PANNIERS: BACKPACK AND ONE-SIDED OPTIONS
July 3, 2006
Back to questions
I am finally making the switch
from my beloved backpack to panniers (my back has been begging
for a while). I have been hesitant to switch, mostly because
I love using my backpack to carry to the gym, Pilates classes,
the grocery store, and basically all over the place, and
panniers don't seem as "carry-all" friendly due
to their lack of shoulder straps.
However, I found "The Bug"
backpack by Arkel that is a one-sided pannier that easily
converts to a backpack . . . seemingly the wonder bag I
have been looking for.
I have heard mixed reviews on a
one-sided pannier. What do you think? Does it throw off
balance and make the bike pull to one side, etc.?
Also, just wondering if you know
of other brands that offer a pannier that converts easily
to a carry-all bag or perhaps you may have a suggestion
for a double-sided pannier that would be easily toted about?
Thanks for any advice!
You can eliminate the problem of
a pannier not having a shoulder strap byready for
this?putting on a shoulder strap.
Get a strap made for this purpose
at any luggage or travel store, many department stores,
and (of course) on-line. Most panniers have two hooks that
let em hook onto a bikes carrying rack, and
you can simply tie the strap to the hooks. I welcome you
to try more elegant attachments involving grommets or bolts,
but the tie-on method has served me reliably (using only
one, often heavily-loaded pannier) for many years.
I wonder from whom youve heard
the mixed reviews about using only one pannier.
Ever walk thru an airport carrying a heavy suitcase in one
hand? If so, did it make you pull to one side?
Of course not; you compensate naturally. Same with a pannier
on one side of your bike. A pannier filled with gravel,
however, might challenge even those with the most developed
inner ear . . . but we can always think of exceptions, eh?
Given the ease of installing a shoulder
strap, I dont think you need bother with backpack
panniers. But in addition to the fine products from Arkel
(the brand I use) and the products on the right, check out
the backpack panniers from Serratus.