15 January 2008

Bag review: Breezer Year-Rounder Pannier

Posted by todd under: Bags; Breezer Uptown 8; Reviews .

Breezer Year-Rounder Pannier on bikeBreezer Year-Rounder Pannier compartment in flapBack of Breezer Year-Rounder PannierHolding Breezer Year-Rounder Pannier openRear view of Breezer Year-Rounder Pannier I use a single bag on my Breezer Uptown 8. It’s the Year-Rounder Pannier; Breezer owner Joe Breeze said the bag is made for Breezer by Inertia Designs of Santa Barbara, Calif.

I have been using this bag on my daily commute for a little more than a year. (What’s a pannier?)

PRICE: $85 plus shipping from Breezer, also available here.

DESCRIPTION: Made of Dupont Cordura fabric, the Year-Rounder sports the Breezer logo on the flap.

The bag features a strap-handle on top for carrying off the bike; a roomy roll-top, waterproof liner; a zippered compartment in the flap; and a pouch on the outside.

Capacity is 1390 cubic inches. There is a reflective strap on the side. There are two plastic eyelets for attaching a shoulder strap.

MOUNTING SYSTEM: The bag attaches to the bike’s rear rack this way: Two rubber-covered metal hooks fit over the top of the rack, and an S-clip on the end of a strap fits onto the bottom of the rack.

A cam-lock pulls the strap tight and cinches the S-clip into place, thereby holding the bag against the side of the rack.

The system looks like it would work on any rear rack.

PROS: There is a lot to like here.

  • I have ridden with the bag in heavy rain, sleet and snow (I don’t think I’ve done hail yet!), and it has proved to be waterproof.
  • The zippered compartment in the flap is plenty big enough for a tool kit, and the exterior pocket is a great place to carry a bike lock.
  • It’s easy to get the bag on and off the bike. All it takes is loosening or tightening the cam lock.
  • The mounting system allows for mounting the bag at the back of the rack, so your heels won’t hit the bag while you pedal. (I wear size 9 1/2 shoes, and there is plenty of clearance.)
  • The bag looks nice on the bike. Its color scheme and logo integrate well with the Uptown 8’s classy look.
  • You can fit A LOT in there. On a recent ride I carried two bottles of wine, a stuff sack with hats and shoe covers in it, a portfolio, and a binder for business-size checks. Here’s a picture of the load. I frequently carry a lunch, all my raingear and a lock, and there is plenty of room to spare.
  • Durability. So far I don’t think I’ve made a mark on it.

CONS: If there has to be one, I’ll say price. It’s more pricey than some, less pricey than others.

Maybe you are paying a little extra for the logo on the flap.

But the price is not far if at all out of line with the market for a good pannier, and there is no question you are getting what you pay for.

VERDICT: Very, very highly recommended for daily commuting.

OTHERS’ REVIEWS: I haven’t found any. If you know of one, let me know and I will link to it.

POSTCRIPT – RIDING WITH ONE PANNIER: I have found that I need only one pannier for my daily needs — the Year Rounder’s capacity is actually more than I need.

I have loaded this pannier heavily and have barely noticed the unbalanced load.

Please note that I am not charging up and down mountains, and I am not cornering fast — I’m riding more like an English country gentleman.

You might hear something else from someone else, but for me, a load on only one side is not a problem.

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About the picture atop the page

Yes, that's me, Todd Van Campen. No, I'm not wearing a helmet. Yes, I usually wear one, so please don't scold! Seriously, I endorse wearing a helmet! Pinky swear! In fact, I almost ALWAYS wear one (while riding a bike anyway). (On the other hand, if YOU don't want to wear a helmet, I have no problem with it.) I don't remember what happened on this particular day. Fortunately for all of us it makes for a less-nerdly picture. My exceptionally talented professional photographer friend Charles Bertram took this photo.



Art for art’s sake

I asked my 6-year-old son, Caleb, an avid bicyclist and artist, to draw a bike for me. I think he did a great job!




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