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Panniers

Old 08-18-19, 06:16 PM
  #1  
JesseMN
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Panniers

Currently I am trying to figure out what rear bicycle panniers to purchase. Should I purchase new or preowned? I really want to try them out see how they go and I am planning to do some bicycle packing on some weekends. To possibly go on tour in the next couple of years. All help is appreciated.
Thank you,
Jesse
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Old 08-18-19, 07:40 PM
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boomhauer
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I bought some cheap panniers in 1991 to see if I would like bike touring. I finally bought some nice ones in 2015.
(The cheap one still work just fine, just not as water proof or as nice)
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Old 08-18-19, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by JesseMN View Post
Currently I am trying to figure out what rear bicycle panniers to purchase. Should I purchase new or preowned? I really want to try them out see how they go and I am planning to do some bicycle packing on some weekends. To possibly go on tour in the next couple of years. All help is appreciated.
Thank you,
Jesse
If you purchase used, you own them, no returns. I think REI has one of the more liberal return policies as well as OK selection, thus you can sort of ďtry them outĒ.

Or just pony up the bucks and get Ortliebs.
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Old 08-18-19, 08:38 PM
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If you can find some used Arkel panniers buy them. They come with a transferable lifetime warranty.
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Old 08-18-19, 09:35 PM
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Somewhat off the common path but I bought a pair of Carradice bags I am pretty happy with. Here is a thread I posted about them a while ago. Carradice is an English company that is well known for its more traditional duck cotton saddlebags but the Carradry line is waterproof PVC.

https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1...carradice.html
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Old 08-18-19, 11:46 PM
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If you are going to look at Ortliebs, I wouldn't buy used versus new. If you utilize E-bay and Google shopping, and be patient over a little time, you can catch some good deals on them for pretty much what you will see them go for used on Ebay or Craigslist anyway. They don't lose much value if they are in good shape, but if you can get them at even "almost" the same cost as used, go new so you have warranties and know for sure there is no problems, leaks, tears, etc...

As for what the guy said above about the Arkel's +1 if you can find a set of newer styles used for a good price. They are another type that hold their value and hard to find for sale used. Or at least that was my experience.
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Old 08-19-19, 01:35 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by JesseMN View Post
Currently I am trying to figure out what rear bicycle panniers to purchase. Should I purchase new or preowned? I really want to try them out see how they go and I am planning to do some bicycle packing on some weekends. To possibly go on tour in the next couple of years. All help is appreciated.
Thank you,
Jesse
You are using the term "bike packing" which can mean different things to different people. And you say that you are trying to "figure out" what to purchase and then to "try them out".

Based on that, I'd suggest not investing too much until you know what suits you, then you can go on the bargain hunt.

There's nothing wrong with used quality panniers. Check fittings and look closely for abrasions that may have damaged the waterproof integrity of the material.
A set of Ortliebs will run for years unless subjected to abuse.
The only thing is that if you're not familiar with Panniers you may not know what to look for in terms of damage/weak points. If you have a friend with panniers, perhaps they can help.

Then when you know what you want in terms of size/material/mounting system you can look for your "proper" panniers. Then you always have your older ones to share with a friend or to do your shopping.

I give this advice based on the fact that you are still not sure what you need.
If you knew what you needed I'd suggest buying new. Quality panniers are a long term investment that pays, off in my experience.
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Old 08-19-19, 02:46 AM
  #8  
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Rear panniers range anywhere from about 30 liters to over 50 for the pair, in the low 40s is a common average. Do you have any idea on how much volume you would need? Some people pack much lighter than others.

Have you decided on waterproof versus non-waterproof? (I consider coated nylon to be non-waterproof.)

And how important is it for you to have external pockets?

When you are looking at panniers, the attachment hardware that holds the pannier to the rack is not trivial. A friend of mine bought some nice big panniers for a great price, then figured out that the hooks that were riveted onto them were not in the right place for his rack so he had to drill out some rivets and move the hooks. Fortunately, he had the tools and knowledge on how to do that. The better panniers have hooks that can be shifted in position quite easily with minimal effort.

There are many choices to consider. I think you should consider some of these other issues first, and then once you know what you want, then decide if you would rather look for a bargain or new.
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Old 08-19-19, 06:01 AM
  #9  
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On my first bicycle tour (I was a teenager in the '70s in Chicago) I'd never even heard the word "pannier." For your first tour, you can use gym bags, day packs, bungee cords--be creative. Some tourists make their own out of kitty litter buckets. If you like the activity, you can upgrade your gear as you go. Or just keep dirt-bagging it.

Start looking for end-of-season sales, used stuff on Craigslist and eBay, ask people you meet while touring, etc. If there's a bike co-op nearby, they may have a bin of used packs you can rummage through.
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Old 08-19-19, 09:43 AM
  #10  
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A word of caution, avoid anything made by Axiom. I bought 2 pair used from a guy, and though one pair is fine, the other pair literally fell apart on me. 🙄
The bad ones had large pockets on the side, that were never sewn on at the factory. They were basically just glued on, and fell apart in the 100* plus temps of Arizona. 😩
I'm not out to get that company, lol, just saying, you usually get what you pay for. 😉
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Old 08-19-19, 07:31 PM
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I've been bicycling for 50 years and touring since 1989 and the Carradice's mentioned above are the first "new" panniers I've ever purchased.
I don't know what that means but you don't need new or fancy to tour.

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Old 08-20-19, 12:23 PM
  #12  
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Like you, I am getting into touring as well. I decided to buy second hand, and did a little reading. I found some Serratus / Mountain Equipment Co-op bags from the '90s (made in Canada brands up until that point). They are in excellent shape, and while the rears are black and the fronts are red, I don't care about matching. I'll have a couple of rain covers for them and a drysack for clothes in one bag.

They also go well with my vintage tourer so I like that about them too. Nobody needs the best of everything when starting out on a new interest or hobby. Often, second hand items in good shape can last for a long while.

I snooped around the online classifieds to locate mine. It can take a little while, but the work will pay off.
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Old 08-20-19, 01:25 PM
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I 2nd the REI suggestion. I bought the Ortleib backpack pannier from them earlier this year thinking it would be the bees knees for my work commute, only to find out that by being a jack of all trades it wasn't great at any of them. Much happier with the Ortlieb grocery pannier for my use case.
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Old 08-20-19, 01:31 PM
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I scored the mother load a few years back when a retired gentleman, near my home, did a Craigslist of a pair of rear panniers (Axiom Storm Watch(?)) for $25!!! Rode the Frankentrek to him and super happy with them. Although the particular configuration isn't made anymore, they were well cared for and still running to this day. They are definitely waterproof, too You would have to submerge the bike to get your contents wet....

Take away: Get what you want and, if time allows, scour Craigslist, Ebay, Shopgoodwill.com till you find your holy grail of bags....
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Old 08-21-19, 05:34 AM
  #15  
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As an experienced backpacker, I've learned to reduce the weight being carried, not to ultra-light level, but every outing got careful consideration of what went into the pack. I carried this over into my cycling. This applied to the pack itself. While we want durability, we do not necessarily need water proofness. Most pack/pannier fabrics will be a fairly tight weave. While not waterproof will, be water resistant. When packs or panniers can weigh, say 10% or more of the total load, it pays to reduce that weight where possible. Completely waterproof fabrics are heavy and need very strong mounting hardware as well as a strong rack so there is a multiplier effect on the load and it can get out of hand if not careful. It has worked very well for me to use a trash compactor bags, a strong plastic weighing an ounce each, inside the pannier or pack to maintain the contents dry even after a day of rain. This includes a down sleeping bag, some clothes and everything else. Many will not be very fussy about weight and are stronger and younger and recover better than myself. For me, reducing weight has been important and this occurs ounces at a time.
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Old 08-22-19, 10:46 AM
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New or used depends upon your temperance and budget. I would recommend Ortlieb's (if you like to stuff everything in one bag like me) or Arkel's (better if you like a lot of pockets - I can't remember what pocket I used for what). There are certainly other brands that will work fine. I tried several brands (Axiom, Performance Bike) with shock-cord mounting, then bought a set of Ortlieb's and was done searching.
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Old 08-23-19, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by JesseMN View Post
Currently I am trying to figure out what rear bicycle panniers to purchase. Should I purchase new or preowned? I really want to try them out see how they go and I am planning to do some bicycle packing on some weekends. To possibly go on tour in the next couple of years. All help is appreciated.
Thank you,
Jesse
If you're just starting out and a little unsure then don't spend the earth. Just use some plastic rubble sacks as liners in some cheap or second hand panniers and they will keep your kit dry.

I did this for a decade. Over the years I've slowly updated all of my kit and now have some Ortliebs. My original Alturas still do a job but these just do it better and will probably out last me and still get a decent price on ebay if I ever moved them on.
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Old 08-24-19, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by JesseMN View Post
Should I purchase new or preowned?
Haha. Are you a car salesman for your day job?

Used is fine if you find some in really good shape. I do see them on CL surprisingly often. It's not like there are Tons of them, but it's semi-frequent.
Originally Posted by gerryl View Post
If you can find some used Arkel panniers buy them. They come with a transferable lifetime warranty.
They also make the best panniers I've ever used. They aren't cheap, but if you can afford them, they're awesome and you won't be having to buy them again.
Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
A word of caution, avoid anything made by Axiom. I bought 2 pair used from a guy, and though one pair is fine, the other pair literally fell apart on me.
And these are the worst panniers I've ever tried. Brush them against anything fairly solid and slightly rough and there's a hole in them. Or rub them against something smooth in the same spot too many times(which isn't a lot of times), etc. No surprise my rear Axiom rack failed too. Rated for nearly 100lbs, carried around ~30lbs daily for about 40 days, and the right strut slowly bent further and further on one side, so the rack kept leaning right. I kept having to straighten it out. No surprise, eventually the strut cracked and broke. Lesson learned about that company. I would have been better off saving my money and buying Nashbar brand, etc.(when they were still the old, good company). Both items were denied warranty. The one shop just outright told me there was no point in trying to do the rack, and that they knew the Axiom rep would deny a warranty on a rack. The shop that I got the panniers from(which is an awesome shop) took the panniers from me and told me to come back in a week. They tried to get them replaced and they were denied. The Axiom warranty is worth Less than the paper it's written on. At least you can use the paper to start a camp fire, to dry out your clothes when the pannier fails and you have to dry the rain soaked clothes that were in the "waterproof" pannier. I've honestly never owned a cycling item as bad as the two pieces of Axiom gear I bought. /rant

Last edited by 3speed; 08-24-19 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 08-24-19, 09:54 AM
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Ortlieb Waterproof

For auction:
https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Item/74529894

Not mine... good luck!
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Old 08-26-19, 06:29 PM
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Ortlieb front panniers

If Iím not mistaken REI has an Ortlieb sale in October. Thatís how I bought my front classics. I like the attachment hardware and toughness. The handle release rubber disintegrated but the strap works fine. Probably due to humidity. Rubber breaks down here. Topeak hardware works well for me and is a good value. Hardware attachments are important.
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