New Zimmerific gear!
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Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
New Zimmerific gear! on 07/17/2011 17:06:59 MDT Print View

Long before I was a backpacker, I toured various countries with a buddy, unsupported (just the two of us with our tents/sleeping bags/gear/maps/etc.). Usually three weeks at a time. I toured Scotland, Ireland, NE France, East Germany, New Zealand and Arizona like that, and Holland for a week.

When I turned 50 a few years ago, I decided to celebrate with a 9-day bike tour with my buds (two of them) in Vermont. One of my buds, Thomi, lives in Heidelberg, but he was more than happy to fly over here and celebrate with me. I promised when he turned 50 I'd fly over to Germany and celebrate with him with a short bike tour. That's this year. I'll be there Aug. 18-28.

Bike panniers are, in my opinion, notoriously overbuilt. And not the lightest things in the world. So I talked to, who else, Chris Zimmer about making some out of, what else, cuben. He did a fantastic job! Even made the top attachments exceptionally adjustable. Also had him make a small under-seat tool/tire bag. His wonderful craftsmanship is below.

The seat bag weighs an ounce. I sent Chris an Ortlieb pannier to use as a model. I sent a front pannier, and asked him to size up to make rear panniers. My new rear cuben/dyneema panniers weighs 6.5 oz. each, which is about 1 lb. 2 oz. less than the front pannier I sent him. Way cool!

The obligatory pics, seat bag first:

.seat bag

.seat bag2

And now the pannier:

.pannier1

.pannier2

.pannier3

.pannier4

.pannier5

Edited by idester on 07/17/2011 17:10:59 MDT.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: New Zimmerific gear! on 07/17/2011 17:14:06 MDT Print View

Doug I think you have a cuben problem....

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: New Zimmerific gear! on 07/17/2011 17:16:48 MDT Print View

"Doug I think you have a cuben problem...."

Huh? I see cuben. I buy cuben. No problem! ;-)

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Re: New Zimmerific gear! on 07/17/2011 17:17:46 MDT Print View

out of pocket, out of mind...

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: New Zimmerific gear! on 07/17/2011 17:19:05 MDT Print View

on a serious bike note, check out revelate designs for frame bags, and other bike gear. sorry no cuben though

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Zimmerific gear! on 07/17/2011 18:07:21 MDT Print View

I'm guessing you're talking about touring on a road bike? Cuben wouldn't stand up to a serious mountain bike spill. :-)

The products look great.

Edited by simplespirit on 07/17/2011 18:07:50 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: New Zimmerific gear - mountain bike spill on 07/17/2011 18:58:31 MDT Print View

Yup, road bike. I've never toured on a mountain bike - it's all been road touring. Forget the cuben panniers, my Koga-Miyata wouldn't do to well on trails either.... ;-)

I have been thinking about getting a 29'er though: a Trek Superfly Elite. My riding buddy got one about a month ago, and it's seems to be a pretty awesome bike, so I think I'm gonna get me one! Can't take my Madone on the trails either!

Edited by idester on 07/17/2011 18:59:12 MDT.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: New Zimmerific gear - mountain bike spill on 07/17/2011 19:00:03 MDT Print View

Take a look at Jamis 29'ers or the Surly one.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Re: Re: New Zimmerific gear - mountain bike spill on 07/17/2011 19:02:42 MDT Print View

I have a Surly Karate Monkey single-speed. It's the most pimped out Monkey you'll find. King hubs with Stan's rims, King headset, Avid Elixir CR brakes, Thomson seat post and stem, Easton carbon bars, and a RockShox Reba Race fork. Best part is I paid about 1/3 the cost of that Trek. :-)

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: New Zimmerific gear - mountain bike spill on 07/17/2011 19:13:48 MDT Print View

Ah yes, but my hankering for cuben is nearly matched by my hankering for carbon fiber...... ;-) And at least the Trek is cheaper than the bamboo bike I was lusting after a couple of months ago!

Though that Surly of yours sounds exceptionally sweet!

Edited by idester on 07/17/2011 19:14:35 MDT.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Zimmerific gear - mountain bike spill on 07/17/2011 19:16:22 MDT Print View

check out the Alaska Vid with the surly pugsley's. you'll forget about carbon

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Zimmerific gear - mountain bike spill on 07/17/2011 19:20:15 MDT Print View

"check out the Alaska Vid with the surly pugsley's. you'll forget about carbon"

Link! Link!

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Zimmerific gear - mountain bike spill on 07/17/2011 19:29:46 MDT Print View

http://vimeo.com/25943565

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Zimmerific gear - mountain bike spill on 07/17/2011 19:50:21 MDT Print View

oh
my
god

Incredible. Who took the video?

Simply incredible.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
New Zimmerific gear! on 07/17/2011 19:54:07 MDT Print View

You know, some people (not me, of course) would say that instead of lightening up with cuben, you should just HTFU. But that's just some obviously rude people.......

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Zimmerific gear - mountain bike spill on 07/17/2011 19:57:25 MDT Print View

check out roman's blog, he's in it.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: New Zimmerific gear! on 07/17/2011 19:59:27 MDT Print View

"you should just HTFU"

Well, I do ask Chris to use the heavier cuben......

Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
New Zimmerific gear! on 07/19/2011 06:33:28 MDT Print View

Douglas, great looking packs! Mike Curiak took the video. He's a stud... you should google up some of his adventures.

You'll LOVE the 29er on trail. Chris's recommendation to check out the Surly is a good one. You might also check out monstercross bikes since you have some experience with drop bar bikes. I have a Singular Peregrine that I love. Salsa makes a Fargo that is a similar bike that's very popular for bikepacking / touring as well.

Don Meredith

lightpack.blogspot.com

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: New Zimmerific gear! on 07/19/2011 13:53:45 MDT Print View

Thanks Don! I'll check out the Peregrine and Salsa.

Pilate de Guerre
(deGuerre) - F

Locale: SE, USA
holy cow! on 07/19/2011 22:37:20 MDT Print View

Holy cow! That is some beautiful gear. Great job Chris. I may try to be in touch with you as I am considering building a frame bag with the XPAC John a.k.a Newton has just shipped out to me via the PIF express :).

Douglas,

Can you take a picture of your touring rig loaded up with the panniers and seat bag attached?

Daniel Hou
(danhou) - F

Locale: Queens
Attachment points? on 02/15/2012 18:28:35 MST Print View

Those panniers look incredible.

My one concern would be the straps that attach them to the rack. I know the Ortlieb's use some pretty serious hardware for those critical attachment points.

Have you had a chance to test these out in the real world yet? How secure were they under what conditions?

Chris Wright
(chriswrightcycles)
pannier on 07/05/2012 09:49:26 MDT Print View

Doug,

Assuming you have taken this setup for a test ride, what are your impressions of the pannier/rack attachment system? Looks like an elegant solution for what most pannier manufacturers make overly complicated. The daisy chain on the backside of the pannier seems to offer good adjustability. Is there anything you would change?

Best,
Chris

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: pannier on 07/05/2012 18:00:22 MDT Print View

There is one big change I would make - I would put carrying handles on the top. I didn't have them, and without them it made carrying them up stairs and such a bit of a pain in the butt, and it also made it more difficult to attach them to the racks.

The attachment system did not work out well at all (let me be clear that it was the system I asked for, not one Chris came up with). The whatever-they're-called wouldn't stay closed. I used shoelaces tied to the top rack for a couple of days until we could get a better replacement. I used a different strap system that worked out fine for the rest of the trip, but came away from the trip thinking that clips really are an easy way to go for putting panniers on racks. My buddy bought two sets of Ortlieb clips and mailed them to me - I'm going to rig them to the panniers next time I use them.

Other than that, the panniers did great. Plenty of room, plenty durable (for road touring), I'll definitely use them next time I do a tour. Again, the only changes I'd make is to put handles on the top for carrying (I'll rig a sling for the one's I have) and I'm going to try the Ortlieb clips for attaching to racks.

Hope this is helpful.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Good to see this on 08/16/2012 09:12:46 MDT Print View

Great to see this, including the seatbag.

I am always amazed at how a bike company will tout their new frame that weights 50 grams less than the old one, or use carbon brake levers to save 10g, or how their shoes are the lightest (by like 5g), yet sell a tiny seatbag, that will need to hold almost nothing, and make it out of the most ridiculously heavy fabrics and buckles!