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Old 05-05-03, 08:35 PM   #1
ephemeralskin
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used eclipse panniers confusing me

hi. i bought these used panniers:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...604316185&rd=1

there are some things wrong with them, the major one being i have no idea how to attach them to my bike rack. i dont know if they are missing something essential for this or not...
unfortunately the picture doesnt show the back but maybe someone has or is familiar with these panniers and can explain it to me. here is what (remains of?) the mounting system --

1) an 8" long hard plastic bar or ridge that i presume goes alonside the rack tube (above or below it i dont know).
2) two d-rings at the top corners, one at the bottom in the middle (could be mount related or to attach a shoulder harness maybe?)
3) ok this is the one i will not be able to describe too well.. a nylon strip is sewn a 1/2" above the plastic bar. along its edge is another piece of fabric that looks like a handle (and likely works that way when the pannier is off the rack). the main piece of fabric can be folded down over the "plastic bar" --- its a flap. on one side (the one that touches the plastic bar when folded down) are two plastic (1" diameter) discs. the discs are covered with little plastic poky protrusions (p.p.p.'s) that look like the plastic version of a velcro patch (or a mutant lego set). these things are riveted through the fabric and look like snaps when the flap is folded over the bar.
4) on the front of the bags (meaning the side that faces away from the bike when they are mounted) there are two metal hooks positioned at either end about 2/3 the way down. (right below the big horizontal zippers in the picture). i cannot determine what their function could be.

thats it. there is nothing that the plastic "snaps" can attach to underneath the "plastic bar" or anywhere else on the bags. there are no shock cords or any hooks other than the two described in "4" which are on the front of the bags.

im hoping someone has or has had these and can explain what is missing (from the bags or from my ability to make sense of the former).

if no one knows how to make them work with the old mounting system, any suggestions for how to replace it with a new one?
i seem to remember someone saying that arkel sells their mounting system without the packs for a good deal. $15?

long post, i hope all the description pays off.
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Old 05-05-03, 09:38 PM   #2
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yeah $15 arkel mounting system might be the way to go. can someone with arkel panniers tell me how i would attach this to mine? does it bolt to the pack's frame? mine have rather weak plastic backs to them that i doubt would accept screws very nicely. maybe i should find a machinist shop that could cut out an aluminum frame?

any other suggestions?
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Old 05-06-03, 08:37 AM   #3
Rich Clark
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I get the impression that the Eclipse panniers were meant to be used with a dedicated rack, so the mounting system and rack were integrated.

The Arkel mounting system, like most, is intended to be used with a standard rack like Blackburn, Jandd, Topeak, etc.

See http://www.bicyclebags.com/text_index.html

As long as the pannier has a rigid back, you can bolt the top hooks to it. The hooks only need to be about 5" apart, so maybe you can remove the plastic bar and bolt the hooks to whatever the bar was bolted to.

The Arkel bottom hook is attached to a bungee cord that runs between the top hooks. You just stretch the bungee and hook the hook to the base of the rack down by the dropout.

So as long as the panniers have something solid to bolt the top hooks to, the Arkel system ought to be workable.

Obviously, however, this is all guesswork on my part. Good luck!

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Old 05-06-03, 12:11 PM   #4
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aargh. yes i learned that eclipse has a product specific rack that goes with their panniers and they cant work separately. how stupid. well the panniers only have a rather weak plastic frame that could not be bolted to. the mounting system is just simply sewn into the fabric.

arkel panniers have an aluminum frame? maybe i could get one made for me?
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Old 05-06-03, 12:28 PM   #5
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ephemeralskin,

I just ordered some panniers from Arkel and just for the heck of
it I ordered one of the mounting system kits. I want to see if I can save some Trek panniers that I hate the mounting system on. Like you, I have some doubts as to wether they will work on the plastic back of the treks but for $15 I thought I would give it a shot. Once I get them I can let you know how they worked out if you would like.
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Old 05-07-03, 09:14 PM   #6
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that would be great. thanks.

i learned that a foaf owns a metal shop so imight be able to get some scrap alumiun siding cut to replace the flimsy plastic frames. that plus the arkel replacement mounts outta do it!
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Old 05-09-03, 09:18 PM   #7
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I just got my arkel panniers today. They are great. I also installed the extra attachment kit I ordered on a set of panniers that I didn't like the attachment on.

They have a plastic back piece and they installed just fine. I drilled out the cheap rivets holding the old hooks and bungee on and used the existing holes for the two hooks. I had to drill one hole for the lock piece of the Arkel attachment. Now I just have to decide how I will fill the couple of extra holes left by the rivets so that if I do use them in the rain the water won't come in as easy. The replacment attachments work great and I would highly recommend them if you have a set of panniers that has attachments you don't like.
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Old 05-11-03, 03:17 PM   #8
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should i make the new backs out of aluminum or a rigid plastic?
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Old 05-11-03, 03:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by ephemeralskin
should i make the new backs out of aluminum or a rigid plastic?

The panniers I put the new arkel hooks on just had a rigid plastic
back and it works just fine. I would try it with the plastic that is
already there and if it doesn't work then you can always use
the aluminum.
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Old 12-02-03, 06:58 PM   #10
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Eclipse panniers

I was just given a set of used eclipse panniers and the attachment method involves an aluminum plate which straps over the top of the rack which has a groove in it and the pannier's plastic mounting section slips into the groove on the aluminum plate. Without the plates you will have to recreate them somehow.
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Old 12-02-03, 07:47 PM   #11
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i got my old eclipse panniers working several months ago. actually in may when i began this thread. i went to an indistrial plastics shop and had them cut the right sized back plates to fit both panniers. then i ordetred the arkel retro-fit mounting kit. works perfectly. i used them today. and now that it is raining i bought a set of arkel rain covers (i think it was the size medium). i also sewed on some extra buckles to replace the (imo) crappy eclipse 'cinch-ropes'. now i actually think my panniers are as good if not better than arkels.
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Old 10-07-04, 02:26 PM   #12
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I tripped across this thread while trying to see if anyone still makes the eclipse panniers. I have a full set that served me well for many years. As a matter of fact, I am very disappointed the company is no longer making them. I did many long camping trips, mostly in Michigan's UP when I was in college, as well as using the panniers to carry my books all through college.
The nice part about these panniers was that they went on and off so easily. Blackburn made a dedicated rack, or Eclipse had a strap on rack mount. In either case, the rods in the top of the panniers slid into channels in the rack. At the same time, each side of the rack had a small aluminum rod that slid into pockets at the bottom of the pannier and stabilized them. The snaps in the top of the pannier then snapped into the top of the rack, keeping the pannier from sliding back. They had a corrugated plastic insert in the back that made the whole setup very stable.
When I got to campus, I just unsnapped the panniers and slid them off. The two sides then snapped together and I could carry the panniers by the web loop above the snaps. I have never seen a setup as convenient and easy to use. As I recall, Eclipse also made a brief case that used the same channel mounting system, as well as backpack straps for the panniers.
Unfortunately, I cannot find the strap on rack I used. Does anyone know of a similar pannier set up?
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Old 06-12-11, 03:10 PM   #13
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Still use old Eclipse panniers

I still have a set of Eclipse front and rear racks and front and rear panniers. Am currently using the rear ones for commuting. It was a good mounting system and it is too bad the company went out of business. They also made good soft luggage and handlebar bags. My problem is that the plastic snap-ons are wearing. Would love to know if anyone has an idea where I could find replacements. I could get them off an old rack or the add-on adapter attachment if anyone has an old one lying around...
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Old 06-13-11, 01:19 AM   #14
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Eclipse racks used a tongue and groove like mounting.

He tongue was on the pannier the receiving groove was the extruded channel of the rack..
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