MEC World Tour Panniers

15 05 2009
MEC.ca World Tour Panniers

MEC.ca World Tour Panniers

I was in the process of upgrading my GF’s MTB into something that fit her better, was more comfortable and had some useful cargo capacity when I started looking for panniers.  My initial thought was get some grocery panniers since they’d be simpler and really all she needed at this point since she doesn’t bike tour.  After poking around a bit I found that some decent Jandd grocery panniers cost as much as the MEC panniers shown above.  Being the eternal optimist I am I figured why not get these real touring bags?  They’d carry loads of groceries and if she wanted to tour she had some bags to start with.  Seemed like a cunning plan at the time.

MEC pannier mounting system - not my favourite...=-(

MEC pannier mounting system - not my favourite...=-(

I bought them [$95CDN] and installed them on her bike.  They were a struggle to mount on the Filzer rack [also bought at MEC], but I got them on.  What was really unfortunate was I almost couldn’t get them back off the rack.  After battling the mounting hooks off I realized how stupid it was to buy touring panniers that didn’t work well and weren’t really designed for the task at hand.  So I returned them and bought some Jandd grocery panniers – they are simple, easy to use and go on and off in a snap.  If she is interested in trying bike touring at some point I’ll just get her a set of Ortliebs and life will be good!

Jandd Grocery Pannier

Jandd Grocery Pannier

For what it’s worth the MEC World Tour Panniers seemed well made and are a great deal at $95CDN a set for rears.  Maybe if you don’t remove your panniers from your bike often the challenging mounting system wouldn’t be a problem.  You could even rationalize that it makes them a bit theft resistant!  Personally I’m going listen to the advice I’ve given loads of people – “buy Ortlieb”.

Filzer Rack from MEC

Filzer Rack from MEC

I generally like MEC products, but they need to redesign the way these bags mount.  The problem is that when you try and mount them seating the lower hook is finicky and it’s very hard to get the top hooks on securely.  The bigger problem is that once you get the top hooks on securely it is extremely tough to get them to disengage.  Compare that to the easy one handed mounting/dismounting of an Ortlieb pannier and you can appreciate my frustration.  This may be an issue with the combination of this specific rack and these bags, but the rack was purchased from MEC as well and seems pretty vanilla as racks go.  The mounting system of the Jandd panniers is not as slick as that used by Ortlieb, but it works well and is easy to use.


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13 responses

15 05 2009
Chad

The MEC panniers work great once you get the mounting system figured out. They come with mounting brackets that are just too small for most of the beefy touring racks that are on the market which makes mounting and removing them a PITA. For $6 CDN they sell larger brackets that work much better, the only bummer is the small ones are riveted on which means drilling.

15 05 2009
Randobarf

I’ve got a couple of pairs of MEC panniers with that mounting system. It seems to work with the shitty fall-apart cheap pannier racks that MEC sells. I use them on Tubus racks and they seem to hang on to the rack as long as you don’t go off road. They are a bit theft-proof as you pointed out, because they are difficult to remove once attached to the rack.

MEC panniers will do in a pinch but for serious use Ortlieb and Arkel are vastly superior.

21 05 2009
Stan

I agree with both above. I played with these panniers and this particular rack at MEC recently and noticed the same issue that Vik has noticed. But after a while I got it. The rack is nice but has a thickened tube that crosses to the other side right where the hooks are supposed to fit. Theoretically everything is all right but in practical life – not quite. So, yes – MEC needs more coordination between various suppliers in designing more “sound” equipment. There is nothing bad with individual components but integrity of “MEC line” is so-so in this regard.

27 05 2009
Antony

I own both MEC and Ortliebs. Chad’s right about swapping out the MEC mounting brackets for the larger diameter version, but I didn’t have to drill – they are just held on with nylok nuts. After the swap, the MEC panniers are almost as easy to mount as the Ortliebs (almost).

4 06 2009
Sharon’s Urban MTB « The Lazy Randonneur

[...] In an earlier post I mentioned buying some Jandd grocery panniers for Sharon’s bike.  These have turned out to be an excellent choice for her cargo needs.  They fold flat when not in use and with open tops are super easy to simply drop stuff in and then grab it as needed.  They offer no security or weather protection, but this bike is not going to be ridden in the rain and the panniers detach so easily they can come in with her if she locks up the bike for a while. Jandd Panniers Top View [...]

17 04 2010
Donna

Vik:
Do you know if these Jandd grocery panniers would fit on the Tikit? By the way, how much are they?

17 04 2010
thelazyrando

I’m not 100% next time I have both in the same place I will check.

15 05 2011
Dror

Can someone please explain how to mount the MEC panniers on the bottom part. I cannot seem to figure it out. Thanks.

15 05 2011
thelazyrando

The hook on a bungee cord is put under part of your rack first thing and then you pull the bag up and attach it to the top rail of the rack which tensions it.

16 05 2011
Dror

Sorry to be difficult, can someone attach a picture? dror.duchovny@gmail.com. Much appreciate the help.

16 05 2011
thelazyrando

I don’t own those panniers so I can’t help you with a picture, but if you look on this post there is a picture of the pannier with the lower hook visible and a rack with some bent struts on the lower part of the leg where you’d place the pannier’s hooks.

18 05 2011
Dror

Got it finally thanks to your help. For some reason I was sure the hook will go around the rack from the inside, but now I realize how it should be set. Works pretty well.

Thanks!

16 01 2013
David Lynch

I have the MEC world tour panniers pictured above. After replacing the mounting clips with the larger ones I can say these are the best touring bags period. I toured alaska-argentina as well as Iceland and some smaller tours in western canada and they are still in awesome shape. The ortlieb bags are good in theory, but they are “top load only” and hold the stink/moisture inside the bag, not to mention the price. The MEC bags are very water resistant and only need the rain guards in really wet weather. I only needed them a couple times in Iceland. The extra pockets and bottom access far out-weighs the need for bags that can be submerged in water. I did make an “X” shaped bungee to cinch the bags tighter to the rack for rough roads. I am currently outfitting my girlfriends bike for another pan-american tour, and seeing what is currently available is discouraging. A lot of shiny material but not much in the way of experienced design. If anyone would like to unload their MEC world tour bags, I would gladly take them off your hands!

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