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  1. #1
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Homemade hard saddle bags

    The bike:


    The 'bags':


    Mounting detail:


    Made from 2 marine battery boxes, some 3/8" threaded rod, nuts/washers, tubing, and some hacked up bungee cords.

    If you look at the pics it's pretty easy to tell how it goes together but please ask if you have questions.

    It will hold a pretty good amount of stuff and it was less than $30 to build. rides fine with plenty of heel clearance (i wear a size 12). My next project is to make bags that mount independently on each side.

    Yay for utility cycling!

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    Looks good - nice DIY-ing!
    Nice bike, too... brand new Raleigh?

  3. #3
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I've thought about a box for the front- ideally, to be sort of half a cylinder shape, with flat side toward the handlebars, with a hinged cover. Except I can't think of any ready-made containers that shape, and anything I made at home would have that Home-Made look to it. Any ideas?

  4. #4
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    The PNW rider must pipe up - lid to keep water out?
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  5. #5
    Infidel oldfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    I've thought about a box for the front- ideally, to be sort of half a cylinder shape, with flat side toward the handlebars, with a hinged cover. Except I can't think of any ready-made containers that shape, and anything I made at home would have that Home-Made look to it. Any ideas?
    How about a half round mop bucket? Family Dollar 5 bucks. Heavy plastic.
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  6. #6
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I'll have to check 'em out at Wallyworld. I was walking past the 5-gallon buckets at some place today thinking "that's almost the right size...if sawed in half..."

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    Infidel oldfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    I'll have to check 'em out at Wallyworld. I was walking past the 5-gallon buckets at some place today thinking "that's almost the right size...if sawed in half..."
    These buckets are already sawed in half. I think they are made to hold a mop ringer on the flat side. The ones I have are sturdy. See the pictures in "post your utility bike" 08-11-07
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  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    The PNW rider must pipe up - lid to keep water out?
    Battery boxes come with lids...so I guess OP could put them back on if need be. I have a couple of big square screw buckets similar to the Cobbworks system. Just haven't gotten around to making up the mounts yet. Haven't needed them we are still in an extreme drought.

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  9. #9
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Yes, the bike is an 08 Raleigh Detour Deluxe. I ordered it as soon as the 08' lineup hit Raleigh's web page but I had to wait several months for it to be built and shipped. I love it.

    The boxes do come with lids but I haven't needed them yet because although I like to bike, i own a car and generally use it in the rain. Because the boxes are almost completely square (rectangular) it would be easy to make an 'after market' lid for them out of wood/plastic/metal/anything.

    Personally, I have a top secret technique for making custom container lids:
    Stretching fabric, preferably fleece, over the top of the container.
    Securing it with a large rubber band*.
    Coating it in polyester fiberglass resin**.
    Then trimming it to size once it's dry.
    ***

    *balloon animal balloons ($0.50 USD in the toy aisle of your local grocery store) work great to make big rubber bands for stretching fabric to make lids, just tie them end to end as many as you need for the size of your container.

    **FG resin does not stick to plastic so once dry it'll pop right off. OTOH if your container is anything but plastic, you MUST mask it off with aluminum foil and tape or the lid will be irrevocably sealed to the container.

    *** for those of you unfamiliar with fiberglass resin, you can get a small can of it for about $11 @ Walmart in the automotive section. I HIGHLY recommend picking up an extra tube of hardener (about $1.50 also @ Walmart) because you often run out of hardener before you run out of resin. If you've never used the stuff before I suggest you read the warning labels on the back of the packaging and wear proper safety equipment.

    EDIT: (adding more info)

    When i began to look at containers to use I knew i wanted something plastic or plastic-esque so it would be lightweight and workable. I looked at small trashcans, buckets, battery boxes, rubbermaid totes, I even looked at making my own containers from fiberglass. I chose battery boxes becasue they had reinforcing ridges on the bottoms, were about the size/shape i wanted, and were readily available. The black ABS plastic is also MUCH easier to drill than brittle plastic used in many buckets/totes. I got mine from Wal-Mart for about $7 a piece. I am working on a new design using 2 small trashcans that mount independently and that can be modified with inserts to perform one specific funtion (right now I'm looking at a pannier that will chill a bottle of (room temperature) wine by the time I ride home from the liquer store. (in TN you have to go to a liquer store to buy wine)

    I'd love to see other people take this design and modify it or change it completely to solve their luggage needs. The bungee mounts have worked swimmingly.
    Last edited by HandsomeRyan; 10-08-07 at 06:10 AM.

  10. #10
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    You can also affix Ortlieb mounts to Pelican cases. Spendy, but a pretty decent option for hardbags with some in the moto set.
    Mike
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Cody Broken's Avatar
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    I am loving that. Nicely executed. Using threaded rod (all-thread) is a brilliant. Could probably even get away with a smaller diameter, for the weight weenies out there.

    Got me thinking...scheming...must get to hardware store...damn! It's 10:30 at night.

    I want to run with your idea.
    Trying to be nice

  12. #12
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cody Broken View Post
    I am loving that. Nicely executed. Using threaded rod (all-thread) is a brilliant. Could probably even get away with a smaller diameter, for the weight weenies out there.

    Got me thinking...scheming...must get to hardware store...damn! It's 10:30 at night.

    I want to run with your idea.
    I chose 3/8" rod becasue i wasn't sure what the strength of the rods would be. After completing the project I can say they are overkill.

    full parts list for bags as seen:
    2x 36" 3/8" threaded rods (24" rods would work)
    4x 3/8" acorn nuts
    16x 1.25"x3/8" washers (overkill, smaller would have been fine)
    16x 3/8" nuts
    2x bungee cord
    2x large wall mounting hook
    8x large zip tie
    2x marine battery box (series 27 i think?)
    2ft 3/8" ID black tubing
    2x reflectors (optional)

    Tools Required:
    Drill and 3/8" bit
    wrench
    torch or lighter (to seal ends of bungee)
    small vice grips and adjustable crescent wrench (optional, to tighten zip ties)

    There are a few details of construction that you can't see very easily in the pictures so I'll list them for anyone wanting to build this or use ideas from this to build something different:

    the hooks that hold the bungees to the bike are standard wall mounting hooks sans the nails.
    the bungees were cut and held to a flame to seal the ends and prevent fraying.
    zip ties fastening the ends of the bungees were pulled super-tight using vice grips to pull the ends while an adjustable crescent wrench provided resistance. I believe the zip ties are an inferior way to secure the ends and if you have the recources available i would recomend using pinched metal C rings. I used 2 zip ties per end as a fail-safe but i know the plastic ties will wear out and need replacing eventually.
    the bungees need to be a lot shorter than you'd think to get good resistance and keep the boxes from chattering against the rack as you go over bumps.
    acorn nuts with a bit of locktight 'finish out' the ends of the threaded rods. These aren't required but they look nice and i think the acorn nuts only cost $0.20 a piece USD.
    24" threaded rods should be fine, i bought 36" rods becasue I knew the numbers would be close but after measuring the final rods they are almost right at 24". There may be multiple rack widths so YMMV.
    I used 1.25" washers on both sides of the plastic each at location a rod went through. I don't think you need washers this big and using smaller washers would allow the rods to be placed further toward the ends for the boxes.
    The threaded rod will evenutally rust. I have considered painting, covering with split tubing (like wire loom) or other options to prevent rust but I have not done anything yet. I wanted to cover the entire rods with tubing (except where the nuts/washers were) but it prooved to be to much work trying to get tubing on the rod sections inside each box.
    Wal-Mart automotive section was the cheapest place i found battery boxes at. they were about $1 a piece less than Advanced Auto, Pep Boys, Oreily Auto, NAPA, etc.
    I added some orange reflectors i picked up at walmart to the back for a little extra visibility.
    If heal clearance is an issue becasue of the geometry of your bike, you could put the rods through the boxes a few inches down from where I have mine. This will raise the boxes a bit and give a little extra clearance.

    If anyone does build one of these or something similar I'd love to see pictures. I'm working on another mounting system for some mini-trashcans using cable clamps as tiny U bolts but it'll be a while before i have pics to show for my work. Have fun!

  13. #13
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I was just looking around at the local Northern Tools and Supply store. They have battery boxes, but the lids to those detach, they aren't hinged. But they also have some Utility Boxes, a bit smaller than a battery box, that have a hinged lid, with gasket. (I think these are a plastic civilian substitute for military ammo cans, hence, the gasket). They actually have a hasp for a lock, although of course it's plastic, too. As my boss once said, "It will keep an honest man out." Seems like I saw these in Walmart also, in the hunting department. There are also a variety of plastic tool boxes that might work.

  14. #14
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    You are correct. Battery box lids (in their intended application) have a strap that wraps around the entire box to hold the lid in place. Great for the battery in your boat; not so much for the lid to your bike luggage.

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    I'm surprised there aren't more manufacturers that are putting hard case panniers...anyway, I'm a photographer and it's a must for me...so this is my hack:

    http://russroca.blogspot.com/2007/07...hat-could.html

    I also ordered one of these and can't wait to test it out:

    http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?c...gory%3A%20Bags

  16. #16
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    the picture Nashbar has of that hard box on the bike looks like heel clearance would be a major concern. Maybe it's just the camera angle, or maybe they have the box mounted incorectly to look nice for the photo, but my boxes are mounted much further back and are not as deep and my heels still come close. I like your camera box, very nice looking and should survive in the event of an unscheduled dismount from your bike.

  17. #17
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    HR,
    I like the idea of your hardshell storage! I have been looking to do something similar. I have been looking for "dry boxes."

    At Northern Tool and Equipment I found a dry box made by Action Products --see this link: http://www.actionp.com/catalog/18.html . I could only find the 5604 model locally, but I would like to try the 5602 model in either white or blaze orange. Action products doesn't sell them directly but their website has a list of stores that carry their products. I paid about $15 for the 5604. It was very sturdy and had a good lid with a well-designed hinge and latch.

    Plano molding, link is http://www.planomolding.com/content/...d=1&groupid=15 , also has some dry boxes with potential. They have more variety and larger sizes than the Action Products ones, but aren't quite as sturdy. They also have ones with a small flip-up compartment on one side of the lid -- which could be handy for quick access to a few small items while biking. I saw a Plano Molding box at Wal*mart.

    Overall I like the Action Products ones better for their durability.

    I would also like to devise a way to connect one box to a side of the rack independently of a second box. That's what I plan to do with the one I bought. I could add reflective tape to the sides and back to help visibility while commuting as well (to get the geek look).

    Donna (if you are still following this thread), the boxes from both companies have a foam gasket under the lid and should be good in rain.
    Last edited by MNBiker; 11-20-07 at 02:56 PM.

  18. #18
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNBiker View Post
    HR,
    I like the idea of your hardshell storage! ... ... ... I would also like to devise a way to connect one box to a side of the rack independently of a second box. That's what I plan to do with the one I bought. I could add reflective tape to the sides and back to help visibility while commuting as well (to get the geek look).
    Whatever you decide to do, post some pictures when you are done!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    I've thought about a box for the front- ideally, to be sort of half a cylinder shape, with flat side toward the handlebars, with a hinged cover. Except I can't think of any ready-made containers that shape, and anything I made at home would have that Home-Made look to it. Any ideas?
    If you check a place that sells horse care equipment, they should have a bucket that is flat on one side for hanging in horse stalls. You would have to make a cover fir it. http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/...stingPage=true

  20. #20
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
    Mounting detail:


    Made from 2 marine battery boxes, some 3/8" threaded rod, nuts/washers, tubing, and some hacked up bungee cords.

    If you look at the pics it's pretty easy to tell how it goes together but please ask if you have questions.

    It will hold a pretty good amount of stuff and it was less than $30 to build. rides fine with plenty of heel clearance (i wear a size 12). My next project is to make bags that mount independently on each side.

    Yay for utility cycling!
    Wondering what you made the bungee hooks out of? It looks like sheet metal, but I would guess that would be too flexible for a hook?

  21. #21
    my legs are carbon thebeatcatcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Wondering what you made the bungee hooks out of? It looks like sheet metal, but I would guess that would be too flexible for a hook?
    to me they look large picture hanging hooks.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Profgumby's Avatar
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    I know this is late to the party here, but I have an idea to add.

    Marine battery boxes come with a tie down strap that is intended to be secured to the boat floor. The strap usually has 1 or 2 "cleats" I'll call them. Instead of mounting to a floor, use small bolts and washers and mount the strap to the sides of the box, one strap holder on each side. then you put your stuff in the box, put the lid on top and strap it on.

    This will not be water tight, but definitely water resistant due to the handles molded into the bottom of the battery box and the way the lid fits over them. I would bet that with some strong adhisive and some closed cell foam a guy (or gal) could glue foam around the inside of the lid so it contacts the top of the battery box, thus making it even more water tight.

    Just some thinking....
    No, really! I meant to skip off that rock, bounce off that tree and face plant in the creek!
    I falled down!

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