Panniers & Rack for touring/city/pub bike

russ.will

Slimboy Fat
Location
The Fen Edge
For better or worse, I've bought a mint Orbit Ventura light touring bike. I really only want it as a competent steed for cycling into town for shopping thus allowing for appropriate beverages with lunch etc. It's only about 12 miles one way, but somewhere to put shoes, coats, gloves helmets (or whatever) when we're walking around and then having a means or carrying whatever we need to by return seems to imply panniers. I'm not intending to go touring, but from experience wouldn't rule it out!

I don't like buying things twice and am prepared to spring for Ortlieb, if forum knowledge reckons it's worth it. I would also like something that at least makes a half decent shoulder bag. Where I'm all at sea is sizing. Given that I'm expecting my partner to want to use one of the panniers to carry around, how big in litres do they need to be to carry shoes, a helmet and a waterproof shell? How 'expandable' are the roll-top closure types?

Basically, any suggestions welcome. Oh! I have size 12 feet, so any rack recommendations that avoid heel clashing would also be fab.

Not much then...

Russ
 
I can't help with a rack. My first one was a cheap aluminium one supplied by a local bike shop that is still seeing service somewhere.

As for Panniers, yes Ortlieb are worth the money, in my experience, but (there's always a but!) I've used mine for extensive touring as well as commuting and shopping.
From a material perspective, I'd recommed the Classic (PVC type) material.
They come with a shoulder strap for carrying, but frankly, I've never used them. I'd imagine their comfort depends a lot on weight and volume of the contents.
In my experience, there's a limited distance you can close the roll tops when empty, but they are quite forgiving when full. I'd often stop near the end of a days touring and throw some food in on top - but without a proper fastening, they're not waterproof anymore!
(If you have lots of £ you can also buy a backpack adapter for an Ortlieb pannier!)

However, I also used cheap panniers from Aldi/Lidl successfully for commuting and shopping.
I think I paid less than €10 per pair and they lasted well.
Yes, the clips are poor and you wouldn't want to weigh them down too often, but they too came with shoulder straps too.

As for size, I've really no idea. Throwing a helmet into a pannier is going to take up a sizable amount of space, but a large pannier is going to be a pain in the ass (shoulder?) to carry around. If you want to do the grocery shopping I'd imagine bigger is better. You know how much you buy.
The best thing to do is to try to see some in the flesh to make sure of the size.
(Sometimes a shop can be persuaded to match an online price).

Ortlieb do a range of city/commuting type bags that I'm not familiar with that may be more practical from an off bike perspective.

Just remember too, that if used on wet or mucky roads, those bags get wet and mucky too! Not the ideal scenario for use as a shoulder bag.

Sorry 😊, don't think I've helped much ^_^
 

snorri

Legendary Member
It will be worthwhile to consider the method of closure of the pannier before choosing to purchase.
The requirements of a pannier for touring and a pannier for commuting/shopping/utility are a little different in that the touring pannier is quite possibly only closed and opened once a day whereas the utility cyclist may dip in and out of the pannier several times in an hour and it is very convenient if this can be done singlehandedly.
Some more robust and expensive panniers may lack the easy closing convenience of the cheaper models.
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
Lots of sense spoken by Hobbes and Snorri.
I've got the Ortlieb back roller pro plus which is the biggest model, if anything they're probably that bit too voluminous and they're usually half empty, but on the other hand I suppose it's nice to have so much room that you never seem to run out of space. I had Altura before and while they were a dream to open and close (just a clip), sometimes it was a struggle to get everything in, shopping included. Eventually they busted at the seams after ten years of carrying large quantities of beer and the Ortlieb ones replaced them.
The back roller pro plus have a detachable shoulder strap which you can use as a closure (looping it under the pannier and securing it by a clip), but I've used it exactly twice. It's a bit of a faff if you're going in and out of a pannier all the time. It's an option for you though. I think many Ortlieb models have a similar or identical strap.
Instead I leave the straps in the garage full time and I just secure the roller top "clip to clip", like a dry bag. If I go for a wander off the bike I use my bar bag (that also has a shoulder strap) for wallet, phones etc.

On feet clashing, it's largely down to shape and how far back you can sit the pannier. Anything from Ortlieb has the moveable / adjustable bottom clip which means you can mount it fairly far back. Cheaper panniers may not have had so much thought put in and might be too round, or can't be adjusted to where they sit on the rack.
I'm size 10 / 11 feet and sometimes ride on tippy toes (don't ask), and I don't get heel clash.

Racks wise, I've got the Tortec Supertour and Tubus Grand Tour and both have been good, the Tortec is still going strong on my ten year old town / pub bike, the Tubus is still newish at 10 months old. I do like how solid and robust the Tubus is, (and it looks good), but having said that it's not like the lighter Tortec has ever broken so I'd have one again.
 
Or to throw a curveball, how about something like this? :scratch:

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/bike-pannier-rack-sports-backpack/_/R-p-300851?mc=8405450&c=GREY

I've been toying with getting one for away days on the bike where the bike gets locked up in racks and I spend time puttering around on foot. Although there haven't been many cycling away days this year, so I keep putting off buying one.

Not sure it would take a helmet, but I'd just fasten the helmet strap through the top handle as I do when using a conventional backpack.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
For better or worse, I've bought a mint Orbit Ventura light touring bike. I really only want it as a competent steed for cycling into town for shopping thus allowing for appropriate beverages with lunch etc. It's only about 12 miles one way, but somewhere to put shoes, coats, gloves helmets (or whatever) when we're walking around and then having a means or carrying whatever we need to by return seems to imply panniers. I'm not intending to go touring, but from experience wouldn't rule it out!

I don't like buying things twice and am prepared to spring for Ortlieb, if forum knowledge reckons it's worth it. I would also like something that at least makes a half decent shoulder bag. Where I'm all at sea is sizing. Given that I'm expecting my partner to want to use one of the panniers to carry around, how big in litres do they need to be to carry shoes, a helmet and a waterproof shell? How 'expandable' are the roll-top closure types?

Basically, any suggestions welcome. Oh! I have size 12 feet, so any rack recommendations that avoid heel clashing would also be fab.

Not much then...

Russ
You mention 'we' and I get the impression we are talking about leisure shopping rather than the weekly grocery shop.

I would be inclined to buy a couple of back packs and suffer the inconvenience of cycling the 12 miles each way while wearing them.

A back pack would also have several pockets - one of the things against panniers is they are something of a black hole making access to small items difficult.

If it has to be a rack and panniers, you won't go wrong with Tubus and Ortlieb.

Tubus racks are famously robust, worth having if you are going to put 10kg or so in each pannier.
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
I've got a couple of Ortlieb Back Roller Classics which are completely bombproof for either commuting stuff or touring kit. Yes, they cost a bit. Most good equipment does. My rack is a Tortec Expedition ( about £30 if you hunt about). It's got a horizontal bottom rail which gives you extra flexibility in the pannier mounting position if you have big feet like mine. BTW, the Ortliebs can be clipped on or off in under five seconds.

Here's a review of the rack....
https://road.cc/content/review/69689-tortec-expedition-rear-rack
 
OP
russ.will

russ.will

Slimboy Fat
Location
The Fen Edge
I've got a couple of Ortlieb Back Roller Classics which are completely bombproof for either commuting stuff or touring kit. Yes, they cost a bit. Most good equipment does. My rack is a Tortec Expedition ( about £30 if you hunt about). It's got a horizontal bottom rail which gives you extra flexibility in the pannier mounting position if you have big feet like mine. BTW, the Ortliebs can be clipped on or off in under five seconds.

Here's a review of the rack....
https://road.cc/content/review/69689-tortec-expedition-rear-rack
Fabulous. I have big feet and it's not exactly pricey, so that looks like a shoe-in, if you'll pardon the pun.

Russ
 
OP
russ.will

russ.will

Slimboy Fat
Location
The Fen Edge
You mention 'we' and I get the impression we are talking about leisure shopping rather than the weekly grocery shop.

I would be inclined to buy a couple of back packs and suffer the inconvenience of cycling the 12 miles each way while wearing them.

A back pack would also have several pockets - one of the things against panniers is they are something of a black hole making access to small items difficult.

If it has to be a rack and panniers, you won't go wrong with Tubus and Ortlieb.

Tubus racks are famously robust, worth having if you are going to put 10kg or so in each pannier.
Correct; leisure rather than groceries, but it's more about something to carry helmets, lights, jackets in comfortably when we're off the bikes.

Kay had a flat-bar Ridgeback tourer thing that also has a rack and one remaining pannier, but as I'm the faster of the two of us, I don't mind shouldering the load in the figurative sense.

I don't want to in the literal sense, should we have cause to day-trip, rather than our usual modus operandi of going on long rides for the sake of the ride. Her 2020 Roubaix and my Evoke are there for that.

Russ
 
Location
South East
+4 for Ortliebs, as I have that many, but have had 6 in total. I sold 2 after we let the tandem go, as I thought we wouldn’t need 4 anymore, as we were unlikely to tour.
After the lady’s purchase of a cube ebike, and her talking of doing a cycle to Paris, we bought 2 more, smaller ones.
If I was ever needing to buy more, I would buy them again, without any doubt.
7B0934D0-8DC3-4734-8F45-369BCD7B4A44.jpeg
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
I use my Ortleib front rolĺ top panniers in the rear for everday use. I really like them and even prefer them to my old now worn out Carradice.
With racks you need lengths of single rod for the clips. Avoid racks with long sections of twin rod welded together. I prefer open top to a metal top plate. Adjustable legs to be avoided. Rear lamp bracket good.
 
Top Bottom