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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 17 May 2011
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Pannier Bag design - your feedback

Let me walk you through the design - feedback appreciated - especially on material choice.

After reading through the comments on lining panniers it became quite clear that my preferred option for painting them wasn't the best plan - so I've decided that I'm going to design my own pannier bags.

The left pannier bag is designed to take my tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat - the bag leaves a 1 inch gap down the outside for my tent poles, chopping mat and a couple of other things I need the entire height for - but not width. It will also stop short of the top of the open pannier to allow me to add food or other stuff I may pick up easily and without fuss. It does mean getting in behind that for my sleeping gear - but given the plan is that's my food space it should be easy enough. It's top opening so I don't really have to remove the bag to pull my gear out - but if I do it will have a shoulder carry strap. Easy for hostels and the like without having to take my poles etc.

The right pannier has a slightly odd design. I want to split the bag up the middle so it opens a little like a suite case - allowing me to split the contents physically - one side cooking gear, the other clothing and soft stuff, first aid kit, other supplies. The interesting bit is the 2 inch square gap that you can see on the plan but not on my rather crap '3d' drawing. That gap is for my tripod which does fit but takes up the lid space - and I want the bag to only be as high as the pannier - leaving the lid space for documents / spare maps etc.

Material plan is a water resistant (but not waterproof) breathable nylon - or a 200ish denier Cordura type material.

Left pannier would have a velcro lid, right would have two zips on either side. Right would also have a hand carry handle rather than a shoulder strap.



You can download the original large JPG design here
http://thelondonbiker.com/images/pannier_design.jpg
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Last edited by mattcbf600; 17 May 2011 at 16:30. Reason: image was too large - had to put in a smaller version with link to larger one
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Old 26 May 2011
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a polite nudge... going to have a crack at making these on the weekend - so any thoughts very much appreciated.
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Old 26 May 2011
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Sorry Matt - I've only seen this thread today. I have been travelling including a fairly serious night-time crash with an elk!

Although it sadly never got off the ground you might have a read through this thread http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...s-survey-47033
It covers just about every aspect and possibility of soft pannier specification and includes some very good ideas.
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Old 26 May 2011
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The issue I can see here (assuming I've understood the plans properly) is that the soft material bags will tend to bulge out to fill the space available, so leaving gaps around the sides between the bag and the box might be a bit hopeful.

One way round this might be to rivet some thin plastic sheets on to the bag to give the bags some form in the crucial areas - kind of like the stiffeners you get at the bottom of gym bags (only thinner and lighter). You'd really only need to do it in a couple of places.

Good luck. I keep telling myself I should learn to use a sewing machine. I've all sorts of stuff I'd like to make.

matt
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Old 27 May 2011
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My observations would be that it's useful to have one full-sized pannier bag for the stuff you'd take all in one go - clothes / towel / washkit and the like, but then have split bags for the other pannier - one for tools, one for cooking kit, one for stuff etc.

I have two full size bags and it was a bit of a pain having to pull the whole 'other' bag out when I only needed one thing from the bag each night. I kinda got round it by using several plastic bags within the main bag, but it was still a pain which could be easily overcome by making two or three smaller bags...
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Old 27 May 2011
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thanks guys

I had a good read through the other thread - but it seems aimed squarely at soft luggage rather than bags for the inside of metal panniers - I should ahve been more clear!

I think you're right about the bulging aspect - I wondered about plastic, something easily Velcro'd in and out maybe? Like those Waitrose bags that collapse to nothing when you pull the plastic 'inserts' flat.

I also agree about the ease of getting in and out - I'm now thinking (after reading your comments) that one should just be a full size bag and then the other should perhaps just be 4 smaller cubes.... what do you think?

In good news I found 10 metres of denim in the charity shop last weekend for £10... I would never have considered denim as a material of choice (was looking at Cordura - 500) but at £10 a pop I couldn't resist... sewing machine out after I get back from the Adventure Travel Film Festival next weekend and we'll see what I come up with - any other ideas gratefully received before I start cutting up that expensive material ;-)
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Old 27 May 2011
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Personally, i don't think you can beat big open compartments.. You can fit way more stuff in, in many different ways... Having too many bespoke compartments will make your system very inflexible if you decide to change anything.

still, interesting thread.. I'm keen to see how you get on
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Old 31 May 2011
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Of course, with 10 metres you've got plenty of room for errors and failed experiments! :-)

I'd start with a simple set up and experiment with more complex stuff when you've made the basics.

Once you've perfected it you can always re-make in cordura or some other material, although (as long as your boxes are waterproof) I'd say denim would be ideal - with the added bonus of 80's chic...

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