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Old 11-07-08, 02:11 PM   #1
jhota
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ammo can panniers?

anybody used or seen panniers made from ammo cans? i'm thinking of making some, but was wondering if anyone had any input...

pros: cheap, waterproof to the point of complete immersion

cons: not the lightest things in the world

anybody?
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Old 11-07-08, 02:21 PM   #2
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My friend did that for his Moto Guzzi.
It looked pretty cool.
I think they would be too heavy for a bike without a motor.
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Old 11-07-08, 02:35 PM   #3
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If you get the ones that measure about 12X4", they weigh probably 5 lbs each, and would work well, but make sure to keep the lids over the top of the rack, or you won't be able to affix them easily and still be able to open them.

I think the best thing to do would be to get small hose clamps and use those to connect them to the rack. Good idea!
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Old 11-07-08, 03:14 PM   #4
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If you want to go with something lighter there is a box called, I believe, Action boaters dry box. They are designed along the same lines as the ammo cans but they are made of plastic and totally water proof. You can also lock them.
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Old 11-07-08, 04:07 PM   #5
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http://ratrodbikes.com/forum/viewtop...&sd=a&start=45
This is page 4 of a "Rat Rod Bikes" Build-off record. Scroll back through the previous 3 pages for additional pictures.

Those ammo cans are very heavy, and I would never use them for a bike unless it was specifically to get an over-built military look like this bike was going for.

I don't recall if they have provision for a lock, but if so, would be reasonably theft-proof when locked.

Some of the Army/Navy places sell cheap knock-offs of some of the good military surplus gear that is in short supply, and something like that might be better.
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Old 11-07-08, 04:28 PM   #6
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I consider this idea, but was (easily) talked out of it when I was told how heavy ammo cans are. Your best bet for a similar look is something like this:
, or building a pair of bucket panniers.
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Old 11-07-08, 04:38 PM   #7
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http://ratrodbikes.com/forum/viewtop...&sd=a&start=45

he used "tall" .50 cal cans (16x11x5.5 inches). i'd probably use standard .50 cans (11x7x6) or .30 cans (10x7x3). a standard .50 can weighs about 5 pounds, the tall cans weigh around 8. my preference would be the WWII/1950s era side-opening cans.

i'm not that worried about weight - they'd be for my utility bike, after all. 36x16 gearing means you can haul quite a bit (albeit slowly). 5 pounds is nothing - i normally carry 30+ pounds of stuff at a time. and i can always flip the wheel over and use the 18t freewheel...

if i was really hardcore, i'd order a couple of the 81 mm mortar round cans - 22x13x5.5 inches, 17 lbs empty. i could carry the world! as long as it was relatively thin...

thanks for the input, folks!
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Old 11-07-08, 05:31 PM   #8
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These work quite well I've heard.

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Old 11-07-08, 06:53 PM   #9
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My experience with ammo cans is that they usually take more effort to open than they are worth. Still, they would be eye catching.
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Old 11-07-08, 07:09 PM   #10
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effort? i mean, old Soviet Bloc cans have to be opened with a can opener - but they're single-use...
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Old 11-07-08, 07:18 PM   #11
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These work quite well I've heard.

As I recall, Lance had a pair of those mounted on his Trek Madone during a couple of stages on his final TDF. Wonder if he'll use those in '09, if he tries the TDF again.
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Old 11-07-08, 07:33 PM   #12
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that sounds like a cool Idea I converted storm case to a pannier for winter works awsome
I was thinking of using one as a trunk rack
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Old 11-07-08, 07:41 PM   #13
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I ran ammo can panners on my Harley last year, they worked great for about 12K or so, then the bracketing I used started giving out. They are water tight, and they are hard to open at times, you will be lifting your bicycle off the ground to open them.

For my Bicycle I am thinking about the green canves "gas mask bags", they are supper cheap and would be easy to install on each side of a rear rack. Not waterproof, just light and cheap, guess it depends on what you want to carry.

That big plasic bucket looks pretty handy, I don't carry that much on my bike, but I do have a milk crate on my four wheeler, it works great for chainsaw gas and chain oil.
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Old 11-07-08, 08:24 PM   #14
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I have to freely admit that some of us would have no idea why someone would need water Proof ammo cans?
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Old 11-07-08, 09:00 PM   #15
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Just tried some of the Cat Litter Bucket Panniers. Couldn't stop the rattling. Every bump sounded like a Bass Drum..
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Old 11-07-08, 09:00 PM   #16
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Not quite ammo cans, but.... This picture was taken in the planning stages, I bolted the hooks solidly to the rack for my tour.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 100_0613.jpg (99.4 KB, 52 views)
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Old 11-08-08, 06:40 AM   #17
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Check out this article, not ammo cans but home brew heavy duty racks and pannier bags (from surplus). See the bags pictured near the bottom.
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Old 11-08-08, 07:40 AM   #18
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yeah, i found that article in a Google search - he gets bonus points for the license plate fender. i've not made it to the Army/Navy store yet, so if i see a canvas pack i like at a good price, i may try that too.
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Old 11-08-08, 12:48 PM   #19
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I bolted one to my rear rack for awhile when I carried a lot of camera stuff, because they could be sealed against rain as well as locked. Worked as you'd expect, and since I only used the bike around a fairly flat town, the weight wasn't a problem.
Drawbacks: Weight, and even though I'm not much concerned about style, I didn't like the looks. When my daughter was about 8, she painted the olive drab box pink with yellow flowers. I'm not sure that was an improvement....
In these days of plastics stronger-than-steel, you can probably find a better way, but the ammo box will certainly work.
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Old 11-08-08, 02:49 PM   #20
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Easy built bucket panniers.
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Old 11-09-08, 12:20 PM   #21
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i knocked a rough prototype together this morning. when i get some time, i'll take a couple pictures.

i like it (except for cosmetics) - but i'm leaning towards using the tall .50 cans now. i can fit my school books in the tall cans and lock them - which would mean i'd not need to lug all my books to every class.
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Old 11-09-08, 12:45 PM   #22
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Just hope the bike don't get robbed.
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Old 11-09-08, 01:15 PM   #23
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The 50 cal ones weigh 5 pounds each and are pretty small. Given that they make no sense at all to my way of thinking. They aren't cheap enough for that to be their saving grace. If you used 4 of them they might hold your gear for touring, maybe. But they would weigh as much as the whole load most riders carry even when empty. Better to either do the kitty liter bucket thing or just buy some Nashbar or Performance waterproof panniers. If you watch the sales you can get the large ones on sale for $50 a pair and then use a webcoupon for another 10-20% off. The small ones are about $10 less and probably hold more than the 50 cal ammo cans.
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Old 11-09-08, 02:06 PM   #24
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Great find on those buckets, exactly the kind I've been looking for. Where do you get Sun laundry detergent? All I can find online is "Sun & Earth" liquid detergent...
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Old 11-09-08, 07:25 PM   #25
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anybody used or seen panniers made from ammo cans? i'm thinking of making some, but was wondering if anyone had any input...

pros: cheap, waterproof to the point of complete immersion

cons: not the lightest things in the world

anybody?
I think it would look cool and be functional, but you can't ignore the weight issue. Here is a pic of the bike referenced on one of the posts here.

This bike is waaaaay heavy duty and would be a nightmare riding any direction other than downhill. It appears to be a 1941 Western Flyer produced by Huffman. Those bikes weighed more than 60 lbs and were real a real huff-and-puff ride. The fact that this pic shows the bike without pedals is rather telling.

Anyway, the look of the ammo panniers is cool and appears to be functional

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