Picture of Building Better Bucket Panniers
I live in the rainy Northwest United States and have seen these nifty 4-gallon square bucket panniers on some bikes over the past few years.  A new pre-assembled pair will set you back about 90 dollars.  I knew I could build them cheaper. Plus, I get way more satisfaction out of DIY products. For around half the price I was able to make my own, using brand new buckets and hardware.  With a little ingenuity, you could save more scratch, it's up to you.

Here is what we'll be building:

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Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Picture of Gather Your Ingredients

Here is a pictorial inventory of what you will be needing:

Step 2: Trim and Drill and Awl

Picture of Trim and Drill and Awl
In this Step, we trim portions of the bucket lips so that the pannier brackets will fit flush with the exterior wall of the bucket.  Additionally, we poke a hole through the nylon webbing that will become the carry strap and the bungee retaining strap.  Use brackets and washers for a good guide on placement of holes.

Step 3: Get Strapped

Picture of Get Strapped
Here we assemble the hardware to the freshly awled straps. 

Pictured below are the drilled/trimmed buckets, the assembled carry strap, and the assembled bungee retaining strap.  Shock, aka Bungee, cord is inexpensive so I bought new at approximate 2' lengths.  Overkill... better than underkill.  Really we only need about 18-20 inches.

Use your best judgment for the measurement of the webbing straps.
tpotter21 year ago
Nicely done but pls don't abuse other people/ businesses; buy your own tools or borrow them from someone til you can get your own. Or join a maker network/ shop.
Does the bucket have to be square?
all of the plastic box paniers are nice! I took a heavy cardbord box and slapped on in my rack (not so great but fine for library trips)

these (and all of the kitty litter/bucket type) look great

here are two improvements

1) add panels of foam insulation on alll side to make one side a cooler, you could get very fancy here.

2) add LED lights if the black plastic is too dark to see contents, or, like your car boot, easy to see at night

Nice job, but the deal with the drill wasn't right.
terroir du monde (author)  oregoncarver4 years ago
Economically, though, it was a win.

Folks, you don't even need a drill for this job. The plastic is thin enough that a drill bit and a good grip (pliers) will do nicely.
CrLz4 years ago
Well done, nicely thought out.

terroir du monde (author)  CrLz4 years ago
Thank you. I haven't decorated them, but I did adorn them with 3M reflective tape on the rear and an amber reflector on the side so that they'd be easier to spot in the dark.
artspace4 years ago
What kind of hooks did you use? And where did you get them? It looks like they are vinyl coated...
terroir du monde (author)  artspace4 years ago
They are. I ordered them off of the JandD website, somewhere under replacement parts, I think. They are rather inexpensive, very sturdy, and designed for pannier use.
Culturespy4 years ago
Well done! That's a very clean build.