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Author Topic: Homemade Panniers  (Read 920 times)
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ajriding
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« on: November 29, 2011, 09:08:57 PM »
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While I will do both road and mountain bike touring (bike packing) my passion is mtb backpacking.  I ride a full suspension bike because I tour on the roughest most technical trails when I can.  That  limits the rack and pannier situation, so I had to get creative.
A few requirements for my riding are 1. need to be able to get off the back of the saddle for steep descents, or maneuvers (can not stack stuff on the rack).  2. need side frames on the rack to support panniers and 3. need tire clearance for 5 inches of wheel travel.
Bar bags are no good for maneuverability, I still ride 18 inch obstacles fully loaded.
All the bags I was looking at were either too tall, too heat, too bulky, too expensive or too cheap to work for mtb'ing.  I decided to make my own panniers.  Luckily I had a soft cooler a Wachovia bank employee gave me, and I was able to get a 2nd matching cooler. These were small enough, but had a lot of features including 3 exterior pockets, zipper top opening, fully waterproof interior (since it is made to be a cooler) and even handles on the top.
I searched all the post mount pannier racks and decided that the Civia Loft rack was my best option.
I added an aluminum backing inside the pannier, attached hooks and made a locking mechanism to secure the pannier.  They fit perfect on my rack.
I estimate these hold about 15-20 liters of gear each - my sleeping bag almost fills one with only enough room for a few items stuffed on top of it.
I was especially happy with the mounting system.  That took many months of thinking to come up with.  the upper hooks were no brainers, but the attachment system on the lower mount, although stupid simple now, were an engineering manifest.  It's tool free, light, easy to repair and can be done blindfolded.
Take a look at the pics from link below.
I would like to see others homemade panniers and bike packing gear. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.447123809148.241993.567379148&type=3
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 09:22:54 PM by ajriding » Logged
Stephane
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 08:20:25 AM »
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Thank you for the input, ajriding. It's a shame that the FB link is not currently working. Anyway, I was just wondering how much gear do you carry with this system? You mentionned a sleeping bag, what do you use for the shelter, or is it a bothy? How many days do you mtb backpack for? The idea of the cooler is a good one, I always use one myself to carry food but I never saw one that was waterproof. Even if the material is waterproof you still have the zip, right? Or perhaps you ave a roll-up closure on yours?  Let me know, I'm curious. In any case mtb backpacking sounds like a lot of fun. Stephane
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ajriding
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 11:09:35 AM »
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These facebook pics are open to the public, but you need to be logged into Facebook to see.  I posted same pics also here that anyone can link to.  http://mtbandy.blogspot.com/2011/10/homemade-pannier-bags.html
On short trips I can forgo the handlebar gear and fit most into the panniers, backpack and on top of rack if needed.  Longer trips require more stuff so I have to pile more gear on the rack.
I wear a pack and can carry 24 liters of gear inside pack; that way weight is off bike and bike handles better for off-road.
I pack different every trip.  sleeping bag can go in a pannier, in pack, or on top of rack.
In warm months I use a hammock, cold I use a big agnus air core pad that I carry in the backpack in place of the  back support pad.  No tent unless it looks like rain then either use tarp and sleep on ground or a bivy tent if needed.
I pack as light as possible, 2-4 days it typical trip usually with at least one store stop on a long trip, or a hidden supply drop.
pannier is not waterproof in the sense u can submerge it, but it keeps water out.  the inner liner is plastic, and the cover is like an insulated foil that is completely water proof, the zippers could leak but the inner bag is an inch above the zippers so not likely to get to the inner bag.
I looked at other soft coolers in the stores but none of them seem like they would work as a pannier.  Mine are narrow enough and seem made for pannier use.
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