Hey all, just wanted to pass along some good mojo for the folks over at Raleigh who own Avenir. I picked up a pair of panniers from them, and have used them for about 6 moths commuting 5 days a week. I ended up with a hole in one of them, so I contacted them to see what their waranty policy was. Anyways, they sent out a new set no questions asked.
I was stoked to say the least, and wanted to put the good word out that they are a company who stand by their products with great customer service. I know I always support good companies when determining how to best satisfy my gear addiction, so I wanted to spread the word.
As far as the panniers go, for commuting, they are great. Here's a brief rundown of what I've found:
Love the multiple pockets, especially all on the outside, I am able to put my sunglasses in a case in one of the front pockets with Velcro, I keep my BART receipts in another, bungee cords in another, and a pair of clear glasses in the other. The side pockets are fantastic too, one side has my tool kit and spare tube, while the other side holds my lock. Plenty of compartments, that allow me to look in the right place for what I am looking for
The internal pockets are huge, and have plenty of space for my clothes, computer, and shoes
The closure system works great as well, with the cord closure, and buckles, it is always a sure thing that nothing will be flying out as I ride down the road
The two straps on each top flap are great for odd loads, I have used them to strap building plans trough diagonally and they were totally secure
The lock clips at the top of the bag are secure, and I have only had them pop off when I wasn't paying attention when I put the panniers on the bike and it wasn't 'locked' all the way
LOVE the Velcro carrying handle that allows me to carry both of the pannier as one
Haven't tested the waterproofness, but I'm hoping they are fairly resistant
Dislikes (or changes I would make)
Offer rain covers
The rubber that wraps the metal top clips has started coming off, and now the clips scratch my rack, not a huge deal
Anyways, definitely consider Avenir or Raleigh whenever looking for bikes or gear. It's always great when a company stands by their products, and makes it easy for me to look at their stuff first.
Stay warm and Dry
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Thread: Avenir Excursion Panniers