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Old 12-12-14, 03:50 PM   #1
burtsbees
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How to stiffen the bottom of a Carrdice saddlebag?

Mine droops when placed against a rack. I was thinking of using some kind of corrugated plastic. What have you used?
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Old 12-12-14, 05:21 PM   #2
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I've used corrugated plastic (the type used for lawn signs during elections) and it works well. Using a bright-colored one makes it easier to see items in the bag as well.
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Old 12-12-14, 11:29 PM   #3
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A piece of plastic like Coroplast should work. But you shouldn't need the stiffening if you can use the saddlebag without a rack or if you fill it up with stuff. The structure of the bag is provided by it's contents.
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Old 12-13-14, 02:05 AM   #4
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I've been playing around lately using sheets of PET plastic. It's relatively cheap ($2-3 square foot for 1.0 mm thick), comes tons of colours and is very easy to work with (scissors, box cutter and some sort of plastic glue). Very durable and can be flexible to very stiff depending on your needs/thickness.
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Old 12-13-14, 06:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burtsbees View Post
Mine droops when placed against a rack. I was thinking of using some kind of corrugated plastic. What have you used?
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I've used corrugated plastic (the type used for lawn signs during elections) and it works well. Using a bright-colored one makes it easier to see items in the bag as well.
I wish I could find that stuff. I used paper based corrugated cardboard from pizza boxes. Works great but I dread the first time I use that with an all day rain. I did have a couple of drizzly days on my last tour, but not enough water got thru the fabric to weaken the cardboard. The sides of my Nelson Long Flap sit on my panniers nicely, but I need the stiffener to support the middle of the bag where there is no underlying support.

Note to Burtsbees, you might try using what I used (paper based cardboard) to see how it works and to get your size nailed down. Then once you are happy with size and shape, use the good stuff cited by adventurepdx. I used a pizza cutter wheel to put creases in the cardboard where I wanted it to fold.

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Old 12-13-14, 08:16 AM   #6
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I am usually more likely to remove stiffeners in bags than to add them.

I have not used Carradice bags, but typically pack any bags I use so that they need no further stiffening. I normally roll, compress, or otherwise pack stuff so it takes as little space as possible then size bags to just barely work when I have some extra food and/or water. If It doesn't completely fill a bag well enough to hold its shape, I can always pack clothing or sleeping bag looser so that it takes up a bit more space. Failing that putting a little air in my inflatable pillow or sleeping pad would do the trick.

I much prefer to just size all bags on the bike so they are always fairly full. On the relatively rare occasion that I need more space I take little backpack that will carry a few pounds of overflow for that long dry stretch. That or I stuff a few liters of water and some of the food in my jersey pockets.

I'd think that with a rack under the bag it would be even less of a problem.
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Old 12-13-14, 08:24 AM   #7
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The sides of my Nelson Long Flap sit on my panniers nicely, but I need the stiffener to support the middle of the bag where there is no underlying support.
I am curious what you like about using a big saddle bag along with 4 panniers? It seems like it would offer little to no advantage over just strapping a much cheaper dry bag (or your tent) on top of the rack.
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Old 12-13-14, 09:21 AM   #8
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I wish I could find that stuff.
All For Sale signs and Vote For Me signs use Correx. You can find it everywhere. For free.
For use in Carradice bags, radius the corners to reduce wear on the canvas.
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Old 12-13-14, 11:27 AM   #9
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All For Sale signs and Vote For Me signs use Correx. You can find it everywhere. For free.
For use in Carradice bags, radius the corners to reduce wear on the canvas.
And when it's not election season, I've found correx/coroplast at sign making shops. They usually have correx scraps for cheap-to-free.
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Old 12-13-14, 11:36 AM   #10
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When my very old Carradice saddlebag needs internal support for grocery duty I use a Therm-a-Rest Z-Rest Seat Pad. It fits perfectly due to the pre-cut folds. When camping I always bring it anyway for use under my heels with a short torso pad.

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Old 12-13-14, 11:40 AM   #11
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I am curious what you like about using a big saddle bag along with 4 panniers? It seems like it would offer little to no advantage over just strapping a much cheaper dry bag (or your tent) on top of the rack.
The saddle bag is much more convenient than strapping a stuff sack or dry bag on the rack. With the straps, you can open it up easily. It also had a couple straps on top I could strap a jacket on when needed. Weight is not much more since it is not much more than fabric, plus of course some cardboard from a pizza box. I did not have a stuff sack for my tent, it was stuffed into a front pannier with my air mattress. This was my first trip with that saddle bag, previous trips I used a drybag that was much more time consuming to unstrap from the rack and open and close and restrap it down.

I found that saddle bag to work perfectly. Often when we stopped at a grocery store, main compartment was nearly empty, only a couple small items in the side pockets. But leaving the grocery store, it was really full. The guy that I tour with is kind of like you, minimize weight to the extreme. We had discussed the importance of having room for food when we left for the trip but he did not get the hint very well, his bags were pretty full before we got to the grocery store so I usually had to carry almost all of the volume from the store while he carried a couple of the most dense items.

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All For Sale signs and Vote For Me signs use Correx. You can find it everywhere. For free.
For use in Carradice bags, radius the corners to reduce wear on the canvas.
They do not use that stuff for political signs around where I live. I have seen it used in other states, but not around here.
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Old 12-13-14, 12:13 PM   #12
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I have a strip of Baltic Birch Ply in the Bottom may put a couple screws thru the bottom of the bag into It to stop any sagging at all ..

Had A Karrimor saddle bag for years they sewed a pocket in the Bottom to slip a stiffener into, the bag shipped with one in cardboard ,



I, again, got a thin piece of Baltic birch Ply (the plys of all birch are thinner than Birch faced Fir Ply. 1/4" its 7 ply)


Coroplast (Corrugated Plastic) is made in LDPE, the common stuff , and Polycarbonate (lexan) much stiffer .. big cities should have plastics specialty stores

or ask a Sign Shop.

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Old 12-13-14, 01:28 PM   #13
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The saddle bag is much more convenient than strapping a stuff sack or dry bag on the rack. With the straps, you can open it up easily. It also had a couple straps on top I could strap a jacket on when needed.
Thanks for the clarification. That probably all makes sense for the way you use it.
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Old 12-13-14, 01:37 PM   #14
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I, again, got a thin piece of Baltic birch Ply (the plys of all birch are thinner than Birch faced Fir Ply. 1/4" its 7 ply).
Baltic birch ply is nice stuff for lot of things. I have used the 1/8" 3 ply stuff for some applications and think it would be adequate for this purpose and suspect it is probably lighter than the 1/4" corroplast folks would likely be able to scrounge up. Not sure you can find Baltic birch in very small sheets or not. I use the 1/8" stuff often enough to buy full sheets (which oddly enough are 5' x 5')
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Old 12-13-14, 01:44 PM   #15
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Mahogany "doorskin" is quite cheap (except for the results of overcutting it off the slopes of the Philippines, but those are Market Externalities ) .
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Old 12-13-14, 02:45 PM   #16
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I put my sleeping pad at the bottom of my Carradice camper and it gives enough structure. Also I fill it tightly with other stuff like tent and sleeping bag so there would be no chance of it sagging if I used a rack....but ideally a Carradice saddlebag is best used without a rack so the weight is tight up underneath the seat. Filling the bag tightly for structure is also a good reason to get the long flap so if you do need to carry some extra groceries you can do that without reducing the rigidity of the saddlebag.
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Old 12-13-14, 04:57 PM   #17
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I used a plastic container (ziploc or other brand) about the same size and shape of the bag inner area to help it not sag in the corners when empty or wherever the weight is when something is in it. I also have a diy support similar to the carradice bagman to give it extra support if needed.
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Old 12-13-14, 06:52 PM   #18
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When I said above that I used paper cardboard from pizza boxes (that so far has not gotten too wet) that I put it in along the front, bottom and back of the bag, so the cardboard is more of a U shape if you look at the bag from the side. And I mentioned that I used a pizza cutter wheel to crease the cardboard so that I could fold it easily where I wanted to. Thus plywood would not work the way I do that because that does not bend very well. But I can see where if I wanted to only have a flat sheet in the bottom that thin plywood would work pretty well.

Note to Staehpj1, one more reason I liked the Carradice is that I use Ortlieb Classic Roller panniers. If I was using Arkels or some other brand of pannier with lots of pockets, I probably would instead use a dry bag like you suggested. But I always want to pack so that my panniers stay closed all day long because they are even less convenient to open up. Sometimes I strap rain gear on top of a front pannier, but other than that the saddle bag and handlebar bag are the only things that I want to open up during the day. The photo I have above in post number 5 shows mostly lunch fixings, plus a 1.5 liter bottle of wine in the saddle bag.
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Old 12-13-14, 07:16 PM   #19
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I used the political / yard sign plastic and I've used the flexy cutting boards.
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Old 12-13-14, 08:55 PM   #20
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I ended up going to Home Depot and getting corrugated plastic. I rounded the corners and put duct tape along the edges. Thanks for all the suggestions.
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