Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 105 total)
  • Panniers vs Bikepacking Bags
  • scotroutes
    Full Member

    I once met a group heading into the the inner Cairngorm loop with trailers.- looked like a hire/guide set up. (Heading down from an lurg)

    Possibly a Glenmore Lodge group. It certainly used to be the case that the “overnight” extension to the MTB Leadership Award mandated the use of trailers.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Possibly a Glenmore Lodge group. It certainly used to be the case that the “overnight” extension to the MTB Leadership Award mandated the use of trailers.

    I’d have hoped the assessor would have intervened in that case before they got to where they were. Unless of course they were assessing for wheelbarrow leadership

    p7eaven
    Free Member

    Use whatever suits your ride and load

    This .

    I’ve not read the rest of the thread as yet but I use both panniers, rack-pack and/or different bike bags for different loads and different terrain.

    Big loads on mostly tarmac always panniers often with some auxiliary bike bags, bar-roll, etc for the small stuff. Lighter loads and lumpy offroad/narrow gaps I’ll go with the handlebar bag and/or a frame bag.

    Heavy off-road stuff will be bar-harness/drybag, frame-bag and rack-pack. I can carry extra water on the fork legs as they have bosses for luggage cages etc

    Still can’t get my head around a huge seat pack don’t really like the idea, But I really like the Agu rack-pack which sits firmly on top of the rear rack platform and it has little foldout panniers for extra stuff, plus bungee on top for whatever – ie jacket, drybag, helmet, outsized items etc.

    My favourite rides out are packed light with everything in a bar bag. I don’t think I’m really massively into off-road bike packing but I do like backroads touring a lot and find panniers to be less faff overall.

    p7eaven
    Free Member

    * Forgot to say my latest addition/option is a one-wheeled cargo trailer set up (like the BOB Yak) and that is just amazing for backroad heavy/long-term camping tours (backroads and light/medium offroad)

    It tracks remarkably well, is almost silent once loaded. I’d just like to fashion/add a bipod kickstand and maybe some plastic bumpers around the trailer-base edges. Of course, once unhitched it leaves your bike as light as you like for extra-curricular/non-carrying duties. Once unloaded it then makes an excellent fetcher/carrier for groceries and firewood

    richardthird
    Full Member

    I’m done with frame bags and traffic cone seatpacks.

    For me on the fatbike, No.1 priority was dropper deployment.
    So, a rack, with small Front Ortlieb panniers (12.5l each), something on the rack itself, plus sleeproll drybag on the bars (1.5kg) is perfect for me. Voluminous!

    Descending the Corrieyairack down to Melgarve at full pelt over all the drainage bars, saddle down and nothing came loose.

    For gravel bike/road touring I’d also use a rack but my Topeak MTX Trunk bag with the smaller more aero fold out panniers and a bar bag.

    Frame triangle is for water.

    montgomery
    Full Member

    It’s interesting how people’s experience of touring/bikepacking shapes their (often strongly held…) opinions.

    I took a Yak trailer on a 3700km trip round NZ in the mid-Noughties and promptly sold it when I returned, vowing never to use one again…my main memory is portaging up onto the Otago escarpment, wearing the entire trailer as a rucsac with my arms through the bag handles, muttering like a nutter and thinking how much easier it would’ve been with weight evenly distributed on the bike in four panniers…

    …but fast forward ten years and an offroad LEJoG saw me strapping an Ortlieb stuffsac to a rack, a cheap Alpkit bag on the bars and going for it. Bikepacking fashionistas would (and did) throw up their hands in horror, but it worked fine. For shorter trips, and with concessions made to comfort (or your bank balance), seatpacks are arguably better, but it’s angels on the head of a pin stuff. Last year I even went combo old skool for a couple of 4-5 day rides: bar roll, half frame bag, panniers. Guess what? Worked fine…

    These days my preference is for a bar roll, half frame bag and seatpack, plus a small rucsac. It means I can basically ride all the same stuff I’d ride unencumbered. I’ve taken that setup down red runs at every trail centre in Wales, including BPW, for example. But it’s all down to what you want to do with it, and how much you’re willing to spend. It’s refreshing this thread hasn’t descended into partisan abuse because all these solutions work.

    Apart from trailers, of course. Anyone advocating for them must be a complete ****.

    boardmanfs18
    Full Member

    I’m just about to take a hardtail fitted with a Tailfin aero pack and two 10l panniers on parts of the North downs, King Alfreds and South Downs way, will report back after.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Panniers I have used have always rattled to some extent. And I suspect clips and the rack itself will ultimately be more fragile than many velcro straps.

    That said, whilst I’ve not used full bikepacking gear I’d imagine packing it up would take a fair bit of planning as to what goes where. And your overall capacity is limited. Panniers are also not very aero as I found out trying to sustain a speed above 20mph with them.

    I’d quite fancy a rack with some well designed secure mini panniers + top bag, with cinch straps to prevent rattling. And yea I would use Anything Cages with that rather than front panniers, in part because my nice rigid forks have the mounts 🙂

    Tailfin aero pack and two 10l panniers

    What panniers?

    jameso
    Full Member

    Did it just start as a solution for bikes that didn’t have mounts

    Pretty much, that and a lighter, less breakage-prone system for off-road trips with minimal kit.
    Good quality panniers are fine for most things, just maybe not extended MTB trail routes. Racks and panniers can have weak spots and the best versions avoid them. With bikepacking luggage it’s just the wear on / from straps you need to watch.

    Bikepacking gear works well if you take very little stuff, that’s the whole point. If you’re taking plenty of kit and aren’t going off-road that much it makes less odds. Panniers and racks may add a kilo or 2 but it you’ve packed 15kgs onto the bike already.. I expect the aero drag will make more difference than the weight difference.

    These days my preference is for a bar roll, half frame bag and seatpack, plus a small rucsac.

    Same here – a packable rucsac for some trips to carry food in the evenings, maybe a small camelback for overspill and water bladder on other trips. I think I’d use either that set up or the full 4 panniers packed for comfort and a month away.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Apart from trailers, of course. Anyone advocating for them must be a complete ****.

    Harsh …. But I have 2 trailers and both are crap off road.

    Unfortunately my daughter refuses to be put in a soft bag……

    The bob yaks also pretty awful

    wors
    Full Member

    These days my preference is for a bar roll, half frame bag and seatpack, plus a small rucsac.

    What do you pack for a night in the wilds out of interest?

    montgomery
    Full Member

    Nothing gucci or uncomfortably minimalist. Either a small tent and cheap down bag, or bivi bag and bulkier Lamina 20 bag. Thermal bag liner. Klymit Inertia Ozone mat. Speedster meth stove/ti mug cooking kit, food for 1-3 days. 12 year old Primaloft smock for the evenings, maybe an extra base layer if it’s cold. Power bank for the phone. Usual day kit: spares, tools, headtorch, waterproof. Trowel.

    Works for me. I’ve been on a bivi-a-week project since late March, at least one night on the hill every week (apart from the last fortnight because I’ve been in the process of relocating from Wales to Calderdale).

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Very harsh on the trailer. Yes these days i mainly ride gravel but with a light trailer single track is possible. I know i do it. Its also much moar areo. Bobs just work. 3 or 4 kilo weight penalty is noticable climbing. Pain to park up and portage. Much better handling than panniers imo as well.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    You can’t deny that having a trailer limits your route choice though. It’s just a question of how much that limitation affects your personal riding. The same applies (albeit to a lesser extent) with larger panniers. The smaller ones are obviously “better” as they tend to be higher and narrower. As already stated several times, each system has its pros and cons.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I did my last bikepacking trip with a rucksack! Fight me!

    I liked it, especially whipping down the small amount of singletrack on which I was comfortably able to get air, albeit small amounts due to the rigid bike; but it did rub a bit on my hip by the end of day 2.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    As I’ve said before, spending money on lighter-weight, more compact overnight kit means that rucksack loads are reduced, making that option better than it might otherwise be.

    ambientcoast
    Free Member

    What do you pack for a night in the wilds out of interest?

    Not OP, but here’s what I take for a single overnighter. This pic was the weekend before last.

    Bikepacking overnighter

    Barbag – tent, sleeping bag, inflatable mattress.
    Seatpack – down jacket, spare (non-sweaty) t-shirt, few toiletries.
    Top tube bag – battery for bar-mounted headlight, snacks.
    Frame bag – more food, some tools.

    The bike doesn’t really have much space for water, so I also use a small backpack which fits a 3l bladder, a couple of beers, and not much else.

    (Incidentally, the seat pack is just a tapered dry bag supported by an Alpkit Exo-Rail and a couple of Voile type straps, and it’s lightweight and rock solid, with zero sway if you cinch it tight enough. The Exo-Rail itself is a proper faff to get on and off though.)

    boardmanfs18
    Full Member

    What panniers?

    The Tailfin mini panniers, they come in 5l and 10l sizes and apparently will fit other racks too.

    Marin
    Free Member

    I’ve got an Ortlieb seat post bag thingy and thinks it’s great, get my sleeping bag, pillow, liner , camp clothes, sleeping mat in it. My mate uses panniers and takes a collapsible chair with him! I do sit in it at every opportunity at camp time. How refreshing it’s not become a hate fest thread. Its what works best for you.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Apart from trailers, of course. Anyone advocating for them must be a complete ****

    Trailers have their place. Like I said if you want to load up one bike and keep the other riders bike light they are ideal. Handy for going to the shops too.

    With my 11 year old boy….purple bar ends for the win too!!!

    jameso
    Full Member

    I did a week’s touring in the Alps on a road bike with just a rucsac. Credit card touring, nothing pre-booked, about 10lbs in the bag. Was fine, good memories of that ride. I was convinced I was climbing out of the saddle like a Pro with that extra weight to press down with but my feet did get sore. Didn’t do more than about 80 miles any particular day and ate well every night. Tbh it’s all gone downhill since with bikepacking and age.

    dove1
    Full Member

    You are the one riding the bike so go with whatever your taste and budget allows.

    My own experience ranges from panniers to seat pack and bar roll to (most recently) Tailfin aero pack and fork bags.
    Panniers hold the most stuff but are bulky and can easily be caught on undergrowth, branches and fences on narrow tracks and trails.
    Seat pack and roll bar is good for distributing weight and keeping the width of the load down but can be awkward to pack and require careful planning to get things in in the right order.
    Tailfin is bloody expensive but very good. It’s really a rethink and combination of panniers and packs that makes for a solid set up with no sway or bounce, and that is very welcome when riding off-road.
    The Tailfin gear has made my seat pack and bar roll redundant I think but I will still use panniers for longer road-based trips due to their extra capacity and ease of transporting between bike and house/tent/hotel.

    jameso
    Full Member

    Ortlieb QR rack – useful Tailfin alternative that takes any pannier bag, at a much lower price?

    https://off.road.cc/content/review/ortlieb-quick-rack-review-10465

    At £70, this rack represents excellent value for money. When comparing it to the Tailfin Alloy Rack, which retails for £219, it is clear that the Quick Rack is very reasonably priced and doesn’t lack in terms of performance.

    While Quick Rack loses out to the Taifin’s 27kg payload, its standard 10mm side struts make it compatible with almost any pannier bag – and you can load any kind of dry bag on top of the rack. This is a huge advantage over the Tailfin, which limits you to its system.

    The Tailfin weighs 543g, making it marginally lighter than the Quick Rack. But then again, Ortlieb offers the light version of the Quick Rack that only weighs 440g.

    Seems you need adapters with it that add £15 but still, not bad. The mudguard add-on is neat.

    https://www.ortlieb.com/en_us/quick-rack-light+F78105#

    https://www.ortlieb.com/en_us/quick-rack+F78104

    p7eaven
    Free Member

    @ambientcoast

    tent, sleeping bag, inflatable

    That sounds handy – I can only fit my (admittedly 2kg) tent or sleeping bag in the bar roll!

    What tent, mat, sleeping bag are you using?

    montgomery
    Full Member

    The Tailfin looks good if a bit rich for my tastes, but I’m not surprised you had bounce and sway issues with that barbag/seatpack setup (especially the barbag way out in front of and level with the bars).

    One of the reasons I like swept back bars is that they project cables and hoses forward, so you can easily position the bag tight in under the bars where it has minimal impact on handling.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    What tent, mat, sleeping bag are you using?

    I can also get my solo tent, bag & mat in the bar bag. Nothing Uber-lightweight/niche/mega expensive (tent/bag bought via Go Outdoors price match, mat on sale!): Force-10 Helium tent, Vango down 2-season bag, Exped SynMat Ultralite 7 mat.

    jameso
    Full Member

    I can only fit my (admittedly 2kg) tent or sleeping bag in the bar roll!
    What tent, mat, sleeping bag are you using?

    FWIW I put all that in the seatpack with a spare warm layer, it only gets opened in the evening and has to stay dry.
    Bar roll is for clothes and things I need in the day as it’s easier to access – though that depends on the pack designs really. I like the Wildcat seat harness as it’s so stable + compact but it’s not fast access.

    I have a tarp-tent, 3 seasons bag and mat that’s 1.3kgs total. If I add a PHD quilt to that (250g) it’s good for ~0 deg but prob not the most efficient warmth to weight. Adaptable though, good for Alpine trips when you may sleep high up as well as in the valley.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    I think it depends how small you can get your sleeping kit.

    This was mine from the weekend, packed for 3 nights, but without cooking gear. The priority for me is not to have stuff bouncing or rattling around, and these are rock solid.

    Sleeping bag, spare clothes and tent/poles in the front roll on an Acepac harness, mat, pegs, silk liner and down jacket in the dropper compatible seatpack. Food and light battery in a top tube bag, everything else in an Osprey Seral bumbag. Tools/tube etc in the tool bottle.

    Taking cooking gear would have required another bag strapped under the frame.

    richardthird
    Full Member

    Whoever said chair, absolutely, Helinox Ground chair is a new and very welcome addition for my ageing bones. Usually goes on the rack with the small panniers for other stuff. Just over 500g and a litre of space I think.

    ambientcoast
    Free Member

    @p7eaven

    What tent, mat, sleeping bag are you using?

    Similar to the other replies, I guess.

    The tent is an old Gelert Solo which I’ve used on and off for years now. If you replace the steel pegs with some light alloy ones and get rid of the outer bag, it’s probably not much over 1kg, but that’s just a guess as I’ve never actually weighed it. Sleeping bag is a Robens down 3-season thing. Again, comes in at under 1kg I think. Sleeping mat is an Alpkit Numo… few hundred grams?

    It’s not the lightest kit and it’s all way down at the bottom end of the price scale – especially the tent which cost me £25 15 years ago! – but it means I don’t have to be super gentle with it for the sake of half a kg.

    Having said all that, if it’s raining (like it was a couple weekends ago) that tent is a pretty grim place to spend any amount of time awake. I’m likely going to replace it soon – at least with something I can sit up in.

    Funnily enough, I’m out again for a night this weekend – but on a different bike which I’ll most likely be sticking a rack and panniers on, and possibly even taking a camping chair.

    So… bikepacking bags vs panniers? There’s no right or wrong answer really, but it’s definitely easy to get caught up in overthinking it.

    dove1
    Full Member

    …but I’m not surprised you had bounce and sway issues with that barbag/seatpack setup (especially the barbag way out in front of and level with the bars).

    The barbag is a Blackburn Outpost. It attaches to a quick release handlebar mount that keeps the bag clear of cables and hoses and there is very little bounce.
    The seat pack is a cheap Podsac jobbie and is actually very stable. It sways a little but nothing to cause any concern. (The waterproof jacket on top of it was only put there while I took the photo as it started raining just as I was about to set off.)

    gowerboy
    Full Member

    Reading the comments… I’m just coming back to say that I know some people doesn’t like them but small Ortlieb type panniers on a Tubus rack (combined with a frame bag) have worked for me on a load of off road cycle tours including the Cairngorms Loop, An Turas Mor, Knoydart to Kinloch Hourn, Trans Cambria, much of the Highland 550 route (used as part of a general all over the place tour). They can make pushing a bit harder and they aren’t as light as other setups but they don’t get caught in ruts as my feet are lower and they rarely get snagged in undergrowth.

    They take away the big front load… so I can see my front wheel and I can lift it over bumps and roots more easily. I strap them on too so they don’t rattle.

    I’m not saying it’s the best solution and I don’t care if people don’t agree; just saying that it does work for me in case people want to try it.

    river256
    Free Member

    bike

    This is my set-up for an upcoming trip. I prefer bikepacking bags over panniers. I used to commute with panniers, and I didn’t really care for it. This is for 4 days, but I would take the same for solo trips up to a week (chances are I won’t be going away for longer).
    I’m short- only 5’2″, so space on my bike is limited. However, I have a 31″ inseam, so unlike a lot of short people, I have quite a bit of seat post showing and use a 15 litre saddlebag.
    The saddlebag is a 15 litre Topeak backloader. In it is my tent (alpkit soloist), Microfiber towel, small packable down jacket, cookset and coffee mug, and some food and coffee. Still have plenty of room in the saddlebag if needed and my rain jacket is strapped to the top.
    My frame bag is a custom job from bike bags UK. It’s roughly 3.5 litres, and has a 3 litre apidura hydration bladder, 2 spare tubes, and some more food.
    My handlebar bag is a 13 litre apidura deluge, but i have no where near 13 litres of capacity- more like 8 due to rolling it between my drop bars (40cm c to c). In it is sleeping bag (2 season mountain warehouse job that weighs 500 grams, a sleeping mat, and my spare clothes (bibs, jersey, bamboo baselayer for sleeping). There is a small accessory bag strapped to that which has quick to access items such as arm and leg warmers, beanie and gilet.
    Tent poles are attached to the handlebar roll.
    Lastly, I have a hip pack (and have ditched the top tube bag) I purchased from the national trust that has snacks, power bank and cables, usb plug, and first aid kit. It also hods a spare water bottle. Tools and spares are underneath the downtube.

    shermer75
    Free Member

    I have a question- when I’m out on long days it gets really uncomfortable unless I can spend some time cycling with no hands- it takes the weight off my arms and the stretch off my neck. Can you still do this with a handlebar bag? Or does it make the steering too hard to manage, with the front wheel having a mind of it’s own?

    jameso
    Full Member

    Can you still do this with a handlebar bag? Or does it make the steering too hard to manage, with the front wheel having a mind of it’s own?

    It’s certainly harder, needs more counterbalancing and hip steering to ride no-hands with a weight on the bar. Less trail in the steering and less weight in the bag makes it easier or needs smaller movements to correct and get back on line once it starts to turn. In reality my XC 29er with 2kgs on the bar is as easy to ride no-hands as my faster-handling 650B gravel bike with a similar or slightly lighter weight. Just say No to low trail, kids.

    shermer75
    Free Member

    So the less trail the better?

    shermer75
    Free Member

    Understanding Bicycle Frame Geometry

    I’m finding this useful^^

    shermer75
    Free Member

    So is 30 litres about the limit you can take bikepacking?

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    So is 30 litres about the limit you can take bikepacking?

    Depends whether or not you are carrying a rucksack.

    My Revelate Terrapin/Saltyroll bags add up to about 29 litres, though they’re never normally packed full. I’ve a couple more litres of space in some additional, smaller bags. TBH, it’s more about weight. A 15 litre bar bag needn’t be that heavy if you’ve filled it with a sleeping bag.

    shermer75
    Free Member

    That’s really useful, thanks!

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