Author Topic: New Panniers  (Read 1877 times)

6527richardm

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New Panniers
« on: December 07, 2011, 11:11:51 PM »
I am looking to buy some new rear panniers and can not decide between the Carradice Super C, the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic and the Back Packer Classic.

I like the idea of having easy access to the panniers so am unsure about the roll top on the Back Rollers as it seems they are more difficult to access during the day.

Any recommendations or thought would be welcome.

Danneaux

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Re: New Panniers
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 03:25:42 AM »
Hi Richard,

For what it's worth, I'm very pleased with my Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus rear panniers.

It took awhile to learn their intricacies, but I love them.  They use a double drawstring for primary closure (be sure to check the example you're buying; several models I tried in the store had sticky drawstrings that were a pain to close).  The cap-top lids actually comprise semi-external, very large pockets.  I use mine to store my walking shoes on one side and my rain gear on the other, along with my first aid kit, all for ready access.  The internal pocket is a large envelope type with a zippered mesh one-third-size compartment.  The trick to using them both effectively is to free them from where they are trapped next to the stiffener and lay the pocket(s) atop the load, beneath the drawstring closure.  That makes them readily available and accessible for whatever.  By folding them under you have, in effect, two envelope pockets and a third that is zippered mesh -- in each pannier.  These, with the capped tops, pretty well address the criticism that Ortliebs have no pockets; one just has to find them!  

Of course, Ortlieb also offer external accessory pockets that can be attached as you wish.  A favorite trick of long-distance tourists is to use the pockets for storage inside the bags, then move them outside as needed to allow for greater load-capacity in the main compartment when needed.

The Plus (cordura) bags are a bit lighter than the Classics (made of truck tarp material), but cannot be wiped clean as easily and I think the cordura is ultimately more susceptible to sun fading.  

The Packer (cap-top models) are as waterproof as the Rollers so long as the bike remains upright.  They are not waterproof if submersed, 'cos there is still a small opening in the drawstring top through which water could enter if the bag is overturned or submerged.  I think the Packers allow faster access, and I like the extensibility allowed by the double-drawstring closure.  The quick-release buckles can be let out for carrying oversized loads, as when one picks up large food items like baguettes and melons and such.  I always felt the Rollers (roll-top closures) had a lot of extra fabric that wasn't used for anything except to, well, "roll-up", though they surely have their supporters and make for some wonderful bags that are 100% waterproof in all circumstances.  I surely considered them, but the Packers won out thanks to the (for me) more versatile tops.  The Packers are waterproof for all conventional uses.

In any case, if you go with the Ortliebs, I would suggest a spare stabilizer fin and extra hook set per rear bag.  Being larger, they tend to carry heavier loads, and it is so nice to have spares self-stored on the same rail in the event a set is needed to repair crash damage.  The extra set of hooks also serves as a slight additional theft deterrent.

Hope this helps; any more questions, feel free to ask.

Best,

Dan.

6527richardm

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Re: New Panniers
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 10:23:35 PM »
Dam

Thanks that is exactly what i was thinking about the benefits of the roller against the Packer

Albeit i would be interested in other views on the Carradice Super C rear panniers

Ubert767

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Re: New Panniers
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 10:24:37 PM »
Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus rear panniers - A remedy I used when experiencing a problem with sticking draw strings was to run the strings over a wax candle to lubricate them. It worked a treat!

Danneaux

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Re: New Panniers
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2011, 11:20:54 PM »
Briliant idea to wax the strings, Ubert.  Mine are okay so far on the present set, but I'll keep this in mind; thanks!

Richard,

There is more on pannier selection in the Thorn Forum Luggage section, and this thread in particular...
http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=3753.0
Pic there shows my Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus rear panniers mounted on my old Miyata 1000LT with the over-caps empty (Sport Packer Plus up front, HB bag is an Ortlieb Ultimate 5 Plus in Large).  This thread...
http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=1703.msg16206#msg16206
...shows the same bags mounted on my Sherpa with the overcaps full, if that helps to visualize them.

When the Packer bags and overcaps are full, they do stand proud of the rack-top, leaving a valley lengthwise in the middle.  When I run with that large a load, then I put my tent (and/or MSR Dromedary 10l waterbag filled to 6l) longitudinally in the gap atop the rack; makes for a level surface atop the assemblage.  My dry-sack with the down sleeping bag, pad, air pillow and silk liner can then go crosswise and remain stable.  With small loads and empty overcaps, I just put my tent and dry sack crosswise and that is stable, too.  Lots of rack-top packing options with the Packer series, and all can work well.  You can change mid-tour provided you secure the load with a nice, secure webbing strap like Arno make.

I have found it a Very Good Idea to secure any pannier with at least one external compression strap.  Makes things much quieter, keeps the hooks and mounting hardware from chafing, and pretty well eliminates second-order vibrations and impacts, making for a much longer-lived rack and pannier hardware.  The Bike Packers include built-in horizontal compression straps to draw the load toward the rack (and the same straps secure lid on the large external, foldover-topped side pockets), so I just use a vertical compression strap on the rear bags to press the whole lot against the rack.  Webbing with Fastex buckles works great for compression straps, and adds a little casual theft deterrence if the buckles are fastened on the bottom side.

Best,

Dan.

JimK

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Re: New Panniers
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 01:05:50 AM »
I've got a set of SuperC bags but I haven't used the panniers very much. I have used them a few times for grocery shopping, and they sure hold a lot! But I can't comment much - yet!

If you have any specific questions on construction or features, I can always take a measurement or a photo.