Preparing for our upcoming 3 day tour on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, I did a dry fitting of a few different panniers on Sky King’s bike.
First, a word about the bike and the rack. The bike is a Rivendell Bleriot with 650b wheels and I selected the Nitto MT-Campee rear rack which is made for 26″ wheels but which also fits nicely over the fendered 650b tires. I wanted a rack that mounted with the top platform close to the top of the wheel, for a low center of gravity, and that had side rails for pannier support.
First up is the Lone Peak Mount Superior pannier. Lone Peak is based in Salt Lake City, Utah and their products are made in the USA. The company has been around since 1979. The website is very minimalistic and it’s short on specific information about the bags they make….information like mounting systems and materials.
With a nominal capacity of 3200 cubic inches or 52 liters per pair the P-500 Mount Superior panniers are the most capacious panniers in our store. With zippered pockets on the face, trailing edge and top, there should be plenty of room for items which need to be readily accessible. The zippered mesh pocket on the face of each pannier is perfect for carrying damp clothes while they dry out. There is no claim to waterproofness of the cordura fabric which forms the body of these bags but rain covers are sold separately.
Two composite hooks are bolted onto the back outside of the bag through the plastic stiffener inside the bag. The hooks go over the rack rail and are held in place with a pivoting thumb lock.
The horizontal compression strap can be adjusted to keep the load from shifting and can even be wrapped around the rack frame to keep the panniers hard against the rack. On the bottom portion of the back is bolted an elastic cord, strung through a metal s-hook which is meant to hook to a bottom rail or clip on the rack, keeping the bottom of the bag secure.
With the upper hooks hanging on the Nitto MT-Campee I discover that there is no place to hook the lower s-bolt and pull the elastic cord taught. From the top, inside, of the composite hooks, where they rest on the rack rail, to to the s-hook, the part that will hook on a bottom rail, with the elastic cord being flaccid, measures 295 mm. and to the very bottom of the bag measures about 320 mm.
I hooked the bags on some other racks to see how they fit:
-The 26″ Tubus Cargo rack is a perfect fit and I’m sure the 28″ cargo would work as well.
-The Tubus Logo and Cosmo racks work as long as the bags are attached to the upper rail, which sort of defeats the purpose of the lower rail on these racks.
In the next installment: Ortlieb Back Roller Classics.