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Thread: Leather bags?

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    Leather bags?

    In my prepping of my bike for the beginning of hopefully many many years of touring, I got an idea for panniers. I am thinking of having panniers sewn up for me. I would like to have heavy canvas bag, or out of leather. Has anyone used these materials for bags?

    Also I went and rode today I really struggled on some hills. They were not all real bad 2% according to Mapmyride.com but I just struggled on them. I did get up them but I had to drop down to my 25 gear on one. I did manage to average 12 mph today and thats without riding in 2 weeks. Is this all part of cycling, did I just hit a wall today or what?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthayer View Post
    They were not all real bad 2% according to Mapmyride.com but I just struggled on them.
    Remember: MapMyRide isn't known for being especially accurate when reporting grades. I found this out the hard way on my first tour: MMR said a particular section of my route had an average grade of 5%, but when I got there on the bike my Garmin Edge 705 showed that there were several significant sections of 10-15%! Ouch!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mthayer View Post
    In my prepping of my bike for the beginning of hopefully many many years of touring, I got an idea for panniers. I am thinking of having panniers sewn up for me. I would like to have heavy canvas bag, or out of leather. Has anyone used these materials for bags?

    Also I went and rode today I really struggled on some hills. They were not all real bad 2% according to Mapmyride.com but I just struggled on them. I did get up them but I had to drop down to my 25 gear on one. I did manage to average 12 mph today and thats without riding in 2 weeks. Is this all part of cycling, did I just hit a wall today or what?
    Well made leather bags could be pretty nice but I bet it will cost you a pretty penny. They will also be heavy. The advantages are style and waterproofness if you treat them properly. If you are running leather panniers you better have a styling vintage steel touring bike to pair it with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mthayer View Post
    I would like to have heavy canvas bag...
    Methinks you need to rethink your strategy.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthayer View Post
    I would like to have heavy canvas bag, or out of leather. Has anyone used these materials for bags?
    Have you heard of Carradice bags?
    http://www.carradice.co.uk/

    Or Brooks?
    http://www.brookssaddles.com/en/Shop_Bags.aspx

    You've got to look at traditional English cycling gear if you want that sort of stuff.

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    Carradice canvas panniers are lighter than many nylon ones, strong enough to last decades and are repairable. You shouldnt think of them as some kind of cute retro throwback, they are a match for any current pannier.
    Leather panniers are going to be heavier. The only type of leather bag made for cyclists is a small saddlepouch.

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    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    And I think your are in for a maintenance nightmare with leather. Touring gear should be simple but reliable. Who cares what it looks like. In fact the more it looks like junk the less chance you will have something ripped off. Go around a big city like San Francisco with leather bags and you are asking for trouble.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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    Went to the boot maker today to talk about the bags. We designed the bags out, chose the type of leather and color, going to use buckles instead of snaps and is the way they will attach to the rack. Then it came down to the nitty gritty part of everything. For both of the bags, going to run about a $100. He is going to check on some more materials, and will give me a call tomorrow, but it looks like we are going with the leather. Now just going to have to wait till next weekend to pick them up.
    Last edited by mthayer; 01-21-10 at 08:42 PM.
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
    Competitors work until they get it right, but champions work until they can't get it wrong.

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    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthayer View Post
    Went to the boot maker today to talk about the bags. We designed the bags out, chose the type of leather and color, going to use buckles instead of snaps and is the way they will attach to the rack. Then it came down to the nitty gritty part of everything. For both of the bags, going to run about a $100. He is going to check on some more materials, and will give me a call tomorrow, but it looks like we are going with the leather. Now just going to have to wait till next weekend to pick them up.

    $100 for 2 bags time and material? Your boot maker works really cheap.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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    The bags are not real complex to make, and he has all the leather in stock from a different project. He also knows that when I get my front rack built that Ill probably go back to him for the front bags.
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
    Competitors work until they get it right, but champions work until they can't get it wrong.

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    Leather would have me pretty scared about weather and all that -- I'm pretty frantic watching over my Brooks saddle as it is. FWIW, canvas can work really well too, with minimal treatment... if you get good army-surplus olive-colored duck canvas, it will swell up when it gets wet and not let too much water in, plus let your stuff breathe and dry quickly.

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    Leather is Very water proof. The key to leather is to keep it oiled. I dont know why everyone is so scared and worried about leather. Look at the history and the uses of leather. The indians used it for about everything, then the uses of leather from boots, to saddles to furniture.
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
    Competitors work until they get it right, but champions work until they can't get it wrong.

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    Senior Member mattbicycle's Avatar
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    There are endless opinions about bags when it comes to touring. Myself, I use canvas army surplus bags with Scotchguard waterproof/repellant spray. The bags have lots of pockets, plus rings & straps which I can use with climbing clips to clip onto the rack.

    I can see how leather would work, but whether it is better or worse than any other material, I have no idea.

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    you could go all leather, grips, shorts, helmet, shoes, gloves, vest.

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    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Your leather bags should be beautiful. Post some shots when they are done. Myself? I would opt for something much lighter, but we've got nothing but hills where I live and ride most of the time. Leather is durable but heavy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mthayer View Post
    The bags are not real complex to make, and he has all the leather in stock from a different project. He also knows that when I get my front rack built that Ill probably go back to him for the front bags.

    sounds to me like:

    1. THe boot make knows how to make a client happy, which

    2. Gets the client back. and

    3. He does it cheaply!

    Win-win!

    Robi

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    yeah the only reason a wet brooks saddle is a problem is the fact that it suspends your weight and will stretch.

    Other non load-bearing leather stuff can get wet with no problems other than stiffening over time (and spotting), which is cured by oiling it.

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    I finished my front rack on my bike today so now I get to go order the front bags for it. I am just ready for them to be finished, and then I can work on getting my tent and sleeping bag and the stove. Im having to buy everything piece by piece and build it when I can. The total cost of my racks, front and back was a total of $15. All I really have left is the tent, sleeping bag and then the stove as my big item purchase, and a new fly rod case so I can fish on the way or at my destination. Just cant wait till I get everything bought so I can get on the road.
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
    Competitors work until they get it right, but champions work until they can't get it wrong.

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