Touring = Panniers or Trailer?

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  • OK so I'm riding UK through France to Spain this autumn (geared) and I want your views, should I be dragging a trailer or loaded up with panniers? Not planning to take too much (half a tent, change of clothes, waterproofs, sleeping bag)... Opinions anyone?

  • Do you have a trailer already? A single-wheeler like the BoB would be better (and upside down, doubles up as a campfire seat), but if you're stopping off anywhere urban(ish), trailers are a bit awkward to park up and secure.

    If you've got a strong rear wheel, I'd go for panniers. If you get smallish ones, plus a rack-top bag, you'll have less of an aerodynamic penalty.

    Tape a spare spoke to your seatstay though (or get one of those emergency spokes that can easily be fitted to the drive side without removing the cassette).

    Reckon you'd want a sturdy 28mm on the back wheel at the minimum... Hope you have a great tour.

  • I toured 1000km around northern Greece last year, paniers were great, I had front and back panniers. But I did have to retrue my back wheel half way round, so much more fun when you have never done it before! - the sun was shining i was relaxed! Get real touring wheels 36 spoke should hold them!

  • Surely you would want whatever is the lightest method, so you don't waste energy dragging extra weight, so it'd be the panniers?

  • Yeah, as Markoz said, 36 spoke wheels would be good.

  • Cor those bob trailers look fancy (and expensive!)¬≠lers.php

    Think I'm going to rock it on the panniers... unless anyone has a trailer for rent august/september?

  • Panniers.

  • I would say panniers as well, not that i have any expearience but seems to make sence. If you facny a trailer though check out seems like a a good idea for a trailer.

  • Get an Extracycle

  • I really don't see why trailers are necessary. To me it's just another thing that could break? like those extrawheel trailers the way it attaches to the bike just doesn't look that strong. Panniers on the other hand - get a decent brack, bolts to your frame. Add panniers. Done!

  • If you go for panniers, don't go for cheap ones from places like Halfords. I did that when I went on holiday, and within the first 6 hours the fixings had broken off one of them. I managed to keep it on with a bungee cord but it could well have ruined all my plans!

  • How cheap is cheap? I spent 4 months on the road with some $120 cheapies from Oz. ~¬£50 for two I guess.
    I didn't take them on/off the bike though which saves a lot of wear on the hooks. They were a pain to get on/off anyway.
    Wrap your stuff in related bags so that when you want something you only have to take out the shopping bag with it in and the whole pannier doesn't get exposed to rain, etc. Also, pack oft used stuff to the top and heavier stuff like tools to the bottom. Make sure the load is even on each side. Pack light. I sent home lots of stuff over time.

  • mdja If you go for panniers, don't go for cheap ones from places like Halfords.

    Yeah, I agree. I bought a cheapy one from Halfords before I got my new bike, since it weighed such a ton and it was a nightmare hauling the crap bike and my stuff in my bag. It rattles like crazy, and the actual rack bit is really wobbly.

  • Used both trailers and panniers and each has its own pros and cons.

    The biggest drawbacks with trailers is that its another wheel(s) to puncture. Single wheel trailers like the BOB can easily drag you over until you get used to the dynamics (sames true of panniers) and as someone noted, it can be pain to secure. Downhill at speed can also get sketchy.

    You also really need a load on the front wheel if you've got a load in the trailer.

    On the other hand, its much easier to haul and access stuff with a trailer. Rode across the West Coast of America and was much faster than than my friends who had panniers. Once you get used to the dynamics the ride is much less jarring and you're pretty damn stable as the weight is all so low.

    However the real downside to trailers is the expense and having somewhere large enough to store em.

  • I got some tubus racks they are way better than anything else I have used, both blackburn and tourtec, which both broke on me (probably filling them up too much! but not much fun in the middle of nowhere, cable ties and arildite works every time.) I don't get that problem any more.
    Pocket pockets and more pockets you cannot have enough pockets, know whats in which and life is easy - well it was for me.
    And as hippy says pack heavy low and most needed at the top - or in one of the pockets!
    Get a self inflating thermarest, straigth to sleep and hardly any pain from stones in the back!
    The advice goes on and on, i'll leave the rest till later

  • argos panniers, 20 quid...not had any probs....not exclusive enough for most.

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Touring = Panniers or Trailer?

Posted by Avatar for ChrisW @ChrisW