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on 13 September 2009
This pannier rack bag is two great things in one!
It's an ideal 10L bag to sit atop your pannier rack. This makes it perfect for a seat post pannier rack as it is an unobtrusive storage facility that just sits on top. For the first trip we took it on (a night away) the 10L bag held two hard back books and a large sandwich box (A4ish size) with a couple of bags of crisps and nuts too. This part of the bag has a zip top which is nicely covered by a fold over seam.
It's also an ideal 20L bag when you unzip the sides to create two mini panniers, effectively doubling the storage capacity. It's still unobtrusive as the bags are nice and short, so they can't interfere with your wheels and, if you do have a pannier rack for a full suspension bike, then this is useful as the side supports on these tend to be quite short. In the side panniers we manage to fit: in one side a fully loaded toiletry bag for two adults, a hairbrush, underwear and socks. In the other side a t-shirt, pair of jeans, and some snacks.
So, to sum up. This bag is great for full suspension bikes that are hard to fit 'proper' panniers to. It is roomy enough to take the 'luggage' for a night away. It fits securely and comes off easily. It comes with a flourescent yellow waterproof cover (looses one star because, although this cover is good quality it only completely cover the bag in its 10L guise - but this just makes it look funny, rather than effecting it's functionality) and a strap. It's cheap!
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on 4 November 2009
I own traditional side panniers which are really easy to get on and off my panier rack. However I find that their handle straps tend to cut the circulation off in my fingers if I have to carry them around for any length of time. Carrying them on my hip can leave dirt on my clothes.

So I was looking for a decent sized day bag with a shoulder strap and I took a chance on ordering the Avenir Pannier Rack Bag.

I do not like to the velcro fastenings which secure the bag to the pannier rack. Way too time-consuming and fiddly, hence 4* not 5*. I've resorted to using a bungee which is much simpler and quicker. Since doing this I really can't fault this bike bag, it is exactly what I wanted.

I use it on my ride to and from work (6 mile round trip), and for day rides (30-40 miles). I've even used it as a holiday bag! The internal pannier pockets within a pocket are a really safe way of carrying important documents like a passport, and the main storage area is great for waterproofs, camera, tourist books and all the usual tourist paraphernalia.

I often pop into the supermarket on my way home from work and have found that the fold-away side panniers have proved adequate to carry the extra load. I wouldn't recommend using this bag specifically for shopping though as the material used for the panniers is quite thin (cagoul-like). The main body of the bag uses a more robust material, although it's worth noting that with with wear and tear some of the waterproofing material is now flaking off.

In wet weather I use the cover provided and haven't had any problems with water getting in.

I've been using the bag regularly for over a year and it's by far the best one for my needs.
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on 22 January 2011
i bought this for use on a folding bike as i could not find anything else that would not hang down too low, and is perfect for this. the panniers themselves are very useful for less heavy items or even the odd can. the main section is quite sturdy and held lunch box, couple of books, a small jumper as well as wallet, phone and keys and a magazine.
it has velcro fastenings which is ideal as the rack on my bike is oval and so the velcro gives a good fit and it doesn't wobble about, even when full. these can be a bit tricky to fasten/unfasten when bag full, but that's to be expected! a good value item, especially if you only have a wee bike.
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on 21 November 2009
I've fixed this to my bike and never take it off, a few cable ties or thin cable lock would stop the casual thief.
A year on with a fair bit of heavy shopping trips the main compartment is fine, slightly padded, the fold out panniers are great for light weight bulky objects but because the material is fairly thin on those pockets it does come apart, I've stitched mine together a few times.

Anyway, bottom line great for those emergency moments when you get caught out and you don't expect to regularly carry heavy objects in the side panniers, I've maybe over abused it with carrying litre bottles in them too often.
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on 9 August 2011
I brought this rack bag to use on my folding dahon bike.

Without using the side pockets it takes a change of clothes, a sizeable lunch and a waterproof jacket. It is 10 litres which if you compare it to tupperware containers you can get an idea of the volume.

The folding sides are not as sturdy as the main bag but are perfectly useable. They fit on the standard dahon rack without any problems and are short enough not to need their own support. Each bag takes a small change of clothes (trousers, top and underwear) and a portable dvd player fits in with the clothes too.

The rain cover is good and though it doesnt fully cover the side pockets it does fit over the top of them when full which I think will suffice.

The 3 velcro straps keep it in place and do take a minute or two to fit but that's why this is a budget bag and not a more expensive quick release bag. If I only fill one outer side pocket I can still fold my bike up and carry it with the bag on. This is weighty but fine to simply carry it on and off the train.

The carry strap is okay, I havent carried it too far or with anything too heavy but it is quite wide and padded so should be fine.

There is only one small pocket which is tough to get into, but if you dont use the side pockets unfolded you can use those as small pockets.

Overall if you want a pannier set for your foldie (or any bike) this is a good product and perfectly practical for the price.
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on 10 June 2012
This is a very useful bag to fit on top of a panier. Easy to fit with velcro, has a sturdy zip all round and a useful little zipped compartment on the back which I use for keys. It also has two extra panier bags which can be folded out each side and then they hang down, for extra storage if needed but I rarely use these.
The only disadvantage is if you are looking for a bage which easily detaches. I leave mine attached to the bike all the time as it can be a bit fiddly attaching tightly with the velcro.
I have bought a second one for my other bike!
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on 14 October 2012
I needed something to carry my stuff in on a Dahon folder, I can't use a rucksack due to back problems. A racktop bag was the obvious answer and the Avenir was recommended elsewhere for a bike with smaller wheels as the sides can drop down as extra storage without getting in the way.

The bag secures with velcro which means that it isn't really suitable for putting on and taking off on every journey, no problem for me as my bike sits behind me in the office. The bag takes a surprising amount of stuff but don't make it top heavy as it tends to wobble about. It came with a shoulder strap to carry it (never used) and a bright yellow waterproof cover.

The bag is of good quality, zips look as if they'll last, as long as you aren't stupid with them. With the sides able to act as extra pockets or drop down and become mini panniers there is plenty of extra storage when you need it.

I think I paid around £24, which was a bargain compared to the cheapest, similar item in Halfords at £29 which looked less well put together. 1 star knocked off for the awkward fitting but otherwise perfect for my bike which still folds and allows me to lower the seatpost right down with the bag still on the rack.
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on 31 May 2011
I spent quite a long time deliberating over a pannier rack bag as I was planning to ride the Hadrians Cycleway route (now duly completed).
My selection criteria in the end came down to 4 points.
* Lightweight - I'm not a great rider up hills and I wanted to save any weight that I could
* Roomy - I needed to carry enough clothing and supplies for a 3 day cycle ride
* Waterproof - English weather at the end of May!
* Price!

This bag met all 4 superbly. Especially point 3 as it withstood everything thrown at us including hail and sleet with no sign of any water entering the bag.
It was roomy enough that I used only the main compartment when cycling, although I did use the external panniers for carrying extra supplies and my cycling equipment at the end of each day.
Overall this is a superb pannier bag and i'd suggest that anyway looking for a bag does take a serious look at this one and above all it offers excellent value for money
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on 27 October 2012
A hundred miles a week for about 3 months now this pannier has survived countless potholes, rain, it's held together whilst my wheels have needed to be trued and need truing again. In fact it looks almost like new.

I haven't used the drop-down part of the pannier as I feared the bags might end up in the spokes - my pannier rack is skinny with only a couple of bars down the side, I'd be less fearful with a better rack.

The zips have survived me stuffing the bag very full a couple of times every week.

My bike rack is rather skinny and the velcro straps on the Avenir bag don't attach too well around it, I had to improvise by tying a strap in a knot and pulling a couple of the little top cords around the seat-post.

Slotting a bike light into the loop on the back causes the light to point upwards approx 25 degrees.

Summary:
Excellent buy, sturdy, great value at £17.99+P&P
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on 10 September 2011
The bag is fine and looks the biz, the zip out panniers a good idea but as with other Raleigh bags/panniers it is let down by the attachment arrangement ( see my other reviews )

There are three flimsy velcro straps one at the front and two underneath, these don't hold the bag tight enough, so just with a few items inside it starts to lean to one side.

This is a bit disappointing given that Raliegh must have a well paid design team with access to every type of bike and rack to test, their stuff is probably made in the far east and a few more plastic buckles/straps/ elastics would not affect the product price

My wife has sewn a few extra loops underneath so that I can attach it more safely and securely with a luggage elastic , maybe she should apply for a position on the design team?
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