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Old 08-04-09, 04:54 PM   #1
Plainsbiker
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Trek R200 panniers

Hello, I am new to the forums, but just had to crow a bit. I own a Trek R200, purchased about 11 years ago. Of course, Trek doesn't make them anymore. I have a knack for buying bents just before they are discontinued-- I bought a Burley, and put panniers on it with some help from my local bike shop (in mounting the rack), and like the bike and the panniers very much. I wanted panniers on my Trek, but even the bike shops in my area shied away from the task. I searched the Internet but no luck anywhere.

So, I'm posting my own solution some two years after my searches turned up nothing, in hopes that it will be available on the Internet and help others. Eventually, I settled on a method to mount the panniers myself. The back rest has a strut that is adjustable and holds it upright. It is round like the post a seat is mounted to on an upright bike. I found the Odysee "seatpost rack," which I could use with my favorite panniers, the Avenir "metro shopping panniers". The only problem was, that the Odysee comes with a welded clamp that was mounted at an angle for an upright bike's seat post. I have a great local welding shop, and that is the other key to this solution. Most sizeable cities will have one (and even small towns), but whether they will take small jobs is sometimes an issue. My local shop is great, it has built all kinds of things for me. This job they did for $40 cash. Considering how long I had waited for this feature for my bike, I found that reasonable.

My seat back strut was not quite vertical, as it was adjusted for my back. Here is the method to tell the welding shop how to cut and re-weld the seat post clamp, to fit your particular adjusted seat back strut. I used a small level that I most often use to level pictures I hang on the wall. It has a flat side 6-1/2 inches long. Now it is just a simple geometry sequence to figure this out. I used a small ruler (either inches or centimeters will work). I held the lower end of the level against the seat back strut, and moved the top end until it was vertical. I used the ruler and measured the deviation from the strut to the vertical level, which was 3/8 inch. Imagine the 6-1/2 inches of the level as the radius of a circle. How many degrees from vertical must the post clamp be welded so that the pannier hanging rack will be horizontal?

The circumference of the circle is Pi times radius squared. Pi is 3.1416. So in this case, 3.1416 x (6.5 x 6.5) yields the circumference in inches, which is 132.73 inches. This must be equal to 360 degrees, because there are 360 degrees in every circle's circumference. So how many degrees are there in 3/8 inch of that circle's circumference? 360 = 132.73; divide both sides by 360; this makes 360/360 on one side, which is 1 (degree). On the other side is 132.73/360, which is 0.369 inches. Divide 0.369 by 8 and take it times 3 and you discover that 3/8 inch equals 0.138 degrees.

I took the Odysee to my welding shop with my measurements, and in 24 hours they had done the job. Be sure to tell them which direction from vertical (pointing forward or pointing backward) the deviation is! it is very well done, and fits like a charm. The pannier bags hang straight down and are horizontal at the top. Of course, if I adjust the strut, then it will throw it off a bit, but there is a range of motion I can move the strut without the rack being too far out of horizontal. I am delighted, the solution was less than $200, and now I can keep using my old faithful Trek R200 with more cargo now. I can't hold passengers sitting on it, of course, but I can bring back groceries, a small computer bag, and smaller items bungeed to the rack itself. I hope this solution helps others. Take care! Plainsbiker
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Old 08-04-09, 06:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Plainsbiker View Post
The circumference of the circle is Pi times radius squared.
No, the area of a circle is pi*r squared. The circumference is 2*pi*r, or pi*d. What you did must have worked, though. Is there a picture?
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Old 08-19-09, 01:30 PM   #3
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I stand corrected!

I stand corrected! All I can figure is that my formula accomplished somewhat the same thing by accident, maybe comparing the ratio of the measurements or something. I did the math with the correct formula and got a completely different answer. So, for better results, use the right formula, and here is how I *think* it comes out:

diameter for me was 13 inches (6.5 inches on the level, times two).
Pi * 13= 40.84 inches
40.84 inches = 360 degrees
3/8 in. = 0.375 inches
0.375/40.84 = 0.469
0.469 x 360 = 16.875 degrees from vertical to achieve a 3/8 in departure from vertical at the circumference.

And yes, there are some pictures, I just have to figure out how to post them. Thanks BlazingPedals! No wonder I didn't go into precision craftsmanship.
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Old 08-21-09, 10:50 PM   #4
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Trek did make a rack that mounted in back using the 2 bolts for the strut and back seat post. Probably hard to get a hold of and most not likely as heavy duty as yours. I did a self contained tour with this setup around Lake Suprerior with my son and daughter.(http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=68059&v=69)
I think I carried around 30 plus pounds and bike was very stable with the two fully loaded panniers in back. In my opinion the R200 is a great bike to tour on.



Last edited by karjak; 08-21-09 at 10:59 PM.
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