Pannier Report

Two days later. Monday’s ride in was a comedy of errors. I had both bags, with the laptop, mounted, and I didn’t shake down the setup over the weekend, which would have found that my heel clipped the bag with the laptop. In the course of the first few miles, I knocked the bag off the rack several times until I corrected my pedal stroke. Additionally, I had my fenders and rack mounted via the same set of P-clamps, which didn’t permit me to tighten them completely, causing a bit of a wobble, especially when I was out of the saddle. The ride home was marginally better, since I left the laptop at the office. I did notice, however, that with the weight in the rear of the bike I was able to stay in the saddle much more, especially when accelerating from a stop sign or traffic light. This was, I think, a Good Thing. The handling felt weird, to say the least, given that I was used to sluggish steering thanks to the loaded basket. Now it was the opposite–the front end was crazy-light, and responded to everything.

Monday evening I tweaked the rack setup, and moved the arms to a separate set of P-clamps, and this helped enormously. I rode home with both bags and the laptop, and there were no heel strike issues. I’ll likely add a bungee cord around the Market Pannier for carrying the laptop–the case fits pretty well, but I can’t cinch it down enough to prevent it from swaying. I’m also not a big fan of the P-clamps, at least for mounting the rack, as I still can’t get them completely tightened around the seat stays. As a result, the rack still sways a bit when it’s loaded. That said, I do like the setup, and it makes for a much more pleasant ride than the loaded basket.