I find panniers useful for family bike rides. We put some new panniers to the test. They even survived a spill on a descent.
Our Score: 9.5/10
We've given the Basil Sports Panniers Review the Thumbs Up award.
- Plenty of capacity.
- Includes a rain cover too.
The not so good
This was a hands-on product review. The product was supplied to us to test and conduct the review.
Basil Sports Panniers Review Videos
Basil Sports Panniers Review Photos
I prefer to let the bike take the load.
Sometimes we like to get out for the day on our bikes, stopping off somewhere for a picnic.
Although a picnic could easily be thrown into a backpack and taken, I prefer to let the bike take the load and use some panniers, especially as when you are taking your family, you end up carrying a lot of stuff.
With the weight on the bike, your back and shoulders don't get as tired, and you don't get as sweaty either!
Trying the Basil Sports Panniers
Wheelies asked us to see what they think of their panniers. They do a lot of great panniers and bags for bikes, but I really liked the double Basil Sports Panniers. They aren't very expensive, have a good capacity, and lots of pockets. Ideal for those family excursions on two wheels.
Wheelies decided to send us some to try out :-)
Fitting (the right) Pannier Rack
it didn't fit
I recently, after many years, bought a new bike (yay!).
My old bike had a lightweight pannier rack. So the first task was to take this off my old bike and put it on my new one.
....and it didn't fit.
lightweight pannier rack designed for bikes with disc breaks
The new bike has disk brakes, and so it is wider.
After a quick pedal down to the shops, I got a new lightweight pannier rack designed for bikes with disc breaks. This wasn't that expensive and was soon fitted to the bike.
I also picked up a new insulated water bottle for a nice cold drink while on the bike.
Attaching the Panniers
The Basil Sports Panniers attach themselves to the rack through some loops that can be adjusted.
I found the straps quite fiddly tightened to the rack, but once secured, they held the panniers in place.
At the bottom of the panniers are velcro straps to secure them to the rack frame and stop the bags from flapping around.
A closer look at the Basil Sports Panniers
The left and right panniers are identical and have a large pocket with a drawstring flap to avoid contents spilling out on the bumpy ground.
Pockets are also at the front, back, side, and top. The top pockets are particularly easy to access while on the bike.
built-in rain covers
Another great feature I like about these panniers is the built-in rain covers. You can find these zipped into the bottom of each, so they are very quick to fit if you are in a sudden downpour.
Fitting the Bags - Correctly!
It wasn't long before we packed the panniers and set off.
in my haste, I hadn't adjusted the bags correctly
Unfortunately, in my haste, I hadn't adjusted the bags correctly, and each foot hit the bags as I peddled.
Time to stop and re-adjust the fittings.
That secure loop system meant I spent more time fiddling but eventually moved the bags back on the rack. I also adjusted the velcro on the side of each back, which you can secure in one of three positions.
Time to hit the trail
Our route started on cycle tracks in the town, then along some country lanes, and eventually off road.
The panniers stayed secure all the way, and it was great to enjoy a picnic in the spring sunshine.
The route back we (I) decided to take quite a technical mountain biking route. Time for me to play a bit with my new bike, and also see how the panniers would fair under more extreme conditions.
Roots, rocks, and several small drop-offs
Roots, rocks, and several small drop-offs, and the panniers stayed firmly attached to the bike. I was even impressed that the velcro still held them to the rack, even though the bags were carrying some weight and putting up with a lot of punishment.
the panniers started to take quite a beating
Brambles were also starting to grow (or still there from last year), and the path was a little narrow for a bike with full panniers. This meant that the panniers started to take quite a beating. Fortunately, they held up really well without any snags or scratches.
They even stayed attached when I took a spill
They even stayed attached when I took a spill ;-)
We give the Basil Sports Panniers the thumbs up. They could take a lot of gear on the bike for a family day out, take the punishment well, and stay secure over some not-so-gentle terrain.
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