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No, Mine had a little crank to tighten them, once tight you fold the handle back in to lock in position .It was a pit of a pain to line the back plate up with the curved bar..
Hers had a crank as well, but the issue was this set screw in the back. Despite lock-tite and making sure it was tightened to spec, and checking it constantly, it still managed to vibrate itself off completely or at least off enough that the plate turned and it came off the bar, at various points while riding.

A couple of times off-road, once on the street. She would find the crank assembly inside the pannier where it dropped in. Usually, she could find the plate. Not always the set screw. Didn't seem like the best way to mount, putting all that weight (Jesse's are crazy heavy) on that little set screw. Dunno, never owned a set of Jesse's myself.

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I would think the issue with hard cases would be a distribution of weight at the pinch point . Soft bags would be less pounds per square inch (of course depending on what was packed into them), it would compress and distribute the weight over a lager area. The hard case would be most of that weight on just the bottom corner, ending with a lot more psi. But pack a soft bag with something hard at the bottom (like a big metal thermos) and I’m sure it would yield close to the same result depending on how much the thermos could shift.
 

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I've had hard, and soft bags, prefer soft. I have the Moskos for the AT, plenty big, but both are much more capacity than I need most of the time, and the starboard side projects much wider than the other, so often I just carry the portside bag.
 

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Quite honestly the rear peg mounts worry more than hard panniers. I’ve had a couple of close calls with my feet planted in the dirt trying to rock forward and the mounts have hit my calf when the bike gets traction. Those mounts stick out a ways.
Taking the rear foot pegs off was the first thing I did to my ATAS after hitting them a few times.
 

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I don't really grasp why people choose to go hard panniers (except a helmet topbox) unless leaving stuff on the bike and why leave valuables? If people want to steal my not expensive clothes or an inner tube crack on but not yet. Secure my Jacket with a steel cable and lock, stronger than a pannier lock. I take my soft ones off and put in the tent or hotel, they're waterproof, flexible for awkward luggage, they lock on to the rack and my tools are in a lockable metal box bolted to the luggage rack. Genuinely interested if a good case otherwise I would recommend go soft.
 

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I don't really grasp why people choose to go hard panniers (except a helmet topbox) unless leaving stuff on the bike and why leave valuables? If people want to steal my not expensive clothes or an inner tube crack on but not yet. Secure my Jacket with a steel cable and lock, stronger than a pannier lock. I take my soft ones off and put in the tent or hotel, they're waterproof, flexible for awkward luggage, they lock on to the rack and my tools are in a lockable metal box bolted to the luggage rack. Genuinely interested if a good case otherwise I would recommend go soft.
For me, "hard" is instant access, lock and walk away.

That said, I can't stand panniers, so I want to interact with them as minimally as possible.
 

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I don't really grasp why people choose to go hard panniers (except a helmet topbox) unless leaving stuff on the bike and why leave valuables? If people want to steal my not expensive clothes or an inner tube crack on but not yet. Secure my Jacket with a steel cable and lock, stronger than a pannier lock. I take my soft ones off and put in the tent or hotel, they're waterproof, flexible for awkward luggage, they lock on to the rack and my tools are in a lockable metal box bolted to the luggage rack. Genuinely interested if a good case otherwise I would recommend go soft.
My wife uses hard panniers for her commute to work. She works as a dental hygienist and has no space in her room for any of her gear.

So she wears her scrubs under her gear and strips down to the scrubs in the parking lot

Everything else gets locked in the panniers and left on the bike.

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My wife uses hard panniers for her commute to work. She works as a dental hygienist and has no space in her room for any of her gear.

So she wears her scrubs under her gear and strips down to the scrubs in the parking lot

Everything else gets locked in the panniers and left on the bike.

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Hey Cuch,
Wow, you mean to tell me that the dental office where your wife works, can't even supply a changing room of some type and size? She has to basically change out in the parking lot? I mean Dentists typically make a pretty good piece of change and normally have some pretty decent surroundings. I'd think that at least the employees could be provided with a small room with some lockers for private things. Oh well. Didn't mean to deviate from the OP's original theme here.
Scott
 

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Hey Cuch,
Wow, you mean to tell me that the dental office where your wife works, can't even supply a changing room of some type and size? She has to basically change out in the parking lot? I mean Dentists typically make a pretty good piece of change and normally have some pretty decent surroundings. I'd think that at least the employees could be provided with a small room with some lockers for private things. Oh well. Didn't mean to deviate from the OP's original theme here.
Scott
My ol' dentist had barely space to eat lunch, and she owned the office and staff and was extremely successful.

Equipment and supplies take up alotta real estate in many settings.
 

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Hey Cuch,
Wow, you mean to tell me that the dental office where your wife works, can't even supply a changing room of some type and size? She has to basically change out in the parking lot? I mean Dentists typically make a pretty good piece of change and normally have some pretty decent surroundings. I'd think that at least the employees could be provided with a small room with some lockers for private things. Oh well. Didn't mean to deviate from the OP's original theme here.
Scott
Yeah, no. They have a changing room, but her locker in the changing room is barely big enough to hold her helmet, her loupes, and her lunch.

So if she changed in the changing room, she would have to walk all of her gear back out to the parking lot to stow it on the bike.

They have two offices, but neither is any better for that.

So, it's easier to just wear the scrubs under her gear, strip down to the scrubs in the parking lot and stow everything in the panniers :)


My ol' dentist had barely space to eat lunch, and she owned the office and staff and was extremely successful.

Equipment and supplies take up alotta real estate in many settings.
Exactly. Just no room for it all in the office.

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Roger that guys, thanks.
Scott
 

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Seems to be arguments pro hard panniers when it comes to the regular commute?
Speds,
This is one of those tires, oil, accessories type threads that you're gonna get preferences all over the place. There's at least one major benefit of hard panniers vs soft. And that is ease of access and securing. When you can simply flip a lever or two and the box is open for your business, vs un-buckling some buckles, then un-rolling the unused upper section of a soft pannier to gain access, for some, it's a no-brainer to use hard panniers. Some soft panniers have more buckles and straps than others.

There's no doubt about it, soft panniers can take a hit waaaaaaaaay better than any version of a hard pannier without doing any real damage other than a scraping or scuffing. You have to take into account, just what kind of usage you're gonna apply to your next or first set of panniers. If quicker access for things like commuting or something similar, then the hard ones might be your choice.

If you're gonna do some longer day/overnight/moto Camping for days, and you're gonna enter areas where there's potential for damage due to the terrain/bushes/trees/shrubs/obstacles, well then, it's more than likely a wiser choice for soft versions. All this of course is just my opinion and some form of logic. Others will have different approaches.
Scott
 

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Speds,
There's at least one major benefit of hard panniers vs soft. And that is ease of access and securing.
That is actually two benefits, so at least two major benefits. Just kidding! :)

But there are several benefits to hard panniers. They are easy to compartmentalize and organize by adding cubes, netting, etc. They can double as chairs and tables while camping. You can wire them lights for increased visibility and/or with a converter for charging equipment while you ride.

They also have their downsides. Aside from the damage if impacted aspect. They are heavy even when empty, some better than others, but will (almost?) always be heavier than soft. They are bulky even when empty, so storing them while they are off the bike can be an issue if space is at a premium. They are also always the same size on the bike regardless of whether or not you have them jammed full or mostly empty. No cinching them down for a thinner profile.

But as mentioned, it really comes down to the main usage and looking into how each operates. I have seen some hard panniers where the latches are more fidgety than straps to get done and undone. Then there are some soft panniers where you just loosen the straps and pull them aside to get into the roll top.

But, much like tires, take an honest look at how you will use them the majority of the time and make the decision that works best for individual needs :)
 
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