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DIY Pannier advice, por favor

Old 06-16-20, 12:43 PM
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Piff 
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DIY Pannier advice, por favor

I recently purchased a couple military surplus bags and am trying to find a way to attach the panniers to my bike on the cheap. There's two d-rings attached to the back of the bag with some thick, well-stitched webbing. Would a couple s-hooks suffice? All I'm planning on doing is bending the s-hook closed around the d-ring. Possibly plasti-dipping the other side that will hang onto the rail of the rack. Will this be fine, or will the pannier jump off the rack? I am also going to run a couple rivets through the bag to attach a bungee cord that will hook the lower part of the rack. If you have a better pannier hook suggestion I'm all ears. Though I'm trying to do this as cheaply as possible.

Oh, and to prevent the pannier hooks from sliding forward and aft I'm going to wrap some zipties on the rack.
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Old 06-16-20, 12:44 PM
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Whatever you do, make sure the pannier cannot get caught in the wheel. That will end your ride in a hurry.
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Old 06-16-20, 12:52 PM
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You might want to stiffen up the side of the bag that is against the rack by slipping something in the bag on that side. If you aren't concerned with quickly taking the bags off and on the racks, you could even tie the bags to the rack.
You will want something to attach the bag to the bottom of your rack to keep them from bouncing off. Many systems do use a bungee. My kitty litter buckets bounced off a couple of times before I addressed that issue!

Do you have pictures of the bags?
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Old 06-16-20, 01:06 PM
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I have done this with military 'musette bags'. I will take photos and give a description of the hardware when i settle in at home tonite
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Old 06-16-20, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
You might want to stiffen up the side of the bag that is against the rack by slipping something in the bag on that side. If you aren't concerned with quickly taking the bags off and on the racks, you could even tie the bags to the rack.
You will want something to attach the bag to the bottom of your rack to keep them from bouncing off. Many systems do use a bungee. My kitty litter buckets bounced off a couple of times before I addressed that issue!

Do you have pictures of the bags?
I'm planning on riveting chloroplast plastic to the bags to stiffen their backs. I think I'll leave the sides and bottom free. And I'll be using a bungee cord to hook onto the lower part of the rack to help keep the bags tight on the rack.

Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
I have done this with military 'musette bags'. I will take photos and give a description of the hardware when i settle in at home tonite
Thanks!




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Old 06-16-20, 03:59 PM
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No need to rivet the coroplast, just put some on the bottom/backside bent in an "L". I just zip tie my stuff bags to the rack. 1 and 2.5 gallon zip lock bags for inside too.
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Old 06-16-20, 04:14 PM
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I'd see about buying pannier hooks at a bike shop. I've used cut down and bent screen door springs to replace worn out springs on panniers. I use a S-hook at the bottom of the spring to hold the pannier to the lower rail or lower leg of the rack. The hooks can be bolted to where the D-rings are. Reinforcing the bag with thick plastic or thin hardboard so that it doesn't fop around and get into the wheel is a great idea.

Cheers
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Old 06-16-20, 07:47 PM
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I have attached some photos for reference. Sorry about the long-winded description.
These were made with a military surplus 'Musette' bag. I removed the shoulder straps and added hardware for mounting to a rear rack. The nice thing about these bags is that they have a slip compartment on the backside which is designed for holding maps, and is great for slipping in a stiffener plate, adding structure to the bag, keeping it stable and out of the rear wheel. I used thin plywood for the stiffener, which was from the crafts section at the hardware store. I found it has the best strength to weight ratio, without being bulky, and is a good foundation on which to mount the other hardware. If you don't have this map slip in your bag, you could leave the plate exposed either inside the bag, or on the rear side. I closed up this stiffner plate compartment up top with black silicone caulk to keep out water. The stiffner could be coated with plasti-dip or painted to shield it from the elements if left exposed on the rear.
I added a strip of aluminum for reinforcement and to help the bag wear longer in the area that will be riding on the rack top rail. The hooks attached to the top of the bag on this aluminum rail are offset to push the bags back as far as possible when mounted on the rack, helping keep heel strike to a minimum. I used plasti-dip where the hooks will contact the rack rail (which needs to be re-dipped) helping keep things from sliding around and rattling. The lower portion of the bag uses a small drawer pull-handle piece i found at the hardware store. A bungee gets attached to the upper hooks (held on by bungee tension only), goes through this lower handle piece, and attached with an S-hook to the lower portion of the rack. The shorter the bungee, the more secure the whole setup will become. Make sure the lower pull-handle attachment/bungee guide is placed properly to not interfere with the rack structure. You can see in the last picture when my bag is mounted, this is centered between the vertical rack struts. I have two sets of bungees of different lengths which can be quickly swapped our, allowing the bags to be used in a few different applications including on a low-rider front rack.
Everything was laid out for the rack i intended using with the bags, and the hardware holes were drilled through the stiffener, as well as the aluminum plate. Washers on all screw hardware help distribute the tension, and locktite keeps everything secure after assembly. I custom fit all screw lengths to keep things tidy and make sure there was no excess screw length to catch on the rack, or belongings inside the bags.
These have proven very durable, as i used them exclusively for a few years before buying a pair of waterproof Ortleibs (although i used scotchgard on the bags to keep them adequately water resistant). They are now being used, along with the bike for which they were fashioned, by my son.





Last edited by SalsaShark; 06-16-20 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 06-16-20, 11:36 PM
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SalsaShark

Those are fantastic pictures, thank you! I really like how you attached the bungee with the s-hook and the little handle. I think I'm going to copy your design, except use some s-hooks to attach the pannier to the rack's rails at the top rather than j-hooks like you've done. I'd like to do it your way, but I'm trying to be uber cheap. Hopefully a strong bungee holding the bag down will help reduce sway even if the d-rings will be able to shift around.
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Old 06-17-20, 02:38 AM
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Great thread idea. Who else has good DIY pannier designs, things that have worked well. I've been pondering DIY front panniers for longer day rides when I may want some rain gear, a few extra layers, hard copy of War and Peace, vacuum tube radio, etc. I'm not sure I'll even like the idea so I do not want to spend $$$$$ on "the good stuff" yet.

Thanks for these two ideas.
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Old 06-17-20, 05:12 AM
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When I used s-hooks, same idea, the bag was normally secure but once - out of maybe a hundred - one of the hooks did get pushed off the rack somehow. Had I not also belted the bag to the rack stays it might have fallen off. I prefer a carabiner clip now.

Some years ago I simply bound two bags' straps together, which rested over the rack. No hardware needed and no way for one to detach. I'd just stretch the bungee cord over the top of the strap. I've always put something inside to stiffen the bag, and used something to hold the bag(s) against the rack stay.
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Old 06-17-20, 07:34 AM
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And to partially go against the diy angle, you could also go with tried and trued and reliable already made attachment systems sold separately at reasonable prices.
known brand systems are available, both top and bottom.

have seen that German brand stuff, krux and something, can never remember the name.
I know MEC here in Canada sells hardware for their panniers.
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Old 06-17-20, 07:37 AM
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But hey, we all used hook and bungee systems and they worked, sometimes hopped off rails if bungee not tight enough or when hitting a big bump.
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Old 06-17-20, 02:25 PM
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those look cool! nice job!
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Old 06-19-20, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Piff View Post
I recently purchased a couple military surplus bags and am trying to find a way to attach the panniers to my bike on the cheap. There's two d-rings attached to the back of the bag with some thick, well-stitched webbing. Would a couple s-hooks suffice? All I'm planning on doing is bending the s-hook closed around the d-ring. Possibly plasti-dipping the other side that will hang onto the rail of the rack. Will this be fine, or will the pannier jump off the rack? I am also going to run a couple rivets through the bag to attach a bungee cord that will hook the lower part of the rack. If you have a better pannier hook suggestion I'm all ears. Though I'm trying to do this as cheaply as possible.

Oh, and to prevent the pannier hooks from sliding forward and aft I'm going to wrap some zipties on the rack.
Id suggest the mounts for Ortlieb panniers. You can purchase the spare parts from OrtliebUSA. Youd need two of each of the anchoring hook, Q1 bracket, and Q1 hooks. A backing plate in the pannier would probably be needed to so that you can mount the hardware. Ive done this on a couple of panniers and it works very well.
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Old 06-19-20, 12:47 PM
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Multiple Amens to the importance of preventing wheel/pannier contact. They are sworn enemies and will fight to the death. If the pannier cannot jam itself in the wheel, breaking spokes, and possibly the rider, the wheel will slowly chew away the pannier until it has a nice big hole in it.
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