Panniers for off-road commute

figbat

Slippery scientist
My commuter bike is now pretty much ready. It’s an old rigid MTB to which I have fitted SKS Bluemels and a rack leaving me needing to choose panniers. I intend to use it occasionally but in any and all weather. My commute is about 12 miles and is around 80% offroad, along byways and bridleways - mostly the Ridgeway - which will be muddy. I’ll be carrying a laptop, ‘smart casual’ clothes/shoes and showering gubbins (small washkit and a towel). I thought I would probably get a pair of panniers and dedicate one to the laptop and day-stuff and the other to clothes and showering stuff. That way I can take one to my desk for day use and leave the other at the changing/showering location.

I don’t think I need huge panniers but I do think I need not only waterproof but wipe-clean. From what I can see the smaller panniers seem to be aimed at urban commuting and have a textured finish that I fear will quickly get muddy and dirty.

Any pointers out there? Do I just stop faffing around and get Ortlieb or is there another decent option? Any sales or reduced prices anywhere?
 
OP
figbat

figbat

Slippery scientist
Any feedback on the Thule Shield panniers. Either 13 or 17 litres?
 

All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike
Location
Somerset
I have a pair of Carradice panniers I bought in a cycle jumble sale in Bristol a few years ago; they were thick with mud and mould, but a scrub with hot soapy water had them as good as new.

Based on that experience I'd suggest buying any top quality panniers and then giving them an occasional clean.

PS Enjoy your commute, it sounds brilliant!
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
I've got Ortlieb back roller pro plus but they're a fabric finish on the outside and shiney on the inside. I just preferred that matte / fabric look. If I was going to be washing mud off them a lot I'd go for the back roller classic, they're literally wipe clean and pretty much peerless as far as panniers go.
 

lazybloke

Lying in the grass looking at the clouds
Location
Leafy Surrey
+1 for wipe-clean, eg welded PVC.
If I was buying now I might look at this Carradry option. I'd want to closely check reviews for robustness of the Quick-clip system, and I'd want to know the rated capacity (both in litres and Kg).
 
Both systems use locking hooks. Not all racks work with them. You need sufficient length of single bar or rod. The hooks dont work on dual sections of welded rod or where tabs and gubbins are welded on. Sold top plates shouldnt intefere but you dont need them and they remove lashing points for chords.
I find that both panniers can fit over a bungie hooked over the top frame which captures my U lock very securely.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
13 mile muddy canal commute, with a laptop in a shock proof wallet, all tucked inside my Ortlieb front rollers. Shiny finish easy to wipe down. I also use a bungee to stop the bottom clip bouncing off as most of the Ashton Canal has either cobbles or speed bumps (blady cyclists).
 
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