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Pannier Advice

laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,752
edited July 2017 in Tour & expedition
Having done several supported tours both domestically and overseas (SE Asia), I would like to dip the toe into something a little more independent.

To this end, I was delighted to discover (after many years of not noticing!) that my "winter/wet bike" , an old Specialized Allez has, what appear to be rack mounting points. These are located at the top of the seat stays (hex bolts) and at the bottom by the cassette where there is a small hole either side with a small black plug in (I have not taken the plugs out yet).

The fixing points at the top of the seat stay look like anything attached to them could foul the brake caliper(?) and I am totally unaware of what happens with regard to the holes at the other end of the stays, suffice to say that I think they are there for a rack.

I have looked at a few racks (£25-35) on line that look like they have the right bits in the right places such as this:

https://www.rutlandcycling.com/97830/pr ... -rack.aspx (incidentally, do the tubes with the holes in at the top spin round so that they would not foul the brake calipers?)

and I quite like the look of this system for panniers:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vaude-10828-VA ... +karakorum (I just like the fact it looks compact, neat and tidy compared to a few others I have looked at)

As the good lady will be coming with me, it is almost certain that we will not be camping (so Hotels/B'n'Bs) and so I think something of this size would be fine for a week or so (including the odd laundry stop).

Any and all advice on fitting racks/panniers to the Allez and pointers in terms of which kit to buy would be greatly appreciated. Initially, we are looking at Ireland and possibly Europe (Northern and Southern)

Thanks in advance
Wilier Izoard XP
«1

Posts

  • They don't look terribly waterproof. When it comes to panniers, I think Ortlieb is the way to go
  • I have a set of Agu panniers (but not those particular ones) and a pair of Ortliebs. I much prefer Agus. They fit more securely on the rack than the Ortliebs and they have pockets. You have to pay more to get Ortliebs with pockets or retro fit pockets to the basic panniers.
    I always use a white liner (bin bag) inside my panniers because it is easier to find things against a light colour and they have numerous other uses.
    I've never had a problem with things getting wet.
  • Those panniers seem to put a lot of weight above the rack so I would not use them myself as the bike will be less stable. I would go for a pair of CarraDry Rear Panniers by Carradice or similar if it is you and your wife credit card touring and no front panniers and none on her bike.
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,752
    Thanks both very useful

    Ugo - The only critical comments I have seen about the Vaude system was that it lacks water tightness . . . which would be an important thing in Ireland. You seem to have confirmed this.

    Ortlieb seem to be the benchmark from what little research I've done.

    Crossborderreiver - thanks for the heads up on Agu. I've had a look and these look great value:

    https://www.athleteshop.co.uk/agu-klick ... 7Qod_UsG5w

    I can't see a "top box" bag by Agu??

    Is there anything that I need to be aware of when matching panniers to rack and rack to bike?
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,752
    culverwood wrote:
    Those panniers seem to put a lot of weight above the rack so I would not use them myself as the bike will be less stable. I would go for a pair of CarraDry Rear Panniers by Carradice or similar if it is you and your wife credit card touring and no front panniers and none on her bike.

    That's something I hadn't considered (weight above rack) thank you very much. Will have a look at Carradice as well - thank you . . . I'm still trying to work out whether there is a universal fitting system or whether I have to match bike/rack/panniers
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • whoofwhoof Posts: 756
    A quick look at the rack you linked to and it looks like it has enough adjustment to clear most brake calipers. However some manufactures put the threaded attachments in regardless of the frame size and even if they are not accessible. Mrs Whoof has a very small Giant OCR and there is no way any rack mounts could be fitted to the top pair of holes in the frame.
    She has set her rack up like the link below (poor pic but I think it's a Specialzed Allez).

    http://s5.photobucket.com/user/BluePete ... l.jpg.html

    They have put one of these adapters around the seat pin, mae sure you buy the correct diameter for your seat-pin and I wouldn't use one on a carbon seatpin.

    http://www.tredz.co.uk/.M-Part-Seat-Cla ... Asbx8P8HAQ.

    In terms of luggage I can manage a weeks B and B touring in the UK with one Ortleib roller classic (might are 14 years old and still going strong). Mrs Whoof also has one and if we get to a really big climb I'll take both.
    Someone will probably reply and say it will unbalance the bike but the only time I have found this is with one large pannier crammed full heavy shopping; 4 pints of milk, tins, 2.5kg potatoes etc.
  • laurentian wrote:

    Ugo - The only critical comments I have seen about the Vaude system was that it lacks water tightness . . . which would be an important thing in Ireland. You seem to have confirmed this.

    Ortlieb seem to be the benchmark from what little research I've done.

    I have no direct experience, but that type of fabric reminds me of Cordura, which is sold as water resistant, but it soaks and gets wet like nothing else. I have never managed to get my Ortlieb panniers wet inside.
    It's true, they don't have pockets, but you have to get off the bike to access a pocket anyway... so if it takes 30 seconds or 3 minutes to access what you need, I don't see it as a life changing difference. Keep food and a waterproof in your jersey rear pockets, you will only need to access the pannier in an emergency or when you stop... the lack of pockets is not an issue.

    Zips tend to seize in time, when they get wet and dirty, which is the reason Ortlieb don't do zips and pockets
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    another thumbs up for Ortlieb rollers .... I dont use them for touring, but testament to how hard wearing they are I use them for commuting ... every day ... lugging laptops, the shopping, change of clothes etc etc ... through every type of weather, opening and closing them each and every day, taking them on and off the bike every day.

    they work now as well as they did the 1st day I got them ,,, they are solid and badass bits of kit !
  • Like my ortleib's a lot - only issue is lack of side pockets for wallets, cameras, lock, tools etc.
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,752
    whoof wrote:
    A quick look at the rack you linked to and it looks like it has enough adjustment to clear most brake calipers. However some manufactures put the threaded attachments in regardless of the frame size and even if they are not accessible. Mrs Whoof has a very small Giant OCR and there is no way any rack mounts could be fitted to the top pair of holes in the frame.
    She has set her rack up like the link below (poor pic but I think it's a Specialzed Allez).

    http://s5.photobucket.com/user/BluePete ... l.jpg.html

    They have put one of these adapters around the seat pin, mae sure you buy the correct diameter for your seat-pin and I wouldn't use one on a carbon seatpin.

    http://www.tredz.co.uk/.M-Part-Seat-Cla ... Asbx8P8HAQ.

    In terms of luggage I can manage a weeks B and B touring in the UK with one Ortleib roller classic (might are 14 years old and still going strong). Mrs Whoof also has one and if we get to a really big climb I'll take both.
    Someone will probably reply and say it will unbalance the bike but the only time I have found this is with one large pannier crammed full heavy shopping; 4 pints of milk, tins, 2.5kg potatoes etc.

    Thanks - great advice on the fixing . . . think I'll have a pedal to LBS and see how a few racks look when offered up to the bike.

    Ortlieb look the way to go and all of your advice and help is really appreciated
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,959
    I'd vote Carradice though Ortleib are fine. Carradice are nice because they are more repairable. Damage an Ortleib and you buy a replacement - damage a Carradice and you just stitch up the hole and maybe send it back to the girls at Nelson where they make them for a proper repair. They also have external pockets which are really handy - no zips incase Ugo is worried! All the tools fit in the pockets of the rear panniers.
    That said, the benefits of Carradice are probably more noticeable in hot climates where breathability is an issue.
    Ortleibs are also good and nobody regrets those either but personally I wouldn't overdo the roller variety. My mate uses these and they take a ridiculous amount of time to open and close - and you don't hear of people who bought the normal version complaining about water getting in. The only real benefit of the roller type is that they stay dry inside when submerged - so they are overkill unless you are expecting seriously deep fords.
    Overally, waterproofness is a bit over egged as a problem. Just use waterproof stuff sacks for everything (eg Podsacs from Planet X) - they come in different colours so you can just whip out whatever you want based on the colour bag its in. If the inside of the bag gets wet (which is unlikely) it doesn't really matter.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Rolf F wrote:
    Ortleibs are also good and nobody regrets those either but personally I wouldn't overdo the roller variety.

    You can buy the roller variety for 80 quid for the pair, whereas the non roller come at 120... I guess it's the reason people buy the roller
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    Rolf F wrote:
    My mate uses these and they take a ridiculous amount of time to open and close

    eh ?? ..... it takes about 2 seconds .. there is a compression buckle (as you find on rucksacks), 1 hand squeezes tabs together buckle opens ... 99% of the time the bag unrolls itself, the rest of the time you use 2 hands and just open the bag, like you would a normal bag that the top has been folded over on.

    as for closing

    hold bag shut, roll the top over 1-3 times put buckle in the clip

    If you were drunk it would take 2 seconds maybe ..... I don't get whats taking him ages ? Its quicker than a zip

    perhaps it does take ages and I am some kind of super genius ?
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,368
    I agree with Rolf. I've used rollers and lidded type. Rollers are more hassle and slower to do up and undo and less practical because the lid flap is ideal for putting things like wet waterproofs under and keeping them away from the interior contents. You can also use the lid to expand capacity at one end for things like tent poles and Thermarest chair kit which would be too long for rollers.

    My favoured system after many years of cycle camping is for Ortlieb Bike Packer Classics at the rear containing clothes, sleeping bag and everything I need to keep dry. No need to store them in a separate waterproof bag. I also put my tent in the rear panniers in a plastic carrier bag to stop any transfer of water to my clothes. At the front I use Carradice Super C cotton duck universal front panniers for food, camping stove, pots and pans etc, with tools, bike spares, specs case, wallet and anything else I need to get at quickly in the pockets. Damp does eventually soak through the Carradice panniers in heavy and prolonged rain. You won't go wrong with Ortlieb or Carradice - I recommend both very highly. Don't buy cheap. You will regret it.

    I don't use handlebar bag or have anything on top of the rear carrier - I like the ease of storing everything in just four easily removable panniers, and handling is better with all the weight low down and balanced front and rear.
  • fat daddy wrote:
    Rolf F wrote:
    My mate uses these and they take a ridiculous amount of time to open and close

    eh ?? ..... it takes about 2 seconds ..

    He complains about that and then spends hours adjusting his mudguards so that they don't rub against the tyre.... :lol::wink:
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,959
    fat daddy wrote:
    Rolf F wrote:
    My mate uses these and they take a ridiculous amount of time to open and close

    eh ?? ..... it takes about 2 seconds ..

    He complains about that and then spends hours adjusting his mudguards so that they don't rub against the tyre.... :lol::wink:

    And you complain about me being stroppy; is the British winter getting you down or is it pmt? Not quite sure where I said I spent hours adjusting my mudguards - I thought it was you that was having the problem not having worked out how to put a mudguard fitted bike on a stand without taking the mudguards off.

    Fat daddy - I would love to see you taking two seconds to open Ortlieb rollers and the same closing them. Maybe my mate would appreciate knowing the technique. It didn't look like there was anything obvious to speed it up but sometimes there is a knack.

    But anyway, the rollers really aren't in any way necessary. They add nothing over the conventional opening variety unless you want to go swimming with them.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,959
    Mercia Man wrote:
    I don't use handlebar bag or have anything on top of the rear carrier - I like the ease of storing everything in just four easily removable panniers, and handling is better with all the weight low down and balanced front and rear.

    I quite like a bar bag - I can put various electrical censored in it and charge them off the dynamo whilst riding. Also, it unclips quickly and then serves as a camera bag off the bike. Unfortunately, neither Topeak nor Carradice make bar bags that suit though - they are just big boxes with minimal pockets. The Topeak I use is functionally fine but a bit flimsy. It's adequate.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Rolf F wrote:

    But anyway, the rollers really aren't in any way necessary. They add nothing over the conventional opening variety unless you want to go swimming with them.

    Like everything, you get used to close them failry quickly... roll/thread/click/pull... but yes, the other type are just as good and more practical... if significantly spendier
    When I bought my rollers 7 years ago, they were the only ones available

    I am a bit biased towards Carradice: I once bought a saddle bag, admittely it was cheap, but it was rubbish, worse than the very mediocre Topeak & co., of which I have destryed many
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,368
    I have had my original shiny green PVC Ortlieb Bike Packer Classics for something like 20 years. They are as good now as when new - and still totally waterproof. The price difference between Rollers and flap-closed Bike Backers is not as great as ugo suggests. Spa Cycles currently have Back Roller Classics for £94 and Bike Packer Classics for £108. It's the smaller Front Rollers which are around £80. Carradice cotton duck Super C are £78 front and £102 back, with the PVC/polyester Carradry £47 and £72.

    All in my view are good buys. Far better than some of the cheaper stuff I've tried over the years. There's a reason why Ortlieb and Carradice are so popular with serious cycle tourists.

    My Carradice cotton duck saddle bag is also just as good as when it was new 20 years ago. I prefer the faded grey look to its new black appearance. However, I've had to replace one of the leather pocket straps as the original was nibbled away by mice in my outhouse. Those rodents also have a liking for my Campag Ergo lever rubber hoods. But they leave my Shimano hoods alone.
  • Mercia Man wrote:
    Those rodents also have a liking for my Campag Ergo lever rubber hoods. But they leave my Shimano hoods alone.

    They know where quality is... :lol:

    There is probably latex in the Campag and not in the Shimano
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,368
    Mercia Man wrote:
    Those rodents also have a liking for my Campag Ergo lever rubber hoods. But they leave my Shimano hoods alone.

    They know where quality is... :lol:

    There is probably latex in the Campag and not in the Shimano

    It cost me more than £20 to replace my chewed hoods. I'm also worried the mice may take a fancy to my Brooks leather saddle. So I drape my Campag tourer with old sheets to avoid any more damage.
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,752
    Folks

    It looks like it's down to Carradice or Ortlieb. Your advice is really appreciated - just need to work a route out now . . .
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,752
    Gents

    Thanks to the sage advice herein, I am now the owner of a pair of Ortlieb panniers.

    Are there any particular pitfalls, recommendations do's or don'ts when it comes to racks?

    Thanks in advance
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • culverwoodculverwood Posts: 256
    Just simple ones about making sure it is compatible with the bike. The lightweight ones have less structure to support the pannier but I have never had a problem with that type riding on road in Europe.
  • peatpeat Posts: 1,243
    Depending on the thickness of the pannier rail, they can rattle a little.
    I always wrap a little bit of gorilla tape around the contact points to ensure a snug (not too snug so that the clip doesn't engage properly) and silent fit.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,090
    peat wrote:
    Depending on the thickness of the pannier rail, they can rattle a little.
    I always wrap a little bit of gorilla tape around the contact points to ensure a snug (not too snug so that the clip doesn't engage properly) and silent fit.

    +1
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    peat wrote:
    Depending on the thickness of the pannier rail, they can rattle a little.
    I always wrap a little bit of gorilla tape around the contact points to ensure a snug (not too snug so that the clip doesn't engage properly) and silent fit.

    Good point, and stops the metal of the rack being worn over time and many miles. My black rack that recently retired had three pieces of silver at the contact points where the paint had rubbed away. It had done 15-20,000 miles though!
  • mea00csfmea00csf Posts: 558
    Another vote for the Ortliebs, i have front and back rollers and have never had any issues with them. I've taken them 5800miles across America, and on lots of smaller tours and use one to commute everyday and they're still going strong. The fact that virtually everyone I met on the TransAm had Ortliebs says a lot!

    For racks, unless you buy a bike that comes with a rack on it, I haven't seen anyone hasn't had to bodge it in some way. I use a standard Topeak rack for disk brake bikes with an assortment of B&Q hardware for my commute bike and stole my boyfriends Old Man Mountain front and rear racks when i did the TransAm. The old man mountain racks are excellent and the fitting was super easy as the bottom went through the wheel axle and the top I used P-clips to attach to the stays. They do a huge assortment of connections to the bike. They're stocked through Carradice and are a bit pricey, but it was the only way i could get the rack on my bike without meccano-ing something together! (Not great when your planning a BIG trip). It's worth keeping the PClips in mind in case any attachment points break (I have seen the small lugs snap off a frame, we stopped the guy trying to get it welded back on and got him to a hardware store for Pclips.)

    Another tip is to take bungee cords, very handy for any extra stuff you need to carry for a short time, just bungee it to the top of your rack.

    I loved the bar bag, really handy and on shorter trips we've used just small (front) panniers on the rear rack with a bar bag for electronics, cameras, wallets, snacks etc. You need one which you can take off the bike quickly and easily. While i liked how waterproof the Ortlieb one is, and that i could keep everything valuable in it, i found that it tended to slide down and because of the geometry of my bike would sometimes graze the front wheel. No-one else seemed to have this problem though so it could just have been something to do with my setup.

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  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    mea00csf wrote:
    For racks, unless you buy a bike that comes with a rack on it, I haven't seen anyone hasn't had to bodge it in some way.

    Eh? I have never bodged one, have them on all of my bikes. I know some folk have to but there are more who dont have to. Main reasons are if a) the bike doesnt have the mounts, b) the disc brakes get in the way or c) the rim caliper gets in the way. b) and c) are pretty rare these days, especially with disc calipers mounted on the chainstay rather than seatstay.
  • mea00csfmea00csf Posts: 558
    fair enough, just my experience!

    Perhaps because I haven't met people with touring bikes, they've all been mountain bikes or road bikes, and fitting a rack was an after thought. Still at least it shows that if it doesn't fit perfectly there are ways around it, through the axle and p-clips to the stays is something that can be fitted to any bike, regardless of whether there are mounting points.

    It was a disc brake mountain bike though, only way I could manage it without a load of random hardware brackets!
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