Mounting Panniers on Folding Bikes

Via Email:

I ride a bike with a tiny rack (Dahon speed uno with arclite
do you have any suggestions on what would fit?

I have totally wrestled with this issue. And, unfortunately, there’s no easy way to use standard panniers with a rack like this you will have heel-strike issues no matter what you do.

You can get a Traveller Rack from Dahon, or the Foldit Rear Rack from Racktime, both of which have much higher platforms. But you might not be willing to do that.

My compromise solution with my Dahon is to use a Vaude Silk Road Plus Rack-Top Bag.

This bag has mini panniers that pop down, but they may not have the capacity you are looking for. And, unfortunately, it’s hard to get these from Vaude at the moment. We may get them in the future. (Here’s a review I wrote about the Silk Road Plus.)

The Banjo Brothers Rack Top Pannier Bag has a similar design with more pannier capacity but I haven’t tested it yet.

An alternative that would allow you to put a standard pannier on your bike would be a Xootr Crossrack, which mounts to your seat post and provides a rail and support for a single pannier. Here one is attached to a Dahon Eco3:

Xootr Crossrack

The downside is that the bracket prevents you from fully inserting your seat post into the frame when you fold the bike but it does not prevent you from folding the bike.

Via Email:
I have a Dahon Mu and want to make sure the Ortlieb Downtown Pannier will fit on it with suitable heel and ground clearance. Have you had any experience with this combo?

As discussed by Ted above, it comes down to getting a rack that positions the bag far enough rearward for heel clearances. There should not be any ground clearance issues with this bag.

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