carried a four season tent and sleeping bag and lots of clothes layers. Yet once off the higher sections shorts and tanks tops were needed. I always prepare for the worst.

On the Divide Ride from Banff South to Mexico I carried 18# in two front panniers and a dry bag stuffer from Carousel Design Works instead of the backpack on the rear rack.The bike, panniers, racks, spares and all non-consumable equipment weighed under 45 pounds. The benefits of lower weight were many: no mechanical problems; easier climbing; longer distances for the same effort; easier bike handling on difficult terrain.

 Part of the weight loss was from better and lighter gear now available 20+ years later. The other part of the weight reduction came from the conditions- lower altitude, no four season conditions, better supply points, fewer clothes, warmer weather and probably from more experience in judging what to take. Knowing what I need and leaving home what I might want to take to feel as comfortable and safe as at home.

 Panniers and racks are useful and often necessary tools not to be disdained or discounted just because others are favoring the latest and greatest.

So lighten your equipment load so it fits the conditions, carry it in any way that suits your budget and have a great ride no matter how you carry your equipment on your bike.
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  Topic Name: Panniers? Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 10:57:11 AM
Mike Brown


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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 10:57:11 AM »

I did the CT in 2007 with rear panniers- the Jandd small ones.  My entire set-up can be seen on the personal set-ups page.  It worked great on technical singletrack- I rode every single inch of descending single track except one short section immediately above the last segment to Durango.  The only bad thing about it is hike a bikeing- it makes it hard to walk next to and makes it feel like you're pulling rather than pushing a lot of weight. 
I'll keep using panniers as long as they hold together- they work fine and I don't have the disposable cash to spend money replacing something that works fine.
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  Topic Name: Panniers? Reply #9 on: April 05, 2010, 11:24:34 AM
Arctos

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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2010, 11:24:34 AM »

Mike said: The only bad thing about it is hike a biking- it makes it hard to walk next to and makes it feel like you're pulling rather than pushing a lot of weight.

I looked at your setup photo. My setup uses the same pieces but in different locations.

 I have used two front panniers and a dry bag stuffer on the rear rack top for decades with good results on/off pavement and on single track or goat track while touring.

  You mention panniers interfering with your legs while pushing the bike.Try moving your Jandd panniers to a front rack like OMM and keeping the dry bag on the rear rack. This solves the interference problem by allowing you to walk/push from right next to your bike.
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  Topic Name: Panniers? Reply #10 on: April 05, 2010, 05:33:18 PM
Mike Brown


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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2010, 05:33:18 PM »

I don't like how front panniers effect my front steering.  Not worth the trade off.  I road tour with the Hurrincane Jannd bags on the back and the same handlebar bag- although on my next tour, I may use front bags too- so that my wife can carry less stuff. 
YAHH Mule!! 

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  Topic Name: Panniers? Reply #11 on: April 06, 2010, 05:09:43 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2010, 05:09:43 AM »

I can't see front only off road, I have tried it and the results weren't great I went over the bars actually. Seems like it would be a pain to pull the front wheel up and the loss of the extra traction in the back would be a real downer.

Mike, if you are waiting for the Jandd panniers to wear out you are going to have to wait a long time. Have you tried to get everything into just one, in the past I used to get by with just one (on the drive side) this gives you at least one side to walk on. It's been a long time but I don't recall any problems with it feeling off balance.
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