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McGyver'd saddle/handlebar bags

Old 03-25-13, 01:13 PM
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Italuminium
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McGyver'd saddle/handlebar bags

For the Rando build. I'm planning to do my first 200k brevet at the end of april, and not wanting to go right into the deep end, I'm preparing a bike on a budget. I've sorted most of it, except bags. Specialty bags are a little expensive and I have a boat load of camping/hiking bags - plus access to a lot of military webbing kit (planning a coup d'état here). Anyone else repurposed/jerry rigged his own rando/touring kit? Pics, tips and tricks and other inspiration are much appreciated!
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Old 03-25-13, 02:28 PM
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Repurposed Playstation 1 Bag

Here is a bag that I actually just finished a few days ago. Went the the thrift store, with the mindset of finding a bigger saddle bag for my commuter. I found this bag for 2 USD, and could not resist. It had everything that I was seeking in a bag:


Bigger for commuting/day touring.
Lots of nifty pockets for tool, a tube, locks, phone, wallet, lunch, etc.
It was only 2 USD. Cannot really beat that price.
Required few modifications.
And the best part, the Nostalgia Factor. Born in '91, the PS1 was a huge part of my childhood and I will admit that I spent quite a few hours escaping into various virtual worlds that came alongside the console.


As found:




Trimmed the strap, and moved the locking buckle.




I added a couple straps to the bottom of the bag to make it more secure. Kind of crude, but it was my first venture with a sewing machine, and it's my bike that gets locked up the most, so whatevs. (there are two of these straps, one pictured)




I may add another button snap between the rails.




Pretty much finished:




Here is a shot in which I tried to get all of the storage compartments. But there are some cool internal elastic webbing and internal pockets also.




Pics are LQ, but you get the idea.

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Old 03-25-13, 02:36 PM
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Thanks, Bryce! Exactly what I meant. Is it waterproof? Ok, AZ, but still.

Oh, also +1 on the PS nostalgia, as you know we're not too far apart in age, and I spend many happy hours on a PS, PS2 and my personal favourites, the SNES +N64
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Old 03-25-13, 02:46 PM
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I dont think it is waterproofed canvas, but there is a seemingly waterproof liner (haven't tested it) I was contemplating attempting something like what is in this vid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB1mE8e35UY

Not the messenger bag, but there is some good info on fusing plastic bags together to make a waterproof liner. I might line it or take the lazy way out and use some spray-silicone water proofer that I have for my tent.

Vintage gaming goes hand in hand with vintage bicycles ahaha. My current roomates and I have a Gamecube, N64 and Dreamcast set up in our living room. And the wierdest thing, we just found a (non-working) Sega Genesis in the attic from a previous tenant. We are all still a little confused about that one.

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Old 03-25-13, 02:50 PM
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How much stuff do you think you'll need to carry on that 200K? I'd suggest traveling as light as possible, particularly if you don't need to carry food. And that means a small of a bag as you can get away with.
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Old 03-25-13, 03:05 PM
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No, food is not required. Not too much of it anyway. The ride passes through many little villages. Provisional packing list:

-minitool, spare tubes, spare batteries, tire levers (pump is on the frame)
-rain coat, dry socks, extra thermo shirt
-two small clip on lights, in case of fog, early start or late finish.
-maybe a few granola bars

Both the rain jacket and the thermos fold down small. A big saddle bag or handle bar ought to do her.
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Old 03-25-13, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by KvltBryce View Post
...we just found a (non-working) Sega Genesis in the attic from a previous tenant. We are all still a little confused about that one.
When the Sega Genesis came out- the Planet Video near my apartment rented them. I rented the Genesis and Mortal Kombat- At some point I thought I should get to bed. It wasn't until the sun was peeking in the East windows that I realized I'd stayed up all night playing a doggone video game.
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Old 03-25-13, 03:51 PM
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I used a 6" section of 2"x4", screwed to a stem-mount reflector holder as my handlebar bag support last season. Lightweight and does the job, but oh, is it a hack.

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Old 03-25-13, 04:13 PM
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^ this. Held together with a bit of string and some gum?
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Old 03-25-13, 04:41 PM
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WWII repurposed Swiss ammo bag
Straps go on the backsideOld leather belt plus hardware will allow it to be attached to a rear rack


Works pretty good but is a little heavy compared to reg panniers.
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Old 03-25-13, 04:58 PM
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One of my favorite subjects! Many different bags can be used, i.e., military surplus, leather purses, or camera bags. The key is to use something like the "Bagman" to provide a platform and keep the bag away from your legs. I have found that the Minoura bottle cage adapter with a cage bent to fit your bag works very well. Use velcro pressure straps and/or zip ties to keep everything tight and secure.





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Old 03-25-13, 05:08 PM
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This is more of a McGyver'd mounting setup than a McGyver'd bag, but helps when cross levers and dt shift casing run through entire length of the bar make it difficult/impossible to attach bags directly the the handlebar. I also do not like h'bar bags mounted high enough to block the front tire from my view, which means they generally have to be below bar level to make me happy.



This is the old "double stem trick." Easiest to pull off with threadless headsets/steerers. Keeps the bags away from the bars, keeps the weight lower and makes bag attachment/removal pretty quick and easy. Doesn't look quite "normal," you have to be able to wrap your head around that. I gave up on trying to appear/be normal quite some time ago, so it doesn't bother me in the least.
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Old 03-25-13, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by pcb View Post
This is more of a McGyver'd mounting setup than a McGyver'd bag, but helps when cross levers and dt shift casing run through entire length of the bar make it difficult/impossible to attach bags directly the the handlebar. I also do not like h'bar bags mounted high enough to block the front tire from my view, which means they generally have to be below bar level to make me happy.



This is the old "double stem trick." Easiest to pull off with threadless headsets/steerers. Keeps the bags away from the bars, keeps the weight lower and makes bag attachment/removal pretty quick and easy. Doesn't look quite "normal," you have to be able to wrap your head around that. I gave up on trying to appear/be normal quite some time ago, so it doesn't bother me in the least.
+1. I've always liked that idea.
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Old 03-26-13, 01:07 PM
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RFC, PCB and 3speedslow, thanks for your suggestions, inspiring! I like the light mount idea, I have a few spares of those around, I'll have fun with those this weekend.
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Old 03-26-13, 03:29 PM
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Great Thread!

RFC's first picture seems to make a case for leaving your left brake lever connected to the front brake. That way you still have a hand on your main brake while drawing the Glock from your saddlebag.

I'm considering using a single square plastic bucket attached to a "six-pack" front rack on my dropbar trek 820. Has anyone tried the plastic pannier route? I am concerned that it may just be too loud.
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Old 03-26-13, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
How much stuff do you think you'll need to carry on that 200K? I'd suggest traveling as light as possible, particularly if you don't need to carry food. And that means a small of a bag as you can get away with.
I gotta say that this was my first thought also.

If you want to get into the business of repurposing bags, then visit a thrift store. First go check to see if they have any camera bags - more recent models are lighter in weight, quite sturdy, and usually have adjustable dividers. They make excellent front bags, especially if you have a front rack for support. Vintage leather camera bags tend to be heavier and some that I've found are actually quite a bit stiffer, but they definitely "look" the part if that's a consideration. Next, go visit the purses. Some leather purses can be re-jiggered into a pretty darned functional saddle bag. They often have buckles, straps, and other hardware that work to your re-jiggering advantage. I once came across a canvas shoulder bag originally distributed by The Nature Company that made a killer saddle bag. As someone else has already mentioned here, the Swiss Military Ammo Bags make very acceptable panniers once you create attachment points for a rear rack.
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