- Panniers off road – really that bad or just unfashionable?
Depends what offroad you are doing I guess – gentle bridlepaths and dusty trails are fine with panniers but anything rocky or narrow and they will catch and ultimately fall off in my experience of touring offroad in the pyranees
I’m looking for a solution at the moment – the drybag harness approach doesn’t appeal and framebags that are custom made for a particular frame don’t either.
I think I might go old school with a Carradice saddlebag!Posted 3 years agomcmoonterMember
I got on well with panniers, but I’m a serial over packer and just want to fill them up. The extra weight did seem to aid traction and slow speed stability. It didn’t really limit where you could ride. Pushing however was a pain catching your legs on them and lofting an overladen bike over a fence or gate becomes a Herculean effort.
I’m keen to see how paring the weight/capacity down will change the expectation/ experience of a multi day trip. It might be more of an issue in this country with such unpredictable weather. Hoping I can lose gear for Idaho in September.
Posted 3 years agocynic-alMember
As above – any pics of the H550 I saw looked like it was sponsored by Revelate etc., and of course everyone and their uncle is tripping over their dusty fatbikes to buy it 😛
I’ve ridden off road with panniers (a 500 mile tour) and it wasn’t that bad (Iwas carrying more kit than frame bags could take, albeit for 25 miles a day, not 100+), are the frame bags really that much better, and can you cary more than hyper-ultralite kit?Posted 3 years agoscotroutesSubscriber
I’ve also done a fair but off-road with panniers and I’ve disagreed with folk who think bikepacking excludes them. However, I’ve found the overall balance if the bike better with the bar/frame/saddle bag options and it’s definitely a better setup for heather-bashing or on narrow trails. Throw in less rattling, a potential weight reduction and less breakage potential (from the rack) plus the fact that you don’t need to limit frame choice to something with rack mounts and it’s not hard to see why folk are selecting the soft option.
However, I guess both systems have their advantages and place and I’ll not be throwing my panniers away just yetPosted 3 years agogofasterstripesSubscriber
I fitted a second set of clips to my Ortlieb roller tops. Very secure across a wide range of terrain. It helps if you ‘preload’ the lower fitting: set it against the leg of the rack in working position, and then move it 2mm further along the track before you tighten it in place.
Then they pretty much stay on no matter what.Posted 3 years agorichpipsMember
I’ve used ortlieb panniers, and also a bar bag. (45 litres capacity)
Total weight of that lot is 3.7Kg plus a rack.
All my equipment packed in drybags for the HTR was 4Kg. (~27 litres capacity)
I will say that if you were doing a long tour though then durability of good panniers may not be matched by lighter backpacking luggage.Posted 3 years ago
I use panniers off road often, I even use one for day rides to get a pack off my back.Posted 3 years ago
I use a Tubus Fly rack with Ortlieb front City panniers. To greatly reduce rattle and unwanted unhooking what I have done is buy extra hooks. The panniers generally come with one hook for each pannier. Attach an extra hook so a hook clips on both vertical sections of the rack. With adjustment the pannier can be a press fit onto the rack.MSPSubscriber
I used panniers when I first started doing a bit of bikepacking, until on a fairly fast descent, I hit a slippery patch of mud, and the back end overtook me, I hit the ground quite hard and continued rolling for what seemed like an eternity.
For me now
bikepacking = concentrating on getting the most out of the riding by stripping back on all the camping equipment to the absolute minimum.
Rough touring = compromising the riding to take a few more camping comforts.Posted 3 years agogazcMember
we use ortleibs on topeak super tourist racks for touring/shopping. our touring includes rough roads/tracks but not singletrack/narrow stuff (or only small bits of it). i then have a revelate bikepacking set up for more singletrack/fast & light/technical trips, and my girlfriend uses my carradice sqr bag (i carry tent & food). no problems using panniers like this although lost a pannier on a rough track descent in picos d’europa which was amusing… now run extra clips and bungees! wouldnt want to do something like the st bees – robin hoods bay ride with panniers but totally fine for c2c and those type of signed routes i reckon. another thing to consider is snow! the low body of the pannier floats on deep snow making it a real drag to push/pull/curse the bike through (me and a mate rode up to newcastleton from newcastle and the fire road over from kielder was blocked!). also they are a real pain in the arse with getting over or through narrow gates/styals etc, more so for my girlfriendPosted 3 years agoscotroutesSubscribercynic-al wrote:
As above – any pics of the H550 I saw looked like it was sponsored by Revelate etc., and of course everyone and their uncle is tripping over their dusty fatbikes to buy it
I’ve ridden off road with panniers (a 500 mile tour) and it wasn’t that bad (Iwas carrying more kit than frame bags could take, albeit for 25 miles a day, not 100+), are the frame bags really that much better, and can you cary more than hyper-ultralite kit?
You should also remember it was the HTR550. The participants weren’t really going for the luxury option (as borne oit by this excellent blog http://calzzak.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/highland-trail-race-2014-day-1/ ).
We had a touring German couple in the shop today. The girl had bent her Rockshox SIDS after coming off her bike. She’d been descending down the road from Corrieshalloch to Loch Broom – at some speed – when she just lost control. It wasn’t hard to see why. The whole back end of the bike was completely loaded up with large panniers and a tent and sleeping bag were tied across other stuff across the width of the rack. The total load was almost as tall as she was.Posted 3 years agoalpjayMember
We have all ridden with Panniers here at Alpkit before all this new fangled ‘bikepacking’ arrived! There is nothing wrong with them and if you are all set up with them, then there really is no need to change.
From our “What is Bikepacking?” Article –
What Wrong With Panniers?
Nothing, but even the lightest rack and panniers will weight more than a modern bike packing set up. They give you a lot of space… which you can fill with more stuff, unfortunately this normally equates to a heavier bike! You can be disciplined with panniers and not fill them but I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t just pack that extra Mars Bar.
Panniers can also make it hard to carry a bike for any distance as well as affecting the balance and handling of a bike to a much greater extent than framebags and seat packs.
We have been on trips using on average: a framebag (0.3 Kg 4-5 litres) a front drybag (20 litres) and a seat pack (13 litres) and you can travel light enough with the alpinist mindset, multi-use, fast and light etc. with just what you need and hit slightly more technical trails further into the wilderness without losing much of the comfort, some of us for over a week, although merino baselayer stop the majority of smells, it was questionable!
It is a different way of travelling off-road. You may consider it similar to mountaineers who used to have porters and camp in big comfy tents and then to super-light alpinists like Ueli Steck – a different way of enjoying the hills that’s all….
As long as you are out there enjoying it does it matter?
JayPosted 3 years agoNorthCountryBoyMember
I used panniers once for bike packing, the bike felt ok apart from catching on trees etc when it was narrow, but after about 25 miles off road the leg down to the bolt on part snapped off!Posted 3 years ago
More recently using a bar bag and seat bag i find it better the bar bag is bar far the best bit of kit i have used for packing clothing and sleeping bag etc Real combination of stuff russian seat pack (ebay) very cheap small frame bag (ebay) revelate bar bag from a used here.
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