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Old 12-18-06, 05:02 AM   #1
DavidARayJaxNC
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Great Innovative Ideas for Touring Gear DIY

Anyone have great DIY Touring gear pictures? How does it work out for you? How hard is it to use?
Example:
Heavy Duty Touring Racks
crazyguyonabike: Bicycle Touring: Bike Buckets - An inexpensive pannier system you can make, by Brian Huntley

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Old 12-18-06, 09:26 AM   #2
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Um, not to be rude, but have you ever heard the phrase "reinventing the wheel?" The R&D on this stuff in non-trivial. Since you are not, by your own admission, an experienced tourist, you might not anticipate all the stuff that your gear needs to do, the ways it can fail, and the ways failure can hurt or kill you, or at least put an end to your trip.

Careful shopping on ebay, craigslist, here, CGOAB, bikelist.org might be safer and in the long run, cheaper as you won't have mulitple do-overs for gear mistakes.

My $.02, take it for what you will.

Cheers,
Anna
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Old 12-18-06, 12:03 PM   #3
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I just want to put some stuff together on my won, its not that I cant afford a $50.00 pannier set, its that I just want to make my own.
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Old 12-18-06, 02:45 PM   #4
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I found 3 gas mask bags at a local thrift store for $2 each. I added straps for attaching to my racks front and rear. They work very well. Here they are on my loaded touring bike.
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Old 12-18-06, 04:17 PM   #5
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Thanks for the do it yourself link !
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Old 12-18-06, 05:15 PM   #6
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Paniers, sorta: http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html

My fenders in bamboo

I disagree on the R&D, it is pretty trivial, at least if one incorporates the bulk of it by just copying the main information. There are also some rather bad designs that just never go away, presumably because lots of people like them.

The first place to make one's own adjustements is by serving oneself. For instance on the touring bike frame I am building, I have designed it to take three brakes. I like this idea, but no time that I have mentioned it has anyone jumped in and said "cool!'. Lots of people seem to really like the idea of top moutned pass-through levers. My approach is way better in terms of stopping power, modulation, redundancy, parts availability, fork loads, everything but a little weight. I copied it from a tandem rig, so I can't take credit. It doesn't bother me nobody likes it, it just suits my particular circumstances.

Another example would be the wild redundancy in racks and paniers in order to accomodate quick release of the paniers. I never remove my paniers from the bike, so quick release is not important to me and I can think of a way of doing it anyway without the frames hooks etc... Build your own paniers without the built in frames and you save a ton of weight. No particular R&D required all the fititngs and design features are there for anyone to copy from external frame packs. Obviously a lot of people prize removeable paniers. My point is that making effective modifications in one's own gear is perfectly possible.

Another example is I want to build a frame that has Tandem like strength in it's components. You might think messing around with that sort of thing would require a lot of engineering. But between studying specifications, asking for tubing recomendations from the companies that supply tubes to your favorite builders, and examining various tubes, there are only so many actual options and they sort themselves out pretty quickly.
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Old 12-18-06, 06:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou
I found 3 gas mask bags at a local thrift store for $2 each. I added straps for attaching to my racks front and rear. They work very well. Here they are on my loaded touring bike.
n4zou, where were you touring that had the dragon's teeth?
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Old 12-18-06, 07:58 PM   #8
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As a fan of DYI projects....... just buy panniers from Nashbar (use the 20% link on this page) and be done with it.

I've made bucket panniers, homemade trailers, saddle bags.... all totally fun! But I didn't save a red cent.

But I have to hand it to n4zuo-- that bike and gear are the DYI bomb!
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Old 12-18-06, 09:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tacomee
As a fan of DYI projects....... just buy panniers from Nashbar (use the 20% link on this page) and be done with it.

I've made bucket panniers, homemade trailers, saddle bags.... all totally fun! But I didn't save a red cent.
I likely will, I don't plan on using bucket panniers to cross the country, maybe to goto work and back. I know people that made their own buckets and swear by them. With the proper reinforcement and some engineering-know-how it really wont be hard to make good high quality buckets. I plan on making a set out of my old marine corps ALICE packs. They are kinda water resistant and I know that they can hold up. I took one to war and back and it worked fine.

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Old 12-19-06, 04:46 AM   #10
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I don't think the best reason for DIY is to get stuff cheap, though that is certainly a reasonable objective. I like to make stuff, and I often can't find the stuff I want.
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Old 12-19-06, 08:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Peterpan1
My fenders in bamboo
I recognize those fenders!!
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Old 12-20-06, 04:56 AM   #12
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anyone ever just converted a backpack into panniers? how hard was it?
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Old 12-21-06, 01:43 AM   #13
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"I recognize those fenders!!"

You are uniquely qualified to coment on their effectiveness! Hey, I needed full coverage, given my crappy pants.

You can cover the DIY traveling movie studio!
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Old 12-21-06, 08:52 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jkmartin
n4zou, where were you touring that had the dragon's teeth?
They just look like Dragons teeth! They are the foundation piers for a water tank. Were talking Steam Locomotive era where this photo was taken. There was a depot here with a reversing loop. Two special mountain steam locomotives were added to trains at this depot to pull trains over a mountain range where the grade exceeded 2%. The remains of this depot are located on the Chief Ladiga Trail running between Anniston, AL and Borden Springs, AL. It connects to the Silver Comet Trail at the AL/GA. line and that trail ends just out of Atlanta, GA. Both trails are built on old railroad beds. Both trails are littered with railroad artifacts such at this dating back to the mid eighteen hundreds.
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Old 12-24-06, 04:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidARayJaxNC
anyone ever just converted a backpack into panniers? how hard was it?
It's one of the easiest conversions you can do. A knife to cut off the backpack straps, a screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, some tonneau tiedown hooks that should snapfit over the rails of your rack, and some nuts, washers and bolts. Measure and screw together. I did four from old canvas backpacks handed out during a special event in my home state. They needed straps to wrap around the racks and the panniers to keep the bottoms in place, but they did Perth to Adelaide across the Nullarbor Plain, and plenty of commuting duty afterwards.

If I were to do it again, I would use commercial clips available from, say, Ortleib, or make my own similar to Arkel.

Go here and here and here for views of them.
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Old 12-24-06, 06:44 PM   #16
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I'm not so much into DIY stuff, but what I do is to scrounge through all sorts of interesting stores for bits and pieces. I've picked up stuff from dollar stores, department stores, thrift shops, and all sorts of places. I use what I get asis, or I might modify it slightly, or whatever.
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Old 12-25-06, 09:24 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rowan
It's one of the easiest conversions you can do. A knife to cut off the backpack straps, a screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, some tonneau tiedown hooks that should snapfit over the rails of your rack, and some nuts, washers and bolts. Measure and screw together. I did four from old canvas backpacks handed out during a special event in my home state. They needed straps to wrap around the racks and the panniers to keep the bottoms in place.

If I were to do it again, I would use commercial clips available from, say, Ortleib, or make my own similar to Arkel.
What did you do to stiffen the back? or anything? do you have some picturtes of the back on the pack. I dont know if I totally understand what you did to keep the bottom in place.
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Old 12-25-06, 11:02 AM   #18
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Here are two small DIY oddities.

The first is the little bottle rack for my Phil's Tenacious oil. There used to be a commercial version of this but I couldn't find it. For the moment the zip ties are the best I can do as mounting it in it's current position would require holes into the seat post area. But on my next frame it's something I can plan for from the begining. Maybe a better option would be a chain that didn't need oiling.

The second is the little fitting I made for my fender mounts. This was a rush job, and I should get around to cutting the fat some day. The idea here was to ensure the wire couldn't spread under the presure required to hold the rack on. There are other ways of doing this but a welded fitting is the obvious choice if you have the option. The ultimate solution here may be to run the wire to eyelets on the new racks I am building.
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Old 12-25-06, 01:09 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DavidARayJaxNC
What did you do to stiffen the back? or anything? do you have some picturtes of the back on the pack. I dont know if I totally understand what you did to keep the bottom in place.
No there was no stiff backing. The backpacks had a double layer of fabric, that's all. The hooks at the top and the weight of the items in the bottom kept the packs spread. I didn't have any significant problems with the packs flopping into the wheels, and the problems were even less when they had stuff in them.

What I mean about securing the bottom of them, is that I didn't put any hardware on the back of the packs themselves, but just used a long cinch strap. I threaded the cinch strap behind the centre stay on the side of the rack, put a half turn around the stay, then ran the strap around the front of the pack, and cinched it up with a buckle. This is what basically is what kept the packs from flopping around. I hope that explains it better.

I think sometimes cycling designers tend to overthink things. Is there really a need for a solid backing on panniers? Perhaps, depending on the rest of the pack's design, but the key may well be the configuration of the rack's stays. For what it's worth, the rear rack on my Nullarbor bike had only one stay down to the dropout on each side.

I actually like the pack-to-pannier conversion there. The zipper opening was nice and wide, and depending on how I packed my gear, I had layers at the top I could pick and choose from vertically, rather than having to rummage through from the top. The zipper went only about half way down the side of the pack, so heavier stuff in the bottom was held in place and couldn't flop out, yet was still accessible. They were super lightweight, too! And I liked the little outer pockets that I found useful for often-used small stuff and documents (in plastic bags).

The downside, of course was lack of waterproofness of the zippers and fabric, but I've found this to a be a universal problem for all panniers bar the Ortleib styles.

I've often considered repeating the exercise from scratch, with proper, high-quality canvas that is supposed to become more waterproof the wetter it gets (through expansion of the cotton fibres). The zippers would need to be metal again, as on the originals, as I don't trust the longevity of plastic ones. And, I probably would have an additional fitting on the back side to stabilise the bottom of the panniers. And they would have slightly more capacity.
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Old 12-29-06, 05:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou
I use a Mag-Lite 2-AA 3-watt LED flashlight and used two EMT conduit hangers bolted back to back to hold the flashlight and attach it to my handlebars. As you can swivel the two clamps you can pretty much mount the light anywhere as long as the hanger you purchase will fit whatever you plan on clamping it around. They come in sizes from 3/8" to 2". I've also used them for attaching extra bottle mounts, pump mounts, and for tent poles under my top tube. Here is a photo of my Mini-Mag and two 1/2" hangers ready for mounting.
Great DIY Idea
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Old 01-02-07, 04:23 AM   #21
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carabiners,


first carabiners for the bags easy clip them off.
YOu can also clip them to your belt.
Hang u lock on the two carabiners
Used carabiners for US Map bag of tool kit supplies etc
2litre that will have a stuff sack with bungie

carabiners Shoulder bag I use the flap on the shoulder bag to hold the tart trap.
Bungie overflow winter outer wear coat ontop. until I get done shopping. I will move the trap up top.
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