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Ammo Can Panniers?

Old 09-12-05, 11:13 PM
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ggypsy
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Ammo Can Panniers?

I picked up a pair of these old ammo canisters the Army uses. They were cheap, fairly light, and waterproof, so I thought they'd make good pannier bags. Thing is, I don't have the first idea how to go about attaching them to the bike. Ideally, I'd be able to detach them when needed... otherwise, I want them well enough secured on the bike that I don't have to worry about them getting easily pulled off.

Has anyone tried anything like this before, or have any ideas how I could go about this? I don't have too much in the way of tools, but I think it's a cool idea to try.

Oh, and I'm new. Hi!
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Old 09-13-05, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ggypsy
I picked up a pair of these old ammo canisters the Army uses. They were cheap, fairly light, and waterproof, so I thought they'd make good pannier bags. Thing is, I don't have the first idea how to go about attaching them to the bike. Ideally, I'd be able to detach them when needed... otherwise, I want them well enough secured on the bike that I don't have to worry about them getting easily pulled off.

Has anyone tried anything like this before, or have any ideas how I could go about this? I don't have too much in the way of tools, but I think it's a cool idea to try.

Oh, and I'm new. Hi!
Are they metal?

Tim
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Old 09-13-05, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ggypsy
I picked up a pair of these old ammo canisters the Army uses. They were cheap, fairly light, and waterproof, so I thought they'd make good pannier bags. Thing is, I don't have the first idea how to go about attaching them to the bike. Ideally, I'd be able to detach them when needed... otherwise, I want them well enough secured on the bike that I don't have to worry about them getting easily pulled off.

Has anyone tried anything like this before, or have any ideas how I could go about this? I don't have too much in the way of tools, but I think it's a cool idea to try.

Oh, and I'm new. Hi!
Ammo cans "fairly light"? You must be incredibly strong!

Where are you located? I could help, if I were close. Many tools.

Failing that, you could rig something using a rear bike rack as the primary support for the cans and some 1/4" threaded rod (hole in can, bolts on rod on both sides of can wall, rod acts as a saddle across the bike rack to support the cans. You can zip tie or bungy the whole shootin' (ha ha) match for stability) or you could manufacture metal hooks which are bolted to each of the cans that hook over the rails of the bike rack.
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Old 09-13-05, 10:56 AM
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They're metal, (to the first question), and I'm in Chicago. (To the second question.)

I had the idea to use the hooks over the top of the back rack... my only concern is, what supports the weight at the bottom? With hooks on the closer-to-bike top of the can is going to make the bottom swing inwards, and either rub against my rear forks or bounce up and down against the back, right? Should I rig up a clamp at the bottom, too?
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Old 09-13-05, 11:26 AM
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slooney
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Originally Posted by ggypsy
They're metal, (to the first question), and I'm in Chicago. (To the second question.)

I had the idea to use the hooks over the top of the back rack... my only concern is, what supports the weight at the bottom? With hooks on the closer-to-bike top of the can is going to make the bottom swing inwards, and either rub against my rear forks or bounce up and down against the back, right? Should I rig up a clamp at the bottom, too?
Hi-

I'm assuming that you would use a rear rack to supppot the cans? My grocery bag panniers (old LL Bean models) used to attach to the bike with simple rubber coated metal loops that looped over the rails of my rear rack. The sides of the panniers leaned against the side support rails that support the rear rack. Eventually, the metal loops that Bean's provided failed, and so I replaced them using this threaded rod truss system I described in my last post. The panniers still push against the side of the rear rack, but this has never been a problem.

If you are seriously interested in this system, I'll take pictures and send them to you.

Steve
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Old 09-13-05, 12:12 PM
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Since I had the camera in my pocket anyway, I decided to take some shots.

email me if you have questions.

Steve
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Old 09-14-05, 10:25 PM
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Use U-bolts around the bars of the rack and through drilled holes in the cans and nuts inside. That way you can put a padlock on the cans and noone can remove them without opening them first.
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Old 09-15-05, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ggypsy
I picked up a pair of these old ammo canisters the Army uses. They were cheap, fairly light, and waterproof, so I thought they'd make good pannier bags. Thing is, I don't have the first idea how to go about attaching them to the bike. Ideally, I'd be able to detach them when needed... otherwise, I want them well enough secured on the bike that I don't have to worry about them getting easily pulled off.

Has anyone tried anything like this before, or have any ideas how I could go about this? I don't have too much in the way of tools, but I think it's a cool idea to try.

Oh, and I'm new. Hi!
great idea !
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Old 09-15-05, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ggypsy
I picked up a pair of these old ammo canisters the Army uses. They were cheap, fairly light, and waterproof, so I thought they'd make good pannier bags. Thing is, I don't have the first idea how to go about attaching them to the bike. Ideally, I'd be able to detach them when needed... otherwise, I want them well enough secured on the bike that I don't have to worry about them getting easily pulled off.

Has anyone tried anything like this before, or have any ideas how I could go about this? I don't have too much in the way of tools, but I think it's a cool idea to try.

Oh, and I'm new. Hi!
Your idea sounds really neat - very utilitarian.

You should be able to hang the canisters from a rear carrier with proper hardware added to the canisters.

Usually, the bottom of panniers are attached to the support rod of the rear carrier. This keeps the panniers from swinging around.

The panniers I have seen often use velcro for this purpose.
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Old 09-15-05, 07:09 AM
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Got some pics of these ammo cans?
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Old 09-16-05, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jeff-o
Got some pics of these ammo cans?
I'm guessing he means these
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Old 09-16-05, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by slooney
I'm guessing he means these


I have a few of these that I use for tool boxes....but the handles rattle so I didn't use them for panniers. Instead I went to Cheaperthandirt.com and got a couple of their military back packs....these hold more stuff and don't rattle. They've got some good stuff there, and it's all Cheaper Than Dirt.....I'm just a customer.
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Old 09-16-05, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by beatle bailey
I have a few of these that I use for tool boxes....but the handles rattle so I didn't use them for panniers. Instead I went to Cheaperthandirt.com and got a couple of their military back packs....these hold more stuff and don't rattle. They've got some good stuff there, and it's all Cheaper Than Dirt.....I'm just a customer.
They also have the plastic "shelves" that stack inside the ammo cans, and can be partitioned to hold very small parts etc. Good stuff.
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Old 09-16-05, 07:51 PM
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I don't think that I would want a sharp edged metal can on the back of my bike. One tumble or a poorly directly leg swing over the back of the bike is apt to result in some nasty cuts and bruises. Cloth is kinder.
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Old 12-21-05, 11:35 PM
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Yes, I had a 15 pound battery for a 100 watt headlight. Packed the battery in an ammo can and bolted it to my luggage rack for commuting. With that dense a weight quick releases did not seem to be a good idea. Now I use panniers with zipped seams that let me expand them as needed. They are lighter and don't bruise me if I bump them.
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