I bought a second hand Brompton bike a few months ago, and it's improved my life manyfold! Living in a very small space (a narrowboat), it means I can easily store my bike indoors keeping it safe both from theft and the elements.

Then carrying stuff became an issue. When I started off my mum was kind enough to lend me her Brompton-bag. These are amazingly sturdy, well designed and durable pieces of kit, and their price tags reflect this. Not wanting to part with more money or sacrifice precious storage space (again, narrowboat), and owning 8 Ortlieb panniers, I knew there must be a way to adapt one to fit a Brompton. And that's what this instructable is about.

Here's a breakdown of the pros and cons of the final result, before you get started


  • With Brompton bags costing upwards of £80, you can save £60 or more if you already own a pannier
  • No modifications to pannier needed - can still be used on a normal bike rack
  • Ortieb panniers are 100% waterproof (Brompton bags need the included rain cover to be waterproof)
  • Ortieb pannier offers slightly more carrying capacity


  • Slightly taller bag means
    • you can only turn handlebars approx. 45º either way. This doesn't affect 'normal' cycling - it only becomes an issue when weaving through traffic, or restrictions in shared cycle/pedestrian areas. And doorways.
    • you can't have your bike light on the lower part of an 'M' handlebar
  • No backwards-facing compartments

I've kept this instructable quite vague so that it can be used with any type of pannier. Its main purpose it to show people that it can be done, what materials to get and what to expect.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Make sure you get all of your tools and materials ready before you start! If you have everything ready and are fairly confident, this can take less than 3 hours.

If you have all the tools and an Ortieb pannier, the cost of making this should be between £20 and £30. The only material you need besides the Brompton bag frame (£20) are 2 aluminium poles that shouldn't cost a lot (or they'll be free if you know the right people!


  • 1x Brompton bag frame
  • 1x 1m x 13mm aluminium pole
  • 1x 30cm x 9.5mm aluminium pole
  • 8x 4.0 x 10mm rivets


  • Drill with an M4 bit
  • Measure calliper
  • Hack saw
  • Junior hack saw
  • Rivet gun
  • Epoxy resin
  • Wire wool
<p>Solid instructable, dude! I've been back and forth on how to finally add some cargo room to my brompton, and this is probably the path I'll take.</p>
Glad to hear it! Like I said, you can actually skip steps 4 and 5 and simply have enough bar coming out on either side of the top for you pannier to clip on. The outer poles serve no real purpose! I only made them in case I want to use the frame for something other than a pannier. Good luck!

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