Arkel T-42 Panniers
Arkel's T-42 Panniers are a classic set of bags, ideally suited for light, credit card touring or urban, all-around use. Made with Arkel's legendary quality and attention to detail, the T-42's feature an aluminum frame, lots of pockets and full-length zippers to keep your gear stable and accessible. For a weekend get away, B&B tour or the daily commute, the T-42's are ideal panniers.
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Brought these back from Canada to the UK. We have a motorhome and like to do cycle trips from that throughout the UK, so I wanted panniers that were a lot easier to get on and off than my old worn out ones (different make) for when we put the bikes in the M/H garage. Also although we cycle mostly on road and bridle paths/cycle paths we do often end up on public footpaths (sorry ramblers!) which means the bikes have to be lifted over stiles and gates. So having panniers that clip on and off quickly will make that lifting much easier. We only do day trips so these are a bit big for just a jacket, camera and a picnic but when we need to top up the M/H food cupboards the extra space is needed. Yesterday I did a big supermarket shop and easily fitted in two huge bags of groceries. The quality is fantastic. So sturdy even with nothing in them. Love the solid bottom and the metal bracket that holds the sides out. The only downside I can think of is that the Arkel logo is very visible and thieves with any knowledge might prefer to steal these than the cheaper ones on the other bikes locked to the bike rack. Not that I have ever heard of whole panniers being stolen but I think like a thief to deter a thief. Of course visible logos applies to every other make too. I don't really want to lug them with me when we are looking round museums or shops or just cycling somewhere to then do a hike. For these situations I have managed to padlock them to the frame through the triangle of the hook that attaches the bungee to the bike rack. Bit fiddly but can be done with patience. I used strong but small luggage type padlocks. The yellow covers also have the logo on and would have clashed rather with my pink bike. So I have made my own covers from P.U.L. waterproof breathable fabric with Rip-stop on the sides with pockets for specs, phone, maps to avoid having to keep taking the covers off. These then cover up the logo when I leave the panniers locked onto the bike and keep them cleaner when actually cycling. Covers are much easier to fit in the washing machine! I fitted these to a Topeak non disc brake rack and had to alter the brackets slightly on the panniers. That was very easy to do. The bike is a female frame mountain and I have size 7 (UK) feet and haven't had any problems with heel clearance. I had excellent service from Urban Cyclist, dealt with Alex by email. Paid in the UK by credit card and collected in store.