Sometimes we get awesome bike mail from our customers that is too good not to share. Although this article features a lot of NON-Two Wheel Gear (including one company that has infamously taken our designs and used for their own good…Ahem.
We think this project and email from Eric Abbott had a little bit of everything. It has a subtle bit of gear review, some inspiring bike touring shots (take for your own trip planning purposes) and shows an inventive new approach to mounting a front trunk bag.
We have been looking at various front bag solutions and think Eric has really nailed a new concept re-using an (ahem) existing bag. A lot of our customers are Do-It-Yourselfers (us included) and it’s valuable to share how concepts are born and existing products can be adapted for our individual use cases.
I hope you enjoy this inside look at Eric’s DIY design process and some of his touring experience on two wheels!
(if you have a project or experience you want to share on our blog, just email us at email@example.com and we will be happy to spin the wheels with you!)
I commute every day in all weather to work at Seatac International Airport nearby, ’bout 16 miles round-trip. There are several short climbs on the route but that’s no big deal. I wear a uniform and the classic pannier 2.0 is perfectly suited for the transport task and is mounted on the rear rack.
A Nashbar-brand (sorry) trunk bag (This one is similar and available on Amazon) was permanently mounted to the front rack and carried my food for the day (a lot), rain pant, lock and cable, gloves, and rain cover, etc. Custom bracketry allowed mounting the (see-me/I see) lights on the front as any handlebar light beam would be occluded by the trunk bag.
Also, depending on the load requirements of the trip, combinations of forward, side-mount panniers could also be carried. This characteristic worked well for our trip on the C&O towpath/Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) tour two years ago, and for our NW loop tour from Seattle up through, and back from Victoria, BC. This was my Novara Safari touring rig before its theft (major bummer) two weeks ago:
The C&O towpath/Great Allegheny Passage Tour
The Classic Pannier 2.0 easily carried my gear and three bottles of Barb’s wine.
Our stop for coffee and chow. Much of the ride was wet and the rain cover kept my gear dry.
NW Bike Loop Tour
Barb and I prior to departure from Hogland House in Mukilteo, WA. The Classic Pannier 2.0 rolling like a champ.
Back to the Trunk Bag project:
Side view. The catch, rail, and twist hooks on the lower floor of the trunk bag:
Bottom view, standard parts and initial attachment:
I borrowed a Lower Catch Slider from the Classic to get the positioning setup. What’s not present yet is a stiffener plate to hold the bag floor more rigid. I’ll probably move the slider rails outboard for additional lateral stability.
The bike rack configuration on the SLR:
The parts mounting process consumed about 30 minutes. Standard stainless steel hardware was used throughout:
- M4 x 12 Allen Head bolts
- M4 x 14 Pan Head bolts
- M4 Fender Washers
- M4 Stop Nuts
Once the slider hooks arrive I’ll construct the light brackets (again) to get the lights installed. The advantage from this project using your wonderful parts is that I have additional flexibility on which bags I carry based on the load requirements of the trip.
I hope this article wasn’t too drawn-out. I used to blog about my racing and training some years ago and my writer’s tendency comes-out now and then.
Cheers from down here,