Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
4 posts • Page 1 of 1
I'm trying to do my biking on the cheap (a reasonable exercise given my financial situation), and so today I bought some of the cheap Tioga panniers (I got 'em at $60 for the pair) to attach to my (second hand) bike and rack. But here's the thing: the hooks on the panniers are a lot wider than the tubes on my rack, so the only thing keeping the panniers from being bounced off is the bottom hook, at the end of its elastic tether. The whole thing seems a bit fragile. Is there any easy way of making the panniers more secure on the rack?
The bottom hook is wire - just use some pliers to clamp it in to a size slightly smaller than the rack.
Unless you're planning to do some aerials on your commute, they should hold up OK.
More problematic with the cheaper Tioga's is the lack of stiffness in the bag - they can flop around
a bit and possibly hit your wheel. That's easily fixed by getting some 3 mm thick particle board
from bunnings (<$5), cut it to fit on the inside of the bag (on the rack side).
Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
I'd gone a bit further with that, I had the larger Tioga panniers and removed the 'stiffener' and hooks, bought some plywood and cut to fit, covered the edges with tape, installed inside the bag and bolted in, covered those bolt heads with epoxy so that they couldn't come loose nor scratch anything (like my hand reaching into a pannier). As for the hooks I hunted around for some aftermarket stuff, there's plenty around if you look on bag manufacturer websites, settled on some Superhooks as used by Wilderness Equipment (now Sea to Summit, or something), got them from the local outdoors store (had to order though), bolted those on. For the bottom hook I just used a picture frame hook but sourced some better bungee cord for it, once bolted through to that plywood backing it worked well. Enjoy.
If you don't want to go this far then you can always tackle the problem from the other direction: if your rack is thin then a bit of tubing placed over where the hooks mount might work, maybe a bit of garden hose taped down? I've seen this work. However replacing the stiffener in your bags with something that's actually stiff will help a lot with keeping the bags out of your spokes.
I have an old pair of cheapo Campro panniers that had the same issue with the Topeak Super Tourist rack on my commuter steed. I just got a bit of mild steel wire of the type that's typically used in stock fences, made a loop of it, wrapped it in Gaffer tape to close the loop (and so as not to scratch the bejesus out of the bike), and pinched the hook onto it using a pair of pliers. The loop hooks around the bottom end of the rack tubing. It's been that way for a good 10,000km, has had plenty of abuse as has yet to fail me. Total cost of materials probably less than a buck.
De Rosa Macro | Trek Superfly 100AL Elite | Claud Butler Sovereign
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