Thursday, November 15, 2007

Colourful panniers

We have been looking at new panniers for my Dahon Speed TR recently. The 24L offered by my trusty Carradice Camper Longflap saddlebag is bit small for trips of several weeks especially if we are camping. I towed a trailer on the last trip, but as soon as the going gets rough a two wheeled trailer is difficult to tow. One line of thinking is a single wheeled trailer, not only the BOB, but the much lighter Extrawheel ( We have still not solved the problem, but I did notice that most bag manufacturers offer basically black bags with highlights in grey - OK a range of greys - mouse grey, lead grey, steel grey, ash grey, light grey and dark grey, but still grey. There are noticeable exceptions - Ortlieb and Vaude, but their bags tend to be a single colour.
I was very pleased to find the Dutch company Clarijs Covers ( who offer a range of plastic coated cloth panniers with cover, sides and ends in any of 18 colours and they will even put your name on the reflective strips. Red, orange and purple panniers are possible. The company also makes 'shoppers' (shopping bags) that fit into the larger panniers. The company will fit a ring on to the pannier to allow it to be locked onto the bike. I cannot see Dutch cyclists buying rubbish, so the panniers should be hard wearing offering a long life. It may actually reduce the attraction of the bike to thieves if your name is on a bag locked onto the frame.

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