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Pannier recommendations?

the_hundredth_idiotthe_hundredth_idiot Posts: 813
edited June 2016 in Commuting chat
In the summer, I tend to cycle from home to work and back once a week - in one day and back later in the week. It's quite a long way (approx 45 miles) so takes too much time to do more frequently.

I've been carrying my laptop in a little 15l rucksack but it does get quite uncomfortable after a couple of hours so I'm thinking about a rack and panniers. The Tortec Velocity seems perfect for the rack but I'm struggling making a decision on the panniers.

I tend to carry my laptop (as I'm a flexi-worker so am not always in the same office) plus bits and pieces like phone, wallet, keys, basic tools. It would be nice to have a bit of space to be able to carry a change of clothes and a pair of shoes on occasion - saves me having to always plan in advance to have everything in the right place - which suggests one small pannier when I only need to carry my laptop and two small panniers when I also want to carry a change of clothes.

I know Ortlieb are usually a good bet but the downside is that they are just big sacks - it would be handy to have a few pockets for the bits and pieces.

Any tips? Cheers.
Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.


  • menthelmenthel Posts: 2,484
    Ortlieb, there are some pockets and they have a few different models!
    RIP commute...
    Sometimes seen bimbling around on a purple Fratello Disc or black and red Aprire Vincenza.
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    Ortlieb. Stand up well to punishment
  • DanielCoffeyDanielCoffey Posts: 142
    You could get individual fabric bags for the things you want to put in the panniers. Just imagine you are touring with sets of things in stuff sacks and then put the stuff sacks in the panniers.

    If you do this, you are not restricted to panniers with internal compartments. That opens up your options to include panniers by UPSO (owned by Carradice) at who do rear panniers in recycled lorry tarp for £45 each pannier.

    I should add I am not yet an UPSO owner but am looking at them too.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Carradice cotton duck - lasts forever and repairs forever. Mostly a big open space like an Ortlieb though you do get a handy external pocket which is great for the bike stuff. Podsacs or similar to divide stuff up inside the pannier - waterproof and airtight so you can put a shirt in them and leave air in so it is like a balloon and doesn't cause the shirt to get crumpled. You wouldn't need more than a pair of rear panniers. To be honest, you probably only need one rear unless you want to camp at the office.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,050
    Don't do what I did this morning and leave the top open whilst faffing around inside, nice puddle in the bottom for my clothes to sit in.

    Btw those pod sac thingy from PX lose their waterproofing pretty quickly
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • pigeontoespigeontoes Posts: 73
    spasypaddy wrote:
    i use these. for the price i dont think theres much better out there ... r-EV146593

    I use the Ortlieb Classic front rollers which are little different from these. There is an inside pocket and a small zip pocket, I find I can easily organise my stuff in there. Normally only use one bag but sometimes take two if I've got a laptop and paperwork. The great thing is they are completely bombproof, it poured it down on the way in yesterday, I was drenched but the pannier contents were bone dry. They are reasonably low profile, particularly when they are behind my fat legs, and I'm actually faster than I was when using a rucksack - probably because I'm more comfortable.
  • Coach HCoach H Posts: 1,092 ... e/?geoc=US

    Great quality with good fixings, particularly for the price.

    OK Ortlieb, Carradice or Vaude they are not, but for commuting or short tours how can you go wrong?
    All you need to waterproof the contents is a roll of rubble sacks from ScrewFix (or others) to line them with. Roll over the tops of the rubble sacks to make them as watertight as anything else. The other benefit being that if you do get water in the rubble sack you just use another one. Ortliebs, et al, may stop water/liquids from getting in but they also stop it getting out, then its a right faff to get the insides dry.
    Coach H. (Dont ask me for training advice - 'It's not about the bike')
  • essex-commuteressex-commuter Posts: 2,188
    Front Roller Classics for me. Couple of stuff sacs inside, sorted. Been using them for 6 years now, few marks on them but still brilliant. I bought a pair and occasionally use 2 if I have to carry my laptop (once month no more probably) but if my main one ever wears out I will just start using the other, they are 100% reversible. Can't see them ever wearing out if I'm honest.
  • crakercraker Posts: 1,739
    edited June 2016
    A quick thumbs up for some Alturas I bought as my first internet bike purchase ... 15 years ago ... no idea where I got them from, I paid £50 at the time (pricy-ish) but for me its a lesson on spending good money to get quality product. Panniers are a pain when clips break or they lose their rigidity or they're not adjustable enough.

    Personally I'd worry more about build quality than waterproofness. You can get a plastic bag for things that need to stay dry.
  • Thank for the responses. Here's where I am:
    > Ortlieb front rollers - probably the sensible choice - clearly good quality, well priced, does what I need
    > Upso - a little more expensive but probably all I need (and one Upso is cheaper than a pair of Ortliebs) and feels a bit more individual
    > Thule - some nice touches (for example, the way the pannier clips fold out of the way when carrying so they don't bang against you), feels good quality, but quite a bit more expensive so perhaps not worth it for what I use it for.

    I'll think about is a little more (can't rush these decisions ...)
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • Bought an Upso!

    The Ortlieb was probably the head's choice, but I have a soft spot for Carradice - I like their retro seatpacks and they seem a bit more unusual. The Upso turned up last week - haven't had a chance to use it yet but it looks very solidly built and waterproof.

    Thanks for the pointer.
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
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