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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
anyone making light weight panniers these days? I mean with Silnylon, or cuben fiber?

I don't really do bike touring, but might do a bit of it. Coming from backpacking, we like using really ultralight equipment. I am mindful of the fragility though it has not caused problems for me on week long treks, completely off grid. Perhaps the impacts a bike imparts on panniers is harsher than a backpack suspended on a natural suspension: human's legs?

Might even be tempted to sew up my own panniers to experiment
 

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The bike carries the load, so cutting the last few grams isn't as critical as a backpack load.

I have the Arkel Dry-Lite panniers. These are the lightest ones I've seen, and inexpensive. Not at the ultra light level, though, they weigh 540 grams for the pair. They seem to be very sturdy, and are simple to mount. Waterproof too.

They are small, but if you are going for ultra light touring, that should be good. Add a lightweight dry bag to strap on the top of the rack.

Racks
It appears that the Tubus titanium racks aren't available. They are still on the tubus website, though. 400 grams instead of 600 grams for the steel version, and about $150 more expensive.

The minimalist tubus Airy titanium is 240 grams. Also seems to be unavailable.
 

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I guess if I wanted a pannier I would just figure out how to attach a backpack to a bike rack. Then when I arrive at my destination I could just take it off the rack and put it on as a backpack and start walking.

However if a person could operate a sewing machine I would think a pannier would be easy to make. A zipper compartment, a place to put a chunk of cardboard to stiffen it and some clips or velcro to attach it to the rack. Just make them out of stuff laying around the house and then later you could buy better materials. Crafty things are always more fun to own.
 

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I guess if I wanted a pannier I would just figure out how to attach a backpack to a bike rack. Then when I arrive at my destination I could just take it off the rack and put it on as a backpack and start walking.

However if a person could operate a sewing machine I would think a pannier would be easy to make. A zipper compartment, a place to put a chunk of cardboard to stiffen it and some clips or velcro to attach it to the rack. Just make them out of stuff laying around the house and then later you could buy better materials. Crafty things are always more fun to own.
Most panniers bags are designed to be quick-mounted so they can be removed and carried as a shoulder/back pack.

This is the Ortlieb back roller being worn as a backpack.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
The bike carries the load, so cutting the last few grams isn't as critical as a backpack load.

I have the Arkel Dry-Lite panniers. These are the lightest ones I've seen, and inexpensive. Not at the ultra light level, though, they weigh 540 grams for the pair. They seem to be very sturdy, and are simple to mount. Waterproof too.
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hey great looking, versatile lightweight bags. And low price too. Kind of looks like similar nylon to ultralight backpacks too. Being I live in rainforest, their water-resistance is a plus. And looks like I have a shop nearby stocking them too.

Might be just what I am looking for. My ancient heavier Norco bags getting tired and don't clip on my racks well, often fall off on rough roads!

shift the old Norco bags to grocery&errand duty on my diy ebike
 

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That Tailfin's arched carbon design is elegant. Although the extension to the seat tube is ungainly, especially when viewed bagless. Although I'd probably choose a Tubus Fly (or go custom) for just a couple ounces more, I can totally see why someone would go for the Tailfin rack.

Seems like the Tailfin panniers might be a half pound lighter than traditional-yet-light designs such as the Swift "Hinterland" (x-pac fabric) pannier. The Tailfin video seems to show that the bag/rack interface is well braced (x-shaped stiffener) so that the bag does not rotate around the axis of the rack - i.e. doesn't rotate towards the bike's wheel during spirited riding. I'd want to test that hands-on before making a purchase decision on the Tailfin setup.

Although I'm a traditionalist by nature, I can't help wondering (as an engineer) just how well the ultralight fabrics stand up to abuse. A UL backpack can be treated (hand held) quite gently. However a pannier can be subject to the bike falling over (while parked), as well as crashes while riding - even just low speed falls on sandy patches. That said, it's encouraging to see innovation and go light philosophy trickle into these traditional products...
 

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There are all kinds of klugey compromises, such as trying to figure out how to connect a backpack to a bike rack without all the shoulder straps, waist straps, and related webbing straps dangling into the spokes. As long as you don't consider safety or stability, you should be fine :)

+1 on crafting your own panniers. Sounds like a great learning experience. If I had the interest in owning a burly sewing machine, making panniers would seem a great project. Would love to see some member photos of what they've done...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
update, instead of panniers, wife and I picked up some 'bikepacking' gear instead to try out. So far I like it, for going very light, streamlined using a more race oriented bike. credit card touring. Just did a 4 day trip to the gulf islands. one chang eof clothes, a fleece, e reader, bike food, flipflops, and we used silnylon stuffable backpacks to pick up food near where we stayed wiggle.com | Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack | Backpacks .

Moots rear system (kind of suck$). Blackburn frame bag (awesome!) topeak top tube bag (meh)



wife went with TImbuk2. very affordable, if a bit less shaped, and a bitmore bulky

 
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