first new bag in 10 years. I really like this new bag. It is larger than it appears and has more useable storage even though the dimensions would indicate less than my existing bag. Easy to mount and unmount. There is a handle stiched to it to run the lock cable though when making a quick run into a store. I am very hapy with my purchase, I just wish I had been able to find the yellow one somewhere to buy.
Barry H. from USA on Dec 06, 2013
Solid-quality and plenty durable. A one-year-on review.
First, the background: I have been bike commuting for 26 years, pretty much. My first panniers were JANDD’s basic commuter panniers. These, from 1988, are still in regular rotation on the fiancée’s bike. Since then I have bought very few non-JANDD bike bags. (You may ask in the comments for an inventory.)
So, the Velo Transit Metro 20 pannier . . . I bought a black one in January 2013. It has been in regular use, twice a week, since. I use it exclusively for work clothes. Today was the first time I crammed-in a sizable book and a towel for the ride home. All fit.
The review: It works. It works great, actually. I bring shoes, sometimes boots, pants, sweaters, socks, belt, etc., for a day’s work with no thought of a space limit nor worry of rain. I have been wetter commuting this year than any in memory but the work clothes are dry . . . always.
The bag, that is, has been unremarkable, which is a good thing. I do not really have many better things to think about (OK, sometimes I do), but I do not have to think about this bag at all. Clothes go in. Top rolls down. Clip, clip. And off I go. Same for on the bike. Side hook naturally catches the rack strut. The two top clips slip easily onto the top. Then, clip, clip, and off I go.
One real test was the day last spring where I forgot to snap-down the little red clippy-things that hold the bag on, as above. On that dark morning commute I bounced on a pothole and the bag flew off, thumped, then skittered onto the road behind me. I quickly retrieved it and rode to work, expecting to find a gouge or tear in the light of my office. Nope. Nothing. Just a bit of road dirt I brushed off. (I just checked the bag because I couldn’t exactly remember how it landed, and was annoyed to find I couldn’t figure out where it hit the ground. Damned bag and its ability to take a pounding.)
I have never filled the bag to capacity and do not think I ever will. It’s big inside, but I use a bike trailer or grocery panniers expressly for large-capacity trips.
The only niggle is that the included reflective straps on the bag’s bottom (which are smartly not fully sewed-down and are flappy) are set for left-side use only. I need right-side use, so the straps remain unhelpful. Small potatoes.
Will it hold-up as well as the JANDD bags I own?
I’ll check back in 2038 with a long-term review. Heh.
Gregory Hancock from USA on Oct 03, 2013
Excellent pannier for bike commuting. I have been using the VeloTransit Metro 20 pannier on my ~5-10 mile roundtrip bike commute for several weeks, and I'm very satisfied with the pannier so far. For comparison, when I ordered the VeloTransit pannier, I also ordered a pair of the Ortlieb Backroller Classic panniers, allowing me to make a comparison between the two. Given the praise for the Ortliebs, I assumed that I would choose them in the end. I'll say that both the VeloTransit and the Ortlieb Backrollers are excellent panniers. However, I quickly realized that the VeloTransit was the better of the two for my bike commuting, for four reasons: 1) the outside pocket on the VeloTransit; 2) the VeloTransit's yellow interior; 3) the stiffness of the Ortliebs; and 4) the more "professional" look of the VeloTransit. Of these, the outside pocket was the big bonus on the VeloTransit. While commuting, I store my bike lock, phone/wallet, and extra bungie cords in the outside pocket. Rather than having to open up the large compartment and dig through everything to find one of these items (as you'd have to do with the Ortliebs), I can unzip the pocket and get quick access to these items if I stop at the store, work out at the gym, etc. This is a big advantage for the VeloTransit in my opinion. In addition, the yellow interior is much brighter, making it easier to figure out where things are in the large compartment. The exterior of the VeloTransit is Cordura, making it much more supple for rolling up than the plastic of the Ortlieb bags. Finally, the VeloTransit bag is more muted in appearance (I bought the gray bag), and looks more "professional" when I walk into the office.
One other positive: the VeloTransit panniers are made in Seattle, while the Ortliebs are made in Germany. I don't have any problem buying German products, but it is nice to help return manufacturing jobs to the US by supporting this company.
The VeloTransit is more expensive, and is sold individually rather than in pairs like the Ortliebs. However, I only need one bag for commuting, so in the end the VeloTransit is cheaper. If I decided that I needed a second bag, I would not hesitate to buy another VeloTransit Metro 20, and would still consider it the better deal for what I need.
Wordworm from USA on Sep 20, 2013
Perfect for my commute and weekend trips to the store. This is a great pannier. I did a lot of research on the web before purchasing. Found a site that compared Ortlieb side by side w/Metro 20. That article convinced me this was the pannier for me. There is lots of room inside, and since it is a triple roll, I can overfill it. My bike is a small frame and I have no problems with heel clearance. The outside zipped pocket is especially handy. I don't have to go digging inside the bag just to lock my bike. Keep the shoulder strap in there, too. Easy on/off. It took me a little bit to figure out how the clip at the base works and then to adjust the location of the clip. But now it's super easy to drop the bag back on the rack and clip it on. I find the shoulder strap reasonably comfortable, though am considering getting a wider pad.
Jamie Waltz from Portland, OR USA on Aug 02, 2013
The bag is great! I'm glad I found you guys online.
John Rush from Washington, DC USA on Jul 03, 2013
This bag is really one of the best designed panniers i have ever seen... from it's ease of clipping securely onto the rack, to its great roll-up top... there is plenty of storage space and a couple of pockets to organize small stuff... the day-glo interior makes it easy to see everything inside the bag... there are even straps on the exterior for add-ons or tie-downs... these are well made and well designed panniers...
Justin Bevilacqua from Washington, DC USA on Jun 22, 2013
This being my third VT purchase (one Edge 40, a metro 20 pannier, and now this metro 20) all within a month, I think it's safe to say I adore y'alls products. They are without a doubt the best constructed bag I have seen to date. As a member of the military I've seen some top quality gear, though the products from VT cast a long shadow over even the best. Having said this, your products have made me a customer for life. Sincerely, Justin Bevilacqua
David Schamber from Lafayette, IN USA on Jun 15, 2013
I bought these to carry my clothes and lunch for my daily commute while leaving extra room for picking up groceries on my way home. I'm happy to report that they work perfectly! With the wide range of adjustment in the attachment mechanism I was able to setup up the bags such that they attach behind the foot rests of the yepp maxi kids seat! The clips do have to be pretty close together so I'm a bit worried that the weight won't be adequately distributed and the metal bar may bend over time. I haven't loaded them down with the yepp at the same time but alone the weight didn't give the clips any trouble.
Tiffany Pincombe from Georgia, VT USA on Jun 08, 2013
This is one of those products I wish I could give 6 stars to. The fabric is of very high quality, the capacity is cavernous, and everything is put together very well. The attachment system deserves mention for being incredibly secure while making it easy to install/remove the pannier from a rack. This pannier fits perfectly on my rear rack without any interference with my feet while I'm pedaling, there's even a generous clearance. The fact that it's waterproof without requiring an annoying separate rain cover is the icing on the cake.
There's countless ways to secure whatever you put in this pannier, so it won't rattle around as you ride. Or you can just slip in some huge item, let it stick out the top, and go off riding to wherever you want. The possibilities are endless.
I got the orange color for high visibility, and because it seemed to match my bike's brown/orange color scheme very well. But it turns out I didn't really need the high visibility color since there are bright reflectors sewn into some of the straps in very visible areas of the product.
I live in Vermont, so the letters "VT" on the front of the bag (for VeloTransit) are very apt. That's not so much due to great design as coincidence, but it's a positive attribute for me :D
I was a little worried about the price of this product, initially. Especially since the price is just for ONE pannier. But it turns out it's worth every penny and then some. I wouldn't hesitate to buy this again, knowing what I know now.
Jason Kandel from Noblesville, IN USA on May 29, 2013
I own an Edge 30 backpack, and I just got the Metro 20 pannier. I love them both. They are of excellent quality, and have plenty of space to run an errand to the grocery store, the Post office, or to work. I love Velo Transit products, and highly recommend them.
John Joseph from Rochester, NY USA on May 28, 2013
I've been using the Metro 20 for the last year and love it. I use it almost every time I use my commuter, work, shopping, etc. I really like the mounting hardware on it.
Donald Kobetsky from Chicago, IL USA on Apr 18, 2013
I've had my Metro 20 for just under a month, most of which has been rainy in Chicago, and it has performed flawlessly. It was pouring on my commutes to the office last night and this morning, trains delayed and roads closed, and the water just beaded off your bag - everything inside safe and dry. The design of the bag, ease of rack mounting, stability, and quality of materials are all simply superb. It has been the best purchase I've made in quite some time, and the fact that it's made with care in the USA makes it that much better.
I have been showing it off to all of the biker riders I commute with and hope this helps to spread your name in Chicago.
I don't use backpacks very often, but I like your products so much, I may have to purchase one of your commuter bags to replace my USA made Jansport of 20 years which is finally starting to show its age.
All the best - a big fan in Chicago.
JW from USA on Apr 12, 2013
This pannier is really easy to get on & off. And it feels like it is securely locked on once clipped in. On my first time using it, I was riding in the snow and a car clipped me. Point of impact was right at the Pannier (which I actually hadn't put on correctly...I hadn't pushed the red clips down). Anyway, it didn't even budge.
My only complaint is that I wish the bottom was a little wider. Not top to bottom/side to side wider, but front to back wider (if that makes sense). Still, I was able to fit my almost full backpack inside this thing in a pinch once. Definitely holds a full grocery bag.
Other features: reflective tabs that hang down facing the back of the bike, an interior pouch that holds little things, and an exterior zippered pocket (streamlined so it doesn't hold a lot, but I can fit a raincoat, bike lock etc inside).
Brandon Ian from Portland, OR USA on Apr 03, 2013
I love this bag. It's fantastic. It's very high quality fabric and a very strong, very storm/weatherproof liner.
It is ideal size for my 61cm frame and very well put together. It has strong stitching, clean seams, and a very professional appearance. The zippers are ubiquitous YKK that can handle everything. The front slash pocket is not waterproof, but doesn't need to be.
I really like this bag - it should last a good long while.
David Edge from Minneapolis, MN USA on Mar 30, 2013
Been riding around with two of these for the last week. They are tough, waterproof, light. I love them and and am extremely happy to have them.
Mark Gringle from Seattle, WA USA on Mar 08, 2013
I was looking for quite a while to find the perfect pannier. I wanted a roomy, waterproof bag with an internal pocket for small items. This is where the Ortlieb line of bags fall short - it is simply one large compartment. I really like the external lock pocket as well. The attachment system is very secure an adjustable. I am using a Tubus Airy rack and it works perfectly with plenty of foot clearance on my road bike. When attached, it doesn't rattle and feels very secure. I like it so much, I am going to add a second one and add the accessory pouch to add another pocket. I do wish that a mesh pocket was available however.