April 14, 2006 - NFP Home made panniers (sev)

Home made pannier

Pictures are here : 'Panniers/'.
Currently, after than 25 000km, including more than two thousands ks of 'ripio' in South America they are really ok.

Things I have learned are :
- it really takes a lot of time to make them. (I worked on them during one and a half months, during the week-ends and
some evenings after work). I made in total 6 cases (3 for each bike). Imagine that you have to drill around 80 holes for each pannier.
- it really less expensive than to buy a pannier, but it still cost something :
   - the raw material (aluminum). Here in Switzerland costs me arround 450 CHF = 300 Euros. I bougth it at Metallica (www.metallica.ch). You can find prices on their site
   - the pop rivets (I needed 400 of them to make the 6 boxes).
   - the things to close the box (locks,...)
In total each pannier cost me arround 100 CHF each (65 Euros).
- The rack is a difficult part. It's also the part that was the most fragile
and that broke on the first gravel road in Argentina. It really must be strong. Mine were really ok during 2000km of asphalt but broke after just 20ks of bad gravel road.
- 1.5 mm alu is thick enough. You may like to make stronger (2 sheets of alu) the parts where the boxes are fixed to the bike.
On my boxes I even have some parts make of 1mm alu.
- I am very happy that they are not so wide. I can pass a door without dismounting them. The total width is 78cm
- I left the plastic film on the aluminium, in the inside of the boxes.
- My panniers, are quite long to mount and unmount (5 screws on each pannier). So you need time at the airport...
- A pannier received bad treatments... (click to see full pict)
and here we had to repare it. We put the pannier in a more rectangular form with no special tools (Big stone an iron bar as hammer), and we repared it completely the week after in a bike workshop. Both of us also dropped the bike once or twice while parking them (grass can be dangerous), but with now damage. Vero also felt at low speed because of stupid gravels, but here again, nothing moved. The boxes even prevended the bike to hurt her leg.
Posted 12 years, 11 months ago on April 14, 2006
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