Why are panniers not popular for bikepackers?

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

Viewing 40 posts - 121 through 160 (of 171 total)
  • Why are panniers not popular for bikepackers?
  • STATO
    Member

    I said it SEEMS less convenient to me, and it still does

    What exactly do you mean by convenient tho? Access to gear is not a problem with bikepacking bags as like most people have said, you end up packing in a way that puts common stuff at the access points, with other stuff only needed at night. Removal from bike is only required if your in a B&B or something, tho this is why i like the wildcat stuff for front/rear bags. I certainly see your points about how the dis-advantages are not huge (and things like carrying more water in desert areas), but i dont think panniers offer any advantage for the sort of race like the TD. Certainly if i was building a bike for that race i wouldn’t set off thinking about pannier.

    I should point out in interest of fairness for comparison of my suggestions vs other people, im a typical STWer, more talk than experience πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    I must have missed the thread where Molly said he’d do the TDR.

    Where do I place my bet?

    boblo
    Member

    My panniers weigh 800g and the rack 500g. 38l capacity. I don’t use a rucksack/camelback when touring. If I could easily get to 35l and 1kg with the seat/handlebar bags I probably would give it a go. There’s no doubt the bike would be easier to ride on singletrack and have a better for/aft balance.

    <edit> @nickc I wouldn’t put more than 10p on it. Don’t forget he’s hallucinating in Huddersfield…. πŸ™‚

    STATO
    Member

    I recently got a Blackburn MTN-2 rack for commuting, it’s not particularly beefy but because it’s smaller and fits close to my frame it doesn’t wobble about and should be strong. It’s quite light though, must be less than a kg.

    Thats what i had on my fargo above, tbh, pretty poor. 1 ride with a bag on top and the deck bent, sagging at the back.

    d45yth
    Member

    I’ve ridden plenty (lately mostly through London and other cities) with lots of weight in them, and they seem a particularly GOOD way to carry a load, to me. There would also be extra space if I do need to carry say lots of water or food.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head, panniers are a very good way of carrying lots of kit and heavy loads…with bikepacking most folk are trying to get away from that though and carry as little as possible.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    What exactly do you mean by convenient tho?

    Open pannier(s), put stuff in – it seems as if it’d be easier than unstrapping things. And the B&B thing is a good point – there will be motels and restaurants on the way, and panniers just lift off and come with you. That way you can lock your bike and not have to eat with an eye out of the window, which I hate having to do.

    I must have missed the thread where Molly said he’d do the TDR.

    I’ve been dreaming of doing it for ages – I will now as soon as I can afford it. It’s going to be costly though, because in the interests of fairness I’ve got to pay for the rest of my family to have a holiday whilst I ride my bike!

    You may all bet against me doing it in the next 3 years, you can donate your winnings to charity πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    I’ve been dreaming of doing it for ages

    I have exactly those same dreams about ringing Keria, and asking her out on a date….

    boblo
    Member

    Why, has she done the TDR?

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Open pannier(s), put stuff in – it seems as if it’d be easier than unstrapping things. And the B&B thing is a good point – there will be motels and restaurants on the way, and panniers just lift off and come with you. That way you can lock your bike and not have to eat with an eye out of the window, which I hate having to do.

    If you’re racing the TD, you’ll not need to worry about that. Into gas station, out, eat while doing other jobs, checking maps or while on the bike. I had a tiny cable lock to keep my mind at rest but didn’t always use it and no way was I stopping long enough to undo bags etc. I also didn’t use motels, there’s no real reason not to but a trail-side bivi is always faster (and I got lucky with only a couple of wet nights out).

    If you do use panniers, be sure as to why. Test some set ups in training and I mean test them hard – the washboard roads on the TDR can be utterly brutal, worse than pretty much any other surface I’ve ridden a loaded bike on. Some guys were lined up this year with panniers on, god knows what they were carrying though ) I had 11-12lbs of kit complete inc camelback and all bike bags, Spot, batteries, maps etc and it fitted into a 10l drybag on the bars, 8l drybag in a wildcat seat bag and a ~5-6l frame bag that had space for a spare bladder full of water if needed. I’m sure others were a few pounds lighter than that but 10lbs seems to be a reasonable aim.
    Consider what would happen if you break a pannier fitting in the Basin or New Mexico on a hot or stormy day. All kind of things can go wrong but I think panniers are a weak point if you intend to go at a good pace. Personally I think a wise plan is to eliminate all possible points of failure – the TDR is a massive investment of time, has a high physical and financial cost and anything that could mean a DNF or lost days has to go.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I also didn’t use motels, there’s no real reason not to but a trail-side bivi is always faster

    Good point – although I’d imagined myself eating proper cooked meals with nutrition where the opportunity arose.

    I’ve not managed to find anyone talking about the washboarding before, my experience on dirt roads has told me that it can be really bad. I notice few people seem to be going for suspension though despite this.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    I notice few people seem to be going for suspension though despite this.

    Consider what would happen if you break a pannier fitting bit of your rear suspension in the Basin or New Mexico

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Well that’s the obvious point, but

    1) I’ve been riding suspension bikes for years, and haven’t broken a thing. They’ve done a lot more than 2,800 miles. Obviously they could break, but they are generally reliable these days.

    2) There’s a trade-off between risk of failure and performance for all your kit. You have to decide – for example, there’s no way in hell I’m doing it singlespeed πŸ™‚

    Please note – I’m not saying I would take suspension, nor that you are all wrong about points of failure. It’s just food for thought.

    crispedwheel
    Member

    What set up do you think you’ll test out on the bb200?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    For one (long) day of UK MTBing with one night’s just-in-case gear, I think I would much prefer a rucksack.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    Consider what would happen if you break a pannier fitting bit of your rear suspension in the Basin or New Mexico

    I thought I’d found the perfect TD bike in my Flux until….


    When I crossed the Divide we met several riders on various bikes. Some on tandems, some with bob trailers, some with panniers and even cx bikes, none were traveling at race pace. JamesO talks a lot of sense. Anything that has the potential to break. Most probably will.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    How did you do that to the frame?

    And isn’t the flux the super silly light job with a rider weight limit?

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    I look forward to seeing how you progress with this: the TD is on my in-my-head-one-day-maybe list.

    While past-TD racers are here, I’d be interested in how much training/prep you did beforehand.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Alright, well I’ll keep you posted.

    First thing I need is an appropiate bike, I reckon. Mine aren’t niche enough are all FS.

    Premier Icon composite
    Subscriber

    I bought a Lurcher in the recent Lurcher sale that will be my “endurance” (12 hour, 24 hour, multi-day unsupported events) bike.

    Much lighter than my P7, more sensible than my Five, not too racy for long days in the saddle and 29er which we all know rolls better. πŸ˜› πŸ˜† πŸ˜› No rack mounts though so I’ll be using my saddle bag and wild cat harness. Thinking of going the alpkit frame bag route as well.

    It will go between a 100mm and rigid fork depending upon the terrain it needs to be ridden on. Going for one of those exposure lights with dynamo hub that will also power a GPS and phone.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Hmm.. I wish I still had my P7 – although it was 26″.

    When’s your lurcher being put to the test?

    Premier Icon composite
    Subscriber

    Hoping to have the Lurcher built by the end of the year… it’s a project. Maybe first proper test will be El-an Back.

    I’ll be at BB200 with the current P7 setup and testing out some other gear.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Ethan Stewart, a Brit living in Switzerland, did well on his Whippet this year. 26″ wheels, well niche ) he finished 12th. We bivied in the same spot after the first day (where Alex Harris later told me he saw 2 bears strolling around as we set up camp, so he promptly f-ed off to the cabin at Corbin, 40 miles further!) and I saw him again at the services just over the border when I was fixing my frame bag. Saw another Brit in an o-o / planet x jersey at the start too. You just can’t get away from Brits with o-o / PX kit : )

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I bet you didn’t see anyone on an Orange 5 or a Kona Heihei (the FS one) πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Nope! And I wasn’t the only one on a Jones, or with a ti truss fork (a black sheep rider had a ‘fake’ jones fork hehe) so no niche points for me.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Maybe I can get anti-niche points by riding something really mainstream.

    IanB
    Member

    Re the weight – serious question – has anyone weighed their frame bag, saddle bag etc all together?

    I went out last weekend with a base gear weight of about 2.5kg (excl. food and water). Admittedly that was a deliberate attempt to get my total set up (bike plus gear) as close to 25lbs as I could, but I was still adequately prepared. http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=14119
    I had three bags strapped ALL over my bike – they weighed 450g on their own, split evenly over the bike. Nothing on my back.

    Your mate’s wife owns Wildcat Gear – why don’t you go an see him? πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I might just do that Ian, I have an idea.. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon debaser
    Subscriber

    For me it’s about bunny hops (which are way easier than with panniers and getting airborne on a fully laden bike is exceedingly satisfying), balance (weight spread more evenly, heavy stuff in the frame and lighter stuff elsewhere) and bouncy bikes (no hassle with fitting a rack to the same mountain bike I normally ride on day to day that has no mounts for one).

    Nowt wrong with panniers, but once heathery singletrack and tight rocky stuff appears I know which I prefer. Worth borrowing some bags/harnesses and seeing if you get on with them anyway.

    nikk
    Member

    I think you just need to try it to find out. But don’t find out ‘live’ on something like the Tour Divide! Try it first.

    I have used a rear Old Man Mountain rack with a drybag (or two) on the top of it for three main expeditions, including an 8 day bikepack tour with packraft, and latest being half of the Highland 400 race. I am going to move away from the rack, for two main reasons – 1) I have a new bike with bigger wheels, and so I have to redo my carrying equipment anyway, and 2) the rack encourages more stuff to be carried, and this extra stuff and weight really really sucks once you are into day two / three…

    The idea of carrying less is the right one. Even a light rack is half a kilo, that is too much extra weight. A good rack is about 800 grams, way too much. A trailer is 10 kilos, you may as well get a boat anchor and tie it to the seatpost!

    So, I am going to go with the ‘standard’ kit – seatmount bag, framebag, handlebar bag, and a small backpack. All the people (winners included) that use that setup can’t be wrong.

    Also note there will be nothing close to 10 kilos in the rear bag, more like 2 or 3.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I have used a rear Old Man Mountain rack with a drybag (or two) on the top of it for three main expeditions

    I was thinking this might be a good option. Rear rack with an Alpkit Gourdon on it (as someone mentioned above). If the rack breaks or it gets rocky, I can put it on my back. That could be tried out easily enough.

    the rack encourages more stuff to be carried

    Not in this case πŸ™‚ The reason I mentioned 10kg is that I thought 10l of water might be nice to have in the middle of a burning desert. Although the TDR folk don’t seem to be carrying that much water so maybe there’s more on the route than I thought – must buy those maps and start properly examining it.

    nikk
    Member

    I was thinking this might be a good option. Rear rack with an Alpkit Gourdon on it (as someone mentioned above). If the rack breaks or it gets rocky, I can put it on my back. That could be tried out easily enough.

    Try it out, but I don’t think it is optimal. otherwise a bunch of other people would be doing that.

    The reason I mentioned 10kg is that I thought 10l of water might be nice to have in the middle of a burning desert. Although the TDR folk don’t seem to be carrying that much water so maybe there’s more on the route than I thought – must buy those maps and start properly examining it.

    That is a lot of water / a lot of weight. I’d seriously research what the route is like and what other riders have done. I really don’t see anyone carrying 10l of water on that race. And carrying too much could break your bike / race. Seriously. All that weight swinging out the back sucks on MTBs. The frame flexes a lot with that in panniers. And you go slower. Fast and light… fast and light.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Try it out, but I don’t think it is optimal. otherwise a bunch of other people would be doing that.

    I think it’s all marginal, so personal preference comes into it.

    That is a lot of water / a lot of weight.

    Yep, and it’s very hot and dry in deserts too πŸ™‚

    Seriously – read the thread. I do a lot of riding with panniers, I like how the bike handles, so not concerned about that. And I will of course be doing a lot of research, don’t worry πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    This year was as dry as it’s ever been on the Divide apparently, N Mexico was in full drought conditions with record low rainfall. I don’t think I ever had more than 5.5l on me and generally that was a litre or so spare. At a reasonable pace you’re never more than about 8 hours from water. Streams are common in the northern 3/4 of the route and you can drink a litre or more at a tap stop to help get you through, before filling up carriers. I think I drank from taps 85% or more of the time. So I’m still not seeing any good reason for panniers .. )
    My frame bags and seat / bar packs weigh 1.5lb/650g. Sleeping system w/o tarp is 800g and really comfy down to near freezing. I debated over taking a 150g camera. So an 800g pannier rack has no chance )

    boblo
    Member

    Bloody hell, what’s your sleeping kit at 800g?

    Aidan
    Member

    On the topic of suspension, I think you’d be mad to ride the Divide with suspension. Extra weight, extra point of failure, very little trail that needs it. The washboard is brutal, but I don’t think suspension will help you very much with that.

    You might think it will be fine because you’ve done more than 2800 miles without it failure, but have you done that distance with no servicing? With riding in whatever the weather throws up because you’re compelled to keep moving along in the race? Think how busted people get their bikes at Mayhem…. There is clay mud on the Divide which will also clog your wheels to the point where they won’t go round, even when you’re pushing. That’s going to make a hell of a mess of a suspension bike.

    When I asked another rider on year on the Divide whether he found his suspension fork useful, he said it had been locked out for almost the entire distance and he wished he had gone with rigid.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Bloody hell, what’s your sleeping kit at 800g?

    PHD minim ultra bag, 340g (brilliant bit of kit, rated), Terra Nova Bivi, 180g, Neoair short mat, 250g.

    The bag is rated to 8 deg but a down gilet used as a filler made it cosy down to frost-point for me. tbh could have done it on a foam mat as there was often quite soft ground to sleep on but I was aching enough as it was so glad of the neoair most nights, my main luxury item really. I also had a 130g mini-tarp that covers my top 1/2 that was enough extra cover to sleep out comfortably on the only properly stormy night I had, other wet nights weren’t raining hard enough to need more than sleeping face-down with the bivi opening downward.

    boblo
    Member

    @jamesso Aahhh, understood. So add in the gilet and its nearer ~1kg. Which Terra Nova bivvy bag is it at 180g? Is it breathable? My AMK crisp packet survival bag is 115g so that bivy bag is seriously light.

    I thought my PHD minim was light at @~500g. Harrrumphh! πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    It’s the Moonlight bag cover. Not a fully sealed bivi but breathable and works fine, my older Rab Survival Zone was a draw-cord closure too and that did me fine for years of bike and mtn bivies. The down gilet’s approx 180g I guess you could count as part of the sleep system, it’s a double-up item that I wore on the bike, used in the sleeping bag maybe 40% of the time, sometimes as a pillow, etc.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I don’t think I ever had more than 5.5l on me and generally that was a litre or so spare.

    That’s good info, but I’d be a bit concerned about safety. If I had an accident and got stuck or something. But I dunno – more research and testing required.

    You might think it will be fine because you’ve done more than 2800 miles without it failure, but have you done that distance with no servicing?

    Next to none, but in any case all I’m doing is thinking about possibilities. I have pretty much already decided to go for a fully rigid 29er.

    it’s a double-up item that I wore on the bike

    What weather necessitated a down gilet when riding?

    boblo
    Member

    About safety Moly, I think James said he carries a SPOT. The big yellow taxi is never far away assuming clear view of sky (i.e. no 127 hours stuff) and capacity to press a button.

Viewing 40 posts - 121 through 160 (of 171 total)

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