uhhuhlex: Me posing by my isight with new glasses. (Default)
[personal profile] uhhuhlex posting in [community profile] bicycles
So, I've been pondering panniers for Doolittle for, like, ages. With a folding bike, a kindly and more knowledgeable man told me, they have to be small enough to avoid catching your foot as you pedal. I've looked at all sorts of options but yesterday I finally stopped dithering and ordered a double rear pannier. It was advertised on a folding bike site, so I crossed my fingers and hoped it would do the job. It was also rather cheap considering the prices I've seen for some types, coming in under £20.

I thought this might be a good opportunity to ask about if other people's experience of cycle luggage. Do you have panniers? What kind? Do you love or loathe them? I notice a lot of people park up with the pannier still attached - have you ever had anything pilfered, including the luggage itself?

I took a ride to the library with panniers full of books and was pleased to see that not only was my back not sweaty and gross, but my upper body felt better when twisting to check for traffic when overtaking those pesky cars parked blocking a whole lane (like, seriously, people think bikes are a menace on the road?). I then headed into the city to get some shopping - and cycling back with loads of market goods certainly felt a lot better - especially with no plastic bags hanging from the handlebars for once

The only problem is that for lugging it up the stairs, panniers are *not* handy. So I probably won't use them all the time.


Date: 2010-04-28 02:35 pm (UTC)
juliet: (audax)
From: [personal profile] juliet
I have Ortlieb panniers (I usually only use one at a time) and love them very, very much indeed. Also I love that Ortlieb sell a repair kit for if you manage to put a hole in the (actually very tough) fabric.

I don't leave my panniers on the bike (unless I'm touring & in the middle of nowhere); they have a quick-release catch so I just lift 'em off when I'm done locking up, and sling them over my shoulder with the provided shoulder-strap.

I seriously hate riding with a rucksack or messenger bag -- my back gets sweaty, and it makes my shoulders hurt. Pannier all the way :)

Date: 2010-04-28 02:40 pm (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
I have a paid of Jandds, and yeah, I like them quite a bit.

I do take them off the bike whenever I go in anywhere, and I wish they had better carry-straps.

I have a backpack, too, and sometimes that's actually nice to wear on the bike because it keeps my back warm and it's easier to carry in and out of places. I am expecting that for tandem-camping this summer I will have to put the panniers on the rack and wear the backpack, unless I want to put a front rack on the tandem (which I don't think I do).

Date: 2010-04-28 03:53 pm (UTC)
rivenwanderer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rivenwanderer
Here are mine:

I'm experimenting with leaving them on my bike by default rather than just strapping them on when I know I'll need to carry lots of things. They don't get in the way too much, and there have been enough spontaneous errand afternoons for it to seem like it's been worth it.

I leave them on all the time because it's a huge pain to take them off and put them on again. I'm hoping that and their clashes-with-everything color scheme is enough to deter theft.

Date: 2010-04-28 08:11 pm (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
Ah, see, here in the bike-theft capital of western North America, I have literally had people break my headlights into pieces to rip them off my bike. Cute bags like those would last, er, about 20 minutes downtown. *G*

(Every year, someone comes through here on a bike tour and gets their gear stolen because they leave their bike propped up against a post and go in to use the bathroom without locking it to something. Every year.)

Date: 2010-04-28 03:48 pm (UTC)
temve: Artichokes on a tea towel (Default)
From: [personal profile] temve
I have a pair of waterproof Vaudes (essentially the same as Ortliebs and the same price category, they just happened to come in a colour that matched my bike so I bought the Vaudes), and I like them a lot.

Usually, I have at least one of them on the bike at all times, but since the pannier only contains my cheap-and-cheerful bike helmet, emergency tools and maybe my gloves I don't worry about anything getting stolen, and so far nothing has.

When I go shopping, I take both panniers and bless the quick-release mechanism and narrow but tough shoulder strap - they make it easy to load them up right at the store/market, ride home and then carry stuff upstairs without having to repack.

The only drawback I suppose is their weight - almost 2 pounds each - but since my bike is a pretty heavy girl herself, that doesn't really make much of a difference :)

Date: 2010-04-28 05:26 pm (UTC)
zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
From: [personal profile] zingerella
I have a stupid-expensive Arkel Métropolitan for day-to-day commuting.

It contains makeup case, small toiletries bag (I change at work), pump, sunglasses, whatever work I've brought home, sunscreen, and the clothes I'm going to wear at work that day.

I do take it off the bike every time I park anywhere—I can't afford to lose the bag, let alone the prescription sunglasses (anyone who wants the work, however, is welcome to it.)

The Arkel's quick-release system is pretty awesome, and the bag is totally waterproof, nearly indestructible, and large enough for me. The fact that it converts easily to a shoulder bag is another plus.

I have another pair of panniers that I don't use as often. They're an earlier version of these ones from MEC. They're waterproof, which is great. But because they lack any sort of shoulder strap, as well as pockets, I use them only for touring, where I compartmentalize my belongings by means of zippered pouches. For city use, they're just awkward.

Date: 2010-04-28 07:18 pm (UTC)
aedifica: Me looking down at laptop (off screen).  Short hair. (Default)
From: [personal profile] aedifica
I use a pannier and I vastly prefer it to biking with a backpack. I do always carry it with me when I leave the bike, but it has a shoulder strap so that's fairly easy to do. (Not always comfortable, because sometimes the parts that hook it onto the rack dig into my side, but easier than if it had nothing but a small loop of webbing for a handhold.)

Date: 2010-04-28 11:05 pm (UTC)
copracat: Part of an illustration of a lady on a bike (Treadly)
From: [personal profile] copracat
I had panniers on my old bike and they were fantasticly handy, particularly for shopping and going to the laundrette. I had two big panniers that would fit a week's washing.

I'm waiting on delivery of the rack for my bike and plan to get the kind of pannier that sits as a small stiff bag on your rack - good for lock and handbag - with sides that can be unzipped to make two panniers hanging down as well.

I love my basket, but if it's got maximum weight in it (about 4kg or 8-9 ish pounds) it effects the steering a little.

I've seen panniers that are also shoulder bags, which might make the lugging up stairs easier. They're at the more expensive end, of course.

Date: 2010-04-29 09:42 pm (UTC)
alien8: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alien8
I don't really like Panniers.

I have a Carradice SQR Slim (http://www.carradice.co.uk/sqr-saddlepacks/sqr-slim.shtml) and use it on most of my bikes - why? it takes a 15" MBP plus shoes plus other stuff with no issues and with Moulton/Brompton Panniers are a total pain and would be too small to be of use.

On a Brompton I'd use the front bag - it kinda fits with the 'urban' thing.

YMMV of course :)

Date: 2010-04-30 01:47 pm (UTC)
davidcook: (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidcook
I have a Topeak rack and bag - the rack is something like this one, and the bag like this.
The bag slides along a rail on the rack, and locks into place quite firmly. The pannier bags spend most of the time zipped up on the sides of the main bag (which is large enough for the stuff I take to/from work). And I can slide the bag off in about three seconds (so I never leave it attached to the bike when I'm out and about).


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