As it was, sustained by copious quantities of tea and as much chocolate as she could carry she finally reached her wet and windswept goal. Vagabond on a Bicycle. Spain to Norway on a Bike Called Reggie. Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie. Riding into The Sunrise: Recollections of a bicycle journey across Russia. The Bicycle Reader Number 2: Lycra, Lattes and the Long Way Round.
So You Returned to Sark. Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide. Dawdling by the Danube: With Journeys in Bavaria and Poland. A Bicycle Journey to the Bottom of the Americas. Downhill all the Way: Too Narrow to Swing a Cat: Going Nowhere in Particular on the English Waterways. Last Days of the Bus Club.
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Two Old Farts and a Motorhome!! Confessions of a Reluctant Traveller. Queens Nurse to Godzone. High Road to Tibet: Travels in China, Tibet, Nepal and India. Going All The Way. A Runner's Journeys on the Iditarod Trail. Number 1 Summer The Journey in Between. Cycling the Great Divide. Bombay to Beijing by Bicycle. How Blue Is My Valley. The adjustable legs stretched almost to their limit when mounted over our C wheel, so this rack could possibly allow for fitting smaller bikes but nothing much bigger.
The Thule Tour Rack is based on a design meant to modify a full-suspension mountain bike rear suspension makes attaching a traditional rack to these bikes very difficult into a touring bike. Sometimes spending extra for convenience is the right idea, but the Thule rack is unnecessary unless you have a difficult-to-fit mountain bike.
These racks can shift around in use, and they have much lower maximum capacities of 2 to 5 pounds. To find the best models for commuters, I researched 71 panniers and chose 15 to test in person. Then I spent a total of nine months commuting with them, examining the overall durability, the quality and effectiveness of the mounting hardware, and how well specific features improved or hindered portability and access to my cargo. In general, bags that perform well are slightly tapered at the bottom and tend to be taller than they are wide.
Punctures + Panniers
For our tests, we set aside bags that were designed specifically for bicycle touring. We also dismissed pannier briefcases, which tend to sit too high on the bike and are hard to keep out of the way of your foot. Thanks to feedback from a reader poll, we know that the most important consideration for our readers when purchasing any bag is durability.
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Rugged construction and a reliable mounting system make this the best option for carrying a laptop and a few essentials around town. It was the only pannier in our test group to have a metal backplate, which can keep a laptop from bumping against the ground or walls.
In addition, Arkel backs all of its products with a transferable, no-receipt-needed, lifetime guarantee. And its main compartment is big enough to fit an extra layer and lunch, with space left over for workout clothes. Two zippered exterior pockets provide secure, dedicated places for your keys and phone. Similar in appearance to a traditional hook-and-bungee attachment system, it uses aluminum hooks lined on the underside with nylon to protect your rack, coupled with a rotating, locking cam system that grips the rack bars.
It also includes a lower hook and bungee to secure the bag to the bottom of the rack.
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If you live in downpour central, Arkel does sell a rain cover as an accessory. As mentioned earlier, the best panniers help you avoid heel strike hitting the bag with the back of your shoe as you pedal with a slight taper from the top to the bottom, and the Arkel is no exception. Arkel is a Canadian company, and you might not see its bags hanging in many US stores.
But Arkel is a word-of-mouth darling. I found the company a few years ago when I chased a guy down on the street to ask him about his bag. I was afraid my keys would fall out of the zipperless exterior pocket, and the rolltop closure makes basic access a chore.
We provide gear that is a pleasure to ride.
You have to remove and stow the shoulder strap every time you put the bag on your bike. This convertible backpack with well-thought-out organizational elements is great if you have a long distance to travel on foot. If your commute involves walking around a big campus or going up and down a lot of stairs, a pannier that converts to a backpack might be a good choice. My laptop, cable bag, and repair kit fit into the dedicated interior pockets.
My shoes, windbreaker, and lunch fit inside the main compartment, which zips open along its entire length and is easier to access than a rolltop backpack. The exterior also features a lock pocket, a deep zippered pocket, and a place to secure a helmet it fit both road and urban styles, such as the Specialized Echelon , our top helmet pick, and my Bern Macon. Conversion from pannier to backpack mode is simple: Built with D cordura, reflective elements on all sides, and weatherproof zippers, the Bug promises to be water repellent. I stuck it in the shower for about 30 seconds, and water crept in through the zipper, so if you live where it pours heavily, a rain cover is advisable.
The Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack is also waterproof, with an easy-access main compartment, but the crunchy interior liner that provides the waterproofing turned me off. Yosemite host Blash regularly empties his out, fills one with rinse water and the other with soapy water, and uses them to do his dishes.
C2C c/o Pedal Power - Pedal Power Cycling
A classic pannier like the Ortlieb is basically a big bucket that you can dump anything into, with few organizational components. It offers no exterior pockets, either though the company sells add-on side pockets separately. The Back-Rollers do have some internal organization, in the form of a narrow sleeve suitable for documents or a tablet but with no padding and a mesh zippered pocket for tools, lights, and other accessories. During testing I had no issues with wobble, shifting, or loose panniers. The front and sides are constructed of heavyweight PVC-coated nylon, and they have a waterproof rating of IP64; if you have the top rolled down correctly, each bag will remain dustproof and will keep your stuff dry if water splashes on it from any direction.
Wear guards on the back corners will minimize damage to the bottom, too. Each set consists of two liter bags, and I successfully biked with them from home to the climbing gym, and back, loaded with 16 pounds of gear each. Although it works fine, it lacks in the comfort department reinforcing the idea that this bag is best for hauling, instead of everyday carry.
Praise for Ortlieb is easy to find. They have a pretty good variety and they seem to last over a long time. The newer model just became available on Amazon, but the older model with the QL1 system has earned praise there. People love these bags: The mounting system is the number one thing that must work. Not convenient enough for errands you must attach and remove the shoulder strap, and the bag has only one external pocket , this bag is also not burly enough for hauling the zipper strains with the weight of a full bag.
A heavy-duty, high-value nylon shopper with a shoulder strap and carry handles. If the number one thing you want to do with your bike is make trips to the market, a dedicated grocery pannier is both practical and affordable. Despite being the cheapest grocery pannier we tested, it offers a higher build quality than the competition including a stable mounting system with a pair of metal hooks on top and a lower hook fixed to an adjustable elastic strap , comes with a removable shoulder strap, and has handles on either side like a tote for stable carrying.
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You can shop with it two ways, either by placing your paper or plastic grocery bags inside of it after you go through checkout or by using it as a grocery bag in and of itself. Reflective piping all the way around the top seam improves visibility at night. You get one exterior Velcro pocket for receipts, grocery lists, or keys.
You can easily toss a purse or a lunch into the big main compartment and take the whole thing with you when you get off your bike, and the sides are deep enough 11 inches that I was never worried that anything valuable would fall out. But it also has the drawbacks of a basket: Arkel Bug - Owners! We respect your privacy. You can change your cookie preferences to enable comments.
You can also send us a note or a tweet , or find us on Facebook. Opt out or contact us at any time. Wald Multi-Fit Basket The best bike basket A classic design with hardware to fit most any bike and enough capacity for everyday carrying. Our pick Our pick. Topeak Explorer The best rear bike rack This rack was the easiest to install and felt the most stable under load. Arkel Commuter Urban Pannier The best laptop pannier Rugged construction and a reliable mounting system make this the best option for carrying a laptop and a few essentials around town.
Arkel Bug Pannier Backpack The best backpack pannier This convertible backpack with well-thought-out organizational elements is great if you have a long distance to travel on foot. Banjo Brothers Grocery Pannier The best grocery pannier A heavy-duty, high-value nylon shopper with a shoulder strap and carry handles. Comments are disabled We respect your privacy.