Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 41 total)
  • panniers/racks and handling?
  • Premier Icon doris5000
    Free Member

    Looking into replacing the rucksack with something on the bike, for commuting duties. I’ll usually be carrying a laptop and a waterproof jacket stuffed in around it. Maybe some other bits occasionally.

    I’ve seen various options but I’m interested to know how they affect handling? Having, say, up to 3-4kg on one side feels like it would affect steering or balance, and although I quite like those hipstery basket things in front of the bars, would it make the front end heavy? Or too rattly on the bridleway?

    I’m leaning towards a Carradice SQR type thing at the moment. But I’m interested to know how people get on with the other options…

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    I find a single pannier with a few kilos in it unnoticeable. I commuted for a few years like that

    Its very much a personal thing but I cannot stand the feeling of stuff on the bars – ruins handling – but thats my opinion only

    Premier Icon swdan
    Free Member

    You notice it when you first get on the bike and promptly forget about it 2 minutes later. So much so I occasionally have to be careful when off and wheeling my bike up a kerb, the extra weight on the back sometimes catches me out then but rarely when riding.

    Premier Icon jamiemcf
    Full Member

    I always found I could adjust to one pannier / mismatched rears.

    Fronts I found were better when equal. With fronts on and a bar bag it would plough through anything

    In my youth, I’d frequently stick a case of whatever I was drinking at the time and cycle the towpaths of the canals of Edinburgh pissed and not fall over.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Depends how much you actually need to carry. But I find rear panniers make the front end feel really light, like it wants to wheelie round corners. It’s less pronounced on a mountain bike with longer stays and longer front center. But I still prefer to ballance the weight front/rear. And if it’s just one bag it’s a bar bag. I figure I prefer it as the weights between your hands where you can instinctively manage it. Not flapping the back of the bike arround.

    If it’s just a laptop and a change of clothes you probably won’t notice.

    Premier Icon Aidy
    Free Member

    I don’t find a rear pannier affects the handling much at all. Additional wind resistance bothers me more.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    This weekends overnight stuff and 1.5kg lock and cable. Feels odd for first 20 pedal strokes, or when negotiating a really tight turn towards the pannier. Other than that I just forget about it.

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    If it’s a smaller rucksack (ie netbook rather than laptop) then replace with a rackpack. I’ve been using an Agu expandable rackpack for decades (alongside panniers, rucksacks, saddlebags) and it’s always the preferred option if I can fit everything in. It’s just out of the way and even has mini-panniers that fold down if required. There is a raincover which fits snugly and has reflective logo sewn in. It just sits solidly behind the seat and doesn’t affect handling to any degree noticeable. What more could I want? (Top pic) Oh yeah…

    Also an old Carradice saddlebag recently for smaller loads, which also benefits from the rack. I may get the bagman and QR kit one day but both my bikes (road and 29er) tend to have racks fitted most of the time anyway. I keep a selection of panniers from truly cavernous to small/medium Ortliebalike, and some touring spec front and rear.

    Still use the rackpack most of all. Also have a Blackburn framebag which is very useful for raincoat, food, drink, phone etc.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    Work will be pissed when they find he’s cut his laptop in half to get it into the thread ending rackpack……

    I’ve had carradice saddle bags I’ve had front panniers and rear panniers I’ve split the load and I’ve had it in a single.

    For ease of damn near everything including packing,loading and removing at either end. Single rear pannier wins hands down for more than a change of clothes

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    ^ @trail_rat

    Yes that was presumptuous and shortsighted of me (meanwhile edited on reflection)

    I would agree as long as a pannier clamps or ties snugly to both the struts and top of a rack, and (if rear rack) sits back away from flying heels, then it really is a no-brainer for larger loads.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    What TJ and TR said, single pannier. 👍🏻

    Premier Icon adcock9jn
    Free Member

    I have used one pannier with no issues for many years , it is handy for commuting esp for ease of access and getting on and off quickly and popping into a shop on the way home fora few bits.
    I found that once weight starts getting more heavy I do notice if the pannier is on rack with most of weight behind the wheel centre the handling is affected.
    Moving it forward even even a samll bit so weight in pannier more central helps this alot,but depends on heal clearance.

    Premier Icon jca
    Free Member

    I use an ortlieb commuter bag, which is like a waterproof small briefcase with a laptop compartment, but has fittings for a rack. It’s great…Not too big so I don’t cram too much stuff in it to upset handling, and I don’t really notice it’s there when riding.

    https://www.ortlieb.com/uk_en/commuter-bag-two-urban+F70664

    Not cheap, but hey, it’s ortlieb. It will probably outlive me…

    Premier Icon dazzydw
    Free Member

    Single rear pannier goes unnoticed.
    If loading up with two, the front gets noticeably light on steering. In years of commuting it only caught me out once, on an icy winter night.
    Never fancied front panniers. They just look wrong.

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    This Bikehut pannier (one of a pair) is over a decade old and has survived beyond expectations. The rain cover is zipped in the bottom. Rain covers are ok as long as the wind isn’t hurricane-like. Upside = low cost and lightweight.

    Downside = simple hooks (no secure-system) so my heel has dismounted the pannier once in a while (on a shorter bike than pictured)

    When choosing a rear rack (if you go that route) I’d advise to get one that fits a pannier well back away from pedal arc. Not daft amounts but enough to give wiggle room. If shoe is customarily clipped in then it’s not such a concern.

    +1 a (secure) single pannier is hardly noticeable. Even that massive one I use for groceries (when packed full it makes one grunt and herniate to lift from floor) is a doddle once on bike and on the road.

    Premier Icon aP
    Free Member

    I’m now commuting 40km a day after 18 months of not really doing much cycling. I’ve reverted back to my 2011-13 method of 2x small Ortlieb panniers on my strange handling Trek Portland.
    I don’t really notice them except for staying away from traffic lights.
    But I don’t like a single pannier – upsets my visual balance.

    Premier Icon wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    Two large panniers work, load the right side first to keep the traffic away, left hand on the way home full of beer! Also useful for shopping duties I might add, a Topeak super tourist will handle most loads. Frame bags, extended saddle bags and all that wobbly, high mounted stuff, very trendy but crikey me, how does it handle?

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    Frame bags, extended saddle bags and all that wobbly, high mounted stuff, very trendy but crikey me, how does it handle?

    It depends entirely on the weight. Rule of thumb = do not carry heavy stuff high up. I got shot of a (29er) Kona Ute for that reason. It handled so horribly. Utility bikes ime should have small wheels and a low load, not 29ers and a high load. Especially kids or other precious cargo.

    Anyhow the rack bag is fixed solidly at all four corners. No appreciable wobble as long as the rack itself has a good width/platform. I put heavy (non-precious) stuff in the fold down panniers if required. Otherwise it’s just a light raincoat, simple toolkit, pump, lunch, rangefinder-sized camera, keys etc all will fit in the main compartment (sadly the model is discontinued)

    https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/agu-yamaska-rack-pack-review.46012/

    The padding and rigidity is camera-bag like. I carry a dozen eggs in it over farm tracks/gravel on 28c, and they remain in one piece. It works so well I’d be somewhat lost without it. It gets used for everything from fetching to foraging.

    Anything cargo that is heavier/larger gets switched instead to dedicated pannier/s but then things can feel less protected, unless panniers are padded. I have some tough older Karrimor ones which seem to offer decent protection but they are heavy.

    Anything smaller or slightly lighter I’ll maybe switch to saddlebag or frame bag. The (Outpost) frame bag carries weight sort of midships from all points, and if possible I pack heavier items in the lower (expanded) portion.

    I don’t do ‘wobble’ if at all possible. Major bugbears of mine when cycling are noise and loose-items. Just no. The only thing slightly wobbly is the recently acquired Carradice Barley (9 litres). That will be solved with a bagman in time. Until then it sits/ties well-enough on the audax/tourer rear rack (not pictured)

    Premier Icon calson
    Free Member

    What is going to be most stable is a side mounted pannier on a sturdy rear rack. The better panniers have the means to fasten them at the bottom so they do not swing when turning and an easy way to unclip them and have a carry handle to grab. Only need to be careful with the location so your foot does not hit the pannier when pedaling.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Full Member

    I’ve recently started using panniers for my commute. Laptop, shoes, clothes, lunch etc

    Complete revelation. I find it hardly noticeable unless riding out of saddle or over rough ground. Even then I’m used to it now. Any of that is completely outweighed by the nice feeling of not having a rucksack on.

    I got some slightly larger bags so can also pick up some shopping and stuff like on the way home which I’d struggle to do previously.

    Premier Icon yourguitarhero
    Free Member

    I got a pair of the Ortlieb gravel panniers.
    One of them works fine for a laptop and some shoes, lock, lunch and a rain jacket.
    Although it feels a little heavy to pick up, once it goes on the rear rack you never notice it’s there.
    The quick release handles are excellent for taking your stuff in/out of work.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Full Member

    don’t notice mine. I had a big one (missus) where the laptop tipped from side to side as I pedalled. That was the only noticeable thing about it. Wanted something as small as possible, so I bought a Lomo dry bag and screwed some backing and ortleib spares to it.

    tube, levers tools and minipump sit at at the bottom, laptop slides in and there’s just enough room for a spare layer as well. All I need.

    2-3 inches wide tops, dead aero, cheap as chips. Bag is a little fragile and has cracked at the bottom corner, but it proved the concept’s great, so I’ve splashed out £17 on a similarly sized heavy-duty Ortleib jobby to transfer the fixings to.

    null

    Premier Icon fossy
    Full Member

    Just started back commuting, off road though. My laptop goes in a shock proof case (£21 from amazon)in one pannier with my waterproofs. On the other is clothes, shoes and multi tool/keys etc.

    Weight is an issue at first but you soon get used to it. Got caught out hitting one of those tight twisty cobbled canal bridges too fast a couple of weeks ago, as the front wheel lifted due to weight (this is on a rigid 26er).

    I commuted for years on a fixed road bike. It was fine, but so odd going back to a road bike with no weight – you compensate for the additional rear weight through your upper body and arms, then jumping on an unweighted bike reels strange.

    Running Ortlieb front Rollers (smaller than back rollers) but have to bungee on due to the canal being so rough – the bottom hooks pop off and can allow the bags to swing a bit without the bungees.

    Premier Icon doris5000
    Free Member

    Weight is an issue at first but you soon get used to it. Got caught out hitting one of those tight twisty cobbled canal bridges too fast a couple of weeks ago, as the front wheel lifted due to weight (this is on a rigid 26er).

    So what you’re saying is, it’s really good for wheelies?

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    (Thinks) Wouldn’t it be better to sync data via cloud so there would be no requirement to carry large/expensive/heavy laptops? (Assuming have PC/laptop at both home and workplace)

    Yours,

    CPT Obvious

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    I got shot of a (29er) Kona Ute for that reason

    to be fair to 29ers that was nothing to do with it being a 29er , the ute was just designed by people who did not understand the concept of cargo bike and just jumped on the band wagon with something that sort of looked like a cargo bike and was made out of banana.

    As visa used to say “your flexible friend”

    (Thinks) Wouldn’t it be better to sync data via cloud so there would be no requirement to carry large/expensive/heavy laptops? (Assuming have PC/laptop at both home and workplace)

    Yours,

    CPT Obvious

    ever worked in big industry ? there are several reasons why that wont work and most of them reside in the IT department and the words “but we have always done it this way for reasons”

    Premier Icon doris5000
    Free Member

    Yes it would be better! We’re halfway there, as I do run everything off the cloud. But unfortunately I only have the one computer, and so need to bring it back and forth… once I start going back into the office. Long Covid means that might not be for another while though, so perhaps i’m getting ahead of myself.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    I think I still have that Carradice Bike Bureau I don’t want, if you’re interested?

    To answer the original question instead of attempt to flog kit, with the aforementioned bike bureau on one side with hefty laptop, shoes and maybe a jumper in, it wasn’t a problem, not really even that noticeable.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Frame bags, extended saddle bags and all that wobbly, high mounted stuff, very trendy but crikey me, how does it handle?

    Personally, I actually prefer it to low down panniers.

    Panniers put all that weight at the ends of the bike, furthest from your contact points and own COG.

    Whereas bar bags and saddle packs keep all that weight up close where you have control over it.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    I find a single pannier with a few kilos in it unnoticeable. I commuted for a few years like that

    +1. It’s only noticeable when really loaded up, at which point I split the load across two panniers.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Full Member

    Panniers put all that weight at the ends of the bike, furthest from your contact points and own COG.

    Whereas bar bags and saddle packs keep all that weight up close where you have control over it.

    I might be missing something – why would you want the luggage weight near your own C of G if it’s fixed to the bike? Aside from centrally front to rear of course. I get that bar mounted gear is easy to move about but overall the higher it is the more I have to move that weight when I move the bike around the contact patches. The further towards the ends the more the inertia of the load impacts the steering motions and flexes the frame. Ideally I’d fill a frame bag first, more stuff under the down tube if possible, then bulky light stuff under saddle, on bars, in panniers etc.

    12-14l seat packs are easy to fit to any bike but it’s weight in the wrong place if they’re stuffed full. Great for sub 2kg of sleeping gear packed small though. Panniers have their drawbacks but I think bikepacking gear encourages some pretty badly loaded bikes.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Panniers have their drawbacks but I think bikepacking gear encourages some pretty badly loaded bikes

    I agree.

    There are a few bikepacking videos where you can see seatpacks wagging like a puppies tail, bar bags leaping around and frame bags rubbing knees.

    Then again, there’s lots of videos of overloaded, massive pannier bags X4 plus more tourers…

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    massive pannier bags X4

    Guilty…..

    Handy as Fu k when you won’t/dont see food/fresh water for 300 miles though.

    Premier Icon kcal
    Full Member

    I used to have a single pannier for commute duties, rarely carried a laptop right enough but did have lock, spare clothes, tools and occasionally shopping on way home. Never had a problem with how the bike felt, handling wise. It was a pretty standard hybrid style bike, with standard Blackburn or similar rear rack, and Orlieb medium sized pannier (not the big rear oriented ones, but the front style).

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Panniers put all that weight at the ends of the bike, furthest from your contact points and own COG.

    They put it over the rear axle which is the point around which your bike pivots when you steer. I quite like this. But you do need a decent rack which is low enough so there’s not too much wobble.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Centralizing mass ie framebags and bar bags reduces moment of inertia when turning or leaning the bike – but the higher it is loaded ( seat packs) the higher the COG and the more effort it takes to lean the bike

    My take on it is if you can get it all in frame bags than thats best, set pack ok if tightly packed and not too heavy. get to heavier loads then panniers are better and really heavy loads a trailer is best as it hanfdles better and has much lower wind resistance

    I loath the effect of stuff mounted on the steering. ruins the handling

    the one I really laugh at is “bikepacking ” setups where they have stuff mounted to the front forks in cages – got that much stuff its better to have panniers. all the disadvantages of panniers in wind resistance and clearance issues – but still only small amounts of kit!

    Premier Icon doris5000
    Free Member

    Ok, so here’s another question. How would you mount a rear rack to one of these?

    Check pic 6 – you can see there’s no bosses on the stays. The rear mech cable is also routed down the stay which would seem to rule out one of those Thule ‘pack and ride’ type jobbies.

    https://www.useddudley.co.uk/classified-ad/giant-cadex-CFM3-carbon-mountain-bike_25337395.lite?

    Also, just look at that thing. Absolutely mint. The natty white matte coating on the cranks wore off after about 200 miles, so you can tell it’s barely been ridden. I’m jealous of the person that got that for £150! Even though I already own one!

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Its possible to use a tubus rack with extended feet that go on the rear axle and also to get a seat clamp with bosses – that would be OK but I wouldn’t use any clamp on on a carbon frame

    https://www.tubus.com/en/products/rear-carriers/tubus-product/cargo-classic

    https://www.tubus.com/en/products/accessories-rear-carriers/tubus-product/adapter-set-for-qr-axle-mounting

    https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/seat-posts/286-passport-seat-clamp-with-rack-mount/

    Premier Icon mick_r
    Full Member

    As TJ says, Tubus usually has a solution (and the website has proper drawings to see if things will fit).

    I really like the the thought that has gone into the Cube racks, but they are pretty specific to certain frames.

    I’ve just had a dabble with a low c of g rear rack / frame mount front rack. Will start a thread when it returns from powder coat. Racks are s l o w to make – took double the time of making the new front triangle…. (front rack in the photo is only half complete).

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    Ok, so here’s another question. How would you mount a rear rack to one of these?

    I used to use a Freeload rack with side panels. Since bought out by Thule and marketed as ‘Pack ‘n Pedal Tour Rack’

    Basically the rack has rubber pads with ratcheted webbing straps so just position on your seat-stays and cinch tight with round-ended allen key. There is a proprietary key to release the ratchet. I used a couple of these for a good few years mounted on both chainstays and forks. Worked fine. Was surprised how sturdy and stable it was in use. Ingenious, and worth it’s (1kg) weight in gold IME. Also avoids resorting to swinging saddle-packs or swivelling seatpost-racks. Not cheap tho (Halfords do them for £85) but also not daft price for such a smart product. Still the best no-fixings rack option, IMO. It can carry a lot of weight too. Whether or not your chain-stays could is another question…

    https://totalwomenscycling.com/commuting/accessories/thule-packnpedal-tour-bicycle-rack-review

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