A One Sided Argument

One of the most common questions I get when I roll into the parking lot is, "Wow, isn't it hard to balance with only one saddle bag?" (People always call my panniers saddle bags. I'm guessing that's not technically incorrect. It just sounds funny to me. But I'm getting at the "lopsided" part of the comment.) I almost always have just one bag. It keeps me from throwing unnecessary items in and adding weight.

Riding with one pannier doesn't change the feel or balance of riding at all. Often times, I have the pannier full of gear, laptop and clothes and my riding is never affected. When I'm pedaling or standing at a stoplight with the bike between my legs, everything balances just fine.

The only caveat to having one loaded pannier is when I'm walking the bike through the building. With my hands on the bars and all the weight in the back (without straddling the bike), it does tend to sweep out to the side. I've got to be a little more cautious, but it isn't really an issue at all.

So if you're running panniers for the sake of plurality, try sitting one aside. There's no reason to use two if you don't need the cargo capacity. It seems like a simple thing, but lots of people (me included) have a tendency to use two even with out a real need. And using one at a time will cause less wear and tear to your set. You'll have a lighter load and longer lasting panniers if you go with the one sided argument.

Get out there.

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