Does anyone have any experience with panniers? I have a couple of tours coming up this year and so need to get a bag of some description. I guess it has to be either a rack bag or pannier(s).


  1. I got a rack + bags rather than a rucksack for getting to work.Mistakedly bought the smaller Ortleib ones designed for front wheels but it’s the right size to fit a laptop. Waterproof roll-top, decent quality if expensive – about £80 for 2x bags I think and then £15/£20 for the rack – although you can pay more for lightweight ones that might benefit if you’re touring. Each one has a little shoulder strap that folds down onto the front of the bag to keep the rolled top tucked away from rain.

  2. @philsheard Thanks Phil. I’ve seen a lot of commuter specific bags. Even some for suits! I would prefer a rack bag but they aren’t big enough. You don’t experience any problems with the wind blowing you off course do you?

  3. Got some relatively cheap Altura panniers (2), generally fine unless I load it up too much, definitely feel the extra weight but have got used to adjusting my course accordingly. Waterproofing is pretty important.

  4. @dogwonder I’ve been looking at Altura. I have a lot of their gear. I’m going to the Lake District in a few weeks so unnecessary weight will not help on those mountain passes!

  5. @alexpink No, but I only cycle within the city though so different world from what you’ll be up to. I typically only ride with one and it’s rarely full so I’m not much of a case study.

  6. @alexpink unrelated to bags, but in the lightweight category, I got one of these to get me through the winter rain and it’s crazy light but good for showers. good fit and venting too.

  7. Just seen this reviewed: I have one really good and lightweight not really been rained on that much but seems pretty waterproof”

  8. @philsheard @dogwonder Thanks for the tips. I found this on my search

  9. Hey Alex, I totally recommend the Ortlieb panniers. They’re really well made, waterproof, and there’s a variety of designs, so you can see what might work best for you. And advice I was given in a bike shop many years ago: if you’re only using one pannier put it on the left, so that should you fall, you fall out of the road rather than in to it.

  10. @lucypearceox Thanks Lucy. Ortlieb look like a strong contender – well made, stylish etc. Thats a top tip. I’ll be cycling in France though so I’ll switch it to the other side 🙂

  11. I’d add to the support for Ortlieb. I always put a single on on the right, though. Not least because that puts the added reflector that they always have on the side of the overtaking traffic. Though mostly just because that’s what feels right to me.

  12. Oh, and on wind? I don’t think panniers make a lot of difference there, as they’re low. You’d be far worse off with a big backpack in the wind.

  13. I went for a pair of Ortlieb 40L panniers in the end. They arrived today and they look pretty ace. Looking forward to using them…once I have a rack! Thanks all for your advice.

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