Monday, 26 November 2012

More on the perfect pannier

My panniers have arrived and they look great! Of course, I can't test them on my Gazelle pedelec yet as it is still on the water on the way to Australia. (I now appreciate air freight - shipping is so slow.)

As I had such trouble deciding on my panniers, I thought I would put up some detailed pictures of them showing the pockets and straps. I would have liked to see images like these when I was looking to buy, so hopefully they will help someone else. These panniers are the Basil Jada double panniers. I bought the grey, but they come in other colors.


There are two of these pockets (one in each pannier.)
They span the width of the pannier and have a zip.
They are just under the pannier rain flap.
  
There are four of these side pockets (two in each pannier).

There are four of these inside pockets (two in each pannier).

This is one of the two straps that attach to the pannier rack.

This is one of the two straps that attach to the side of the bike.

 I also bought a cute picnic set from Australia Post, only $30, a bargain. I have taken out the napkins to wash, but the set is basically what you see below.




As you can see, it sits perfectly in the pannier!





Sunday, 18 November 2012

Quest for the perfect pannier

For some weeks now I have been trying to decide what sort of panniers to buy for my new (but, not yet delivered) Gazelle. Seems like the Basil range of panniers are recommended by Gazelle so, having time on my hands, I have researched Basil bags to death!

Should I get pretty ones? Are they easily removed? Are they heavy? Do they do up easily?
Do they get wet?  etc.

I have slowly narrowed in on the bags I like. Firstly, I liked this, the Basil Blossom Twig.


But in the end, I decided that:

  • It seemed like it only had one pocket a side so they would be a bit deep and cavernous (35 L capacity for the double pannier). I decided it would make it hard to find things. 
  • My husband, Mr Aggy, was unlikely to take the bike down to the shops as they were too girly.
  • I read  a couple of  reviews on these that mentioned than these was that they can also cause you to hit your heels when cycling.


So next I looked at bags that had the slightly rounded edge on the side towards the heel.
I decided I really liked this one - the Basil Jada Tour:

But, it is ENORMOUS. It has the following dimensions 34 cm x 17 cm x 34 cm (LxWxH) and carries 40 L. Too big L.  

Further research revealed that there is a smaller version 32x12x32 (LxWxH) 26 L, which would be great,- but the only site that seemed to sell it was in the Netherlands and the shipping costs were horrendous.

So back to the internet.  I had really decided a few things by now:
  • I liked the look of the Basil Jada style in Marble Grey. Not too floral, but girly enough.
  • The bag had to be hard to remove, as I wanted them to stay on the bike permanently. This ruled out the Basil shopper - it attached by hooks and is supposed to be taken into the shops. (Good review here: http://modalmom.com/pedal-pefect-the-basil-jada-shopper-xl/
  •  I did not want a bag with a single opening, I wanted pockets.
  •  I didn't want a really big bag.

I found a good review, with pic, on the Basil Jada double pannier.(http://raveandreview.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/04/basil-stylish-bicycle-bags-review-and-giveaway.html )
and I decided that this was it!

Lots of pockets, dimensions 36cm x 15 cm x 30 cm (35 L)(I'm a little bit worried about the 15 cm dimension - will it stick out too far?)

Anyway, a quick look around and Pushy's had a good price $75.99 plus $15 shipping. A quick ask if Mr Aggy needed anything, and voila, we are over $100 and free shipping.

Ordered.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Another Gazelle rider in waiting...

Well, exciting news! 

My sister-in-law, Jules, has decided to order a Gazelle as well. Fantastic! I am sooo excited. We are going to try to get together once a fortnight, do a little pedelecing and check out some of Melbourne's sights. 


Unfortunately we live a couple of hours away from each other - but no problem. I have ordered a Thule 916E EuroPower 2 bike, which takes two electric bikes. (You have to have a special rack as the bikes are heavy.) Anyway with the rack we can meet out Jules way and then drive to our start point. 


Alternatively, we also both live near a train line, so we can put the bikes on the train and meet in Melbourne City. Plenty of trails to do there - although Melbourne cyclists will know carrying the heavy ebikes up or down the steps on the Capital City trail may be a problem.


We are hoping to map some rides out and visit art galleries, gardens, museums and, of course, coffee shops. At the start we will have to be careful with our distances as we do not know the range on the Gazelles - we have both ordered Gold batteries.


I'll post our rides, but as we don't have the bikes yet it may be a while before they appear on this blog. I'm currently looking at various bike trails to see what might be interesting and within our battery range.


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Range anxiety already - Silver, Gold or Platinum battery?

OK, I've ordered the bike and paid a deposit. Strangely enough, I have 'range anxiety' even though I don't own my pedelec yet! So I need to figure out what is the best battery to buy for my purposes.

The Gazelle Orange Plus Innergy XT comes with a Silver battery as standard. Now I've looked at the brochure and it says that the Silver battery will do 130 -170 km in Eco mode dropping to 35-45 km in Boost mode.

Thinking back to my test ride I had lots of hills in Mooroolbark and switched a bit from Eco to Boost. I had used 1 bar on the battery by the time I returned, and I cycled about 10 km, so this seems about right. However the brochure also states that the battery figures do not apply to the XT models - hmmm!

On to the internet...

OK here is the range table - looks like a slight drop in the figures for the Gold from the non-XT models in Normal range. 



Should I upgrade to Gold? The Gold has a better range, but is 1.1 kg heavier.

Well onto the internet again... 

There is a great forum on Brisbane Cyclist that talks about electric bikes  and in particular the Gazelle Innergy XT.  I asked the question - Silver or Gold?  This was the reply from Shaun Moran on the forum:

"I have the Silver Battery and I live 30 km (by bike) away from the CBD where I work. My ride has a number of hills and I tend to use boost for pretty much all of them and use normal mode the rest of the time.
My battery is fully charged when I leave and when I get to work its usually reading 3 bars left. I charge it up again at work so its full before the ride home (I think the battery will last longer if I don't full flatten it).
I did leave the charger home one day and did do the trip there and back on one battery charge - but I used ECO a lot on the way home and it was flashing its last bar of battery by the time I got there.
I kind of wish I got the gold battery to start off with - whilst the Silver gets me to town and back and I can't really do anything once I get to town. Just a little more oomph would have been good."

So Gold seems the way to go. 

But wait a minute, if Gold is good, would Platinum be better? More range,  and the same weight as the Gold. But why aren't the Platinum specs aren't on the internet? A quick call to the dealer (MySpokes) and I discover that the Platinum battery is not suitable for XT models - I wonder why not? Seems a pity.

Anyway, decision made - Gold it is.


2012-11-08 Update from Leigh at Gazelle Australia "The platinum is not suitable for the XT as it can not be fully discharged and so limits the range."