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-   -   Aluminium Panniers Letting Moisture in - advice? (SW Motech Trax) (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/equipment-reviews/aluminium-panniers-letting-moisture-advice-37158)

wanderingscotsman 14 Aug 2008 21:58

Aluminium Panniers Letting Moisture in - advice? (SW Motech Trax)
4 Attachment(s)

I think I have a problem with a new set of aluminium Trax Panniers. Before making a bit of noise I wanted to pass it by the ever knowledgeable and experience HUBB'ers as these are my first set of panniers.

I took them on a first trip and my girlfriend noticed some moisture inside one of the panniers after the first night of the trip. We rode up for around 5hrs with some Scottish rain showers. The panniers were taken inside for the night. I must admit I kindof ignored this as it wasn't too bad.

On a week long trip we noticed it again, but in particular after a wetter day. On this occassion I had taken one pannier inside for the night, and left one outside and it was raining quite heavily. When I took it in the following day my camera bag was damp and there was moisture inside both of the panniers, the one that had been outside had enough moisture in it to dampen a padded camera bag, and had water droplets inside it.

My query to you is - is this unacceptable, or do the majority of panniers have a bit of this problem? Excuse my ignorance - I'm still getting used to the biking, never mind the travelling.

If this is unusual I do have a bit of a problem for one of the panniers. On the first trip away I had my first off and one of the panniers came off it's rack and has some marks along the bottom from the road from a 20mph drop so if I complain this may be the first thing that's mentioned.

For info - I have noticed that if I try to pack the panniers a bit tight the rubber seal around the top loosens but I'm sure I always notice this as I always have a good check around the seals (hey, I'm in Scotland!) and resit it if necessary.

Pics attached for info - sorry for the really long explanation!

Any advice appreciated as I'm a bit worried SW Motech may have rushed these out a bit because of the demand.

Also - for others I have pics of them on my DL1000 - sorry I've not uploaded these yet!

DougieB 14 Aug 2008 22:08

are they sold as waterproof? I think that will be your problem with the company.

dust the inside with flour and spray them with water to find the leak. You may just need some silicon gel on the mounting points. But the top rubber seals sound like the problem. Forget the marks on the bottom due to the crash, that's why you bought metal boxes! And as long as they don't interfere with the seals they are not important in any warranty claim.

by the way, I'd call that 'water' not moisture. even up here!

Dodger 14 Aug 2008 22:11

Rivets , lap joints , plastic corners !
All are places where water can seep in by capillary action .
Time to get out the silicon sealant !

wanderingscotsman 14 Aug 2008 22:22

Cheers for the response - yes, that was the water after my camera bag had soaked it up!

"waterproof sealing profile" is the word used on the SW-Motech site.

I know the seals were coming loose quite easily when the panniers were pretty full but I always checked they were sealed properly (that's how I noticed how easily they came off and went back on).

Time to make that call I think as it could be several weeks before I get the chance to go away on an overnighter in the rain again....but I may leave them out the back!

DougieB 14 Aug 2008 22:34

"I know the seals were coming loose quite easily"

no need to say any more than that.... unless the company read this forum (which is possible) it makes no difference if they are full or not full.

wanderingscotsman 14 Aug 2008 22:48

That's ok if they read this, otherwise I wouldn't have queried it here - it wasn't just the one pannier that was letting in moisture or water - and the 2nd one was totally untouched on the slow speed off.

forestry 21 Aug 2008 08:35

Trax Panniers
I have just done 3000 miles through Norway with the same panniers without problem, if it is just a small amount of dampness are you sure it is not just condensation !

wanderingscotsman 21 Aug 2008 09:29

Thanks for the reply. There was too much for it to be just dampness - I had a padded camera bag that was very damp in the morning after being out overnight. Everything else that was in there wasn't damp as it was a dry week up until then.
Going by the local weather here I should have left them out overnight one night this week! Unfortunately I don't have a chance to head out with them again soon.

wanderingscotsman 22 Aug 2008 16:08

Brief update :
I left my panniers outside in the wonderful Scottish rain last night and I can safely say there is a leak! In fact it was more like a puddle of water in one of them….and the biggest puddle was in the pannier that was untouched in my recent off.

For other’s information – there have been several panniers affected by this issue and they need sealed up a bit more so mine are heading back for likely just a repair tomorrow. I made a comment about them looking a bit rushed around the seals when I got them and first unpacked them – turns out my instinct was correct! So if you buy them, give them a good check over and test them in a shower before you head off on your big trip!

I think the plastic panels on these by the corner are a weak point in the design over all over solid alu panniers.
The seal around the top closure of the boxes also come off very easily so if your boxes are anywhere full, check them and re-seat if necessary.


Cabel 13 Sep 2008 18:01


Do you have Line-X or Rhino Liners distributors near Edinburgh? It's an industrial grade coating used here in the states for pickup truck beds that sprays on:


I had the Line-X brand sprayed in the bed of my Dodge Ram and also used a "do it yourself" brand called Herculiner in the body tub interior of my Jeep. Both are extremely durable. The Herculiner is a thinner rubberized epoxy with a "traction material" (ground up recycled rubber) added to it, where as the Line-X and Rhino brands are a two part resin that is sprayed on up to about 4mm-6mm thickness max (more like 2mm for the Line-X and 5-6mm for the Rhino as they are different materials).

I'm going to build my own set of aluminum panniers and top box and then line them inside and out with Line-X (grey, not black). That should completely seal the box and as long as the lid seal is not compromised, it should be completely waterproof.

wanderingscotsman 16 Sep 2008 19:34

Just an update. Just collected my repaired panniers, they've been filled with some sealant and now look like a school project (ok, maybe an exaggeration but they don't look like new ones would!). Will update with photos when I get a chance...thinking about sending them back, or at least emailing about them.

photographicsafaris 25 Apr 2009 21:45

Was looking for info on these panniers instead of the Yamaha Tenere ones.

Clearly SW motech Trax are a no-no for panniers. Combination of plastic corners and rivets... glued together hmmm.

The polyurethane linings are awesome, though eat into precious space as they can be up to 6mm thick on all interior sides, perhaps on the outside would be a good idea (providing additional protection)
The stuff is virtually indestructible

Thanks for a useful resource

Cheers G

wanderingscotsman 22 Mar 2010 20:35

Now I know this reply is waaaaaay overdue but I've just been doing some tidying up after selling my bike.

Just incase anyone is interested in these panniers I did get a call from the distributors about these panniers as a result of the posts above.

I already had my panniers replaced by that point under warranty and never had a problem after that.

Happy biking....


DAVSATO 23 Mar 2010 17:28

good that they replaced them, they are obviously meant to be waterproof then. i wouldve suggested the lidl carrier bag technique as a stopgap but you dont need it

Selous 24 Mar 2010 23:00


Originally Posted by wanderingscotsman (Post 281897)
Just incase anyone is interested in these panniers I did get a call from the distributors about these panniers as a result of the posts above.

I already had my panniers replaced by that point under warranty and never had a problem after that.

Happy biking....


Good to know they changed them for you, my querie if they read your post?

Why not just either pm you or openly come on & say send them back for them to look at them for you?

That would of been very good customer care instead of just good customer care.

Either way still good.:clap:

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