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Gear Review

3 5

May not be for everyone ...

Out of the box the Garneau panniers are striking. This is a well made and equally nice looking set of bags. Their simple design with large roomy pockets on each side complimented with double zippers is perfect. I’m even a fan of their Zipper Pulls which are quality to say the least. Their trademark rubber fasteners for a rear light, (or rear lights), is a nice touch. It should be noted these bags are “attached” and therefore you cannot put one side on and leave the other side off. The panniers have a comfortable center handle which allows you to grab the bags and take them off the bike easily. (That’s the good news.)

Now the bad news. You’ll like these panniers right up until you set them on your "standard rack". Standard racks are about 6 inches wide. The width of the separation between these two panniers is only 5 inches! What is advertised is “compatible with virtually any bicycle rack”. This will be a problem for many riders.

On a personal note, I was having a great deal of trouble finding a rack for my new Cannondale. The 2011 bike I purchased is about as “rack unfriendly” as you could make a bike. Thankfully, after an eternity of research, I found a company in Canada that made fully adjustable racks that not only fit my bike, but with a rear rack width of only five inches!

Another situation many riders will experience, and have to work around, is the Velcro fasteners. These un-movable strips of Velcro didn’t work with my rear rack. Thankfully I was able to work around it. As mentioned in my other reviews of Garneau bags they need to create a movable/slide-able attachment allowing for a more universal rack fit.

For me the panniers are very good. If they had a better attachment they would be great. They will be great for you too provided your rear rack width is 5 inches.

I hope this has helped.

Enjoy the ride … it goes by fast.