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Thread: making panniers

  1. #1
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    making panniers

    So I have decided I want to give making my own panniers a try. The way I see it the necesseties are: Strong and proper geometrical frame, strong material, strong seams, strong attachment method, and the right size of course. I think most stuff after that would be preference for example: external pockets, waterproof material (as opposed to some sort of covering) and other things that companies manage to tack on $50 for. Does anybody have any opinions or experience about what I should make sure about or what.

    Dan

    This should be fun

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    This link was circulated here not too long ago:

    http://kenkifer.com/bikepages/touring/bags.htm

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    I'm sure you could save some money just grabbing some material and giving it a go, but to make paniers out of similar materials to what is out there would be almost impossible without spending more. Like all bags etc... paniers are dirt cheap, try buying materials and findings and see how it works out. making paniers that are better or more specific or customized would not be difficult however. I have made integrated wooden sets where the rack and bag are one piece. I would also like at some point to make a tie on style bag since the current arrangements are really overweight and depend on having the heaviest frame materials in bagdom, two times over. There is also a blog on making one's own "paniers" where the bag is designed to hold stuff sacks, and is therefor quite light in construction.

    So my point is to zero in on your own particular needs, if anyone else is needed to advise you, you probably won't get anything any better than you could pick up at a discount for a lot less.

  4. #4
    Got an old Peugeot kipibenkipod's Avatar
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    Home made camping gear: http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html
    Look at the page for panniers.
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
    4 months touring trip from England to Spain http://www.underadometent.com

  5. #5
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    Hi,
    I'm no expert on the subject, but here's a few thoughts:

    If you want to build your own panniers (at a better price than ready-made ones), you'll probably need to figure out a proper mounting system designed with regular stuff you can buy at a hardware store. You won't have the ability to buy stuff in bulk, so you'll need to do some creative thinking and spend a few evenings walking down the aisles of hardware stores.

    Also, I think if you want to go with fabric panniers, you'll have the following problems: Materials costs, and making the panniers fall well (stay against the rack, yet not go into the wheel, regardless of load, etc.). You also have to take in account the different forces that will be excerted (or is it exerced) on your bags, to make sure that the different stresses don't wear down the materials, and reinforce them properly and efficiently, without adding too much weight.

    If I'd tackle that problem myself, I'd probably end up borrowing a few ideas from these panniers, which are essentially, what you want to do, but they do it over and over, and sell them!

    I'm quite sure you'll have lots of fun building that, I'm the DIY enthousiast myself so I can understand!

    Good luck and keep us posted!

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    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Just convert standard bags into panniers. It's very easy to convert a cheap backpack into a pannier by just strapping it to a PVC plumbing pipe frame you fabricate yourself. PVC plumbing pipe is cheap and easy to cut and glue. Below are a couple of pictures of a backpack strapped to a pipe frame and attached to the rear rack of my touring bike.




    I have also found Army surplus Gas Mask bags to be perfect as panniers and handlebar bags. All you do is sew straps and buckles to them. You can see them on the front rack in the first photo. A third gas mask pannier is mounted on the rear rack as well but is hidden by the backpack.

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    The attachments when making normal paniers are not a big deal, the frame is some kind of plastic or glass sheetstock, consult a plastics store, and the clasps/hooks can be purchased from bike equipment sellers. That just gets you to the level of what is out there which isn't all that nice, but that stuff is easily available.

    "Home made camping gear: http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html
    Look at the page for panniers."

    Those are the ones!. I guess they could be built out into paniers, but I think the idea is pretty slick as it is.

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    Well I think I my have a headstart with frame construction and other stuff like that. there is a blacksmith at my school that would be able to do something for me. I would like to see if they can work with aluminum or steel but we'll see. Certainly make a good (though heavy) frame for very little money. Cool to say I have a blacksmith at my school.

    Dan

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    I have a blacksmith in my house.

    If he has a torch, or knows how to weld you can make a very nice cheap frame out of standard aircraft tubing. There are more high dollar frames made that way than might be suspected.

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    Grumbly Goat Bushman's Avatar
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    if you want robust panniers, use the big ammo crates from the surplus store (22" x 8" x 14") . waterproof, dust proof, crash proof, animal proof if you carry food in them, lockable in the city.. A bit heavy, but whatever.....
    You ride a bike, we GET IT, no need to rant about it or look down on others....its JUST A BIKE...get over yourselves.

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