DIY soft panniers
Anyone made there own soft panniers?
I once made some wee nylon bags for packing stuff in on my mum's sewing machine but they were very basic and quite frankly, in the checks and balances of DIY-ing, rather on the minus side!
Having had one, not terribly succesful, attempt to make something easy on a sewing machine, I now feel its time to make something that will, by necessity, have to be extremely tough, well made, much more complicated and waterproof.
I have just bought a 1967 BSA Bantam and will, assuming I can get the clutch to engage properly, require a set of panniers for it. With the power of this bike being around 13 horses, I need small and light - so soft is the obvious option.
I like the Andy Strapz panniers but, for something with no more work in them than a nice pair of jeans, £220 seems a little bit steep. And would represent a significant proportion of the value of the bike.
I'm thinking of buying some heavy waterproof polyester (can be sewn on a domestic machine) from an internet store that sells 'outdoor' fabrics and running up a couple of tailor made, slightly asymmetrical, but strong and waterproof panniers with roll tops and 'throw over' style straps.
I'd be interested in any info from people who have either done this or made something similar.
I've also heard that its possible to strongly bond some types of rubberised or plastic materials (like used in dry bags) but have no more information on this. As gluing sounds easier than sewing, this is a tempting option.
I saw a couple of French guys. One of them was a saddler and made some beautiful leather bags.... Anyway !
for strength you cant beat old Army Canvas.
My old army 1957 canvas panniers took me through Africa. They are TOUGH and over 50 years old.... Not very waterproof though (I even coated them)..
I should of made some draw string covers for them and they would of been perfect.
I reckon they'd look great on an old BSA...
CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP !!
Have a look here..... Military Surplus | Miltary Clothing | Police Kit | Police surplus
I just noticed they have leather ones too :D
Gordon May used Ortliebs on his Bantam .
YouTube - A 1952 BSA D1 Bantam heads Overland to Egypt
some reference material rom the cycling world
My Touring Bags and How to Make Your Own
Gordon May's blog on his Egypt trip was a fascinating trip to follow while he was en-route. One of the best I've read. If you haven't read it already Matt you ought to. It may enlighten you as to what you could be in for. I also endorse the Ortlieb bags. Totally waterproof.
Great replies guys, thanks. That's a fascinating and v. in depth article from the old boy about making panniers. Will come in useful if I decide to go down this route.
On the other hand, £30 - £40 for those army ones - probably much better than I could make myself - it's damn tempting! :thumbup1:
Gordon May's blog is really interesting. I like his attitude! I have thought about getting some cycle ortliebs and jerry-rigging some fixing point to the bike, but even they aren't cheap.
They're adjustable, REALLY big , have nice side pockets, straps and webbing etc for extras. They also have snap clips on the corners to attach them to D-rings etc.
An old lodger of mine bought an 'overlocker' when he lived with me. Big industrial sewing machine. We had to take the door and casing off the house to get it in but well worth it - if you can find someone who has one they are head and shoulders above a sewing machine for strength of seam - he used it to make rucksacks and skydiving jump suits.
have a look at Carradice, they make cycle bags out of Cotton Duck (fibres expand when they get wet making it waterproof, therefore no 'waterproofing treatment' to wear out). I'm not sure where you get the material, but I've been using their bags for a while and they are tough; much tougher than Ortlieb.
a couple'o longflaps on your BSA would be 'period' too, once they'd worn in, as I believe the designs haven't changed in donkeys years.
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