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Can I get by without front panniers?

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Can I get by without front panniers?

Old 11-13-21, 01:52 PM
  #76  
Calsun
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The only time I would consider front panniers would be to hold heavy winter clothing that is bulky but light. The more surface area you expose the more interference with steering of the bike when there is any amount of cross wind. There is an old adage among backpackers that the larger the backpack the more stuff you will take and the more weight you will carry. Same applies to panniers.

For food I take rice and pasta and spices and then make stops at markets to get tinned meat and veggies for the following 2-3 days. Easy and fast to boil water for the rice or pasta and add whatver to it. This setup takes up very little space in my panniers. My clothes and tools are in one of the panniers and my sleeping bag and a ground cloth are strapped to the top of the rack.

With a very long distance it helps to switch the front and rear tires after 1000 miles as most of the wear will be on the rear tire.
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Old 11-13-21, 05:56 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have occasionally used a frame bag about 3 inches thick. But I think the only people that would have trouble are those that think they are riding in a time trial and are trying to get more aero than the rest of us.

Total volume of those frame bags is not that high unless you get one that fills the whole triangle, and then you lose your water bottles so you then need some of that frame bag volume for water.

I am guessing my frame bag is about 5 liters, and I can keep a one liter bottle inside the triangle next to the bag. The bottle in the photo is not a full liter but I can put a full liter in that spot.

It looks like you have enough room to put another water bottle cage and bottle behind the seat-tube and in front of the rear tire like I did with my Bianchi MTB back in the 1980s. The advantage of a long wheelbase with loads of rear wheel to seat-tube clearance.


Sorry for the poor quality of the image. It's an old 3"x5" photograph.

Cheers
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Old 11-13-21, 07:48 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
It looks like you have enough room to put another water bottle cage and bottle behind the seat-tube and in front of the rear tire like I did with my Bianchi MTB back in the 1980s. The advantage of a long wheelbase with loads of rear wheel to seat-tube clearance.
...
You saw the bike setup for mountain biking in the previous posting.

I usually have fenders on that bike, and with fenders I can't fit a bottle cage there. I can't fit the fenders in the S&S case when I travel, thus my international tours did not have a fender in that space, but quite frankly I never measured the amount of space there without a fender there. I do not think it would fit, but I will have to try and measure it some day.



That said, when I tour I have three liters of water bottles on the frame, note the three bottles, each of which is a one liter sized Smartwater bottle. So, a fourth is not that important.

But thanks for the suggestion.

ADDENDM:

Got out the ruler last night, would need about one more inch of chainstay length to make it work if I did not have fenders on the bike.

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 11-14-21 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 11-14-21, 06:22 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
You can get by with whatever enables you to pack 30 lbs. If it was me Iíd put front roller classics on the front, Revelate Designs Tangle bag under top tube, medium drybag on top of rear rack. I donít like big handlebar bags cantilevered off the handlebars.
Thanks for the tip on the Tangle bag, that I had never come across yet. My one question is where to keep valuable that I can easily remove from the bike when doing things like going into a grocery store or restaurant. Wallet, phone, and even toss in my Garmin to some type of bag that is easily removed from bike
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Old 11-14-21, 07:44 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
Thanks for the tip on the Tangle bag, that I had never come across yet. My one question is where to keep valuable that I can easily remove from the bike when doing things like going into a grocery store or restaurant. Wallet, phone, and even toss in my Garmin to some type of bag that is easily removed from bike
I know that folks here often say they hate them, but I have found that I like to wear a little back pack for stuff like that. I have used either the 2.5 ounce sea2summit one or the heavier REI Flash 18 on different tours. I keep them really lightly loaded except for those rare times when I need to load up for a long stretch between restock. If you keep the weight down to just a couple pounds the comfort is fine and if there is a rare day that you need to carry 24 hours worth of water you can cope. At least that is what I have found.

On another note, I am curious about how folks use the tangle bag. It seems like a very limited utility bag to me. Expensive, only 4 liters, and on smaller frames it seems like it would make access to the frame mounted bottles a bit more awkward. The long skinny form factor may lend itself to some particular usage like tent poles or a 4 piece fly rod, but you don't need a $100 bag to strap tent poles or a fly rod to a top tube. Is it mostly for folks just looking to squeeze in that last few liters? I can see that when it is used with limited baggage like just a seat bag and a small bar roll, but I have a hard time seeing much added utility to adding 4 liters when we are talking about bikes with panniers and a rack.
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Old 11-14-21, 09:30 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
Thanks for the tip on the Tangle bag, that I had never come across yet. My one question is where to keep valuable that I can easily remove from the bike when doing things like going into a grocery store or restaurant. Wallet, phone, and even toss in my Garmin to some type of bag that is easily removed from bike
I put that stuff in a handlebar bag that has a convenient quick release mechanism. But if you do not want to use an option like that, get a small drybag and keep your valuables in that, get a size that you can easily grab and carry, shove that in on the top inside your frame bag.

Or a small fanny (or waist) pack. I know some cyclists that often wear a fanny pack on their bike, they do not want a rack on their bike (their roadie friends would make fun of them) but they often want to carry more than jersey pockets can hold.
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Old 11-19-21, 07:58 AM
  #82  
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I'm using a full frame bag, the Tubus Duo front rack, and extremely lightweight panniers from Bedrock Bags. The panniers themselves are fairly bad but the concept is good, lightweight rack and light front panniers instead of the more traditional full rack and larger panniers.
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Old 11-19-21, 09:24 AM
  #83  
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I have been fallowing along because currently on my 2021 Verve 2 Disk, Iím running a pair of Bontrager Commuter Paniers with a Bontrager MIK Rack Bag on the back rack and no front rack. The setup works ok with this bike for CC touring, but the Paniers definitely are not large enough for an extended bikepacking tour.

I am purchasing a Trek 520 Grando, which I should have in my possession in a couple of weeks (itís at the LBS just waiting for me to pay off the lay-a-way). The Grando has only a front rack, and Iím debating if I should also get the MIK rear rack, or are front Paniers enough?
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Old 11-19-21, 01:48 PM
  #84  
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I think the rear panniers and handlebar bag can work perfectly well for you. Get your gear together, spend some time figuring out where everything goes for convenience and weight distribution and then try a couple of weekend trips to work out the bugs. You'll get use to how the bike handles quickly enough. Don't let debating the nuances of weight distribution get in the way of actually touring...millions of miles have been ridden with every combination of bags and 2x rear panniers and a handlebar bag has worked perfectly well fo a lot of people and will work for you.

I keep my valuables, daily food, electronics and rain gear in my handlebar bag and always take it with me whenever I leave my bike. That way if my bike is ever stolen I still have everything I need to recover. I use a saddlebag and handlebar bag set up and keep weight down to make train/bus/air travel easier and to make my life on the road and camping as simple as possible. I usually use a big (23L) Carradice Camper saddlebag, but recently tried out a Caradice Nelson Lowsaddle Longflap and it works ok, but I had to move my cooking stuff to the handlebar bag to get stuff to fit...and my tent poles had to be carried under the Longflap rather than inside the bag.



Last edited by nun; 11-20-21 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 11-20-21, 11:17 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
I think the rear panniers and handlebar bag can work perfectly well for you. Get your gear together, spend some time figuring out where everything goes for convenience and weight distribution and then try a couple of weekend trips to work out the bugs. You'll get use to how the bike handles quickly enough. Don't let debating the nuances of weight distribution get in the way of actually touring...millions of miles have been ridden with every combination of bags and 2x rear panniers and a handlebar bag has worked perfectly well fo a lot of people and will work for you.

I keep my valuables, daily food, electronics and rain gear in my handlebar bag and always take it with me whenever I leave my bike. That way if my bike is ever stolen I still have everything I need to recover. I use a saddlebag and handlebar bag set up and keep weight down to make train/bus/air travel easier and to make my life on the road and camping as simple as possible. I usually use a big (23L) Carradice Camper saddlebag, but recently tried out a Caradice Nelson Lowsaddle Longflap and it works ok, but I had to move my cooking stuff to the handlebar bag to get stuff to fit...and my tent poles had to be carried under the Longflap rather than inside the bag.
That's a very interesting setup and quite different than most. Are you worried about cracking your seatpost or frame with that huge saddlebag? I love how aero your setup is.
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Old 11-20-21, 04:20 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by RollingExist View Post
That's a very interesting setup and quite different than most. Are you worried about cracking your seatpost or frame with that huge saddlebag? I love how aero your setup is.
The seat post is forged aluminum and the bag only weighs 10lbs so I don't worry about cracks.. The setup is not as aero as one that uses the modern backpacking saddle bag because the Carradice type of traditional saddlebags is transverse and sticks out at the sides more, but this puts the weight under the butt and greatly reduces the "tail wagging the dog" effect.
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Old 11-20-21, 08:39 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
Thanks for the tip on the Tangle bag, that I had never come across yet. My one question is where to keep valuable that I can easily remove from the bike when doing things like going into a grocery store or restaurant. Wallet, phone, and even toss in my Garmin to some type of bag that is easily removed from bike
I understand that attraction for handlebar bags and lots of manufacturers have come up with various quick release mechanisms. Ijust donít like the weight up and out there. Iím many years since I toured but at the time the handlebar bag I did like was really simple and not that big. An oval tube with plastic stiffener inside and four velcro straps to suspend it between the drops and brake hoods. Held about 1/2 of the Ortlieb. It wasnít convenient to get into while riding but for ultra light touring it worked with a small duffle on the rear rack.
I became accustomed to the Revelate Tangle about twelve years ago and I got one for all my bikes that I used around town instead of a car. . They stopped mak8ng the small one I think and the medium one worked great for 56cm size frame. The smaller one for smaller frames was too small. Itís not really waterproof though. It held a 4í chain and lock, pump, tube, etc. I gotta say the little 1/2Ē plastic cam lock buckles donít hold up well. I have one where the two front buckles broke. The other one hasnít had a problem so maybe operator error.
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Old 12-14-21, 10:43 PM
  #88  
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I was going through some old photos, and found this one. It was toward the start of our ride across the U.S. We were on our third day riding from the Pacific Coast and were traveling pretty light. Our route, U.S. Highway 20, went right by our house, and we were going spend the night there. I was also going to put on my front rack and panniers for the rest of the trip.

My wife forgot one of her water bottles at a convenience store about 1 mile back. I told her I'd ride back to get it, and this was my victory sign on the return. I was riding my cross bike, a Bianchi Volpe, with two rear panniers, and camping gear on the back. I also had a bar bag. The bike was very stable, and there was never any "tail wagging the dog" problems.


Last edited by Doug64; 12-17-21 at 03:27 PM.
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