Mini/Front Waterproof Panniers - 5 Litre

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yourguitarhero
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:03 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Mini/Front Waterproof Panniers - 5 Litre

Post by yourguitarhero »

Been getting in to panniers. My road bike has racks on the front and back.
I bought some Ortlieb gravel panniers that were a bit extravagant. However they are pretty nice and did well on a recent trip with mixed road/paths/singletrack.

While they do fit on my front rack, at 10 litres each I think they are too big for the front.

Had a look online to get something smaller, and while they exist they are VERY expensive. They also don't have very slick mounting systems - velcro etc, much like my £10 Lidl ones on the shopping bike. I also spent all my money on the Ortlieb ones! There's a list here: https://bikepacking.com/index/panniers-for-bikepacking/

However I saw that Ortlieb do spares for their mounts. And I have a couple of 5 litre podsacs tarpaulin drybags I use on Blackburn fork cages.

A plan!

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The front rack. It's a Racktime Top It (https://www.rosebikes.com/racktime-topi ... ck-2680979) - the only front rack I've found that fits mid fork eyelets.

I made a cardboard cut out of the rack sides and drew on the tubes.
I then fitted the Ortlieb mounts to the cardboard to check the fit.

it worked Ok, so I made holes in the drybag with a screwdriver and mounted the Ortlieb parts using a sample vinyl floor tile I had lying next to my computer inside the drybag as a sort of shaping/bracing/anti-rotation panel.

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Top mounts:
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Adjustable bottom mount:
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Finished article:
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Good:
All seems to work well. I like the quick release pull handle. I find unstrapping and refitting bikepacking bags in the morning a pain.
Cost was £15 of Ortleib hardware and £5 for the drybag. Boutique folk are punting panniers at £200/pair and not waterproof.

Bad:
I put the template round back to front when making the holes in the bag so the adjustable bottom mount is offset to the wrong side. I can swap the hook/arm round and use it on the other side though.

Some of the Ortleib screws weren't great (low tpi metal screw into a plastic captive nut with misaligned threads) so I replaced with better ones I had lying around and used some washers to spread the loads as well as the vinyl flooring tile sample. Shouldn't ever have much weight in it - just clothes or sleep mat or something similar.

The top clamps are slightly loose. The clips are for 13mm? tubes with inserts for 11mm or 8mm. The 8mm were too small and the 11mm ones slightly too big. I assume my tubing is 10mm - not got callipers to check here at the moment.

Next steps:
Test it out to see if it rattles itself to death.
May add a second arm/hook for extra off-road support.
Might add some rubber gaskets to the screws and test if it leaks under full river-crossing immersion conditions.
Might heatshrink something on to the top rails of the rack to give a better connection.
woodsmith
Posts: 379
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:49 am

Re: Mini/Front Waterproof Panniers - 5 Litre

Post by woodsmith »

no photos showing for me
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PeterC
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Location: Mohacs, by the Danube.

Re: Mini/Front Waterproof Panniers - 5 Litre

Post by PeterC »

YGH
Like the look of that rack. The product description says max tyre size of 2.5. Any chance you could check clearance for me, I'm running WTB Rangers at 3 in. on the front of my Longitude. Thanks.
yourguitarhero
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:03 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Mini/Front Waterproof Panniers - 5 Litre

Post by yourguitarhero »

Ah, google photos hotlinking fail.

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You'll get a 4" tyre in the rack with room for mud. Overall width between tubing is 110mm
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lune ranger
Posts: 1905
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:52 pm
Location: Peoples Republic of Devon

Re: Mini/Front Waterproof Panniers - 5 Litre

Post by lune ranger »

Great idea. I thought about something similar using the side pockets from a old army PLCE bergan. You may have inspired me to go ahead.
BobCatMax
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Location: south coast
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Re: Mini/Front Waterproof Panniers - 5 Litre

Post by BobCatMax »

thats great.

considering front racks on the utility bike as i can't fit anything on the back with my daughter in her seat
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yourguitarhero
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:03 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Mini/Front Waterproof Panniers - 5 Litre

Post by yourguitarhero »

Have made a slight upgrade to these since - put a cutout sheet of 1mm pvc in them to mount the fixings to. Gives them a bit more rigidity/stability/shape.
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