Well, the gorgeous pannier in the shop looked like being over £120, so I decided to make do and modify… I took a Google Science Fair 2011 tote, and with a few tweaks turned it into a lightweight almost-free pannier bag.
The main changes have been to insert a bamboo strut to brace the top and U-shaped bamboo strip to shape the side, then darting the bottom to ensure there are no excess corners to flop about and get caught in the spokes. A pair of clipped straps for holding everything in, a shoulder strap for hauling it about, and thermoplastic clips to attach it to the bike, and I’m pretty pleased with it! Time for a test run…
Thermoplastic melts at around 60*C, so you can put the kettle on and prototype parts to your heart’s content. When it’s cool and solid it becomes opaque white, so when it’s clear you know it’s ready to work.
I wanted something that was relatively easy to detach, but would hold the bag close to the frame of the rack on either side – the position’s different on either side, so it needs to have some play, hence the design of these clips.
The rubber bands can easily be replaced when they perish, just startle a postman.
It does the job! It’s got a nice amount of play, I’m hoping that it’ll do well in travel over the lumpy roads.
More thermoplastic makes clips to hold the pannier to the frame. The top hem now includes a bamboo strip to brace it.
The two clipped straps are adjustable and can be swapped, so hopefully they’ll hold what they need to. The third strap is for hauling the bag around, but isn’t so long as to be dangerous.
In a shouldery-carryable configuration.
Attached to my trusty steed.`