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  1. #1
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    DIY Swiss army panniers (not $150)

    I decided I wanted to mount a set of Swiss army surplus ammo bags to my rear rack for daily commute I'm my bike being built. I had seen them on etsy and eBay for 120-150. The ones for sale use bare metal hooks and a bungee cord.

    I found an army surplus store online that sells the raw bags for 24.99
    http://www.swisslink.com/products/pa...o_bag-16-1379/

    Turns out you can buy the "bontanger interchange transit w/ sway bar" as spare parts from trek online. I love this mount system. Probably wouldn't be great if your bags were carrying super heavy loads, but they're super quiet and hold bags super snug.
    http://store.trekbikes.com/jump.jsp?...&bShopOnline=1

    The bags have rigid leather on the top and bottom that work well for running bolts through.

    All together the set was about $80 with a considerably better mounting system. A warning, they are not very big. While I am an IT person, I have recently thrown out my laptop and now use only an iPad. So my load for commuting is very light and small. For me, these bags are just fantastic, and will fit the new VO Polyvalent well, which should be completed next Friday



    Last edited by Balexander; 11-19-11 at 09:39 PM. Reason: Better pictures

  2. #2
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Very, very nice.

    It looks as if your rack is tipped down at the rear. Hard to tell in the photo.
    It will look and work a little better if it is level.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Edit:i just went and messed with it since you brought it up. The rack is now level. Im angry and happy
    Last edited by Balexander; 11-19-11 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Update

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balexander View Post
    Edit:i just went and messed with it since you brought it up. The rack is now level. Im angry and happy
    I put on a couple of tipped racks too. I leveled them after someone mentioned it to me.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
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    I bet you could get $120-150 on ebay for those.

  6. #6
    RIP Sonny RaleighSport's Avatar
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    That's classy and at the right price.
    "Seriously is what I want to be, so I put on spandex and show off my gear, my junk, my thing, yes my ding-a-ling."

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    New photos nice ! Awesome job !
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    OP: nice setup!



    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    I bet you could get $120-150 on ebay for those.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rancid's Avatar
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    great looking panniers! How do they hold up in to the elements?

    You might be able to get 120-150 on ebay, but I bet you could get $200 on etsy, maybe $300 of you used the work steampunk in the advertisement!
    I've been here since 2004? I've never felt this old before.

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    I haven't had a chance to use them yet, but they are made of very heavy waxed canvas. I imagine they'll hold up quite well, considering they meant to carry ammunition in the trenches.

    People have the bags on sale right now for about $120, but use metal hooks, and either bungee cords or nylon webbing to secure them. While I'm sure that works great, you just can't beat the bontanger clip system, especially for light duty bags.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Simon Cowbell's Avatar
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    Those are sharp!

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    Good idea

    I wanted to thank the OP (Balexander) for posting this thread about the DIY panniers. The DIY panniers is a really good idea and the OP provided all the information needed to do something similar. I decided to try and replicate something a little different and dyed the leather and canvas black and use them as front panniers.

    Here is what I came up with:
    swiss_bags_finished_2_small.jpg

    Thanks again

    - Bruzer

  13. #13
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    You might be able to get 120-150 on ebay, but I bet you could get $200 on etsy, maybe $300 of you used the work steampunk in the advertisement!
    I paid $6 for mine at a thrift store, but it was only one. There's a couple of online military surplus stores that specialize in used international army bags, and some of them are made for panniers so no DIY work is necessary.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ka0use's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balexander View Post
    I decided I wanted to mount a set of Swiss army surplus ammo bags to my rear rack for daily commute I'm my bike being built. I had seen them on etsy and eBay for 120-150. The ones for sale use bare metal hooks and a bungee cord.

    I found an army surplus store online that sells the raw bags for 24.99
    http://www.swisslink.com/products/pa...o_bag-16-1379/

    Turns out you can buy the "bontanger interchange transit w/ sway bar" as spare parts from trek online. I love this mount system. Probably wouldn't be great if your bags were carrying super heavy loads, but they're super quiet and hold bags super snug.
    http://store.trekbikes.com/jump.jsp?...&bShopOnline=1

    The bags have rigid leather on the top and bottom that work well for running bolts through.

    All together the set was about $80 with a considerably better mounting system. A warning, they are not very big. While I am an IT person, I have recently thrown out my laptop and now use only an iPad. So my load for commuting is very light and small. For me, these bags are just fantastic, and will fit the new VO Polyvalent well, which should be completed next Friday



    ooooooooooo, sharp!

    i once had a us army m2 ammunition carrier on my motorbike for years. it was for an infantryman to carry extra ammo to the troops. a bag front and back with a hole for one's head. would like to find another one for the lynx.
    paid a max of $5 at a *** show or surplus store.

    woo! found 'em!:

    http://www.colbubbie.com/usarmym-2ammunitionbag.aspx

    this site has them for $20+ shipping. mil spec, straps on sides, no top- just a piece of rope that pulls the top lip in. expands.
    Last edited by ka0use; 04-09-12 at 10:36 PM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    Very nice job to both the OP and the inspired reader. I made mine from Government issued bags also. My front panniers are Army GI Special Forces (black) fanny packs the Regular Army pack is Olive Drab Green if you like that shade better. They are part of the ALICE system The Army used to use. They Come in both the canvas (old) and the nylon (newer) material.

    If you haven’t shopped in a surplus store you don’t know what you are missing.

    Shown empty



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    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  16. #16
    Senior Member AltheCyclist's Avatar
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    Good stuff! Very creative. To OP, it's been a while since you made those, how are they holding up?

  17. #17
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    They're still in great shape. Keep in mind, they survived the European front during WWII. I think they'll make it through a few Indiana winters

  18. #18
    Senior Member AltheCyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balexander View Post
    They're still in great shape. Keep in mind, they survived the European front during WWII. I think they'll make it through a few Indiana winters
    Ha! Well put.
    I was wondering if the leather, once punched through, would sag or wear a bit. As you mentioned, running light load will probably last a long time.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ka0use's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
    Very nice job to both the OP and the inspired reader. I made mine from Government issued bags also. My front panniers are Army GI Special Forces (black) fanny packs the Regular Army pack is Olive Drab Green if you like that shade better. They are part of the ALICE system The Army used to use. They Come in both the canvas (old) and the nylon (newer) material.

    If you haven’t shopped in a surplus store you don’t know what you are missing.

    Shown empty



    .

    heyyyyyyyyyyy, i like your bags, too! and i looooove surplus stores.
    first star on the right and straight on 'til morning
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