Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    353
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Pannier Materials

    I figured I would put this in touring section, as this would be the area with the most pannier experience. I have recently tried nashbar ATB panniers, and the waterproof ones. both sets self destructed, one actually braking off after I hit a bump and dragging beside my bike a short bit. Luckily, it didnt cause me to crash, as cars were passing me at about 45mph.

    After the problems I had with those, I decided it was either expensive panniers, used panniers, that I get outbid for on ebay, or see if I could do something at home. My sister has been sewing and creating costumes, bags, blankets and other items for years, and she said she would be up to the challenge. What im looking to do is find the right materials. I have found a couple of sights that sell the main material for the bag and straps, but I was wondering if there were good places to get specialty zippers, and the actual Hooks to mount it to the rack. If anyone has any ideas, I would appreciate the input. Also, any suggestions for this attempt would be appreciated.

    Things I need:
    Bag Material--Have a resource already
    Zippers
    Clasps for locking down covers--Have resource
    Hooks and locking mechanisms for the back of bag--EDIT seems jannd sells this stuff
    Suggestions for the backing of the bag to allow it to be more rigid
    Information on taping of the seems. (maybe my sister knows)
    Types of thread (again sister may know already)
    Anything else you can think of (besides that I may be wasting my time)

    If this works out, Ill post pics of what we come up with.

  2. #2
    Hazardous biker Ricardo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bogotá, Colombia
    My Bikes
    2005 Santa Cruz Blur Classic
    Posts
    602
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Dude,

    look no further. There is a pretty good article regarding DIY Panniers. It is free and available for download at http://scicomp.ucsd.edu/~spav/pub/panniers.pdf

    Happy sewing,

    Ricardo

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    12,248
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The best model for home-made panniers are probably carradice , which are basically home-made in the factory.
    The material is heavy duty canvas which is very tough and water resistant.
    Backing and base stiffening material is corrugated plastic (For-Sale sign) fixed by rivets. This forms the internal surface, there is no lining.
    The shape of the bag is designed with a heel cutout, the front edge is angled inwards towards the base so you can mount them further forward on the rack.
    The mounts are Rixen and Kaul Klick-Fix which slide onto rails rivetted onto the material and stiffener.
    There are no zippers, one rear external pocket, a generous nylon extendable collar with cinch closure and a large flap-top with Fastex back-pack type buckles.

    Klickfix is used by a number of pannier companies, it is a quick-release, locking system which is tried and tested and will not bounce off and

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    7,275
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Arkel sells their (excellent) attachment system as an aftermarket add-on, that can be added to other brands of panniers. I bet you will spend more money and a lot more time making your own, but have fun!
    ...

  5. #5
    Senior Member jcbryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Beautiful SW Oklahoma
    My Bikes
    Trek 520, C-Dale Superbe Pro, Fuji Roubaix
    Posts
    155
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    pannier fabric

    Though I realize you laready have a fabric source, I wanted to post these guys for the rest of us:

    http://www.seattlefabrics.com/default.htm

    I've bought a lot of my outdoor and touring sewing project materials and have been very please with the service and quality.
    I used the Arkel adjustable mounts on my current set and have worked very well.

    My 2 cents...

    John

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    353
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I looked at the Arkel Mounts, and they are darn good. I may just go with them, but ill look at the others as well.

    jcbryan: Dont have the fabric yet, but had a source and your source is better than my source, and what can beat a pair of flourescent pink panniers? Anything you can find! No really, there are lots of choices, ill have to make a final decision on the type of fabric for sure, and color. Any suggestions for the best type? Ill probably have my sister whip up some rain covers, so they dont need to be waterproof, just resistant. I know MichaelW said that heavy duty canvas is nice, ill look at that as well.
    Last edited by Adiankur; 11-28-06 at 01:00 PM.

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,415
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Adiankur
    I looked at the Arkel Mounts, and they are darn good. I may just go with them, but ill look at the others as well.

    jcbryan: Dont have the fabric yet, but had a source and your source is better than my source, and what can beat a pair of flourescent pink panniers? Anything you can find! No really, there are lots of choices, ill have to make a final decision on the type of fabric for sure, and color. Any suggestions for the best type? Ill probably have my sister whip up some rain covers, so they dont need to be waterproof, just resistant. I know MichaelW said that heavy duty canvas is nice, ill look at that as well.
    Look at the Ortlieb system too. They sell all the parts here. The hooks have a locking mechanism built in that releases by pulling up on the handle. Very positive attachment and can easily be released while the rear rack is loaded with stuff.

    The Ortlieb Roller bags might wouldn't be a bad design to copy either. Simple bag without any zippers, just a couple of buckles. Would be real simple to make.

    You could easily stiffen the back of any pannier with a thin sheet (about 1/8") of polyethylene.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    353
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Look at the Ortlieb system too. They sell all the parts here. The hooks have a locking mechanism built in that releases by pulling up on the handle. Very positive attachment and can easily be released while the rear rack is loaded with stuff.

    The Ortlieb Roller bags might wouldn't be a bad design to copy either. Simple bag without any zippers, just a couple of buckles. Would be real simple to make.

    You could easily stiffen the back of any pannier with a thin sheet (about 1/8") of polyethylene.

    any special care needed to cut this stuff and smooth the edges?

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,415
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Adiankur
    any special care needed to cut this stuff and smooth the edges?
    No. The material is what they make lots of Nalgene bottles (not the clear polycarbonate ones but the milky white plastic ones) and milk bottles out of. 1/8" may even be too thick. The stuff has a low melting point and is relatively soft so a pair of tinsnips or scissors would do. You can then finish the edge with a file or use a hot iron.

    Here's a place that sells a 2x2 sheet for $12. Another source is Small Parts which is just a cool place for all kinds of stuff anyway. Delrin would also work as would polypropylene, nylon or aluminum. Of the choices polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene are the cheapest and easiest to handle. Aluminum would be the stiffest but hardest to cut and finish.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    12,248
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ortleib bags are welded, not sewn. Do they use some special heat *** ?

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,415
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    Ortleib bags are welded, not sewn. Do they use some special heat *** ?
    They probably do it with a hot iron similar to a soldering ***. But I was suggesting just the pattern, not the materials, for homemade panniers. You can't get too much simplier than those. From the sewing side, you could get away with making only a few seams...maybe as little as 4 per bag. Having made kites in the past, the fewer the seams the better.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jcbryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Beautiful SW Oklahoma
    My Bikes
    Trek 520, C-Dale Superbe Pro, Fuji Roubaix
    Posts
    155
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Adiankur
    I looked at the Arkel Mounts, and they are darn good. I may just go with them, but ill look at the others as well.

    jcbryan: Dont have the fabric yet, but had a source and your source is better than my source, and what can beat a pair of flourescent pink panniers? Anything you can find! No really, there are lots of choices, ill have to make a final decision on the type of fabric for sure, and color. Any suggestions for the best type? Ill probably have my sister whip up some rain covers, so they dont need to be waterproof, just resistant.
    I would probably use this weight, for long durability, but it's heavy:

    1000 Denier Cordura
    11 oz. per sq yd. A very heavy weight nylon with a urethane coating. It has excellent tear strength and is very abrasion resistant. This fabric is amazingly tough and versatile. And yes, it comes in HOT PINK!!!!

    Uses: heavy duffel bags or packs, soft-sided luggage, camera cases, and musical instrument cases, gaiters and go-kart racing suits..

    I used a lighter one and it works well with my needs. I think Ken Kifer had some tips for making your own panniers. (Ken originally told me of the Seattle Fabrics, and he's sorely missed by all of the cycling community.) This forum and Google might turn up some places too. Seattle Fabrics I would think would have some suggestions also.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    353
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Does anyone know where to get insulating material, like you can get for lunch bags? Im thinking of making an insulated trunk bag. Well, having my sister make the bag. this is my christmas present after all.

  14. #14
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    My Bikes
    Too Many
    Posts
    2,393
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Adiankur
    Does anyone know where to get insulating material, like you can get for lunch bags? Im thinking of making an insulated trunk bag. Well, having my sister make the bag. this is my christmas present after all.
    Go to a big building supply store like Lowes and take a stroll down the insulation isle. You should find insulation made like aluminized bubble wrap. Simply cut it to size and use it in the bag panels.

  15. #15
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    5,117
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think making your own panniers is a great idea. I have a sewing machine designed for sail making that is just perfect for this. I think one of the best point in the PDF above, though, is where he says that making your own paniers is worth it if you have your own ideas. It's pretty tough to save actual money over something like the paniers offered by say MEC, well proven, cheap, not waterproof unless you use a rain cover, or line them internally, but the same likely applies to any home made one also. I think it gets interesting when you thing really custom. If your thoughts take you to a place retail doesn't visit then home building them is your only choice.

    For instance I make my own racks also, so I can configure the rack and bag to eliminate hooks, it light it's strong, and no hook rattle.

    Here is another design I quite like. provides the oppportunity to use dry bags to keep the stuff you want dry, and to provide stuff bag based organization. Probably not the best choice for a trip through a lot of urban landscapes.

    http://www.backpacking.net/makegear/panniers/index.html

  16. #16
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    My Bikes
    Too Many
    Posts
    2,393
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I found three Gas Mask bags at an Army/Navy surplus store for $2 each and made panniers from them. I also use a modified briefcase found in a thrift store for $1 as a pannier. I cut the waist and shoulder straps and sewed two 1" X 6" nylon webbing with synching buckles to the bags. The briefcase got grommets installed through the nylon webbing handles and I use mini-clips through them to attach the briefcase to the rack. $13 for an insulated Ascent rack bag from Nashbar is just too easy and cheap to make yourself. Here's my loaded touring bike with bags.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •