A lightweight fixed-gear bike tour of France and Spain

Update on our MYOG panniers

In an earlier post we wrote about how we were designing and sewing our own panniers (bags that mount over the back wheels of our bikes) out of a lightweight waterproof nylon fabric. In that post, we described our design, and the start of the construction process. Things have progressed since then.

An almost finished pannier.

In the last photo of our first pannier post, we were sewing a felled seam to form our fabric into a tube. After that, we needed to turn the tube into a three dimensional rectangle. We finished off the bottom “square-bottom-stuff-sack style”. This method is an easy way to form a bottom using just one piece of fabric. This stage was very hard to capture on camera, so we don’s have any photos of this stage worth uploading.

After completing the bottom we sewed webbing around the top edge to make  rolling down the top of the pannier (for water protection) easier. Then we added  a compression system on either side of the pannier using paracord and prusik loops. The panniers were ready to mount!

The panniers tie on at the top, then a piece of strong elastic hooks onto the rack lower down. This stops the pannier bumping around vertically, and also pulled in close to the rack. Only after we had loaded the panniers and mounted them on the bike were we able to tell where the bottom of the bag should hook on. We also added protective patches on the back of the panniers so that the nut holding our racks in place don’t wear through the fabric.

The panniers on and loaded

Coming soon: how our pannier convert into lightweight backpacks and messenger bags!

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