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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-05-06, 03:53 AM   #1
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Tricks to mounting Arkel panniers?

Anyone have tips on how to easily mount their Arkel panniers? I have
a pair of Samurai panniers and a Bug.

After I place the bottom hook and go to pull up on the bungee cord it
will literally lift the back end of the bike off the ground as I'm fighting
to hook the top hooks over the rack (in the process scraping off yet
more paint).

Also the twist lock tends to be in the way no matter what I try to do
with it on my Topeak Explorer rack. I've got both panniers slid back as
far as I can to avoid heel strike and I only wear size 8.5 shoes!

People have mentioned their system is bomb-proof first, commuter-friendly
second and I'm agreeing with this more and more. In some ways I'm
regretting not going with Ortliebs but the Arkel models fit my needs
much better, especially their Bug pannier.
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Old 10-05-06, 05:16 AM   #2
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Bungie is done last. Put the hooks on and then turn the latch. Now push the bungie down to the bottom hook.
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Old 10-05-06, 06:47 AM   #3
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I hook the bottom hook on first then pull up. My current ride is so heavy it doesn't lift. Yes, the latch gets in the way sometimes and it sort of a PIA. I am thinking of modifying them like someone else suggested (I think). I plan to have two hooks brazed onto my rack. Then I will put a ring on my pannier. Instead of fishing a small hook onto the rack, I should be able to get the ring anywhere close to the hook on the rack, and there you go.
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Old 10-05-06, 07:00 AM   #4
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Okay, this is not something that Arkel will recommend, but what I did was to remove the latch. I had an axiom rack and there was no way to get the thing attached with the latch on there. I then hooked the bungee, put one hand on the top of the rack, pulled up with the other and away I went. This worked for me since I have a relatively smooth ride. I have now gotten rid of the bike that had the axiom rack and I can use the latch again so I put it back on. It works great with a blackburn cross rack.
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Old 10-05-06, 07:13 AM   #5
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How I do it.
After placing the bottom hook I pick up the bag with one hand, with the other on my bike. Hook the top hooks over the rack in the correct location then turn the latch.
The hooks and latch are adjustable so you should be able to find a position for all such that the latch is not in the way when installing the pannier. The hooks can be adjusted such that they prevent the pannier from moving on the rack. I use a Utility Basket on a BlackBurn Expedition. Due to my large feet I have to adjust the hooks and latch towards the front of the bag so the bag can be placed far enough back. The Blackburn rack has 3 vertical stays and still I am able to find a position for the hooks and latch that allow easy on/off. Take advantage of the very adjustable mounting system Arkel provides.

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Old 10-05-06, 07:33 AM   #6
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I've always thought that arkel should sew some sort of pull tab on their hook where it rides on the bungie. When my utility basket is full, it can be quite heavy. It's much easier to put the top hooks on the rack first, then reach down and pull the bungied hook down. However when the bag is full, its already stretching that bungie a fair bit, and pulling it down by the hook makes it difficult to latch on the bottom of the rack without pinching a finger. A pull tab would solve this, maybe I'll figure a way to sew one on myself.
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Old 10-05-06, 07:59 AM   #7
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I've got an Arkel Briefcase and the Topeak Explorer rack. I don't have any issue with the bungee lifting the bike up, but it took a while to get the hooks and the twist lock set up right. I offset the hooks so that it sits far enough back so I don't get any heel strike and the twist lock is actually positioned pretty close to one of the hooks so that I can push it around with my finger from the top of the rack between the plate and the tubular part where the Briefcase hooks on. I think all you really need is to play with the positioning a bit on the hooks and latch. As for the bungee, you can probably get a replacement at the hardware store or something that would be the right length...
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Old 10-05-06, 10:26 AM   #8
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My method of the arkels is this:

Step 1

Bring bike into kitchen

Step 2

Bring Arkel into kitchen next to bike

Step 3

Put Arkel hook on what will hold it I put mine on the triangle of the chainstay

Step 4

Put hand on saddle

Step 5

Raise Arkel

Step 6

Make sure latch is horrizontal then mount arkel

Step 7

Slide Arkel back and lock Arkel into place

Step 8


Step 9

Bring Bike out side and ride

I would take apart the latch and put a heaftier washer in there the key to not having a PITA time with the Arkel is the latch staying horrizontal hands free. Other then that no problems to date
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