What do you think of these custom made panniers?

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justinc
Participant
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http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31694848

I like their look… and they seem well made, they’re only water resistant but i mean so is my seagull bag and i’ve never had anything get wet in there… (they also make seperate ones that aren’t saddlebags.. ) just kind of wanted to get opinions… also looking at the Ortleib back roller classic… if you have any opinions on those..


rachel_ding
Participant
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Those seem ok, and it’s good that they will do custom measurements. The width is really important, since you don’t want your heel whacking the pannier when you pedal.

Things I don’t like:

– The description says you drop the bag over your rack and then fasten the velcro straps. Which straps? In my experience, it’s REALLY important that the pannier hooks on to the rack with two metal hooks, and then has a tight elastic strap down to another metal hook which holds it firmly against your rack. These don’t seem to have that, but maybe I’m missing something? I experimented with a pannier set in this style and they flapped around, were too wide (the particular design’s fault), etc. I’m skeptical of something that doesn’t hook on the rack at a couple different points. I want that thing glued ON my bike, not moving around.

– I am skeptical of bags that are “water-resistant” but not water-proof. The “high-density backing” sounds good, though? I don’t know much about this. If you’ve had a good experience with a water-resistant bag, then cool. I’d just research the materials this person uses first. They may be fine.

– I often just need one pannier, but the design forces you to use both.

– they aren’t any cheaper than water-proof panniers made by axiom (well, depending on the size and where you can find them on sale), banjo brothers (i’m into both of those, and i own banjo brothers panniers).

– those white straps hanging down in the 4th picture.. hol-y crap. i have an older pair of panniers that have straps that hang down if you forget to fasten them. i’m a realllllly careful person in general, but i have forgotten to fasten the straps at least three times, started pedaling, and whoops! there goes the strap, greasy and mangled, around my freewheel. it sounds like something that can be easily avoided but i don’t know.. it sucks when it happens!

Things I like:

– they are handmade.

– they look like they could fit a lot of stuff, especially larger items!

– they are cute.

– they seem like they’d be easier to carry by hand since they have that middle part, but like i said, you’d always need to use both.

– they are white, so they make you more visible.


rachel_ding
Participant
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Ooo. I like the design of the orange pannier way more. It has a bunch of hanging straps, but it DOES that a detachable shoulder-strap, which is rad.

It has the metal hooks I was gushing about earlier.

But it’s $100 for one? Yikes.


erok
Keymaster
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the metal hooks might not be as important on the saddle bag style, but i agree with rachel, if you’re going to spend that kind of money on something, why settle for “water resistant”

but then again, if you’re not planning on touring with them, then it might not matter too much. water proof bags when touring = awesome


Lyle
Participant
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Totally agree with rachel. I wonder about the white, though — wouldn’t it turn grey pretty fast? I don’t believe in spending hours making my transportation fashionably sexy, so they would just stay dingy.


Dave
Participant
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I have the Ortlieb front rollers (the new-fangled ones, not the classics; and actually I don’t even have them right now, Eric’s borrowing them). They seem pretty sturdy, and they’re definitely waterproof, as in I dropped my bike fording a stream.

Just want to toss out that when I toured I put my compressible stuff (tent, sleeping bag, some extra camp clothes) in waterproof stuff sacks and strapped them to my rear rack. It’s lighter and about $90 cheaper. The downside is that stuff sacks aren’t nearly as resilient as thick canvas/nylon and they’re harder to get into.


rachel_ding
Participant
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Dave, those waterproof stuff-sacks sound like a good idea but I’ve never used them. Where do you buy yours?

Like Erok was saying, it’s probably true that the hooks aren’t quite as important on the saddle-bag style. I’m just partial to separate panniers with their own hooks, mainly because that is what I’ve used successfully.

You should tell us what you end up getting because I’m curious! I’m becoming kind of a nerd about panniers.. I wish I could own and try all of them!


mark
Participant
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i got the front pelican bag from these folks: http://swiftindustries.wordpress.com/

and i really like it.. they make panniers too, might be worth looking into before you make the plunge… its just two people that do it all and i talked to them on the phone quite a few times while they were making the bags… i would definately recommend them!


brian j
Participant
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The cost is spot-on for custom bags. I mean, even the Ortliebs are $150 for a pair (roughly). The Banjo Brothers bags are super-cheap (and quite good), but are obviously made overseas.


steevo
Participant
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dude the velcro on my saddle bag started failing

after a few years. I would not want panniers held

on by it.


caitlin
Participant
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I totally agree with Rachel about the metal hook!! Even when I have forgotten to use the metal hook, I have noticed immediately especially if I have a lot of stuff in the bags… it like, doesnt sit right on the rack otherwise and sometimes shifts to where your pedal hits.

I also wouldn’t buy white, but I am not as fastidious about cleanliness as I know Justin to be :)

Also, now that Dave has said this, I would listen to him:

<i>They seem pretty sturdy, and they’re definitely waterproof, as in I dropped my bike fording a stream.</i>


Dave
Participant
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REI (or any camping store) will have them. The sturdier ones normally have roll-top closures (like the Ortliebs). That’s the kind I used as panniers, and they’re definitely waterproof (see bike drop incident). These are often advertised for kayaking.

Some extra fancy stuff sacks have one-way valves so you can roll the top and then squeeze out all the extra air for extra compression. Ortlieb makes one like that, but I’ve never used it.

For normal hiking I use the simpler (& cheaper & lighter) stuff sacks that just have a draw cord on the top. These aren’t waterproof unless you do a “candy-cane” closure: 1) leave a few inches of the stuff sack empty 2) Twist the extra material together 3) Fold extra material in half 4) Twist folded halves 5) Wrap the halfs together with a large rubber band or the extra draw-string cord. These are pretty waterproof, but I don’t know if I’d trust them as much.

I’ve read that some lightweight Sil-Nylon waterproof sacks can leak at the seams under pressure. You can test by turning the stuff sack inside out and filling it with water and watching it over time (dry the outside then put on paper and see if it gets wet). In theory you can use silicon sealant to fix that but I’ve never tried.


erok
Keymaster
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I have the axiom typhoon waterproof pannier. i think it’s a bit cheaper than the ortliebs. i’m pretty into the simple roll-top with flap design, but they do look a bit nerdy.

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