Thinking outside the pannier

I have titanium pots in several different sizes but I always keep coming back to my heavy, old, MSR 750ml stowaway SS pot. Perfect size for gourmet ramen, Tasty Bites, instant mashed potatoes, grilling sausages, etc…
 
No way that I would wait that long for a bowl of ramen regardless of the shop’s rep. There are literally thousands of ramen-ten in and around Tokyo that likely serve great noodles and broth and the variations are dependent on the region. From Hokkaido to Niigata to Kyushu and every region in between boast their own unique ingredients. So, to say that single shop in Tokyo serves up the best ramen in the world is so out of touch.
 
I too have noticed that having a large rear load bias produces poor stability and controllability in a lot of bikes (but not all) and can sometimes cause a frightful shimmy at high speeds.
About that, its a common issue with cargo bikes. Especially longtails, where the frame is longer. Its counteracted in part by putting heavy stuff in the front part of your double-long bags, so you don't create a pendulum with your front wheel being one end and your heavy tail all the way back in the rear.

BUT the problem can be completely solved with hardware. A Cane Creek Viscoset is a modern miracle. You will only notice its there for about the first five minutes of your ride and then its permanently invisible... and it totally eliminates death wobble, which is what its designed for. I bought it for my Big Fat Dummy which had the problem, but then I sold on my Bluto (Rockshox' fat suspension fork) and replaced it with a Wren Fat Inverted fork. and the much stronger fork disappeared the problem. I then put the Viscoset on my Bullitt, which also had the problem in spades, and those bikes have a special steering dampener, taken from the motorcycle world, that you can add. The vastly less expensive Viscoset worked so well and was so much cheaper I put one on my second Bullitt from the get-go when I built it.

Man, you guys keep some immaculate fat bikes! Beauties, both of them.
HAH yeah thats what you're supposed to think. I take pictures when the bike is brand new, before I ride it for the first time. They're never that clean again.

IMG_20200911_153242.jpg


A couple of shots with the bags on front racks.
PXL_20211030_164757048.jpg

This one looks impressive carry but I was donating two old double sleeping bags and a couple of pillows, so not the heavy load it appears to be.
IMG_20200327_123453.jpg
img_20200327_123612.jpg
 
Had a conversation at my LBS. Two key takeaways:
  • These cages from Widefoot are lighter, less expensive, and still look cool.
  • I'd probably be happier with the 5L cage bags rather than 3L. Certainly the 5L bags make it easier to carry the cookpot and camp kitchen and the sleeping pad.
 
Had a conversation at my LBS. Two key takeaways:
  • These cages from Widefoot are lighter, less expensive, and still look cool.
  • I'd probably be happier with the 5L cage bags rather than 3L. Certainly the 5L bags make it easier to carry the cookpot and camp kitchen and the sleeping pad.
Salsa Anything cage is along the same lines.

The Widefoot cages are a lot cheaper if you buy the factory seconds.
 
REI Link II Pannier came in today. I'll post photos tomorrow and show how much stuff I can pack in it. Short answer is pretty much everything I want to carry in it will fit, if tightly. SimWorks EX Loader should arrive tomorrow or Friday and I can run the same tests.

My theory is if most everything fits very tightly in just the rear panniers, I am free to move some gear to the front fork on the cage mount dry bags. And significant groceries, soggy stuff, and treasures I pick up along the way can be carried in the overflow bag on top of the rear rack.

In a very dry travel situation I can carry water, up to 4L, on the front cage mounts and jam everything else into the rear panniers, overflow bag, and rando bag.

I am thinking what would be absolutely perfect for this application is a roll-top pannier this size with large mesh pockets on the side and rear.
 
Last edited:
Okay, here is the new REI Link II Pannier empty and mounted on the drive side:

IMG_1213.jpeg


It is mounted on the lower pannier rails because (A) it fits there, (B) it gives me a lower center of gravity, and (C) it frees up the top rails for strapping an overflow bag and other stuff (e.g. soggy wet stuff). Since this is the drive side pannier I intend to put stuff in there that absolutely needs to be kept dry and is unlikely to be needed before I get to camp that evening. So things like my down quilt, sleeping pad, spare socks, inner layers, &c.

This is all of that stuff in a big pile:

IMG_1214.jpeg


This is all of it overstuffed into that tiny pannier:

IMG_1216.jpeg


Now that was most everything, but it wasn't a realistic carry because I don't cycle just in shoes, a helmet, and sunglasses. I need to wear some of the clothes jammed into that pannier. This is what it looks like with typical ride clothes removed:

IMG_1217.jpeg


Hard to tell really but I was able to get a couple more rolls on the roll top.

Now in practice I will carry some of that in a dry bag on the front as well. Also in practice there might be some additional small items that ride along (the cable and charger bag is in there, but there might be some other small items).

With the 5L front drybag I can easily pack the sleeping pad and a bunch of clothes forward, which leaves plenty of room in that rear pannier.

The bag looks good but I'm not super impressed with the external pocket.
 
Last edited:
The Sim Works EX Loader arrived yesterday:

IMG_1220.jpeg


All this stuff just barely fit into it:

IMG_1219.jpeg


IMG_1222.jpeg


I had to put the tarp and tent stakes in the mesh pocket. Which is fine for these purposes.

My own feelings right now is that, yes, I could make this work. But I think I like the Link II Pannier better and think it will work better for my purposes.
 
I built the box several days ago,use only hand tools and a electric drill

The box can carry a 800w mini generator if needed
 

Attachments

  • 後箱231005b.jpg
    後箱231005b.jpg
    200.2 KB · Views: 69
  • thumbnail_20231004_100726.jpg
    thumbnail_20231004_100726.jpg
    931 KB · Views: 88
  • thumbnail_20231021_155030.jpg
    thumbnail_20231021_155030.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 79
  • thumbnail_20231021_155123.jpg
    thumbnail_20231021_155123.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 78
  • thumbnail_20231021_163056.jpg
    thumbnail_20231021_163056.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 87
Last edited:
My plan is to get and modify a pair of rigid Molle panels so I can choose different kinds of pouches to use. I don't like big bags that everything just gets dumped into. With Molle pouches I could do a large bag on one side, a tool kit, and pouch for my tumbler of ice tea and a first aid kit.
 
My plan is to get and modify a pair of rigid Molle panels so I can choose different kinds of pouches to use. I don't like big bags that everything just gets dumped into. With Molle pouches I could do a large bag on one side, a tool kit, and pouch for my tumbler of ice tea and a first aid kit.
If that works for you, great!

How do you keep dirty and wet velcro sticking, though?
 
I use molle gear as well… pouches, dump bags, bottle carrier, etc. Most adapt and compliment bikepacking carriers.
 
Back