Do I Really Need Ortliebs? A Buyer’s Guide To Panniers For Cycle Tours & Expeditions
Last updated in March 2020.
One day in 1884, Thomas Stevens left California on a penny farthing and became the first man in recorded history to cycle round the world. He was carrying little more than a bag of gold and a pistol rolled up in a blanket.
Today, us bicycle travellers tend to leave precious metals and firearms at home, instead packing half our own bodyweight in other equipment.
That’s because we expect to enjoy seeing the world by bike, rather than bribing and bullying our way around as Stevens often did. The lightweight equipment available today – tents, stoves, tools and more – makes life on the road not just tolerable but even sometimes fun!
To carry our gear, many of us will ride a touring bike fitted with front and rear carrier racks on which to mount a set of panniers – the traditional luggage setup for cycle touring for more than a century.
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