70L or 48L panniers?

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by eversorich, 2 Mar 2019.

  1. eversorich

    eversorich Regular

    Hi All,
    Newbie again. I'm currently looking at these:


    I'm looking to head off for 6-9 months across Asia. I can only use rear panniers due to my carbon fork which I can only attach everything cages to. I heavily researched both panniers and I'm prepared to spend the money on the Arkels (48L). I'm also very prepared to slim down my gear.
    Anyway, my issue is that I don't want to spend on the Arkels to discover that they're too small! Do any of you have any experience/advice of larger panniers and maybe shed some light?
  2. Boopop

    Boopop Über Member

    I've just bought a new carbon fork from Decathlon (phoned them up) which usually comes with the Triban 500 touring. Have you considered getting a new fork so you can have a front rack too?
    Gravity Aided, classic33 and snorri like this.
  3. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Assemble your touring gear or a reasonable approximation and see what volume it is? It'll vary a bit depending on whether you're camping and various other things.
    Gravity Aided and raleighnut like this.
  4. slowmotion

    slowmotion Quite dreadful

    lost somewhere
    I'm a very big fan of Ortlieb. Mine are Back Roller Classics which hold 40 litres a pair, and they are completely waterproof. I think that a possible problem you might have with panniers that are close to double the capacity is that there is a huge human tendency to fill them up with stuff, because you can. Extra stuff weighs more, and since you don't have front panniers to counter-balance them, my guess is that your bike is going to be terribly back heavy. As has already been suggested by @Boopop, I'd try and get some forks that can take some panniers at the front if you feel you need extra volume.
  5. Blue Hills

    Blue Hills ^

    Have been considering those uber large ortliebs as I find my 40 litre rear backpackers on the small size. But yes have concerns about them being too big.

    A bit puzzled as to why ortlieb don't have something in the 50 to 60 litre range.

    Will watch thread with interest as I have seen few online personal experiences of the supersize 70 litre things.
  6. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    I find panniers to be something of a black hole if you want to put your hand on an item during the day.

    The bigger the pannier, the bigger the hole.

    Thus I would prefer four smaller panniers to two big ones.

    You have the budget, so my suggestion is to fit a steel fork to give yourself front luggage capacity.

    I also wouldn't underestimate Slowmo's point about balance.

    I fell off my bike coming to rest due to two rear panniers overloaded with shopping.

    A poorly balanced bike would drive you nuts over a long tour.
    Gravity Aided and slowmotion like this.
  7. CXRAndy

    CXRAndy Guru

    Taking more kit than you actually need. Have you decided on what you absolutely need and nothing more. Its weight after all
    classic33 likes this.
  8. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    I prefer the smaller Ortlieb panniers that they sell. Also consider that as you are doing Asia, you won’t carry loads of clobber or food. Stopping and buying food is so cheap as is accommodation, so you may not even camp. I don’t know what your plans are. I have in the past, posted stuff I don’t need back to myself.

    But if you are on a route without much habitation, water is going to be your heaviest commodity.
    Gravity Aided likes this.
  9. OP

    eversorich Regular

    Good point but I'm already happy with my forks and I like the idea of evreything cages and a handlebar bag.
  10. OP

    eversorich Regular

    It's amazing how common sense can give the right answer! :-D Thanks MJR!
  11. OP

    eversorich Regular

    I won't be overloading myself as I'm giving myself a strict team talk on limiting what I take.
  12. OP

    eversorich Regular

    All good points! Thank you. Water will most definitely be the most heavy/large item.
  13. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy The Monch

    Inside my skull
    48 litres will be more than enough for touring in Asia. You have overpacked if you need more than that.
  14. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Or it's just experience... it's not that common as I needed to be told it too! :laugh:
  15. mudsticks

    mudsticks Über Member

    I'd agree with Yukon.
    And others saying don't go bigger.

    Invest in decent kit light weight kit, if you don't already have it.

    I haven't actually measured capacity of my panniers but I do have a smallish one at each corner.

    And will stick with that set up.

    I take the same amount of 'stuff' as for lightweight backpacking which fits in total to 45 litre backpack.

    Which has to do for hot mountain days, freezing nights, and rain too.

    Apart from a few bike maintenance spares you don't need much more on top of that.

    Having all the weight in the back can make the front wheel come off the ground when going up steep hills.

    That's no fun, and dodgy too.

    Makes it horrible to push on those times when you have to.

    I'm guessing you've looked at bike packing bags? That velcro onto front forks.

    I have some ancient (over 20yrs) front panniers which attach by simple u hoop and velcro.

    It als makes it easier to find stuff.

    One bag for cook kit, and food, one spare clothes, one for tent, another sleeping bag and mat etc.

    Lucky you having the chance to do that trip.

    Also don't forget you'll easily be able to replace clothes like t-shirts along the way.

    I'd say, prune your kit, don't get bigger bags, you'll also be hefting your bike in and off trains, trucks, pick ups etc from time to time, due to unforseen circs too.
    Gravity Aided likes this.
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