Panniers and Racks

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
Hello again!

I've done a quick search but most threads seemed to be quite specific and for once, I think I need vague!

I'm looking to get a rack and some panniers for my Focus AX and I really don't know where to start. I'm starting to up my distance quite considerably and I'm tired of going in circles! I'm also getting stroppy having to pack a backpack before the 18 mile commute and invariably forgetting underwear/deodorant/pass/willtolive because I'm so busy packing everything I need terribly tight.

I have a couple of caveats, but I'm really open to suggestions.
- Has to look good! I know, I know, but I love this bike and I've seen some beautiful bikes wearing some horrible panniers and it makes me upset.
- Ideally have the option to just have a "top section", Ive seen some panniers that break up leaving either side panniers and a top trunk, not the end of the world if not, but I like the idea of the flexibility
- Easy to remove, Ideally I'm going to get to work, unclip something and walk in. I do not want to be faffing around with cables and bungees etc.

I dont mind paying for quality.

any ideas for compatible racks/panniers would be really appreciated!

As always, thanks!
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I have these, superb, best bit of kit I own

https://www.cyclestore.co.uk/topeak_super_tourist_dx_rack-ID_9114?gclid=CJiD_M3I6cMCFcHMtAodniMAJg

Can get in disc and non disc version. Can also fit with p clips if no lugs on the seat stays

https://www.cyclestore.co.uk/topeak_mtx_trunk_bag_exp-ID_19054

The panniers will take a 15" laptop on one side and a day's work clothes and shoes. The bag on top will take two d locks, tools, wallet etc etc. Simply slides on and off, can be a bit fiddly if full but no major headache, just make sure it's clipped on securely
 
OP
mythste

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
They zip up on the sides, they don't take up any space in the main compartment. Fantastic design. For about £15 you can also get a hi viz waterproof cover which packs up really small
Well thats going to take some beating. Its mainly cummuting use but I may be dabbling in some "light" touring. That is to say, Long weekends to hotels ~100 mile journeys so I'm sure that would be ample, unless anyone can tell me otherwise.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
Nothing to stop you having three pieces, a trunk bag and two pannier bags.

You can then deploy in any combination.

Or at least you can if the trunk bag is not too wide to prevent you clipping on the panniers as well.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Well thats going to take some beating. Its mainly cummuting use but I may be dabbling in some "light" touring. That is to say, Long weekends to hotels ~100 mile journeys so I'm sure that would be ample, unless anyone can tell me otherwise.
More than ample if you travel light. I can get two full supermarket carrier bags in. Just need to be aware of the weight, can make the bike a bit wobbly but sure that goes for any panniers
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
I too use the Topeak system, superb kit. I also have some BIG Carradice panniers which I take touring with 'valuables' in the trunk bag so can confirm they do work together.
 
OP
mythste

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
More than ample if you travel light. I can get two full supermarket carrier bags in. Just need to be aware of the weight, can make the bike a bit wobbly but sure that goes for any panniers
and you're underestimating the weight that the poor saddle has to deal with! It's all relative ;)

I'm pretty chuffed looking at that, really, thanks!
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I found with the weight that a relatively minor wheel clip with another cyclist with the weight on the back found me on the deck in the middle of the road! Luckily it didn't fall laptop side down! Without the weight I reckon I would have been able to stay upright :smile:
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
The Topeak is designed as universal fit, but worth bearing a couple of things in mind.

The top of the bag may be quite close to the rear underside of your saddle, depending on how much exposed seat post you run.

Or you might be able to fit the bag, but have no room for a wedge pack.

That happened to a mate of mine, he said it was frustrating because the stuff in the wedge pack ended up taking space inside the trunk bag.

The drop down panniers are not huge, but, same as with any pannier, make sure your heel doesn't clout the bag as you pedal.

Mounting the rack well back usually deals with both problems.
 

Gez73

Veteran
+1 for the Topeak Super Tourist rack and matching trunk bag. Side foldable panniers also very useful and can hold an overshoe in each one when zipped into itself too! Bag uses a rail to secure to rack and some velcro straps. There is also a catch that secures to the back of the rack too. I also use tow Altura Dry-line panniers when carrying heavier loads and these fit very comfortably under the rack bag. Make sure the rack has a lower horizontal bar to attach independent panniers under the bag if you will need them. This is an old photo of an old bike but you can see the rack and bag. Room for a saddle bag too if the rack is mounted far back enough. Gez
Bike 24512.jpg
 
OP
mythste

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
I have the super tourist rack and I don't like it because of the oversized tubing. It means my altura panniers don't feel very secure when fitted. I would look for something with smaller diameter tubing.
interesting, presumably using the same branded pannier would negate this as an issue?
 
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