Panniers are they are bags that attach to the bike racks with the intent of holding enough equipment for self-sustained tours over days, weeks, or in our case months. The two main brands of panniers are Arkel and Ortlieb.
Finally after months of waiting our panniers arrived helping us get one big step closer to having all the necessary gear for our trip next year.
For our rear panniers we decided to go with a lesser known brand name from Poland called Crosso which had been recommended by Jakub who also set-up and shipped our custom built Surly bikes. We chose this option based on price, quality and importantly waterproofing. Our Crosso panniers were also made to order so we were able to ask for a specific design changes, one being a zip in the top and a small pocket on the inside of the back panniers for stashing cash or valuable documentation. But the biggest design change was the addition of the Ortlieb QL1 hooking system.
The QL1 hooking system allows the bags to be easily taken on and off the bike racks using a quick release system. In theory this should save time and hassle when loading and unloading the bikes. Arkel has a similar system which we have been using throughout the year with our front panniers and have found it very useful.
The only downside to using the QL1 mounting system was that it had to come from New Zealand meaning we had to assemble to the panniers ourselves. This made for an interesting Sunday night. After a few hours of frustration and fiddling around with small screws and parts Tom and I were able to figure out how to put it all together.
Pannier setup and specifations for each bike:
Dave’s Grasshopper (recumbent)
Front : To be decided
Rear : Arkel RT-60 (capacity 2 x 60 liters)