Worst panniers ever or bad install?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Lrac6, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Lrac6

    Lrac6 New Member

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    Hey all,

    I bought a pair of these Avenir Panniers with my new road bike that I'm using primarily for commuting:
    http://www.bicyclebuys.com/Items01.asp?NavID=moreinfo&SKU=0151000

    On my ride to work, I instantly noticed that my feet hit them on every stroke. Very annoying.

    On my ride from work, I got going fast on a busy road and all of a a sudden I hear a "thwack-thwack-thwack" and feel through the bike that something is very wrong with the rear end. I quickly stop and look back - the stiff inner side of the right pannier had gotten caught up in the spokes! (maybe due to the jostling caused by my feet hitting them?) This happened two more times on the ride home. Needless to say, I won't use these panniers again. I just hope I didn't damage my rear wheel.

    Is this a fault of the panniers or the installation? My LBS installed them for me and honestly I don't see how they could be installed wrong - they're very simple.

    Lastly - I'm in the market for some new commuter panniers ;) Recommendations?
     
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  2. RickF

    RickF New Member

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    It sounds like the chainstay on the road bike is too short for those panniers.
     
  3. Lrac6

    Lrac6 New Member

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    Yeah, I thought of that. They probably work fine on a touring frame. The LBS probably shouldn't have sold them to me, or I should have checked to see if there was clearance for my foot! But I'm new to this - I didn't know that was a potential problem.
     
  4. ZandaBailey

    ZandaBailey New Member

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    Why was it touching the spokes? Does your pannier rack have a dog leg to support the rear of the bag?
    A longer rack may allow you to position the bags 2 inches further back. Maybe cheaper than new bags.
    If the bag is too flexible, you may be able to stiffen it e.g. with a thin plywood insert.
     
  5. Lrac6

    Lrac6 New Member

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  6. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    you would be much better off with a rack that looked like this
    http://www.bgcycles.com/racks.html
    or
    http://www.ortliebusa.com/cartgenie/prodInfo.asp?pid=81&cid=3

    These designs provide better support for the lower part of the pannier to prevent the bag from swinging in on the spokes.

    We use Ortleib bags for commuting and touring and have never had a problem.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  7. Lrac6

    Lrac6 New Member

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    Yeah, those look like a better design. Seems a bit silly that adding that dogleg onto the rack bumps you up into $120-$160, whereas my (admittedly crappy and dangerous) rack was $20. I know you get what you pay for, but... its a rack. Maybe if I was going on a long tour, I could justify that...but I'm just commuting carrying my work clothes and lunch. There must be a middle ground. Thanks for the recommendations though.
     
  8. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    Well you get what you pay for..
    I have a rack that was made from stainless steel tubing for me nearly 17years ago. It has done umpteen thousands of kms commuting and touring in Australia, Europe and part of Canada.
    Still going strong.

    A possible cheap way of solving your problem is to clamp a peice of aluminium bar horizontally to the lower part of the rack to stop the pannier from swing in to the spokes.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  9. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    I have always toured with a non-dogleg rack and consider them entirely adequate, and stronger (although I would prefer a rack with three radial struts rather than your two on each side, such as the Blackburn touring rack).
    What you do need, however, is a stiff pannier back with bombproof hooks, or straps that join the panniers across the top of the rack in place of hooks. I would recommend tracing out appropriate plywood shapes to install in the panniers, to stiffen the backs. You also need to put enough stuff in the panniers so that the plywood is pushed into place and prevented from falling into the wheel. It helps to bolt the pannier hooks through the top of the plywood, if possible.
    To get the panniers away from your heels, you could try extending the forward attachment struts to tilt the rack back away from you, although if you overdo this then the bike will become unstable when you're out of the saddle. Alternatively, you could use a strap to hold the panniers at the very rear of the rack. I find that I need to be careful not to put "sticking-out" things at the front of the pannier, or my heel will hit them.
    Some bikes simply are not made to carry panniers - you need a certain length of chainstay.
     
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