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  1. #1
    aka: Mike J. treebound's Avatar
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    Upgrading/updating panniers to a newer clip/hook style

    I've been thinking about this recently and am wondering if anyone else has updated older panniers to a newer style attachment system like this guy in the following link did several years ago.

    https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=1714

    Looks like the Arkel system is about $50 a pair, which is less expensive than new panniers, but not sure if it is worth it to upgrade older panniers instead of saving up for newer panniers. I'm in no hurry and am just playing around with stuff I currently have and am looking at options and such.

    I'm going to stuff my current panniers with gear and give them a close looking over before doing any changes to them, so am just looking for food for thought to keep in mind as I do so.

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    This can be made simple, for $$$:

    http://www.ortliebusa.com/prodInfo.asp?pid=31&cid=2

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    I can't say which is worth more: new panniers or upgrading your old ones. One factor is the quality of your current bags and one is the value of your time.

    But I will say this: It is almost definitely worthwhile to upgrade your connection system in some way if you're not happy with it.

    I had some perfectly serviceable, but very inexpensive Nashbar panniers. I used them for a couple of years. They weren't waterproof and the attachment system was fiddly. Usually I had to hook everything up, ride for a few miles, then figure out what hooks had slipped off, then readjust. Repeat until they haven't slipped. Once they were on solidly, they wouldn't budge.

    So when I finally started looking at some Ortleibs, even when I found a good deal on them, it was a struggle to justify spending more $100 to replace something that cost me about $20 and worked fine. I knew they were going to be an improvement, but I couldn't imagine it would an improvement worth $100+.

    When I got my panniers and slipped them onto the rack, they settled right on and clicked into place. I looked it over and saw that they couldn't possibly fall off. Then I pulled up the handle and the bag slipped off the rack as easily as it went on. I thought back to all the fiddling with my old bags. I thought of messing with velcro retention loops that I couldn't reach and hooks on bungies that never stayed put. I thought of standing by the side of the road in all kinds of weather making adjustments to my bags. And I thought, "I should have bought these years ago." And that was before I ever used them.

    So, yeah, if you don't like your attachment system, upgrade it one way or another. It's worth it.

  4. #4
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    I bought a set of the Lone Peak locking clips from Wayne at the Touring Store with two purposes in mind. 1) I attached one pair of clips to the top rear corners of a backpack so I can carry it on my bike as a single pannier bag but also still use it as a backpack when shopping or when combining a hike and bike ride. 2) I added one of the Lone Peak clips to each of my Nashbar Waterproof panniers to provide some redundancy in case one of the original clips were to come loose - the original clips haven't had any issues but looking at the rivets I wasn't completely comfortable with their durability.

  5. #5
    Living 'n Dying in -Time JBHoren's Avatar
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    Jandd sells the hooks, bottom latch or bungee cord, and hardware. You can improvise any "stiffener" you might want to use with them. My Novara 'Round Town grocery-bag panniers use the same bottom latch mechanism, and I'm pleased with it -- no bending or squatting, like with the bungee cord; YMMV.

  6. #6
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    "I should have bought these years ago."
    Ortlieb ought to put this on their website. Hundreds of people, including myself, must have had the exact same thought the first time they fit their product to the rack.

  7. #7
    aka: Mike J. treebound's Avatar
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    This has helped. I think I'm going to go ahead and update/upgrade the Trek panniers I have because they are a decent commuter size. Then I'll start saving up for a new full load sized set of rear panniers. No immediate plans for an extended tour so I've got time.

    The Raleigh set I looked at and I think they will stay vintage format. They're a little nostalgic for me due to the name on them, but realistically they're probably not worth upgrading after thinking about it.

    Thanks for helping me sort out my thoughts.
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  8. #8
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    These are rugged, simple to install and provide a secure locking attachment to the top rails of your rack...

    KLICKfix Twist Hooks with blue catch - pair

  9. #9
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    I absolutely love my Ortlieb City Rollers. Once I set them up, I literally just drop them on the rack. Even came with Tubing shims in every size I needed. I much prefer them over a bungee bottom type system. Now I know why I see so many using them. They really nailed the connection system. It works great. If I am not mistaken, You can get the QL system from the site. View Ortlieb Products \\ Bicycle Bag Replacement Parts at http://www.ortliebusa.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member timdow's Avatar
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    Another vote here for Ortliebs. After initial adjustment, not fiddling necessary and rock solid.
    Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry... charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. -Mark Twain

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    Ortlieb ought to put this on their website. Hundreds of people, including myself, must have had the exact same thought the first time they fit their product to the rack.
    One of my first thoughts was "Good, but not as good as my Robert Beckman Designs racks and panniers." My Beckmans have multiple attachment points and are held in place with a bracket that is secured with hex head bolts. So not only can they really not come off, no one can walk away with them unless they have the correct size allen wrench handy. Also, there is no rattle like my Ortlieb Packers. Alas, they only work with Beckman racks, and my racks were stolen along with the bike they were attached to. One of these days I am going to keep a promise to myself and go to somewhere like Bilenky to see if they can modify the panniers and my Nitto racks so they will accepts the Beckman panniers.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

  12. #12
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobG View Post
    These are rugged, simple to install and provide a secure locking attachment to the top rails of your rack...

    KLICKfix Twist Hooks with blue catch - pair
    Those look like an interesting, affordable solution.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    My old Needleworks/Beckmans were made around Bruce Gordon's racks , they were both in Eugene , at the time..

    the trick was the velcro on the loops of webbing, to secure the straps to the back of the panniers,

    after pulling the strap under a rack tube, thus locking the hooks over the tubes solidly downward ..

    The PITA complexity does make the bags harder to do a Grab and run , theft

    for someone used to the ease of removing Ortlieb's bags.



    for the OP, consider how a strap and Buckle can back up the elastic hook ,
    to pull the bag , downward with out the elasticity .
    that elasticity, has those simple bag's mounts Bungee-shock cord, stretch,

    allow the bags to Bounce off on rough roads..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-11-15 at 08:58 AM.

  14. #14
    Living 'n Dying in -Time JBHoren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobG View Post
    These are rugged, simple to install and provide a secure locking attachment to the top rails of your rack...

    KLICKfix Twist Hooks with blue catch - pair
    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Those look like an interesting, affordable solution.
    Yes, these are the top latches on my Novara 'Round Town grocery-bag panniers (from REI). Very solid. Made by Rixen & Kaul. The mounting plate (shown on the same page) is also used on mine (one per hook).

    These would be an elegant and inexpensive way to convert a pair of military surplus "musette bags" (or similar) to what I consider "everyday" panniers: not for multi-day/extended touring, nor for shlepping purchases home; rather, for carrying extra water, food, clothing, etc. when out for a half/full-day ride. Or, so I theorize... it's what I'm planning to do: find a pair @$15/each, spend another $15-$20 for hardware, and hook 'em up to my Pletscher "Inova" rack. I've looked at the major (and minor) players, and their panniers are too big and too expensive... "too big to 'rail'", so rolling my own seems feasible.

  15. #15
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I will add another option... Maybe keep using your current panniers without upgrading them until they wear out. I have toured quite a bit with basic hook and bungee panniers and found that they work fine with no need for an upgrade.

    I don't typically bother, but if you are really worried about the panniers coming off consider either putting a zip tie on the hooks or attaching the left and right ones together with a cord or carabiner. Some panniers have a loop on the top to carry them by clipping them together with a 'biner would assure they won't come off even if a hook comes off. I usually leave my panniers on for weeks or even months at a time without removing them so the zip ties on the hooks would not be a hassle for me if I felt I needed them. If you insist on taking everything into the tent at night it might be a bit more of a hassle.

  16. #16
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHoren View Post
    These would be an elegant and inexpensive way to convert a pair of military surplus "musette bags" (or similar) to what I consider "everyday" panniers: not for multi-day/extended touring, nor for shlepping purchases home; rather, for carrying extra water, food, clothing, etc. when out for a half/full-day ride. Or, so I theorize... it's what I'm planning to do: find a pair @$15/each, spend another $15-$20 for hardware, and hook 'em up to my Pletscher "Inova" rack. I've looked at the major (and minor) players, and their panniers are too big and too expensive... "too big to 'rail'", so rolling my own seems feasible.
    I met a guy who used really cheap backpacks from walmart. He cut off the shoulder straps and bolted them to thin plywood which was attached to his frame with u-bolts. He was on a fairly long tour and doing fine. His entire set of baggage and camping gear was probably less than $200.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    I did this with my panniers. I've been using a combination of Jandd Mini Mountain panniers and Jandd Economy panniers, and I liked them except for the mounting systems. I will say that the mounting system on the Mini Mountain panniers are fantastic for off-road use because they are rock-solid, but they are a pain to install/remove on a regular basis. Since my usage is much more on-road, and since I use them locally for commuting and such, I wanted a quick-release system to make my life easier. So I installed the Ortlieb mounting system on both sets.

    I considered just getting Ortlieb panniers, but I live in CA where it doesn't rain anymore, so waterproof was not a huge concern for me, plus I think the waterproof material can be a bit of a negative in dry conditions. Also, I prefer the zippers on the Jandds over Ortlieb's roll-up closures. Again, it was a frequency/convenience factor for me. I also like the side pockets on the Jandds.

    For the conversion, I removed the old mounting system and covered the old holes with iron-on patches (carefully keeping the iron on the patch only since it would melt the Cordura fabric if it came into direct contact), then I installed the Ortlieb mounts right over them. It took several hours to get all 4 panniers done, but it was worth it for me. I love my "custom" panniers.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Brennan; 06-16-15 at 06:04 PM.

  18. #18
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    Rixen and Kaul sell rail mounts of several styles.
    A lot of pannier manufacturers use them

  19. #19
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    The only problem with all these systems is the huge load they add to bags. My panniers weigh 6 pounds and they are the lightweigt MTB sized ones. My backpack weighs 8 pounds loaded. This is the kind of thing that leads to bikepacking, which is a generally inferior system ATMO, but hard to argue the crazy weight of expedition weight panniers and racks.

  20. #20
    aka: Mike J. treebound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brennan View Post
    I did this with my panniers. I've been using a combination of Jandd Mini Mountain panniers and Jandd Economy panniers, and I liked them except for the mounting systems. I will say that the mounting system on the Mini Mountain panniers are fantastic for off-road use because they are rock-solid, but they are a pain to install/remove on a regular basis. Since my usage is much more on-road, and since I use them locally for commuting and such, I wanted a quick-release system to make my life easier. So I installed the Ortlieb mounting system on both sets.

    I considered just getting Ortlieb panniers, but I live in CA where it doesn't rain anymore, so waterproof was not a huge concern for me, plus I think the waterproof material can be a bit of a negative in dry conditions. Also, I prefer the zippers on the Jandds over Ortlieb's roll-up closures. Again, it was a frequency/convenience factor for me. I also like the side pockets on the Jandds.

    For the conversion, I removed the old mounting system and covered the old holes with iron-on patches (carefully keeping the iron on the patch only since it would melt the Cordura fabric if it came into direct contact), then I installed the Ortlieb mounts right over them. It took several hours to get all 4 panniers done, but it was worth it for me. I love my "custom" panniers.
    Nice job on your conversion. Looks good.
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