A 'my first panniers' question

KneesUp

Guru
I wasn't sure whether to put this in commuting or here, but in the end decided that there might be more pannier users here. Apologies if it's the wrong place.

I got a rack for Christmas, which I use for commuting. On one side I have a laptop bag with Rixen & Kaul mounts, which I have no problems with. On the other I have one of a pair of cheap panniers, similar to these ones sold by SJS (I've left my phone at home so no pics of mine - it's the same except it has two bits of elastic)


My rack is an Axiom Transit - if I were to buy one now I'd get one with a third 'leg' at the back I think.

bag.jpg axiom rack.jpg

Anyway - my question is, how is one supposed to attach the bag? I have bent the metal clips so they click on, and I fasten the velcro around the top rail, but what is one supposed to do with the elastic straps with hooks? (On my bag there is a second one attached to the loop that has nothing attached in the image)

I presume they are to stop the bag bouncing off, and to that end I've been stretching one down and hooking it on the bit circled in red on the rack, but it's a bit fiddly to do because of the wheel being in the way.

I just wondered if I am using the elastic for the right thing, or if it's supposed to stop the bag moving horizontally - and should the clips and the velcro be enough to hold it on? I'm using these for commuting and part of it is a fast, straight downhill that is on quite a poor road, and I always fear they will fall off (although I've used them a dozen times and they haven't yet!)

And advice much appreciated - it has also occurred to me that I might be best putting my stuff in another bag inside the pannier and just leaving it on the bike.
 

snorri

Legendary Member
And advice much appreciated - it has also occurred to me that I might be best putting my stuff in another bag inside the pannier and just leaving it on the bike.
I think that may be the way to go.
IME panniers with clips which simply hook over the rack without any form of locking mechanism and rely on elastic to hold the pannier down will not only be fiddly and time consuming to attach and detach from the bike, but will fall off sooner or later......more likely sooner.:sad:
The more expensive panniers usually have R&K clips with a strong adjustable plastic hook at the bottom of the pannier which engages with the strut on the luggage rack.
I'm afraid it's the old story of getting what you pay for, good panniers with secure fastenings easily attached and detached are rather expensive but don't fall off.
 

andym

Über Member
Hooks over the top - loop the elastic around whatever you can most easily loop it around.

The bit of velcro is probably not much use for anything.

You'll soon get into the habit of taking off quickly. Yes you could get a couple of bags for life but frankly I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. If they really are a hassle then eBay them and get something better.

If you're worried about the stuff coming off I'd get a couple of tie down straps and use them for extra security. (I do - yes they're extra faff, but I've not yet found a pannier design that copes well with speed bumps - never mind off-road).

BTW I'd check the maximum weight limit on that pannier rack - some pannier racks are only designed for light loads.
 
OP
KneesUp

KneesUp

Guru
Thanks for the replies. I think my main problem is perhaps that one elastic feels too short and I don't like doing it because it feels like it will snap, and the other is too long - the ringed bit on the picture is the only thing they can clip on to really. Perhaps I need to get handy with a needle and thread and make elastic bits the correct length for my bike.

The rack is rated to 50kg, which surprised me to be honest - http://www.axiomgear.com/products/gear/racks/journey-series/transit/
 

andym

Über Member
Surprised me too, but Axiom make some good kit.

You should be able to get heavy-duty shock cord from a camping shop (or eBay etc). (Seal the ends with a heated up filler knife, or lighter, to stop them fraying).

If you're mainly worried about security, rather than panniers moving around, the then another option would be to loop a bungee cord through the handles and attach to the rack.

If you want to stop them moving forward and back then you may be able to move one of the hooks: I'm guessing that the pannier has a piece of plywood in the back for stiffening, so in theory you should be able to unscrew the hook and then move it to a new position and screw it in again.
 
OP
KneesUp

KneesUp

Guru
Security isn't a problem as I can keep the bike indoors at work - it's just keeping it on the rack on the lumps of tarmac and holes that Sheffield calls 'roads'.

To be fair they haven't moved at all really, they can't go back because one clip is in front of the bit where the vertical strut meets the top plate, and they can't go forward because I have old school wide cantis that stick out. The elastic bits on mine just don't seem up to the job of stopping them bouncing off, although either they are, or they haven't been needed yet. (To be fair to SJS, the elastic looks thicker on the image of the ones they sell)

I think a shock cord cut to length might be a good idea. The bags in general seem quite well made, and I certainly can't grumble at the price I paid - the plastic D bits the elastic attach to are quite sturdy and well attached. The back, incidentally is a sheet of plastic I think - it flexes, anyway. The hooks are riveted on mine, but I suppose if you did want to move or replace them you could drill them out.
 

Catweasel

Active Member
Location
Vienna
I've the same question as the OP - got the SJS panniers today and up top they're fine but what to do with that elastic - I'm gonna take it off and see what it's like with no elastic - plan B will be a couple of cable ties and plan C will be some velcro.
 

MarkF

Legendary Member
Location
Yorkshire
I've had those panniers and they are crap, the back needs to be sturdy, but on these it's flimsy and the result is that they start to "curl" in towards your spokes, and eventually into them. Yep, you need a frame with a rear leg.
 

Brains

Legendary Member
Location
Greenwich
Ortelieb.
 
OP
KneesUp

KneesUp

Guru
Ooh it's been a while since I posted this. I still use the panniers in question, well, pannier. The right one seems to have been mislaid somewhere - I haven't seen it for months, but the left one still serves as my spare clothes on the commute and nipping to the supermarket pannier.

The elastic things didn't last long, so for a while I had a short bungee cord that went from the rack, around the bottom of the pannier and then up to the D loop - but they got annoying too, so I just bent the clips so they are really tight and it's been fine. I've ripped the top slightly as the first removal after bending the clips I went for a 'yank it' approach - it's better to ease them off.

@MarkF is correct in that I've had a little bag/spoke interface, although my mudguard stays stop the worst of it. Is this not an issue with decent panniers? I was thinking that I'd replace the rack before I got better ones, but if they don't have the same issue perhaps I'll stick with the one I have. I only get rubbing when I get out of the saddle (which isn't that often).
 
Racks and panniers are always an issue

Compatibility is not guaranteed

I use Ortlieb exclusively.

However I have bikes / trikes where the additional adjustibility of the QL2 system allows a fitting where the QL1 does not fit. Equally I have five bikes where the QL3 does not work at all

I also have an Ortlieb convertible rucksack which uses elastic to keep the pannier in position
 
Top Bottom