Panniers with Pockets

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by lugger, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. lugger

    lugger New Member

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    Years ago, I bought Eclipse panniers with nice big strap-down flaps and big external pockets. Now I need new panniers, but Eclipse is gone. I found three possibilities and the one I like best is Axiom Champlain (see thumbnail 1). I also like Arkel GT-54, but it is expensive (see thumbnail 2). Third, I am looking at Jandd Mountain Expedition, which is expensive too (see thumbnail 3). Also, I am not sure how well the flap on the Jandd covers the opening and the whole shape looks wider than tall.

    All three panniers are big, which I like even though I will not try to fill them up, and all three have extra external pockets. I am leaning strongly toward the Axiom because I like the design and the price is far less than the others.

    Has anyone used Axioms? How did you like them? How about other panniers with nice big external pockets? Any suggestions or cautions?
     
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  2. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    Why would you need something as large as gt54? if you have something this large you will end up putting silly things like jeans etc., in them. Are these going to be used with front panniers also? Are you travelling around the world?

    We get by with Ortleib Backroller plus on the back with Sportpacker plus on the front. This is for 2 people on a tandem travelling with all camping and cooking gear.
    For CC touring 40l of space is plenty, for two.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  3. xilios

    xilios New Member

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    I agree with geoffs, on my first tour I had a total of 60L capacity, 36 rear, 17 front and 7 on the handle bars.
    Fully unsupported with camping and cooking gear.
    It was more than I needed, I ended up caring some silly things, and the bags were still not full.
     
  4. lugger

    lugger New Member

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    Yes, those Arkels are 54 L, the Jandds are 56 L and the Axioms are 65 L. They are a bit over the top. Thanks for the perspective, Geoff and Xilios. I'm not planning on using front panniers, but I will probably have enough room with normal size panniers, around 40 L, as you suggest. I checked and found most Ortliebs are around 40 L and Axiom makes the Lasalle at 40L, which I like. Axiom reminds me of Eclipse, especially the Lasalle now that I look more closely, in shape and with the strap-down flap and that big lower outside pocket.

    And a world tour for me? Yeah, what a dream. I would be very happy to ride around in New England, USA, for a week or two late this summer.

    So what's the word on this Axiom brand? Does anyone out there use them? Are they sturdy, secure, durable, water resistant and convenient?
     
  5. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    I haven't heard anything about the Axiom brand. Here is a link to some more info http://www.lancerushing.com/bicycling/panniers.cfm?metric=True

    Arkels have a good name but are not waterproof. The people who have been on long tours that have put panniers through various conditions all used Ortleib. Their websites are
    http://bnmercat.free.fr/ we met them in NZ and they stayed with us when in Sydney.
    http://www.karennben.com/ we met in Sydney and had a chat for a while. They were not only using panniers but were also using a trailer for the gear they were carrying. They are the first people that I am aware of that have broken a Rohloff Hub.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  6. lugger

    lugger New Member

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    Geoff and Xilios, thanks for your suggestions and the links to the tour web sites. I guess Ortliebs really are that good (but I wish they would add some outside pockets). I will research some of the pannier reviews.

    And I will marvel at the tours you did or show. Those are some serious tours!
     
  7. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    The first tour that I did I was using a full set of Karrimor Iberian panniers that were 45l for the rear, 20l for the front and a handlebar bar. That was back in 1989 and the gear that is available today is much better. I have the 3 down sleeping bags that I have used since I was 15 ( I gave my oldest one away lasdt weeek) and the difference in size ands weigh is amazing. The second one that I bought I used for touring and it took up half of one pannier. The rain jacket that I had was bulky and heavy. I used a closed cell foam mat to sleep on.

    My new sleeping bag is tiny, weighs 600gr and is just as warm as my first huge one. An ultralight full length Thermarest takes up less that half the space of the old foam mat.
    We now use 70l for the two of on the tandem for all our gear including camping, cooking and food. The tent is on the rear rack with the two thermarests in a Rack Bag.

    All the panniers that we have had up until now have had pockets. We did a total of 6 weeks with our new setup and managed fine

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  8. philso

    philso New Member

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    the attachment system of the axioms looks pretty basic; a bit less secure than other systems that actually clip around the top of the rack rather than just hang on top. i took a quick look at the homepage and a couple of dealers, but couldn't find the price. they look adequate, but one can only guess as to the quality of the sewing.

    pockets sure are convenient, but they also contribute to leaking, and of course the seams and zippers can fail.

    i've been using the mec aqua-nots and the rackpack on this page:
    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_listing.jsp?bmUID=1144150356909

    the rackpack is where i keep the stuff i'll be using throughout the day. the panniers are burly and waterproof; you can open/close and get them on and off the rack with 1 hand. my only gripe is that the older models at least (in other words mine) don't have a floating lid such as many backpacks have. that would make them a lot more versatile as far as occasionally over-stuffing goes. i don't know if any other panniers do or not.
     
  9. Magictofu

    Magictofu New Member

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    I am partial to Arkel panniers.

    I own one of their first models, they are now over 15 years old and are still in good condition after many tours. Their newer models have much more features but seem to be as well designed and built as the older ones. They are expensive and slightly heavyer than other models such as ortleibs but are much more functional. The attachment system is simple and one of the best I know.

    I have no experience with the other panniers on your list but if I were you, I would pay close attention to the attachment system... this is usually the first thing to fail.
     
  10. lugger

    lugger New Member

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    Philso and Magictofu, thanks for the suggestions about seams, pockets and mounting.

    I'm not so worried about waterproof because I will use plastic bags and I want the panniers to breathe.

    I like the pivot that locks on the Arkels. Good idea.

    The MEC look very good, but I just want outside pockets for sundry stuff, including food for cooking I get on the way to the campsite.

    Strong seams are important. And the Axioms have lots and lots of seams all over. So many places for rips. I saw an Axiom handlebar bag at an LBS. The material was not nearly as heavy weight as Arkel or Carradice, but the stiffener seemed better than Carradice, which uses corrigated plastic. Eclipse used to use corrigated plastic. It's ok, especially for weight, but it can crease and lose rigidity.

    Now I'm looking at Agu and Altura brands. I started a new thread asking folks about them and online stores that sell them. All the online stores I found selling them are in UK.
     
  11. philso

    philso New Member

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    let us know what you finally decide on, and how you like them after using them ;)
     
  12. danofzoo

    danofzoo New Member

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    ihave a set of eclipse for sale on e-bay , go to e-bay and search for eclipse top loading panniers or item #360019774315. danofzoo
     
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