A pannier, a pannier, my kingdom for a pannier.

My Tioga Panniers

I brought these Tioga panniers back in May 2012 and have done many miles with them in all sorts of weather and with all sorts of loads.  Going back through my emails I discover that I bought them from the Pushy’s eBay store for $110 (they are cheaper now).

I cannot find the model name for these Tioga panniers but the picture is worth a 1000 words and most sites refer to them as ‘rear panniers’ but I have had them in both positions and they work just as well.

I remember my deciding factor for buying these panniers was that they were waterproof without having to fit a rain-cover on them, for which when you are riding your bike the last thing you want to do is stop and cover your panniers.

Anyhow on to the my article:

For the touring cyclist or commuter who’s looking for 100% waterproof protection, then the Tioga Panniers are good value for money with a combined capacity of 42 litres, plus they are well made and sturdy and built to last.

The Tioga pannier is made with waterproof material with sealed seams and a quick release locking mechanism to enable fast, easy removal and attachment to the bike, but not as good IMHO as the Ortlieb quick release system.  The locking system comes with plastic inserts to help reduce the movement of the bags on racks, although I use 10mm clear plastic tubing on my rack as the plastic inserts have a habit to falling out and then going MIA.

Although I have lost 1/2 of the plastic inserts for the racks and no longer used them.  When the pannier is fitted to an unsuitable rack and you cannot use the bottom clip, while they may flap about a bit when going over bumps these panniers have never fallen off.  Flapping about is not a problem now with the new Tubus rear rack that I have fitted to the bike, it’s like they were made for each other.

The zipped mesh pocket that resides on the other side on the top flap. The rolling top and velcro strap.

The pannier’s top can be rolled over and held in place by a velcro strap and the top weather flap locks down to ensure weatherproofing.  It has 3M reflective panels although why they chose to use black I don’t know, and they have a chunky carry handle which sometimes gets in the way when trying to put the pannier on and off the rack.

The panniers also come with a shoulder strap each and (4) plastic inserts for the rack connections.

I would like to rate them as 10/10, but the weight is a little much for its size, but not enough that I would go out and buy a lighter replacement.
You can’t really get the best of both worlds, it’s either heavy and waterproof or light and water-resistant.  If you are concerned about the weight, then these bags are not for you.
If you want a cheapish (compared to other panniers out there), strong and reliable bag and do not care about the weight, then this bag is for you.

These Tioga panniers can used as a work bag without the bike 🙂 These are good pannier bags and I doubt you would be disappointed.

Features & Specifications

  • Quick release style attachment.
  • Sealed Seams.
  • Hard Back.
  • 1 Main compartment: with mesh top pockets for your essentials.
  • Fold over and velcro strap/buckled closure.
  • Heavy duty Anchor points moulded on to bag to enhance waterproofing.
  • Chunky carry handle.
  • 3M Reflective panels.
  • All mounting hardware included (Philips screwdriver required).
  • Capacity: 42 Litres.
  • Dimensions:  40 x 15 x 36cm (height x depth x width).
  • Weight: 2.25 kg (mine weighed in at 2.084 kg without the straps).
Tioga Pannier
My, what a big mouth you have.
Tioga Pannier and Otlieb pannier
Locking system compared to the Ortlieb QL1 system. The Tioga pannier only goes up and down, the Ortlieb side to side.
Tioga Pannier
The Tioga clip and the Tubus rack, almost made for each other.
Tioga Pannier
Both Tioga panniers fitted but with nothing in them.
Ortlieb review to follow shortly.
PS: In case it isn’t obvious, I don’t get paid for my reviews and I have only review products which I have bought unless otherwise stated.

You can’t handle the truth

BBB Multibar Trekking Bar BHB-30

Weight 497 gm
Length 57 cm
Construction AL 6061 aluminium
Diameter at stem 25.4 mm
Diameter 22.2 mm
Colour is either black or polished silver

Trekking bars, also known as Touring bars and Butterfly bars.

A handlebar for the distance touring cyclist? What type of sorcery is this? The thought that you can use a multitude of different hand positions without wasting valuable space on your handlebars.

These handlebars are light and rugged, and are quick and very easy to fit.  They alter the look and the feel of your steed completely, but you’ll get used to it.  The bars can be wrapped in bar tape or a padded foam sleeve fitted or in my case I have put on the old grips with bar-tape to follow in the near future.



To be honest my first ride with these bars took a bit of getting used to, it feels to me unnatural to use the upper hand hold that has no brake lever handy and the same again for the side positions.  The handling of the bike changes depending on where your hands are positioned and at the moment the bars feel skinny, but as I stated earlier I haven’t fitted any bar tape yet as I’m sure I will be making minor adjustments and alterations to bars and levers, maybe even the grips.

Jana Phillips shows us how to wrap them:

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QL0djHxwLM’]

My old bars that are being replaced were wider (by about 15mm either side) than these bars, so it seems OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstrange to have my hands closer to each other when riding.  On the flat level roads, the normal section of the handle bar is comfortable and easy, although those riders who are wider across the top may find it to be a bit narrow, but the sides and top section are continuous and easily available without taking your hands off the steering, although the bars feel a bit skinny and cold without bar tape on them.  For chugging up hills, out of the seat pedalling, I find that the side positions are my position of choice as these effectively are the bar ends and are comfortable to use, and they keep you in command of where you are going.

I have had no dramas with mounting space for my GPS, light and reflector although at the moment, my levers (Shimano EF51 – combined brake and gear) and associated cables are a little bunched up, but the brakes and gears still work.  I plan to fix this problem with a taller stem adapter and new longer stem so that I can update my old quill stem which was the only part stem adapterfrom my original BBB stembike that I have left.  So I’m going from a threaded style to a thread-less look-alike setup.  On another note I also lost use of my bar end mirrors.


I currently do not have a handle bar bag, so I hope I haven’t shot myself in the foot by changing to these bars, but a bit more research and hopefully I will find a compatible and decent bag.

Final thoughts.

Trekking bars are an option to consider if you’re the tourer type who likes their gadgets and/or gets sore hands and wrists from using the one hand position.  These bars are easy to fit and offer a variety of hand positions, but they take a bit of adjusting and getting used to, but time and distance will fix that hurdle.

For an excellent article on handlebars go visit bicycle-touring-guide.com

Hey nice rack

About Pannier Racks

Bicycle racks gives you versatility when riding, it means you can go shopping, commute to work with a change of clothes or your laptop, or go touring overnight or for days.  It’s safer and more comfortable to carry weight on the bike, and not in a backpack which just makes your back get hot and sweaty.

It keeps the centre of gravity low down and means less load on your hands and bum and side wind doesn’t knock you around as much.  A quality rack will support either a rack pack or a set of panniers and your camping gear.

Racks which fit directly onto the frame are best, but there are racks for full suspension models, seat post mounted racks are also very effective.  Disc brakes which were once a problem with racks are no longer a problem, with more and more companies making disc specific bicycle racks, the world is your oyster.

Top Features of the Tubus Cosmo Rack
It will fit either 650 (26″) or 700 (28″) wheel fitting.

According to the manufacturer it weighs in at 730g although my tipped the scales at 803g which included all the accessories.

It can hold a load at 40kg max.

The Cosmo Rack is a stainless steel rear rack: Designed on the principle that the load needs to be carried lower and further back to give maximum heel clearance without compromising stability.

Constructed of tig welded tubular stainless tubing: the result is an attractive and durable rack.

Initial impressions:

Straight out of the box: Well the Cosmo Rack is a solid Tubus Cosmo rack tabspiece of engineering and well-constructed.  Hard to flex the supports legs in to forwards each other.  It’s pretty light in the hand and the colour is not too bad.  The seat stay mounts and the connecting pieces are sturdily constructed.

The Cosmos Rack has a plate welded to the base of the two vertical rack bars which gives extra strength compared to most racks which connect to the bike via a single vertical rack bar which then flattens out with hole for attaching, which is where most racks seem to break.  The plate is welded on all four sides.

You can mount your bags further down and back away Tubus Cosmo Rack stays and connectionsfrom your heel when pedalling.

I didn’t find this rack difficult at all to install, especially after I flipped through the instructions although in fairness I only looked at the pictures as the wording was in German.  It comes with stainless steel fittings and once all the bits are in place this is a rock solid rack, it has excellent weld quality and protection for your rear light.

The mounting system is extremely sturdy (solid aluminium rod connects the rack with the seat stay mounts instead of pressed zinc coated tin which did twist and vibrate on my old rear rack.


Very tough and lightweight.  When carrying a heavy pannier load you need to know your rack is up to the job. It is on the expensive side, but a cheap rack will soon have you screaming in the middle of nowhere when it breaks.  The Cosmo rack removes at least one worry from your mind when touring.

If you are humming and haring over this rack, it’s well worth the extra money. You won’t regret buying the Cosmo rack as you’ll never need to buy another.


 Rear rack cosmo lowerTubus-Cosmo-Rear-Rack

Trial use of the Fiberfix

If you cast your mind back to my previous article about Fiberfix, you will know that I bought two of these spokes to add to my touring toolbox.

Thinking about technical difficulties one can have on the open road, I realised that there is a difference to actually having a tool/spare and knowing how to use said tool/spare.  I would rather learn and practice how to use a fiberfix in the comfort of my garage than on the side of the road at night in the rain and wind.

fibrefixOnce you start to use one on a wheel you can get an appreciation of how ingenious they are.  I wrongly assumed that you fit the metal parts to the rim and then cinch down on the kevlar string until it’s tight and the wheel is sort of trued.  When in real life you fit the metal parts and use only 3-4 turns of the nipple, then pull the kevlar string tight, wind it through the cam system and then adjust the nipple spoke until good tension is had.

Anyhow enough of my jabbering, here are some youtube videos (actually mine this time).  Only 10 seconds long each one.

1. Before I removed a spoke.

2. wheel without a spoke.

3. Fiberfix fitted.