The 2012 Go-Getter pannier bags are here, and I wanted to see how different they are than the old bags. Do they represent a significant design improvement, or does the new design merely represent a few minor tweaks to an already solid workhorse?
I decided the best thing to do was to put both bags on my bike and run some errands so I could compare apples to apples. Unfortunately, my errands took me along a busy street with a significant amount of car, truck and bus traffic (and no bike lane or alternate bike route – thank you very much city planning department!). Weaving around double-parked beer trucks into the lane of speeding cars, I immediately noticed that the new Go-Getter is significantly more svelte than the the old one, a feature that came in handy when quickly dodging The City’s “Death Monsters”.
Stop one was picking up a few at the ceramics studio. I didn’t want to be the bull-in-the-china-shop knocking everything down with the bag, so I left the bags on my bike outside and tucked the paper-wrapped bowls securely into the old Go-Getter when I came out. (Sorry doom-Sayers at the studio, not a single one of them broke on the way home!)
I had heard that the new Go-Getter was designed to easily clip on and off the Yuba Mundo frame so that the bag can be taken into the grocery store, eliminating the need for cloth hippy bags. As promised, the bag was easy to maneuver on and off the bike’s frame with the nifty new clips.
I attached the shoulder strap and was on my way for some carbon-free grocery shopping. The Go-Getter bag is huge and a bit unwieldy, even for someone as tall (5’8″ or 170cm) and broad-shouldered as I am. There is absolutely no way I could maneuver a bag this large through the cramped Asian market I normally shop at, so it was a good thing I had decided to hit up the local hippie mart.
I wanted to see if I could figure out a way to avoid whacking everyone in the store with my super-sized pannier, and discovered that the Velcro straps will hold the Go-Getter nicely to mini grocery carts.
Since I was planning to make a “light lunch” for my household, I got:
- quart of milk
- two bottles of wine
- quart of orange juice
- two pounds of spinach
- two pounds mushrooms
- three eggplants
- couple of pounds of pasta
- four pounds of onions
Hardly a big grocery run for a cargo bike rider, but it did allow me to test out the new Go-Getter under load (in case you are wondering: I was making vegan/vegetarian lasagne).
Of course everything fit smoothly into the bag. The divider kept the heavy liquid items away from the delicate and easily-squished vegetables. The addition of the internal strap really helped the bag to keep its shape as it got loaded, and its enhanced stiffness made it easier to heft up to my shoulder and lug out of the store.
Somewhat surprisingly, getting the heavy bag back onto the rack of my Mundo was a complete breeze – I had imagined it smashing my fingers while wrestling it on to the rack like the old bag does. One of the reasons why I seldom remove my old Go-Getter from my bike is that it can be challenging to get all the clips to line up and snap it back on to the rack; this problem has been completely eliminated with the new design.
A quick ride home, and then the final test for the new Go-Getter: how would it compare to the old Go-Getter getting down the narrow, refuse can filled hallway to our bike room? Again, the rigidity, and general lack of slump kept it away from the walls and the random nails sticking out of them. It managed to squeeze around our mighty recycling bin just fine, without getting stuck on the wall like the other bag.
I even carried it upstairs full of groceries and unloaded it in the kitchen – a testament to how much I like the new functionality.
All in all, a solid redesign of a great product. The functionality is improved by at least 50%.