the latter is the one I've used (because I rate the waterproofness of the Ortlieb panniers at the top of my wish list), and it's ok as long as you don't carry too much weight (5-7 kg); if you add some padding at the bottom of the pannier you might be able to carry more weight without discomfort
I think if you are lean and your gear is ultralight you might get away with wearing your pack while cycling, which simplifies everything. If you are on the heavy side though, as I am, the less weight on the saddle and handlebars the better. Once you go to putting the gear on the bike its tough though. I don't think there is a way to get around the redundancy and extra weight and having to pack and unpack. I just bought a rear rack and I am going to try and find a way to put my pack on top of it, but I like to pack it with my blue foam pad tubular in such a way that it is 30" tall, which is just way too long. I guess I could go to a narrower tube for summer, and less gear in my JAM2. I have way too much weight on my rear tire as it is though, with me pushing 230#. I think I will go with my pack on the rack, and transfer some heavy stuff like food and water to a handlebar pack. Thoughts? Yeah I know. Lose some weight. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
That's what the bike is for. It's about 80km to the Fundy Footpath, and I can stash my bike there so it makes for a nice door-to-door, bike-hike-hike-bike.
p.s. Thanks for the links. A bit on the heavy side, but some food for thought there for sure.
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Panniers lower the center of gravity and make the bike much easier to handle. I toured with front and rear panniers and rear rack-no handlebar bag. I liked not wearing a pack-just a fanny pack. Much easier on my back. I put my sleeping bag, folded up pack, pad and tent on the rear rack. Everything else was in the four bags-clothes, boots, stove, food, misc. stuff, and bike spares and tools. I carried a spare tire (folding Specialized), tube, spare cables, pump, and tool kit.
The front panniers should be centered on the axles-I don't think all of racks do that. Mine were Blackburn, I think.
My bike, fully loaded weighed about 80 lbs-30-35 for the bike and the rest bike and hiking gear. I lowered that considerably by shipping unneeded gear between towns by bus and picking up my stuff when I got there.
Don't get me started, you know how I get.
Here in the NW you see a lot of bike trailers rather than panniers. Some are just simple aluminum frames which can hold your backpack, giving you the freedom to use it independently of your bike. At first I was skeptical that a trailer could be easier to manage than panniers but the touring bikers I've talked to all say they are far better.
Germany is killer for bike touring, and hiking... I go every year, bike paths and hiking trails everywhere, many many many thousands of miles of them. Gorgeous! And they're a nation of hikers and bikers, it feels great! I guess you'd want to make that more than an overnight trip though...