Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-11-08, 08:15 AM   #1
Ya Tu Sabes
Rebel Thousandaire
Thread Starter
 
Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hartford, CT
Bikes: Public D8, Yuba Mundo (cargo), Novara Buzz (1-speed, soon to be 2-speed w/ a kickback hub), Xootr 1-speed folder
Posts: 733
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DIY Rack attachment to hold any bag like a pannier

So I had this dilemma: I commute in work clothes and often go to places other than my office, so when I get to my destination, I don't have a place to stash extra stuff (aside from a coat and maybe a plastic bag with lunch in it). And I'm a lawyer, so I need to carry a bag that looks at least borderline lawyerly. And riding in a suit jacket requires a more upright position, which makes my lawyerly-enough all black messenger bag uncomfortable to carry. The solution, obviously, was to get a briefcase pannier like this one. The problem was that a new briefcase pannier would cost money, and although I'm a lawyer, I'm a public interest lawyer with two kids and a mortgage, so spending money is a no-no. So I made an attachment to my bike rack that allows me to strap my regular work bag on securely in pannier position:

First, I took one square wire grid from one of these shelves:



(Why? Because I had the shelves lying around and wasn't using them.)

Then I bolted it to my rear rack:



I used the lids to some old storage bins to hold the bolts in place. This is not an elegant solution, but it is good for me because I had the lids lying around, so no money was spent. U bolts would have been a nicer solution.

Most of the bolts I used stick inward toward the rack, but two at the bottom had to stick out so they wouldn't interfere with the spokes. So I clipped them short and covered them with black and orange hockey tape. Shorter bolts would have been a nice solution, but, again, no money = use what you have.

I also reinforced the connection between the wire grid and the rack with some clothes hanger wire at a couple points, just to be safe. The grid is sticking up higher than the level of the rack because I have big feet, and my heels hit panniers if they are hanging from the top of the rack.

Finally, I added bungee cords and a bag, and voila:



So far, it works really well. I rode 25 miles during my work day on Tuesday and the thing performed flawlessly. Today I rode to work with a heavier load that included a laptop (well padded, of course), lunch, and rain gear (in addition to my usual papers, pens, and necessary bike tools), and it was still rock solid.
Ya Tu Sabes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 08:24 AM   #2
harleyfrog
An Army of Fred
 
harleyfrog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lost South of Nowhere East of Edan On the Waterfront Far from the Madding Crowd (Biloxi, MS)
Bikes: 1992 Specialized Crossroads Trail
Posts: 1,003
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Nice hack.
harleyfrog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 08:27 AM   #3
mconlonx 
Nobody
 
mconlonx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 7,139
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 448 Post(s)
Great adaptation. If it was me, I'd bend the thing about 1/3 up from the bottom at 90 deg to form an L profile--1) so that cargo has a support on the bottom, and 2) so that those dangly hook-shaped bungee ends don't end up in your spokes. (Just inherent distrust of bungees after decades of using them... call me a bungee bigot.)
mconlonx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 08:30 AM   #4
thdave
Senior Member
 
thdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 2,242
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Looks elegant to me!
thdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 08:31 AM   #5
Ya Tu Sabes
Rebel Thousandaire
Thread Starter
 
Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hartford, CT
Bikes: Public D8, Yuba Mundo (cargo), Novara Buzz (1-speed, soon to be 2-speed w/ a kickback hub), Xootr 1-speed folder
Posts: 733
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Great adaptation. If it was me, I'd bend the thing about 1/3 up from the bottom at 90 deg to form an L profile--1) so that cargo has a support on the bottom, and 2) so that those dangly hook-shaped bungee ends don't end up in your spokes. (Just inherent distrust of bungees after decades of using them... call me a bungee bigot.)
I thought about doing the bend, actually, but my bike is a folder and I take it on Amtrak trains, where I sometimes have to fit it into a narrow utility closet, so I didn't want to do anything to increase the width.

As for the dangling bungees, they're usually secured, but I didn't bother for the photo, since I was just going to take my bag off the rack as soon as I was done taking the picture.
Ya Tu Sabes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 09:54 AM   #6
Marrock
Senior Member
 
Marrock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Only thing I'd do different is to use a bungee net instead of the cords, it spreads the load out more and wont wear holes in the bag as easily.

Then again, I tend to always have a couple nets laying around and don't have to go out and buy them.
Marrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 10:36 AM   #7
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Bikes:
Posts: 12,923
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
If you angle the bag like a Carradice bike beauraueauex you can reduce heel clip.
Take a file to the bolts to shorten them.
Keep hold of nylock bolts for this kind of application, they dont vibrate lose.
MichaelW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 10:37 AM   #8
CliftonGK1
Senior Member
 
CliftonGK1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
Bikes: '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2015 Trek Domane 6.2 disc
Posts: 11,380
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good hack, but a little bit kludgy. Cargo netting will help distribute the weight better than just the bungees, but you might consider something along these lines:

- Use the plastic backing to form cut an internal stiffener for your briefcase.
- Mount pannier hooks and a bungee hook to the backside of the briefcase.

That way you could just hook your briefcase to the rack like a regular pannier.
__________________
"I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
- Mandi M.
CliftonGK1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 10:53 AM   #9
Ya Tu Sabes
Rebel Thousandaire
Thread Starter
 
Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hartford, CT
Bikes: Public D8, Yuba Mundo (cargo), Novara Buzz (1-speed, soon to be 2-speed w/ a kickback hub), Xootr 1-speed folder
Posts: 733
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Good hack, but a little bit kludgy. Cargo netting will help distribute the weight better than just the bungees, but you might consider something along these lines:

- Use the plastic backing to form cut an internal stiffener for your briefcase.
- Mount pannier hooks and a bungee hook to the backside of the briefcase.

That way you could just hook your briefcase to the rack like a regular pannier.
I contemplated that approach (which is, of course, better in many respects), but didn't do it for the following reasons:

1. My bag is leather and nice and I don't want to put holes in the back of it to attach the pannier hooks;
2. Sometimes I use the bag when I'm on my other bike, which has no rack, and when I do I cinch it up on my back good an tight and an internal stiffener or pannier hooks would be wicked uncomfortable;
3. I like the idea that if I want to ride with some other bag (like, if my final destination is somewhere where I want a backpack, or a violin case), I can do that;
4. I had no pannier hooks in the house when I did the project.

But I do want to get a cargo net, because, as everyone points out, it will distribute load better. Also, maybe, I will swap out the janky white plastic thingies for some U bolts.
Ya Tu Sabes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 11:26 AM   #10
Little Darwin
The Improbable Bulk
 
Little Darwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Bikes: Many
Posts: 8,401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Nice job at finding a solution that works for you!

I have a couple of projects that may benefit from some sections from shelving like that... what is the source?
__________________
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Little Darwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 12:33 PM   #11
Marrock
Senior Member
 
Marrock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm constantly finding them at garage sales and the like, usually missing some of the plastic connectors to makes them into shelves.
Marrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 01:42 PM   #12
Ya Tu Sabes
Rebel Thousandaire
Thread Starter
 
Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hartford, CT
Bikes: Public D8, Yuba Mundo (cargo), Novara Buzz (1-speed, soon to be 2-speed w/ a kickback hub), Xootr 1-speed folder
Posts: 733
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Target has them, I think. And probably Wal-Mart and lots of other stores. But you could make one of these with any number of objects - a piece of wood, for example, would do the trick.
Ya Tu Sabes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 01:47 PM   #13
Marrock
Senior Member
 
Marrock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hit the recycling yards and find some wire shelving from old fridges or suchlike, that'd work too.
Marrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 01:48 PM   #14
akatsuki
Senior Member
 
akatsuki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Francisco
Bikes: Lynskey R210, Miyata 610, Anchor PCD3
Posts: 411
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bah.... just travel in style like this guy (although without the smokes, taken from the sartorialist):

akatsuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 01:55 PM   #15
Ya Tu Sabes
Rebel Thousandaire
Thread Starter
 
Ya Tu Sabes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hartford, CT
Bikes: Public D8, Yuba Mundo (cargo), Novara Buzz (1-speed, soon to be 2-speed w/ a kickback hub), Xootr 1-speed folder
Posts: 733
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by akatsuki View Post
Bah.... just travel in style like this guy (although without the smokes, taken from the sartorialist)
I do travel in style like that, except with the less-exciting backdrop of Bridgeport, Connecticut. And I really need to carry stuff with me. (Also no cigarette or sunglasses, 'cause I don't smoke and sunglasses mess with my depth perception in a way I don't like.) Seriously, I wish I had some pictures of me riding my bike in my suit, because then you all would understand the meaning of the word "smooth." Also, if I had pictures of the way everyone in Bridgeport stares at me when I ride by, you could come to understand fully just how much a sore thumb actually sticks out.
Ya Tu Sabes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 03:28 PM   #16
Marrock
Senior Member
 
Marrock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The hells with the gawkers, think about it, if they had anything like a clue would they even be living in bridgeport?
Marrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 04:16 PM   #17
jacob.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 93
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by thdave View Post
Looks elegant to me!
Off topic...nice to see somebody else from cleveland (from your sig at least i think you are).

To OP, that was very clever of you. Good job.
jacob. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 07:21 PM   #18
wild animals
Real Human Being
 
wild animals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ottery St. Catchpole
Bikes: Sleeping Beauty: 2008 Jamis Aurora
Posts: 936
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
yeah, great thinking!

today i went to a local bike shop and asked for a reflector bracket, and the woman said she didn't have any, but had i thought of...zip ties? and i was like "...not really." haha. as bike accessories go, i am less do-it-yourself and more buy-it-myself. so this kind of stuff always impresses me a lot.
wild animals is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 07:32 PM   #19
Marrock
Senior Member
 
Marrock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Zip-ties, coroplast, and duct tape... I think my next project will be to build a bike from all three.
Marrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-08, 07:50 PM   #20
Lurch
Fossil
 
Lurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
Bikes: Bianchi Bergamo, Raleigh Misceo
Posts: 332
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There's something very satisfying about using available materials for a project. It's easy to throw money at something. You are to be commended for your resourcefulness as well as for commuting via bike and in a suit.
Lurch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-08, 12:10 PM   #21
ebr898
wheelin in the years
 
ebr898's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Kansas
Bikes: Some Schwinns, a Gary Fisher, some vintage lt wts
Posts: 667
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My wife bought several sets of those shelves awile ago. I use them now to orginize my bike area and the kids toys. When the plastic joints break throw them away and use zip ties / or wire. Works pretty good,.
ebr898 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-08, 01:00 PM   #22
BCRider
Senior Member
 
BCRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Bikes: Norco (2), Miyata, Canondale, Soma, Redline
Posts: 5,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just a thought but if you could have bent the last couple of rows of the wire rack out at a 90 then there'd be a nice little shelf to help support your bag. Clamping it between a couple of sections of 2x4 and then to something fairly immovable would have held the "lip" and allowed the bending.

Still, all in all a high 5 for ingenuity.
BCRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:42 PM.