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Pannier J-Hook too Long. Any fixes?

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Pannier J-Hook too Long. Any fixes?

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Old 08-01-12, 05:53 PM
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ZTours
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Pannier J-Hook too Long. Any fixes?

Hi folks,

I recently purchased a new touring bike that came with a back rack included. However, the panniers I have don't fit well - the J-Hook piece that secures the panniers to the bottom of the rack is too long (or too low), and so doesn't securely fasten the panniers to the bottom of the rack. The two LBSs in my area didn't really have useful advice.

If I don't find a solution, then in the short-term I'll just use plastic zip-ties and fasten the bottom of the panniers to the rack this way. In the longer term, though, it would be nice not to have to cut off zip-ties every time I want to take off the panniers!

And I know, I could just get a rack/pannier combination that fits better, but I'd much rather work with what I have for now.

Cheers, thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 08-01-12, 06:09 PM
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drmweaver2
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A pic of the back side of the panniers in question might help here. That or at least the name of the panniers so we have a clue what you are talking about.... A pic of the particular bike/rack setup would also help....

Just saying....
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Old 08-01-12, 06:11 PM
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fietsbob 
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Drill out the rivets and start over with a different mounting scheme.

or relocate the parts you have, but minus getting out the camera
Taking close up pictures,
and sending pictures of the interference fit problem, you describe.

wild guesses will have to do..

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-02-12 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 08-01-12, 06:12 PM
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Instead of zip-ties use Velcro one-wrap.
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Old 08-01-12, 06:30 PM
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The panniers I have all have either an elastic cord that runs ina V to the lower hook. When I purchased a new rack,withma shorter distance, I just untied one end of the elastic cord and retied the knot to shorten the cord. Really need more info or a pic of your setup to male a call.
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Old 08-01-12, 08:20 PM
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ZTours
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Thanks for the help so far! For the shorter tour next week, velcro one-wrap looks like the way to go!

No long-term fixes yet. I have a 2012 Trek 520 (link below) with an interesting rack - the very top bars you see in the picture are recessed towards the middle, and so the bars that a pannier clips on are the second ones from the top.

The panniers are a 43 litre set from MEC (link below). The elastic is a solid loop running between two solid loops, which the single j-hook hangs from. There are three options for positions for the hook left-to-right, but none really fix the issue here. Twisting the elastic helps just a little bit...

2012 Trek 520: http://www.cyclecityusa.com/index.ph...=Trek_520_2012

MEC PF-43 Litre Panniers: http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...ontent=Default
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Old 08-01-12, 08:53 PM
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Is the j-hook metal? Cut off some extra and bend a new hook in the remainder. This would add tension to the elastic when the new hook is pulled down to hook on the rack. Cut a little at a time to avoid cutting too much, & repeat as needed until the tension is sufficient.
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Old 08-01-12, 08:55 PM
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You mean the hook at the bottom? , have you thought of bending it ?

I have a velcro patch sewn on the back of my panniers and the other half
on a loop made in the webbing..

the webbing goes under the lowest bar on the rear rack thru a buckle, and pulls the bag down.
the velcro keeps the loop that pulls the strap tight, out of the spokes.
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Old 08-01-12, 09:05 PM
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Create a new anchor point for the hook wherever you need it (lower) using zip ties attached to the rack, seat stay or dropout.

Next!
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Old 08-01-12, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
Create a new anchor point for the hook wherever you need it (lower) using zip ties attached to the rack, seat stay or dropout.
Yes. Kirtland Panniers used to include little metal hooks to attach at the rack mounting bolt on the dropout for an anchor point for racks that otherwise lacked one. I'd think a local hardware store should have some suitable little metal hooks that could be used.

See the 'dropout hook' in this image of their instruction page:
http://media.photobucket.com/image/r.../barbag003.jpg
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Old 08-01-12, 09:22 PM
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Or get a rack that fits the pannier correctly. They aren't that expensive.

Even better would be to hang those panniers on a pair of low-rider front racks. Get a big waterproof stuff sack and put the sleeping bag, tent, pad, and whatever else fits in there on top of the rear rack. You will have much better handling at most speeds with this weight distribution, though it initially will feel like turning the Titanic at low speeds. However, at over a certain speed (maybe 10 mph) turning is accomplished by leaning the bike, not by turning the bars, so weight on the front wheel does not make turning slower--and actually, the lean is initiated by turning the bars a bit in the opposite direction from which you wish to turn, and the rider and bike lean in the opposite direction in response.
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Old 08-01-12, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ZTours View Post
Thanks for the help so far! For the shorter tour next week, velcro one-wrap looks like the way to go!
The wrap weighs nothing(ish), holds strong even when wet, plus readily available (you can buy it at Wal-Mart).
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Old 08-02-12, 01:35 AM
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The J hook should slide on the plastic rail to get the correct position. It should slip behind one or all of your vertical rack stays. All it does it prevent the bag swaying, the top hooks should lock and hold the bag in place.
This is the original Rixen and Kaul anti-sway hook. Note how you slide it until the space narrows to grab the rack stay.
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Old 08-02-12, 07:53 AM
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You just need a shorter hook and possibly a different piece of bunge cord. A metal clothes hanger might not be strong enough to be used to supply the metal to make a new hook but you could try that and see if it will work?
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Old 08-02-12, 08:01 AM
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Ditto all the above. If you can't modify the pack, modify the anchor point on the rack, or get a different rack. I'm cheap and I made a small loop out of clothes hanger wire and made a lower loop on the rack. It helps to be handy, and skills like that are always good to have when you're on tour. And try to use only tools you'll have on tour, for extra credit!
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Old 08-02-12, 08:45 AM
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To me it looks like that hook could be removed, or maybe just ignored. The elastic that the hook attaches to could be attached to the rack in a variety of ways: Velcro, carabiner, hook from a hardware store, bent piece of metal, etc.
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