Many of you already follow Russ Roca and Laura Crawford on Path Less Pedaled. The couple is equipped with front mini short stack Swift Industries Panniers. Five months on the road–literally living out of their bags, and I’d saythese two are really testing our products’ endurance.
I thought it was high time to check in. I’ve left Russ’ reply unedited, in part because we need to be transparent, and in part because I love the way these two individuals navigate their problem solving:
From Swift: Hey Russ! Still loving all of the stories and photos the two of you post!
Now that you’ve covered a lot of road, I wanted to check in with the two of you about your swift panniers. I see they’re still on your bikes, and I would love to know how they have served you, what needs amending, etc. When you get a chance, we’d love to hear.
From Russ: Hey there Swift folks,
The panniers still keep on trucking. We’ve been hit by rain the last few weeks and its surprising that the exterior looks so wet but everything stays dry inside…Some observations from our 6 months of use..
-Arkel hardware is pretty hurky…a little tricky to get on and off at first because you have to pull down on the handle…the edges of the metal channel are pretty sharp! stabbed myself a few times when I wasn’t paying attention
-I’ve noticed that the placement of the rear straps (the pair of webbing closest the hardware) sit differently on Laura’s and when I cinch the whole thing down from the front it leaves a gap for rain to pool in on the draw skirt.
-I actually stitched on a piece of oil cloth with a Speedy Stitcher, with the hopes that rain will run over it than into the bag (i’ll send a pic in a second)
other than that, the bags are working fine. Laura has taken to using a bungee to help secure the panniers on to the rack. Her hardware loosens over time but with the additional bungee she has had no problems…
The pockets are plentiful and well thought out. The zippered top is a good place to stash food and gloves. I usually tuck layers into the bags when I’m riding so I can layer up or layer down without dismounting.
Hope that helps. I’ll send a pic of the hack I stitched on.