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Patterns for saddle bags, randonneurs, panniers etc.

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Patterns for saddle bags, randonneurs, panniers etc.

Old 06-15-17, 01:55 PM
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Patterns for saddle bags, randonneurs, panniers etc.

Hi, Folks,

I'm planning a cross-state camping tour with two of my kids and need to make some bags. Luckily I have several yards of hemp and cotton canvas that would be great material, but I have looked for hours and hours for patterns and ideas without much luck. Most things I come across are either not fleshed out fully, or are what I'd call "Hello Kitty" quality meant to be cute rather than durable and actually worthy of taking on a long, unsupported tour.

Does anyone either have a pattern/s they can share or a source they can send me to? For simplicity I'm thinking two saddle bag type panniers for them and maybe randonneur type bags for the front.

Any help is appreciated!

Sean
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Old 06-15-17, 02:22 PM
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There used to some patterns around but most of the websites or listservs they were on no longer exist.The late Ken Kifer has a good tutorial on his archived site about the panniers he made for his many tours. Ken Kifer's touring bags

This page I found has a more visual tutorial on making simple pannier bags. The saddle bag type are the easiest to make since they are self supporting when on a carrier rack. Sovansia
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Old 06-15-17, 02:56 PM
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Perhaps this might be of interest: If I Had A Bike Blog...: DIY handlebar bag
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Old 06-15-17, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Seanmichael
Hi, Folks,

I'm planning a cross-state camping tour with two of my kids and need to make some bags. Luckily I have several yards of hemp and cotton canvas that would be great material, but I have looked for hours and hours for patterns and ideas without much luck. Most things I come across are either not fleshed out fully, or are what I'd call "Hello Kitty" quality meant to be cute rather than durable and actually worthy of taking on a long, unsupported tour.

Does anyone either have a pattern/s they can share or a source they can send me to? For simplicity I'm thinking two saddle bag type panniers for them and maybe randonneur type bags for the front.

Any help is appreciated!

Sean
Check out Green Pepper: 201 ? Cascade Bicycle Saddle Bag Pattern | The Green Pepper, Inc.

I made a pair of these almost 40 years ago, and my younger brother still uses them to make beer runs.

I would recommend water resistant "pack cloth" or cordura for the material. You can get all the materials, zippers and pattern( Green Pepper)at a shop near us. They are good folks to deal with.
https://www.therainshed.com/books--p...r-and-gear.htm

This is the pair I made. I'm surprised that the pattern is still available. I did several long tours with them before upgrading to some commercial panniers. I also made a couple of pairs of custom panniers with adequate taper to prevent heel strike for use on our road bikes.


Custom panniers made using a pair of commercial panniers as a base pattern. I also have a heavy duty machine.


My daughter using my DIY panniers. While the radical taper is not necessary on her LHT, it works well on road bikes with short chainstays. I also made the bag on top of her rack, but it was not really made for using on a bike. If you place any value on your time, it would probably be better to just buy a pair of commercially made panniers.


Last edited by Doug64; 06-15-17 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 06-15-17, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by hilltowner
Perhaps this might be of interest: If I Had A Bike Blog...: DIY handlebar bag
Wow, that's a nice looking rando bag.
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Old 06-16-17, 05:32 PM
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Frostline was a company, now defunct, that made patterns for all sorts of clothing and gear; down vests and jackets, tents, sleeping bags, panniers and handlebar bags. I just did a quick search and found some of the clothing and patterns for nothing for bags. You might have better luck but, as previously stated, simply buying readymade stuff might be a better idea.
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Old 06-16-17, 10:36 PM
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Not too difficult if you keep all the pieces rectangular.
My DIY panniers are are fairly crappy. I'ld go cheap used or cheap new.
Very much depends on your sewing skills.
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Old 06-16-17, 11:23 PM
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outdoor wilderness fabrics has this. Here is the page Outdoor Hardware - Buckles, Zippers & More - Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics (OWF)

if that does not take you to the right one go to hardware, zippers and patterns, the brand is Sew Go.

Never used it, but it looks a lot like the Green Pepper pattern. Which I've also never used.

Since I like to sew things myself, its always a toss up if its worth it. Do it yourself and slave is a common saying around my house. Also, why spend thirty dollars on a new one when I can fix this up for fifty dollars? However, it is nice to make it yourself sometimes just for the fun of doing it.

Its also supprising that no one has mentioned kitty litter buckets yet. https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=1841
Not elegant, but functional. you can sit on them at camp, they are water resistant, and durable. Jandd even sells a kit for the non do it yourself types. Bucket Pannier Kit
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Old 06-16-17, 11:36 PM
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How to waterproof the seams?
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Old 06-17-17, 09:14 AM
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Hey, Guys,

WOW! Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions! This is really helpful--two patterns for saddle bags and one for a nifty looking bag up-front.

Velonomad--thanks for the Ken Kifer suggestion. I know that site well and am aware of his bags--but no patterns. His site is one of the original sources of inspiration for doing this ourselves, but he makes it sound simpler than it is. I got some material and tried a bit last year but gave up pretty quick. Nothing about what I was doing looked right at all.

Hilltowner--You know, I've seen that site and that bag before, but I never noticed the link to a pattern. Now I have it--thanks for bring this back to my attention!

Doug64--Thanks for the photos and the link to Green Pepper. 6.00 bucks is cheap enough for a pattern and knowing that you have a bag made 40 years ago still going strong is a testament to the design.

Shipwreck--thanks for the second pattern! I'm going to print this out, buy the one from Green Pepper and then make a decision.

As for "better to buy than spend your time" I get that. I do. And I have spent 50 bucks to repair 20 dollar items many times in my life. But in this circumstance the equipment is for my kids. One is 17 and the other 19. It's summer. All they're doing is moping around the house waiting for me to make it happen. So I say, either they get jobs and buy their own or they make their own and stop sitting around--but I'm sure as heck not going to buy equipment for them under the current situation. I know--I'm mean. When I was their age I'd have been planning to do this trip on my own, not waiting around for Dad to make the adventure happen. It's crazy how little they try to get out and find excitement. I on the other hand am lucky to be alive after all the stupid things I did. Had fun, but only due to dumb luck. I guess there's probably a balance we should look for in life!

Thanks folks--and if anyone else has suggestions--keep them coming.

On a separate note--sorry I did not respond for so long. Something about this site really screws up my PC laptop I use for work. It's not worth my time to log in with that computer because it pretty much locks the computer up with the addware. Anyone else have that issue? Doesn't seem to affect Macs or iphone for some reason.
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Old 06-17-17, 01:29 PM
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Looking at the two patterns closer I would recommend the green pepper over the one I linked. Having an open area to lash a tent on top of the rack usually works better than having a compartment over it.

What kind of sewing machine do you have and have you used it on the fabrics you spoke of?

And if the fabric you are using is not water resistant there is little need to worry about sealing seams, just use a trash bag inside of each one if it rains.
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Old 06-17-17, 08:51 PM
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Hey There,

I have my wife's machine. It's a Brother but really just an average household model. My daughter also has a machine--also a household model. Neither of us know how to sew. I might even be a bit more experienced--repaired a sail and a camper's canvas in the past. But I've tried the machine on the canvas and it seemed to work ok. I don't think I ever quite had the feed down right. It was either too tight or too much slack. More practice I guess.

As for water proofing--I have a gallon of a natural wood protectant for outdoor decks and the like. It's made from hemp oil and non-toxic. I heard of people using it on teepees to make them water repellent. I called the company and they confirmed it has been done. I coated some canvas with the stuff and let it dry. My tests show that it stiffens the material up like tin cloth or waxed canvas and made water bead up. It was not water proof but repellent and better than nothing. So the plan is to coat the material in that and then everything goes inside garbage bags as you suggested. I do this with my cheapo Sunlite saddle bag which is no more water proof than the treated canvas I described. But with everything in garbage bags I've ridden in an absolute downpour for hours and hours and everything was still dry at the end of the day.

One thing I do need to consider is heal strike. All we have are road bikes and that's not going to change by end of summer.
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Old 06-17-17, 09:11 PM
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Interested to hear how all this works out.

I have made bags and repaired panniers but I only sew by hand it it takes longer than forever and leads to multiple finger-punctures. If you have a sewing machine and a will, you will succeed.

Like yourself, I never worried about "waterproof." I now have some waterproof Nashabars ... if any water gets in, it stay in pools in the bottom because they are waterproof both ways. I prefer to rely on multiple plastic bags. I have ridden through tropical storms with plastic bags and everything stayed dry.
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Old 06-17-17, 09:19 PM
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https://theseamanmom.com/tips-for-sewing-with-canvas/
here are some basic helpful hints.

A personal tip is to sew slowly, even on the strait stretches. When you come to corners and such, you can just turn the machine by hand, super slow. Don't destroy your wifes machine!

If the material you have is difficult to use, I make a lot of stuff out of this https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pro-Tuff-...Black/17331790 Its cheap, water resistant enough, and thin enough to go through a standard machine easier.
Here are a couple things I made out of it for the bike. Just showing these because they were made on a non industrial machine. Some feed bags, that hook on to the stem and bar.
[IMG]15590166_1410708395608102_3913974139736367349_n by onedollarmiyata, on Flickr[/IMG]

And a frame bag.
[IMG]IMG_3215 by onedollarmiyata, on Flickr[/IMG]

Also made some seat covers for my work van. Its holding up pretty well.

All I use are regular household machines, but all are mid 60's Kenmore's that are fairly strong. By no means am I a professional or even just a know it all. When I was younger I wanted to go backpacking with my buddies but had less money, so learned to make my own stuff or repair old things. Now I have some decent gear, but still like to make things myself. This is all home made stuff, and looks it, but its still sort of satisfying to use. This is on an overnight a week ago or so. [IMG]18920906_1589328957746044_3146395354923981463_o by onedollarmiyata, on Flickr[/IMG]

Last edited by shipwreck; 06-17-17 at 10:26 PM.
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