Why are panniers not popular for bikepackers?

Home Forum Bike Forum Why are panniers not popular for bikepackers?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 171 total)
  • Why are panniers not popular for bikepackers?
  • trail_rat
    Member

    slow day at work trollgrips ?

    mrmonkfinger
    Member

    No idea. Same question to commuters.

    End of the day, Panniers are the pro choice for transporting things on a bike, and far better than rucksacks or randomly strapped on bits.

    headfirst
    Member

    I agree with molgrips, why not use panniers on a hardtail for bikepacking?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Maybe they look too Rough Stuff Fellowship πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    racks and stiff bags weigh more. they also stick off the side and are more likely to catch on stuff.
    They can carry more though, but if travelling light and fast, frame bags are the way to go.

    trail_rat
    Member

    ok ill bite

    bike packing is not the act of carrying your bed on the road

    its the act of riding the same trails you would normally attack on a daily ride with the ability to carry what you need to go further.

    You try riding some of the singletrack in the highlands of scotland with panniers and see how often you get stopped by heather or rocks due to the fact your now really wide.

    trail_rat
    Member

    carradice were the inventors of bike packing anyways (without inventing fancy new names for carrying stuff on bikes) – far superior to panniers for commuting. – doesnt prevent me filtering through traffic πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    slow day at work trollgrips ?

    As always πŸ™‚

    My Ortlieb bags are pretty heavy, but I reckon you could get much lighter ones. I’ve never fancied frame bags. Maybe it’s cos it’d make the bike hard to carry, or maybe it’s because my legs seem to rub on stuff in the frame – even water bottles. From looking at people’s photos, you can’t do it with just a frame bag, you need to strap large items to your bars and saddle too. And where do you put water bottles?

    I do my work travel with panniers, I don’t mind riding with them at all.

    You try riding some of the singletrack in the highlands of scotland with panniers and see how often you get stopped by heather or rocks due to the fact your now really wide.

    This is of course a good point. If I were in the highlands on singletrack I’d prefer a rucksack, I’m thinking more along the lines of the TDR which as far as I know does not contain singletrack.

    STATO
    Member

    Last time i took panniers offroad the grounded out while navigating a field margin. I clip them enough commuting so much happier with (lighter) bike packing gear and it means i can use my full-sus.

    crispedwheel
    Member

    Didn’t you do a very similar thread when you were planning to do the Tour Divide, or am I thinking of someone else? I guess the replies now will be similar to the ones then.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    trail_rat +1. I’ve done a lot of off-road bike touring and panniers are fine on wider tracks. Get to narrow trails with heather, shrubs and rocks though and they get in the way. The new style bags also mean you are not limited by frames with rack mounts.

    STATO
    Member

    My Ortlieb bags are pretty heavy, but I reckon you could get much lighter ones

    Tried that, they got a hole in and were not waterproof. Alpkit gourdon strapped to top of rack is better but still needs a rack. Water is in camelback, only one cage on frame anyway. Bar and saddle bags are usually enough for a short trip, if your a caffeine addict you might want frame bag for stove and all that crap. Bag only rubs knees if you overfill the top bit, plenty of space at the bottom of the bag, look how wide you cranks are at that point.

    trail_rat
    Member

    “I’m thinking more along the lines of the TDR which as far as I know does not contain singletrack. “

    Might want to research a bit more before you go then.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I reckon if I were forgoing rucksack, I’d want to go bare-backed. I’d use individual dry bags for things I didn’t want to get wet.

    Might want to research a bit more before you go then.

    What am I doing now then?

    Aidan
    Member

    What everyone else said, plus…

    If you’re going to use rear panniers alone, then the bike will be horribly unbalanced. If you are going to use front panniers with a suspension fork then you’re limited to wacky solutions that look ungainly and fragile to me. In STW style, I haven’t actually tried suspension fork mounted racks, so I’m putting them down without actual experience, but that’s OK πŸ™‚

    trail_rat
    Member

    ok so let me ask this

    do you think that the shift from panniers to frame bags would be so popular if it really didnt work ?

    there are guys who use panniers in the TD – but there AFAIK hasnt been one at the sharp end – mostly reserved for folk fast touring.,

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    trail rat – chill a bit please. I’m asking for opinions and experiences, that’s all. I’m not looking for an argument.

    I’m not saying frame bags don’t work. I’m wondering what reasons people have for using them and not panniers. Panniers appeal to me over frame bags for a few reasons, but mainly because I hate having stuff hanging all over my bike. No real reason other than OCD.

    Aidan – balance is an interesting one. When I used panniers for the first time in the mid 90s I didn’t like them, but I regularly put 20-odd kg on my hybrid for work and have no problems at all. Which is partly why I am thinking about them.

    Not sure if I want to use sus forks or not either.

    timb34
    Member

    From the mammoth bikepacking sick-as-a-dog thread, the consensus seemed to be that soft straps were the way to go for anything remotely technical for two reasons:

    – all the weight is as close as possible to the bike and can be well distributed fore and aft so that handling isn’t too compromised

    – a couple of people mentioned that solid racks will inevitably break, but bags and webbing don’t.

    STATO
    Member

    This is of course a good point. If I were in the highlands on singletrack I’d prefer a rucksack, I’m thinking more along the lines of the TDR which as far as I know does not contain singletrack.

    Well if your planning on sticking to only wider tracks then yeah, panniers might be better for you. I think most ‘bikepackers’ tho are interested in riding normal trails and singletrack if possible, so thats the obvious reason. Other reasons as pointed out are weight and balance/stability, as tightly packed and centred weight makes bike easier to control when riding and carry when not.

    You said earlier a frame bag woudl stop you carrying your bike, not really. You might not be able to shoulder it like you normally might but you can still hang it off your shoulder by the saddle if your hardcore, dont forget it will weigh more so you wont want to carry if you dont NEED to. Try that with panniers, no chance of shouldering it with the bags attached and if you take them off youd still have to carry them which would be difficult over the rough terrain your trying to get over.

    As for OCD, bike bags are better, you can get them all tied down tight so no rattling, pocket for everything and everything to hand, perfect!

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    The fore-aft weight distribution question is a good one. It has to be said that loading up the back of a bike does give massive additional traction when climbing loose surfaces.

    Molgrips – your best option is to get out there and give it a go. Start with one nights gear and slowly work up to longer trips. You may find that panniers work ok for you on your selected routes. I’d certainly still consider using mine when appropriate.

    I did find someone who made panniers that converted into one rucksack. I thought that was an interesting approach.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    Lack of rack mounts on peoples main bikes I reckon.

    I was delighted to find what I think are rack mounts on my Lynskey 456.

    I’ve never had too much issue riding off road with a couple of days worth in panniers (rear only, don’t like fronts) but then I’ve never tried frame bags so maybe I just don’t know what I’m missing.

    Premier Icon thetallpaul
    Subscriber

    I use the freeload (now Thule) rack plus sides for carrying pannier bags, etc. Can be attached to forks too.
    IME these racks are incredibly strong, reasonably light and versatile.
    I can alter where the panniers are mounted. Up high, or down low, forward or right back.
    The top deck can be used for carrying other items too. Max load is rated at 25kg for off road use.
    Linky
    I do notice the extra weight, but now consider it extra training.
    Really like my Ortlieb panniers too.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Panniers appeal to me over frame bags for a few reasons, but mainly because I hate having stuff hanging all over my bike

    What are the panniers doing, if not “hanging over your bike”?

    boblo
    Member

    Tee hee, Moly said ‘bareback’….. πŸ™‚

    Its true to say, panniers can be a RPIA in singletrack/heather/rocks. However, I’d be interested in the weight vs capacity conundrum. My offroad panniers weigh ~800g plus the rack at ~500g but have a capacity of 38L. When multi nighting (and especially in Scotland), I usually take a tent (Laser Comp) and cooking gear. How do you get all that in a frame bag/on your bars?

    brakes
    Member

    my two-p:
    – I don’t like panniers as they make your bike feel like you’re giving someone a backy and I never liked that
    – frame bags are cool and don’t get much cooler than this

    Premier Icon eat_more_cheese
    Subscriber

    I did a c2c from Montrose to Inverie last year, and can categorically say that panniers are the devils own work. By The top of Glen Clova I realised I had made an awful mistake-both bike handling while on the bike and lack of room on the trail when pushing. Needless to say my legs looked like a scene from a horror movie after the constant brushing with rocks heather thistles etc. By Feshie I was almost ready for giving up the bike was so tail heavy and uncontrollable through the burns and peaty ditches. I ended up posting one bag back at spean bridge to lighten up. By sourlies my pannier frame had snapped so had to strap the pannier bag to my backpack with tent etc between top and down tube. Only then did the ride become enjoyable! The rack received a sea burial-not one for littering but I was just so pissed with it!
    I hope this answers your question πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Panniers are hanging ON my bike, not ALL OVER it. It’s a subtle point that’s psychologically important, especially as I go mental over 2,800 miles of solitude πŸ™‚

    I will of course try these things out, I’ve got plenty of time yet though – who knows when I’ll get the chance to do the race.

    I’ve done a few bikepacking trips before but I’ve always used a rucksack. I have no problem with these, but I’m thinking it might make staying cool a bit harder in super hot conditions.

    There would of course be very little in whatever I choose to take. Something on top of the rack might even be better, and avoid grounding/snagging issues.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    boblo wrote:

    Tee hee, Moly said ‘bareback’…..
    Its true to say, panniers can be a RPIA in singletrack/heather/rocks. However, I’d be interested in the weight vs capacity conundrum. My offroad panniers weigh ~800g plus the rack at ~500g but have a capacity of 38L. When multi nighting (and especially in Scotland), I usually take a tent (Laser Comp) and cooking gear. How do you get all that in a frame bag/on your bars?

    I’ve posted this link before but it does seem appropriate to do so again..

    http://www.blog.scotroutes.com/2013/05/bikepacking-kit-list.html

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    They seem to like to strap bits and pieces all over the bikes instead. This seems less convenient to me.

    trail_rat
    Member

    1 week tour of mull and ardnamurchen

    in the camper long flap i had a tent – much bigger and heavier than a laser comp. , my stove , and my pots/cooking stuff.

    in the bar bag i had my bed roll and sleeping mat + spare shorts and down vest.

    all inside dry bags

    my rucksack was largely empty save for toiletries and food.

    I now have a frame bag so i can get rid of the ruck sack and even the carradice – i have a smaller underseat bag but have a bigger bar roll and a can put alot of the stuff into the frame bag. – bike is much more balanced than in the photo

    and thats the one night version – bike remains balanced due to there being naff all weight – its litterally a small sleeping bag and bivvy bag and down vest inside a dry bag – with my waterproof on the outside.

    everything else i needed was in my jersey pockets

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I hadn’t read that link. How’s that inflatable mat compare to an open cell foam one? I happen to own a Rab down bag with no stuffing on the bottom side.. I think a mat without foam would be rather cold and uncomfortable with that bag. Not sure if I like the bag either tbh, but it was an event special offer and cost me very little.

    trail_rat
    Member

    ime of a thermarest neoair – its not like standard inflatable mats so standard thinking practice that inflatable mats are cold can be forgotten.

    Its insanely warm given that on the face of it logic says it should suck heat out of you – until you read the explanation of why it doesnt

    the space savings over a closed cell matt make it a no brainer.

    boblo
    Member

    Hmm, Trail Rat…. Bivvy bag in a Scottish summer? Midgies and monsoon? I’d be pretty pissed off after a couple of nights of that.

    However, my bivvy bag is not much lighter than the tent (especially if you add a tarp to the bivvy set up) so I don’t hint what I’m carrying is a problem.

    I’ll have a look at some of the on the bike set ups to compare capacity. I have a Long Flap already so mebbies just a bar harness and frame bag required?

    <edit> agreed on the Neo Air, it’s a no brainer. Just a bit fragile mind….

    trail_rat
    Member

    hence why its my 1 night west highland way emergency pack

    my multi night kit contains a tent as detailed above.

    also if i was doing it with my seat pack and frame bag id put the tent in the bar roll.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I’ve long fancied a neo-air. Aren’t they just inflatable with a reflective layer?

    I’d originally thought of a tent, but maybe hooped bivi? Keep the insects off? Dunno.

    trail_rat
    Member

    its the reflective layer AND small air pockets the work together

    R value 2.5

    closed cell foam – R value seems to hover between 1.5 and 2

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I’d be pretty pissed off after a couple of nights of that.

    Why? Humidity?

    boblo
    Member

    @ scotroutes interesting you were carrying 8kg (plus the bags… Total 9kg?). When McMoo and I did Skye-Montrose recently, my total was 10kg inc bags, food, tools etc. I could drop mebbies a kg off that by trimming down similar to your kit list. So on the frame isn’t really lighter, must be just a bit easier to manage.

    @ Moly. No, midgies and rain. A bivvy bag on its own is a PIA in the rain (that’s why people take tarps) and the midgies in Scotland are a pleasure to behold…. BTW, just try a Neo Air, they are magic. Don’t over think it…

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    molgrips – Member
    I hadn’t read that link. How’s that inflatable mat compare to an open cell foam one?

    It’s as warm but feels like it isn’t/shouldn’t be πŸ˜‰ That psychological difference could be important. I’ve had a few issues with that particular model though, due to a manufacturing fault. I’m currently using a 3/4 length Thermarest instead.

    boblo – Member – Quote
    @ scotroutes interesting you were carrying 8kg (plus the bags… Total 9kg?). When McMoo and I did Skye-Montrose recently, my total was 10kg inc bags, food, tools etc. I could drop mebbies a kg off that by trimming down similar to your kit list. So on the frame isn’t really lighter, must be just a bit easier to manage.

    That was with a winter bag that’s quite a bit heavier than my summer version. Pairing up with someone else should also make for a lighter pack as you can share tools etc. There can’t really be much difference between the weight of a pair of panniers and a couple of frame bags – just the rack itself I reckon.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I think I’ll have to stump up and buy some of this kit, and be prepared to sell it if it doens’t work how I want.

    I think a tent, especially a Terra Nova Laser type thing, would be a lot of faff when you just want to crash for a few hours. You’d want to be quick about it. For an adventure race or similar, you’d probably have a lot more time to camp.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 171 total)

The topic ‘Why are panniers not popular for bikepackers?’ is closed to new replies.