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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 10-09-07, 07:09 PM   #1
gerv 
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Your style of pannier

A great pannier seems like an essential for transportational cycling.

When my last DIY pannier auto-distructed recently, I scoured the Internet for a pannier that would work for commuting, shopping or the occasional tour.

I noticed that many panniers in my price range (< $100) were either too small, too expensive, too flimsy (tended to pop off the rack....) or generally too ugly.

After study the Arkel site for their pannier hook kit, http://www.arkel-od.com/panniers/acc...es/hookkit.asp I decided to rescue a back pack I had lying around and make my own.

I used a flat 1 by12 inch flat bar I bought at Lowe's and drilled holes to hold two carabiners. To fasten the bag, I drilled out smaller holes in the bars, ran the holes through the back of the pannier. The bag is fastened to the bar with two screws and some giant washers (on the inside oft he backpack...)

Anyway, just wondering if you build or buy your own panniers? If you do have great panniers like Arkels or Ortliebs, wondering how practical they are for commuting/shopping?
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Old 10-09-07, 07:34 PM   #2
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I love basketwork/wickerwork for carrying loads. It's light, it's strong and it looks great on 1950s and older bicycles
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Old 10-09-07, 08:22 PM   #3
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I was thinking about tying 2 milk crates to the side of my racks I dont think my girlfriend would ever talk to me again though.

I told her I wold atlease find 2 that match if I did it.
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Old 10-09-07, 08:24 PM   #4
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BTW, right now im just rocking one milkcrate on top the rack
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Old 10-10-07, 02:03 AM   #5
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I have scoured the internet looking for easy DIY panniers. All of them seem to require industrial sowing machines or then generally come out looking very cheap. I would like to find plans for panniers I could use for the same things the OP described.

Anyone know of any?
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Old 10-10-07, 07:28 AM   #6
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I've got Axiom Seymour panniers, which were about $40. They're not pretty the way more expensive panniers are, but they hold up to my usual loads, and are holding up to fairly heavy use. I also have a bungee cargo net that I use when I screw up volume estimates.

When I need to add more cargo capacity, I'm thinking "front basket". Load balancing matters, and that gives me an easy no pannier option. Knowing what I know now, I probably should have started with a front basket, *then* added panniers.
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Old 10-10-07, 10:32 AM   #7
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I have some ortlieb backroller classics and i absolutely love them. The fastening system cannot be beat, no bump at any speed will cause those to fly off the rack (which has happened with my arkel UB).
When i go grocery shopping i just leave the top open, and with the top open these things are HUGE. I can fit over a week's worth of groceries in the open panniers.
I have not had to use them in the rain much, but one day i did turn them into a cooler for some cold beers in the park, complete with ice. The ortlieb cooler pannier worked out well and kept my beers cold throughout the day. After i used them for this purpose i needed to wash them and they were super easy to wash.

The ortliebs were completely worth the $128 i paid for them (including shipping).
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Old 10-10-07, 02:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerv View Post
A great pannier seems like an essential for transportational cycling.

When my last DIY pannier auto-distructed recently, I scoured the Internet for a pannier that would work for commuting, shopping or the occasional tour.

I noticed that many panniers in my price range (< $100) were either too small, too expensive, too flimsy (tended to pop off the rack....) or generally too ugly.

After study the Arkel site for their pannier hook kit, http://www.arkel-od.com/panniers/acc...es/hookkit.asp I decided to rescue a back pack I had lying around and make my own.

I used a flat 1 by12 inch flat bar I bought at Lowe's and drilled holes to hold two carabiners. To fasten the bag, I drilled out smaller holes in the bars, ran the holes through the back of the pannier. The bag is fastened to the bar with two screws and some giant washers (on the inside oft he backpack...)

Anyway, just wondering if you build or buy your own panniers? If you do have great panniers like Arkels or Ortliebs, wondering how practical they are for commuting/shopping?
How about some bike buckets? I just made a pair out of 2 4 gallon fresh step cat litter buckets. They work great, keep stuff dry, make camp chairs and a mini table. Sum it up, they rock! Here is a recipe I found on the web: http://ca.geocities.com/bphuntley@ro...ikeBucket.html
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Old 10-10-07, 03:18 PM   #9
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I like the bucket idea. I might try this if I ever get time to do some cyclo-camping.
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Old 10-10-07, 03:21 PM   #10
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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ima...2051611&sr=1-1

I just found a set of these "drunk baskets" at goodwill for $2
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Old 10-10-07, 04:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottieie View Post
How about some bike buckets? I just made a pair out of 2 4 gallon fresh step cat litter buckets. They work great, keep stuff dry, make camp chairs and a mini table. Sum it up, they rock! Here is a recipe I found on the web: http://ca.geocities.com/bphuntley@ro...ikeBucket.html
That is a really good practical idea
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Old 10-10-07, 05:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sianelle View Post
That is a really good practical idea
www.cobbworks.com

I have a set made up of of 4 gallon or so screw buckets from work. Any largish square bucket works pretty good. On my grocery getter I just mounted a set of Wald folding baskets on the rear rack. I am going to get a Delta V low rider rack for the front to mount my soft grocery panniers on.

Aaron
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Old 10-10-07, 06:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Freud View Post
I have scoured the internet looking for easy DIY panniers. All of them seem to require industrial sowing machines or then generally come out looking very cheap. I would like to find plans for panniers I could use for the same things the OP described.

Anyone know of any?
Freud, you probably would need some serious equipment to sew up a set of panniers. The classic formula is from Ken Kifer http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/to...r%20Own%20Bags

However, seeing as backpacks are such a common item and so cheaply and readily available (even second hand...), you might want to look at re-purposing a backpack as I have above. It's pretty easy to put together. You need only these:

- electric drill
- one by 12 inch flat steel bar about 1/16 thick. Look for it at Lowe's $1
- 2 carabiners (key holders) $2
- two #8 screws about 3/4 to 1 inch long. hex nuts to accompany.
- two washers preferably about 2 inches radius.

Here are the instructions:

- drill two holes near the outside of the flat bar. Probably 3/8 inch bit needed for this. (To hold the carabiners)
- drill two smallers holes in the bar just inside the larger holes (probably 1/16 bit needed)
- fit the bar on the back of the backpack and mark where you want the screws to pierce the fabric.
- use a punch or screwdriver or something to pierce the fabic.
- screws go through the bar, then the fabric and then you use the washers and nuts to hold all of it tgoether.

If the washers are large enough, it should easily hold the bag.

In addition to the carabiners, I used an old tube to tie the bag to the rack, so that the bottom of the bag does not swing around.
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Old 10-10-07, 06:30 PM   #14
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I used an Army surplus ruck sack with its frame. I drilled out the rivets at the bottom of the frame and cut it down. I put the bottom of the frame back together with some screws. Next I went to the hardware store and got a couple of those fat Ny-ties to attach it to the rack on the bike.$ 30.00
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Old 10-10-07, 06:56 PM   #15
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I use any combination of my Arkel Bug, Nashbar townie basket, and a messenger bag. The Arkel is seriously awesome. It was a lot of cash, but worth all of it. It's plenty big for grocery shopping since I'm only buying for one.

The nashbar basket is great, too. So cheap and practical, but they don't sell it anymore. If I could find another, I'd just use two of those and keep them on the rack all the time. They fold flat and they're not heavy and rattly like metal baskets.
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Old 10-10-07, 07:04 PM   #16
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Gerv,

Do you have any pictures of yours that I could reference when trying this? Thanks for the idea.
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Old 10-10-07, 07:22 PM   #17
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Aaron, how do you like those folding baskets? I went to pick up a pair at my LBS and they told me they are really load and rattle alot (of course then they tried to sell me $40 a piece "quiet" panniers). I think they look alot nicer the the Wald "Homeless Panniers" I bought today. I was hoping to get a set of the Nashbar grocery panniers which were often on sale for $12 a peice!!! Of course I never got around to it and I havent seen them for sale on nashbar in a few months.
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Old 10-10-07, 07:34 PM   #18
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Check out this backpack pannier a guy here on bike forums built I really need to make one of these. I love backpacks off the bike but I HATE wearing them on the bike.

http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=260517
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Old 10-10-07, 07:46 PM   #19
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Gerv,

Do you have any pictures of yours that I could reference when trying this? Thanks for the idea.
Unfortunately, no camera.

Try looking at the Arkel hook kit http://www.arkel-od.com/panniers/acc...asp?fl=1&site=
Instead of their fancy cam lock, picture two carabiners looped through holes on each end.

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Old 10-10-07, 07:47 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
A great pannier seems like an essential for transportational cycling.

When my last DIY pannier auto-distructed recently, I scoured the Internet for a pannier that would work for commuting, shopping or the occasional tour.

I noticed that many panniers in my price range (< $100) were either too small, too expensive, too flimsy (tended to pop off the rack....) or generally too ugly.

After study the Arkel site for their pannier hook kit, http://www.arkel-od.com/panniers/acc...es/hookkit.asp I decided to rescue a back pack I had lying around and make my own.

I used a flat 1 by12 inch flat bar I bought at Lowe's and drilled holes to hold two carabiners. To fasten the bag, I drilled out smaller holes in the bars, ran the holes through the back of the pannier. The bag is fastened to the bar with two screws and some giant washers (on the inside oft he backpack...)

Anyway, just wondering if you build or buy your own panniers? If you do have great panniers like Arkels or Ortliebs, wondering how practical they are for commuting/shopping?
are you saying that they are to expensive for what they are or that they are too expensive for you, because if they fit into your budget how can they be too expensive?
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Old 10-10-07, 07:52 PM   #21
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are you saying that they are to expensive for what they are or that they are too expensive for you, because if they fit into your budget how can they be too expensive?
A bit of a "who shaves the barber?" logic, isn't it? I must have been sleeping...
To clarify: good panniers=too expensive; myself=too stingy.
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Old 10-10-07, 10:53 PM   #22
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I'll add my .02 to the Ortlieb chorus. Yes, they're pricey -they actually cost more than my bike- but worth every penny. They're totally waterproof (important where I live), go on and off the bike in literally a second, extremely durable, easy to clean, and can hold a lot. I've used mine nearly every day for the last 18 months, and I have no complaints. If these things ever wear out, which I seriously doubt, I'll buy another set.
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