Sunday, 5 June 2011

I have finally accepted my Brompton pannier

I have been using my three year old Brompton pannier for the last two weeks. While I love my messenger bags I have not been able to carry stuff on my back recently and as I still need to get around I got out the pannier

This bag is the Touring Pannier but it was redesigned for 2010 and it is now called the T bag. My bag has approximately an internal 28 litre capacity and the new bag is approximately 31 litre. On the recent Brompton bike ride another rider showed me their new pannier. Brompton have finally addressed the need of having a light colour as an internal lining in a large bag and the T bag I saw is bright yellow inside.

What I have done with my pannier is to put in my own internal lining by using another bag to keep my small items in so I can find it everything I need.

I like the improvements on the T bag except for the lack of a padded strap for the bag. The Pannier and the T bag are built to carry lots of stuff so why not provide a proper wide padded strap. This can be easily fixed by producing a separate pad for the strap. I use one by Ortileb and it is vital for those moments when I need both hands to carry the bike when using stairs.

What I like best about using the Brompton pannier is that I can peddle faster. Of course it makes sense that if I am not carrying a load on my back I am more flexible but I didn’t see any difference when I first got the bag as everything was still new to me and I still learning to ride in traffic and negotiate getting around stations.

I also like the mesh pockets in which I can carry my phone, ticket, change purse and camera.

The pannier is also good to carry extra shoes and d-lock.


Miguel said...

I am more and more in favor of panniers vs. backpacks or messenger bags on bikes. If the pack or bag is heavy enough it can affect stability and I'm also of the impression that it doesn't do your back any good while you're in the bike riding position.

I do realize panniers can be cumbersome. There are alternatives out there. I like the Haberland line with briefcase and messenger-bag like implementations that hook on racks, plus they support different rack mechanisms.

The Brompton, of course, is a world of its own.

Leslie said...

I've got the S-bag and use it as much as possible. Sadly, it's not quite big enough for the longest library days, and I really notice the difference if I have to use a sling bag. I've even been thinking about getting a bigger Brompton bag, 'cos it's so much more enjoyable riding without any weight on your back.

Cycling in Heels said...

My pannier has in the past carried a number of large arch-lever files and I used to do my weekly grocery shop with it. So if you regularly need to carry a lot of stuff this bag should do it.

Anonymous said...

It was the coming of the warm and humid weather which led me to switch from my beloved Deuter backpack to a Brompton C bag. Couldn't stand arriving at work with such a sweaty back! It's nice having more space for all my bits and pieces too.

Cycling in Heels said...

Getting too hot was one of the reasons I have never opted for a backpack.

ACL said...

Hey G,

I slipped into Velorution after we met on Oxford Street, and brought precisely the Brompton bag with the yellow lining you mention (more lime green really), and couldn't be happier with it: it's amazingly capacious, and the elasticated webbing is perfect for slinging stuff into for easy access, just like you do. Slinging bag and bike into the main compartment of a Tesco trolley, I find that front slot left free is a perfect guide for how much I can carry: 1/2-2/3, and I'm good to go!

Only downside is that the drawstring pocket on the back is awkward and unused; I would've liked another zip pocket instead.

It also kind of leaves the pannier rack a bit redundant, but I really like the way the bike rolls with it on, and the rack's perfect for strapping a whole load of kitchen towel or loo roll onto on the way back from the shop...



(PS: taken a cycling lesson from Lewisham Council just like you suggested, and getting the hang of it methinks; thanks for telling me about that too!)

ACL said...

BTW, is that Ortlieb shoulder pad available separately? Couldn't see it as a standalone on their site.

Cycling in Heels said...

Hi Andrew. Good to hear about the purchase of your pannier. I like those front pockets too. I think the pockets on the back are an improvement to the fold down pockets I have on my old style pannier. But I agree I think two zip pockets would have been better. As for the rack. I still like the option of having one and it has served me very well.

Really pleased that you have got a cycle lesson from Lewisham. I fear if more adults don't take this training it will disappear from council provision across London.


auntadadoom said...

We recently used the "Touring Bag" on a cycle camping trip, combined with the back "Rack Bag" we easily accommodated all our luggage and equipment.
The draw string pocket is designed to carry a water bottle and is essential for touring on a Brompton.


Cycling in Heels said...

Hi AuntAda. I am impressed. Ah ha! The reason for the drawstring pocket has been revealed. I generally carry a small 50cl water bottle but then again if I was touring I would want a 2 litre bottle to get me through the trip.