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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am setting up my bike to run errands and I needed some advice. I will be using the bikes to run trips to the store, and groceries. I was thinking of getting on one side a groceries basket and the other side a waterproof pannier for things that I might want not to be in sight or don't want exposed to water and heat, for example camera equipment, laptop and any electronics, a bottle of Vodka that I might need to take along.

Is it an issue with balance having groceries on one side and the other side empty? Is it a crazy idea to have mismatch stuff on either side of the rack? Would I be better off having groceries baskets at either side and a trunk on the top of the rack?

Most trips I take will be less than 20 miles round trip.
 

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The weight is generally close enough to the bikes axis of gravity that it won't matter if there is only one loaded pannier. Still, I always took my laptop in a bag or backpack. They don't fit very well in most panniers that I have seen.

Plank said:
I am setting up my bike to run errands and I needed some advice. I will be using the bikes to run trips to the store, and groceries. I was thinking of getting on one side a groceries basket and the other side a waterproof pannier for things that I might want not to be in sight or don't want exposed to water and heat, for example camera equipment, laptop and any electronics, a bottle of Vodka that I might need to take along.

Is it an issue with balance having groceries on one side and the other side empty? Is it a crazy idea to have mismatch stuff on either side of the rack? Would I be better off having groceries baskets at either side and a trunk on the top of the rack?

Most trips I take will be less than 20 miles round trip.
 

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Try to keep the weight balanced if you can. I have commuted and use the bike with panniers for grocery shopping. Loading up only one side makes it a unbalanced, which might become an issue if you really lean into turns or need to stand out of the saddle.

I'm really fond of having two panniers. I can't imagine hauling my stuff, groceries or otherwise, exposed in an open basket---which means exposed to the weather if it starts to turn nasty. Also, consider if you want top loading or side loading bags. I have side loaders and they are a bit of a pain tring to wedge odd shaped things (like italian bread) into. I'd much prefer to loaders. Dirt Rag did a review of Ortlieb bags last month and I think you can read it on their website.
 

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I run a single grocery pannier about 90% of the time and frequently carry 10-25lbs loads in the single pannier. The imbalance is a minor issue when parked, but I quickly learned to be strategic about where/how I lean the bike. Once underway I don't notice the imbalance much if at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am going to my LBS on Saturday and see what they got but I am thinking of getting:
 

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I have purchased 10kg bags of cat food and carried them in one pannier--- and it always feels odd out of the saddle, no matter what the load.

Bobonli said:
Try to keep the weight balanced if you can. I have commuted and use the bike with panniers for grocery shopping. Loading up only one side makes it a unbalanced, which might become an issue if you really lean into turns or need to stand out of the saddle.

I'm really fond of having two panniers. I can't imagine hauling my stuff, groceries or otherwise, exposed in an open basket---which means exposed to the weather if it starts to turn nasty. Also, consider if you want top loading or side loading bags. I have side loaders and they are a bit of a pain tring to wedge odd shaped things (like italian bread) into. I'd much prefer to loaders. Dirt Rag did a review of Ortlieb bags last month and I think you can read it on their website.
 

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cantankerous old man
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Bobonli said:
Try to keep the weight balanced if you can. I have commuted and use the bike with panniers for grocery shopping. Loading up only one side makes it a unbalanced, which might become an issue if you really lean into turns or need to stand out of the saddle.
I have not had that problem. I typically commute with laptop, shoes, suit, thermos, clothes, etc which can be upwards of 30 lbs and never had a problem. But then again, I'm not too aggressive while commuting. :D
 

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I use Trek grocery bags. The mounting system is poor, but I retrofitted with Ortlieb parts - $50 for two bags. I haven't seen the other brands so I can't compare.

They are made from a heavy material so I don't worry about anything sharp or hard abrading them. Take them into the store and pack directly into them. They work well as a take along to avoid plastic bags when using the car, too.


 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I went to my LBS last night and got a nice aluminum rack in silver and put it on the bike. Also got 1 groceries pannier, it has a external zippered compartment as well as one on the inside and place to hold your cell phone. If the pannier works out well I may buy a second one. On Sunday I will post a ride report with pictures of the errands I ran on the bike.
 

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Like Filter said: so long as you're in the saddle there isn't any issue. But once you stand up (mainly an issue at lights) things get wacky really quick when one side is much heavier than the other.



joe
 
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