The original idea of the “Dry Run” was to test potential equipment to find out what we want to use on our round the world trip. The biggest dilema that we have been having has been over how we will carry our luggage. Essentially, there are two options; a trailer or panniers?
I’ve just received the final bits for my panniers and have been meticulously bolting each tiny piece to my bike for the last few hours. Its an experience that brought me back to my childhood when I used to spend hours playing with my Lego.
While panniers are tried and trusted on the touring circuit, trailers have their merits such as a low centre of gravity and one large bag which gives flexible storage. The cons for trailers include additional weight of the trailer, increased rolling resistance from the small wheel, and the “putting all your eggs in one basket” syndrome. If it breaks you have no backup. They also have a tendency to try to overtake the rider or jack-knife while braking on steep descents.
With panniers you can separate your equipment and distribute the load evenly over the two wheels. The racks I have chosen keep the centre of gravity pretty low (allowing me to easily ride with no hands) and are made of strong tubular steel giving peace of mind when burning down hills. The only problems that I’ve had so far are sluggish, heavy steering (although I’m used to a BMX) and a slight tendency to rattle over bumps.
Which will fare better under duress in Egypt, trailers or panniers? Watch this space.