In Search of Grocery Panniers

As a new ebike owner, I’m in the market for panniers. I want to take home a large load of groceries. My bike has a rear rack and a front rack built into the frame. My current solution is a grocery tote box and cargo net. The whole setup is about $30, so you can’t beat the price.

But the rear rack is narrow and lacks good places for the cargo net hooks. So I got a rear basket and mounted it on top of the rear rack. This makes the tote box more stable. But some panniers would lower the gravity of the load, and theoretically make the bike more stable. So I went internet shopping.

I want panniers that are open on the top so I can just dump in a load of groceries. I don’t want to bother with rolling the top open, and I’m not going to be biking to the store in a storm, so I don’t care about waterproof.

My bike has the rear rack build into the frame, with thick tubing for the rack and a narrow slot for a bungee hook. It’s nice the rack is built in to the frame, but it also means there aren’t as many rails and attachment points as an add-on rack would have. There’s also a single vertical rail holding the rack up, so there’s less to keep a bag from rocking into the rear wheel. This just makes it more difficult to tell which panniers will mount securely to my bike.

Below are my contenders for grocery-store panniers. If you’re traveling elsewhere–if you’re going to work instead of the grocery store–there are lots of other bags that would serve you better. And I don’t even know for sure that all these fit well. The hook on the Banjo Brothers looks like it wouldn’t fit. The Arkel has enough info on their site to make me think it would fit. The rest that have hooks that attach to the bottom of the rack…who knows?

I’m going to try out the Inertia Designs Metro. I like the adjustable hooks, and it looks sturdier than most. It’s on the pricier side. If I don’t like it I’ll probably go for the Bushwhacker Omaha. Those look decent and are well-reviewed. I might just order the Omahas so that I can compare them to the Metros in person and return one.

Grocery panniers
Name Amazon Quantity Price (USD)
Arkel Shopper N/A 1 $150
Banjo Brothers 4.4 (153) 1 $60
Bike Mule 4.1 (106) 2 $70
Bushwhacker Omaha 4.6 (905) 2 $70
Inertia Designs Metro 4.0 (17) 1 $80
OutWurx N/A 2 $70
Vincita Jess 4.6 (31) 1 $56
  • Arkel Shopper

    Novel attachment clips. Clips to the top of the rack only, no bungee for lower rack. Collapsable, open-top, with sewn-in cinch top.

  • Banjo Brothers Grocery

    The hook on the bungee is flat and wide, and is a poor fit for my bike. Collapsable, open-top.

  • Bike Mule

    Asymmetric mounting hooks, for dedicated left/right bags. Theoretically keeps it out of the way of your feet as you pedal. Collapsable, open-top.

  • Bushwhacker Omaha

    Standard clips and bungee attachments. Collapsable, open-top.

  • Inertia Designs Metro

    Rack clips are adjustable fore and aft. Has a metal frame that I can’t quite figure out from the pictures. Collapsable, open-top.

  • OutWurx

    No Amazon reviews. Hooks and bungee attachment. Bungee hook is rubberized (a nice touch). Collapsable, open-top, with insert bags.

  • Vincita Jess

    No attachment info on site. You can catch a glimpse of the hooks on YouTube. Is there a bungee hook? Insulated bags which fold closed on top.

Back Again

So I’m back again. Again. I’ve futzed with even more static site generators, in an effort to stay away from WordPress. The problem is I want to be a site author, not a site developer. I have plenty of development tasks in other parts of my life. So, this particular Rube Goldberg solution uses BBEdit and a Python script to render a markdown document to HTML and post it to WordPress. So, still some development. But it’s pretty easy to use the Python XMLRPC and Markdown packages. And it’s not developing site layout or design. I can use the WordPress plugins, themes, and admin GUI for that sort of stuff.

100 Words

Here’s my goal: write 100 words every day. It can be any topic, it just has to be 100 words or longer. That feels like a decent length. I requires more thought than your typical lazy tweet, but not so much that it makes me feel like i have to clear an entire evening to polish a 500 word essay.

A good piece of advice (I can’t attribute) is to write what you learn. It’s common to feel like you can’t write anything unless you know everything about the topic. But writing helps the writer as much as the reader. Putting the thoughts swirling around your head into words helps stop the swirling and brings clarity. So that’s one source of ideas. Expect missives on Elixir, programming, soccer.

This is a quick post from MarsEdit.

Just installed a bunch of indie web wordpress plugins that I don’t fully understand. Here comes a bunch of experiments.