Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Heading towards four years - an update on our Bike Bins hard-sided panniers

We bought these panniers way back in June of 2010.
They were an extensive purchase for us at a bit over $100 (US equivalent).
And yet, three years and nine months later, we are still using them
Our full review is here, and this is just an update.
the plastic has faded quite a bit
the original colour can be seen where the logo has peeled off

sometimes the hinge pins need to be pushed back in with a key or a screwdriver

The plastic that the panniers are made of has faded quite a bit. Remembering that they are stored under cover, the fading must have happened while the panniers were on Anna's bike locked up outside shops or in the town centre. The lids (black) look OK, but the difference in colour on the pannier itself is quite marked, as can be seen from the pictures.

The economics of buying the panniers is getting ever better.
The math works out along these lines:
short journey cost = circa 1 pound a time.
pannier usage = twice a week
usage period = (three years and nine months, but for simplicity of maths!) circa 180 weeks
180 weeks x 2 times a week x 1 pound saving per time = 360 pounds saved.
cost of panniers = 65 pounds
therefore the saving we have made is 360 pounds minus  the 65 pounds (for the panniers),
which is 295 pounds (c. 490 dollars, 350 Euros).

Saving 490 dollars (or 295 pounds, or 350 euros) in a under four years has paid for both the panniers and the bike!


  1. Are these bike bins rattly? I looked at these a while back, and I like the yellow one for viability reasons, but wondered about harder items drumming on the side. Also are the foxing rattle free! (As you can tell I enjoy the peace an quiet of cycling)

    1. If you put a can of, say, baked beans in a plastic box and you shake it ...
      Having said that, we find that simply putting a carrier bag at the bottom of the pannier helps.
      The fixings are a pop-over-clip at the top, with a twisting bit that locks to the pannier rail, and a slide bar at the bottom.
      We haven't found a noise problem with an empty box or with the fittings.
      What you will notice is a noise when you go over a surface feature - say a pothole, or up a not very smooth dropped kerb.
      How loud is it when you go over a rough bit? - not as loud as studded tyres on tarmac!
      But then if you use soft panniers, you can still get the noise from items banging into each other.
      Be aware that the current model of BikeBins panniers don't have the little locks shown on ours - now they have a pair of loops moulded onto them, and you lock them with a padlock (you provide your own lock!).
      We really like that they are waterproof (ever bought sugar in the rain?), and that they lock, so we often go to one grocery store and get a few bits, then onto another store, etc. etc., and we just leave the stuff secured and out of sight of fiddling fingers.
      Everyone's needs vary a bit, but for multi-stop shopping trips in all weathers, we recommend them!