CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 31 min 12 sec ago

Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

28 August 2014 - 10:09am
Hi Folks,
I'm considering Ortlieb Rear panniers for touring.
The online store I'm looking at have the following:-
1. Bike Packer Classic
2. Back roller Plus
Both appear to be 40L Capacity.

Which are the most suitable - any recommendations?
Cheers
Doug

Re: Decent bike shop in Taunton?

27 August 2014 - 6:13pm
That's good. Didn't realise you were here this week!

Re: Decent bike shop in Taunton?

27 August 2014 - 5:49pm
Well Ivan, the mechanic at Ralph Colman really came up trumps. I had a call this morning at 8:50am to say the job was done and I could collect the bike. They also did us a special deal because we are raising money for charity. Top bloke and top shop. I have raised their score to ten out of ten.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

27 August 2014 - 5:27pm
bikes4two wrote:axel_knutt wrote:You wouldn't catch me using a bar bag even, for the same reason........................................................

A fair point - one of our club members, whilst cycling in India, had their bar-bag literally ripped off the handlebars by the pillion rider on a moped! That was her passport, phone, ipod and other essentials gone - it makes you think?

A bit off topic but out of interest, where/how would you recommend carrying said valuables?
While it has to be said I'm only going as far as WildNWooly Normandy, not India, I'm going to try wearing all my essentials on a belt - a Viper, the sort sold to police and security staff. My 'essentials' are: passport, cash/cards, glasses, phone and a multi-tool. That way all the stuff I'd be in trouble if I lost will be firmly clamped to me and hopefully, out-of-sight. I just hope it won't look too Rambo!!

Re: Panniers etc on Ferries & how to have safe panniers

27 August 2014 - 2:17pm
We have always left panniers front and rear and rack pack, sleeping mats on the bikes on ferry crossings and have never had anything taken, we just take bar bags upstairs and on overnight ferry a small bag with nightly items in.

Find a rail at end of ferry and just tie on securely.

Re: Panniers etc on Ferries & how to have safe panniers

27 August 2014 - 12:45pm
I've always left them on the bike. The car deck is locked during sailings and frankly a little camping kit is an unlikely target to the expert thief compared to the valuables in all the cars.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

27 August 2014 - 11:05am
If you have to carry more stuff (and it's the "if" that we are discussing I think) front panniers are excellent. They let you organise stuff better, you avoid the tipping effect of too much weight on the back and they stabilise the bike's handling. AIUI, many touring bikes will even have steering that improves with front loading as the bike maker has expected that you will carry luggage up front. I rarely see cycle tourists with front panniers and more may in fact benefit from them.

TBH I don't think I actually understand the OP's question. Front panniers are there if you want or need them. The downside of their extra weight and hassle is obvious (I presume that most cyclists aren't that stupid that they feel they ought to have them). Cycle camping is an art and, yes, there's lots to share and learn in terms of what makes sense in terms of comfort and lightness. But what you choose to take on a journey, what makes you happy, is up to you.

It's a cycling trip we're talking about here, not a guilt trip.

Re: Advice on full touring frame build please..

27 August 2014 - 8:14am
I would start from a completely different point - Surley LHT, the one with disc brakes and fit flat bars. Not the traditional British tourer. My Surley has a Rohloff as well but accept these are not in everyone's budget.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

27 August 2014 - 8:10am
If it works then don't fix it, why carry more?

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

27 August 2014 - 7:54am
I am 3 months into a 4 month bike tour across Europe with only rear panniers, a rack bag (20L) and a bar bag. My girlfriend has exactly the same bags and between us we are carrying a tent, sleeping equipment, stove, gas, clothes, a tablet, etc and still have room for food. What has helped is choosing small/compact/ultralight stuff: down bags, air mats that roll up very small, a nestable pot/bowls/mugs. Otherwise just one or two of these items could fill an entire pannier.

We have met plenty of bike tourists on much shorter trips with front panniers and I am often envious of them at camp as they have lots of luxuries but the next day when we are riding up hills I am glad we only have a small amount of stuff! Of course if you are riding through Africa or the Middle East and need to carry lots of spares they may be essential but for trips where you are never far from civilisation I think they just slow you down.

So if it all fits onto the back then don't bother with front panniers. Just the rack and bags weigh around 2kg and that's without anything inside.

Our bikes are a bit rear heavy and sometimes lifting the front wheels when pushing causes the bike to tip up but I've had no handling issues whilst riding in 4500km.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

26 August 2014 - 11:38pm
It may be but you still have to compare like with like. If cooking is your thing, then you will have to carry more than people who don't cook. Travelling light on a bicycle is unarguably a good thing: what is arguable is whether the same degree of comfort and utillity can be achieved with less stuff.

We also assume that cycle campers are moving on and wish to obtain high mileages (in which case lightness is crucial). But some people may be happy with lower mileages and appreciate the greater comfort - I know I do.

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

26 August 2014 - 11:16pm
Great stuff. Couldn't resist buying the 'Janapar' DVD.

Re: Advice on full touring frame build please..

26 August 2014 - 11:13pm
If you are having bar-end (gear) levers, then full-size Vee brakes (and compatible drop bar brake levers) is a no-brainer.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

26 August 2014 - 10:59pm
Me neither, such a wasteful exercise.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

26 August 2014 - 10:49pm
bikes4two wrote:This chap is often quoted in taking ultra-light cycle camping to the extreme, but for new readers have a look here

He says he doesn't use cooking equipment.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

26 August 2014 - 10:23pm
temp.jpg

Answer, no, not in my opinion (for all the reasons already mentioned) unless (ha ha) you're touring on a tandem or going around the world/very long trip where you might need a lot of kit.

This chap is often quoted in taking ultra-light cycle camping to the extreme, but for new readers have a look here

Re: Burgundy, Holland or Germany?

26 August 2014 - 10:08pm
In May I followed Edward Enfield's book a little over halfway to the Med (made it to Cluny). I would recommend you get a train from Paris as near to Tonerre as possible. The canal path is excellent from there. I followed it to Pont d'Ouche and from there took direct (very hilly) route to Beaune. Next time I will continue along canal towards Dijon.
Some good photos on here:
http://experiencefrancebybike.com/bicyc ... uro-a-day/

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

26 August 2014 - 9:43pm
Did you read about his tour with it? http://tomsbiketrip.com/how-far-can-you ... ring-bike/

I like his philosophy. We get too obsessed with gear sometimes.

Re: Budapest to Black Sea...EV6

26 August 2014 - 9:16pm
albal1 wrote:St Nazaire - Mulhouse was 643 miles. Wien - 1335 miles. And to Budapest - 1550 miles. Hope that helps.

Thank you, spot on.

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

26 August 2014 - 8:40pm
peckham wrote:This person got together his touring bike very cheaply!
http://tomsbiketrip.com/how-to-go-cycle ... ks-part-1/

I enjoyed reading that!

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