I find panniers useful for family bike rides. We put some new panniers to the test. They even survived a spill on a descent.
Sometimes we like to get out for the day on our bikes, stopping off somewhere for a picnic.
I prefer to let the bike take the load
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 shoulder’s 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
I recently, after many years, bought a new bike (yay!).
it didn’t fit
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.
The new bike has disk brakes, and so it is wider.
lightweight pannier rack designed for bikes with disc breaks
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 did find the straps quite fiddly to tighten 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 flapping around.
A closer look at the Basil Sports Panniers
Both the left and right panniers are identical and have a large pocket with a drawstring flap to avoid contents spilling out on bumpy ground.
There are also pockets at the front, back, side, and top. The top pockets being particularly easy to access while on the bike.
Another great feature I like about these panniers are the built-in rain covers. You can find these zipped into the bottom of each, so very quick to fit if you are in a sudden downpour.
built-in rain covers
Fitting the Bags – Correctly!
It wasn’t long before we had the panniers packed and we set off.
Unfortunately, in my haste, I hadn’t adjusted the bags correctly, and each foot hit the bags as I peddled.
in my haste, I hadn’t adjusted the bags correctly
Time to stop and re-adjust the fittings.
That secure loop system meant that 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, 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.
Roots, rocks, and several small drop-offs
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.
the panniers started to take quite a beating
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 were able to take a lot of gear on the bike for a family day out, took punishment well, and stayed secure to the bike over some not-so-gentle terrain.
Basil Sports Double Bag Details
Here are the details from the Wheelies website.
Basil Sports Double Rear Water-Repellent Bag
A stylish, versatile, lightweight and water repellent polyester double rear bike bag comprised of several spacious pockets and handles along with a rain cover contained inside the bottom zipper pocket and double reflective stripes on both sides of the bag for extra peace of mind while riding on the road.
– 38 Litre double rear bag
– Lightweight, water repellent polyester
– Several pockets; handles
– Each bag contains a rain cover in bottom zipper
– Double reflection on all sides
– Raincover in zipper pockets
Which do you prefer? Reply below
Which do you prefer? Using panniers or a backpack?
Leave your answer in the chat below.
- Plenty of capacity.
- Includes a rain cover too.
Specification: Basil Sports Panniers Review