This photo illustrates the maximum capacity of my panniers (or it's a birthing photo of a mother grape). I pushed their limit today with a grocery list that was a bit over-zealous for a biking day. If I recall, my two panniers held: one loaf of bread, 2 frozen o.j.s, a jar of peanut butter, 5 pounds of apples, 3-4 pounds of bananas, one pack of American cheese, one package of 100 paper lunch bags, 6 Greek yogurts, one package of hamburger buns, a veggie burger mix, and 2 bags of pretzels. And frankly, I had to use the pannier's bungee cords to secure one plastic bag of groceries onto my rack. I'm thinking the rear of my bike weighed forty pounds all told.
And for you jazz heads out there: since my son was practicing saxophone while I've been composing this, I will honor his hard work with some Coltrane: