Author Topic: 40L panniers on front rack Safe?  (Read 6101 times)

WorldTourer

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Re: 40L panniers on front rack Safe?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2023, 02:01:17 pm »
I tried a Tubus Tara on the Nomad and I was not able to adjust the horizontal bar to be even close to horizontal.

It is indeed possible to make the Tubus Tara bar horizontal on the Nomad Mk2 (this was the setup on my own touring bike prior to my upgrade to the Nomad Mk3 and the Thorn Bikepacking Fork), but I can see how the screw system on the Tara might confuse people.

PH

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Re: 40L panniers on front rack Safe?
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2023, 02:06:22 pm »
Do you really need the extra capacity? 

Iíve no clue what I need 😁

That's where we all start and although we diverge from there it's usually within a fairly narrow band depending on our preferences and experience. The only thing I'd be pretty certain of is not getting it perfect first time and still making adjustments for years to come, possibly forever.  It may be that you eventually decide you need to carry more than most people, but it's unlikely and isn't a good place to start.
There is something magical about the way a balanced loaded touring bike handles, it's an old cliche but they really do feel like they're riding on rails.  There is of course a price for that and although weight isn't at the top of any cycling list for me, it is a consideration on them all. I wouldn't consider it a good trade off adding weight to a load to improve the handling, quite the opposite, I prefer my loaded bike to feel as close to unloaded as possible. I'm not going to guess why you're finding your bike's handling twitchy, but that is something I'll suggest you look into, touring bikes and Thorn's in particular are known for there steady, some would say boring, handling.
My packing advise - For a first trip work out what you absolutely need, then add stuff that you wouldn't feel comfortable not having with you.  The big decisions for me are cooking and additional footwear.  The first I've experimented with just about every option and settled on being able to boil water and no more. IMO the only reasons for a solo camper to cook is either they're so remote there is no other option, or they enjoy it.  Footwear is the other one I struggle with, easier now I don't use SDP's.  There is something luxurious about putting on dry shoes after a wet ride, but they take up a lot of space, I've settled on not bothering if it's just a couple of nights and for any longer taking the ubiquitous Crocs as they can travel outside a pannier.
It needn't be complicated or expensive putting luggage on a bike, eBay is full of cheap panniers, new and secondhand.  My first few tours were with a pair of throw-overs and a duffle bag strapped on top, not as nice a hundreds of pounds worth of Ortliebs, but did the job fine.  Once you have a better idea of what you want, you can then decide how much to invest.
I do appreciate how easy it can be to overthink these things, best advise I can offer is to get out and do it, even if it's just a night away, a sub 24 hour, ride out in the evening and back before lunch the following day, sometimes they're the best anyway and it's all part of the learning curve.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2023, 02:09:04 pm by PH »

steve216c

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Re: 40L panniers on front rack Safe?
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2023, 12:15:30 pm »
Donít overthink what might work better in what scenario but try out some options.

If I have to carry a bigger load, a trailer is preferable to a super heavily loaded bike. I converted a kid carrying trailer to a supermarket run carrier by taking out seats and putting a light weight floor in it. I have carried up to 40kg of provisions in said trailer which is a lot more ridable than when Iíve carried 20kg in two Ortliebs on the back.

I since have a better balanced touring trailer that came with a huge waterproof fitted touring sack. That rides even better than the diy conversion trailer.

The reality is in Northern Europe that we are never far from a shop or a garage or a town. Donít think about how much you need to carry but how little you can get away with. Several thin layers can be adjusted as you feel warm or cold. No need for thicker clothes. Quick drying clothes preferably that you can hand wash in the sink at a push. Purchase what you need as you are close to needing it.

Give yourself time for on route delays. If you have time pressure you will ride in the pouring rain and arrived cold and demotivated at next point needing to wash/dry clothes when all you want to do is crash in bed. So if you have a bad weather day, have it for local sightseeing, reading, posting to this forum or even Netflix and co. You will be more motivated for the next leg of your trip that way.

Always have enough food and drink to get you through the day and to the next opportunity to purchase a top up. There is no shame to eating a cold pasty and drink outside Tesco if it saves you carrying it another 20 miles before you eat.

Iíve camped with the wife and a Primus stove. At times neither wanted to communicate with me. But I soon learned that asking politely for hot water to fill a thermos in smaller places while purchasing provisions rarely costs more than a smile and cooks pot noodles or makes tea just as effectively. And buying a warm take out/eating in a restaurant/pub is preferable to cooking if youíve already used your energy up riding and then need to cook. In the end, could I have managed without cooking utensils and stove? Almost certainly. And the wife was easier to deal with too than camping in survival mode.

Less to carry = more time to enjoy the ride
« Last Edit: March 28, 2023, 12:19:43 pm by steve216c »
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

mickeg

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Re: 40L panniers on front rack Safe?
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2023, 12:53:48 pm »
I tried a Tubus Tara on the Nomad and I was not able to adjust the horizontal bar to be even close to horizontal.

It is indeed possible to make the Tubus Tara bar horizontal on the Nomad Mk2 (this was the setup on my own touring bike prior to my upgrade to the Nomad Mk3 and the Thorn Bikepacking Fork), but I can see how the screw system on the Tara might confuse people.

Photo?

mickeg

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Re: 40L panniers on front rack Safe?
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2023, 01:07:20 pm »
...
Iíve no clue what I need 😁
...

Photo below, I had about 2.5 weeks of food on the bike.  Where are you going that you might need more pannier volume than I have?

Put all your non-food stuff into a box, or a couple boxes.  Measure the length times width times height to get volume that you need for your stuff.

That is your non-food volume that you need.

I need about 2 liters of volume for one day of food, but depending on what you are eating, that could vary greatly.  But you could start with a 2 liter per day rule of thumb for your trip.

If you were going into the desert and needed to carry days of water, that is one thing but if you are staying in UK, that should be unlikely.


martinf

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Re: 40L panniers on front rack Safe?
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2023, 09:25:23 pm »
My Raven Tour "Utillity" bike loaded with the 70 litre Ortlieb Back Roller Pro Plus rear panniers and the 30 litre Ortlieb Sport Packer Plus front panniers.

Font panniers have food, bike rainwear, small toolkit, pump and inner tube, documents and camera for survey use, warm clothing for survey use. The front rack is a standard Thorn low-loader, with a modified stainless-steel rear mudguard and extra stay to the front of the rack (last photo of four).

Rear panniers have waders and survey net (this has a handle that breaks down into 3 lengths for easier transport), 5 litre buckets for sorting and keeping specimens, small observation pots. The rear rack is a Thorn Expedition, which is the strongest bike rack I know about.

On the rack I have white sorting trays, and closed cell foam mats for kneeling on cold wet ground, the latter also reduce rattling from the trays during transport.
___________________________________________

As said previously, I have never used the 70 litre bags for touring, only for transport and shopping.

The Raven Tour frame/forks and racks are rated for a "comfortable" load of  5-6 kg on the front, 15-18 kg on the back.
And maximum recommended load 12 kg front, 28 kg rear, which is about my maximum shopping load.

On a Nomad, the maximum rear load with the same rack would be significantly greater.

For camping, I could theoretically use just the 70 litre rear bags and save about 2 kg, but I prefer 30 litre front and 40 litre rear panniers because:

(i) the load feels more balanced.
(ii) I find it easier to organise packing with 4 bags.

Having front panniers also leaves me more leeway on the back, for example if I want to transport bulky food to avoid shopping for a couple of days, or, more significantly, 10 litres of water in the foldable Ortlieb water bag for wild camping.   

If touring and not camping, I do without the front panniers, the 40 litre rear panniers are enough for me, again with occasional overspill onto the rear rack for food and (rarely) extra water.


« Last Edit: March 28, 2023, 09:59:34 pm by martinf »

martinf

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Re: 40L panniers on front rack Safe?
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2023, 09:30:36 pm »
And the stuff from the rear unpacked :

The blue buckets can't be stacked too tightly, as they become impossible to separate. I either put an old sock between each bucket, or some of the small observation pots or their lids. Of course, this increases the bulk.

So a bulky but reasonably light load.

Pavel

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Re: 40L panniers on front rack Safe?
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2023, 06:43:47 am »
my viewpoint and needs are very different.  I find that the steering on all my Thorns is to quick.  It's very twitchy to me.  So I would not go anywhere without front low riders attached.  On my lightweight (relatively ) Audax I have a super C saddlebag, which is 23 liters and no rack.  On the front I have the low riders and this is the one case that I use both Ortlieb sport packers plus. It helps with my idea of what the steering should feel like, though not enough for my tastes.

So I too am quite interested in how large could I go on the front as I find that Audax setup a fair bit limiting for volume.  I should say that while som like ultra light setups, I like ultra comfy setups and plan to carry both a tent and a hammock setup at the same time.  It's terribly hot and humid where I live and a tent is misery, while a hammock is relatively comfy in this muggy heat.  If you are into hammocking you know all about CBS - cold but syndrome.  But sometimes a tent is needed.

martinf

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Re: 40L panniers on front rack Safe?
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2023, 11:46:04 am »
So I too am quite interested in how large could I go on the front as I find that Audax setup a fair bit limiting for volume.

The 40 litre Ortlieb Bikepacker rear panniers work OK on the front of my Raven Tour bikes with Thorn low-loader front racks. But I have never used them on the front for touring, only for short utility trips and usually with light but bulky stuff.

Large front panniers were still reasonably popular for cycle-camping in France when I first moved there in the early 1980's. They used big low loader racks that securely held the bags.

There are several things to consider if loading large bags on the front:

- the capacity of the front rack. The Thorn front low-loader is rated at 18kg max per side, when fitted with 6mm screws, 12kg per side when fitted with 5mm screws (my case).
- the capacity of the forks. Thorn recommend a maximum of 12kg on the front for my Raven Tour frames, I suppose this includes any handlebar bag (I don't like these). The Nomad Mk 2 forks had a higher rating, the current Nomad Mk three 26" 531 V-brake forks are rated at 7.5kg per side, the steel disc brake forks at 10kg per side.
- the shape of the rack and panniers, which must prevent any possibility of the panniers flopping into the front wheel, which would be very nasty.
- ground clearance when cornering and/or off-road.

Ordinary (platform) front racks give better ground clearance, but as the load is generally further from the wheel axle I don't like the effects on handling.


 

mickeg

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Re: 40L panniers on front rack Safe?
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2023, 01:20:25 pm »
I just came home from a tour on my Lynskey.  That is a 700c bike, my front rack is a Tubus Tara.  I had Ortlieb Frontrollers on it.

And once again, I scrapped a curb with the bottom of an Ortlieb, putting another hole in the bottom of my Frontroller.

It is already patched, not a big deal.  But just commenting that if your panniers are too low, that sort of thing happens. 

I have not put my panniers back in storage yet, so they were handy to measure.  My Backrollers would hang down about 25mm lower than Frontrollers, the Backrollers are also about 25mm wider, thus would stick out more.

Pavel

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Re: 40L panniers on front rack Safe?
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2023, 03:40:53 am »
I just came home from a tour on my Lynskey.  That is a 700c bike, my front rack is a Tubus Tara.  I had Ortlieb Frontrollers on it.

And once again, I scrapped a curb with the bottom of an Ortlieb, putting another hole in the bottom of my Frontroller.

It is already patched, not a big deal.  But just commenting that if your panniers are too low, that sort of thing happens. 

I have not put my panniers back in storage yet, so they were handy to measure.  My Backrollers would hang down about 25mm lower than Frontrollers, the Backrollers are also about 25mm wider, thus would stick out more.

Now that is the information that I am grateful for.  Yes, that is a moderately significant difference, dang it.  I don't need much in the weight category, but rather in volume.  It may seem sensible then to simply go with a four pannier setup, no matter the bike and eschew the "ligh weight" side of things.