Introduction: Inner Tube Bicycle Pannier

This instructable will teach you how to make Bicycle Panniers from only Inner tubes and rubber cement. It turned out even better than I expected and is very strong, Completely waterproof, and very practical. Also like to give a thanks to my local REI for supplying me with way more than enough inner tubes. 

Things you will need:

About 7 or 8 inner tubes
Contact Cement (Little stronger stuff than rubber cement.)
Skinny Foam Brush
Something Round to use as a rolling Pin. 

Step 1: Items You Need

Things you will need:

About 7 or 8 inner tubes
Contact Cement (Little stronger stuff than rubber cement.)
Skinny Foam Brush
Something Round to use as a rolling Pin. 

Step 2: Getting Started

You will need to cut your inertubes in half as close to stem as possible and then cut out the stem. Next Cut long ways down the inner tube to open it up, BUT make sure your cuts are very straight it makes the gluing them together step A LOT easier. Then lay all the strips out on the table.

Step 3: Gluing It All Together

Next we need to make it into one big sheet of rubber, so we start the gluing process. Contact Cement is used by spreading each area of the surfaces to be connected with Contact cement then waiting for the contact cement to dry to the touch you put the to pieces with contact cement together and it sticks.

1. Coat each piece on one side about 1/2 inch or so from the edge Wait for it to dry and stick them together. You can see in the picture where I put the Glue on the inner tubes because it is darker than the rest.

2. You want them to be laying flat with no wrinkles so make sure to be smoothing it out as your laying it down.  To get rid of a few small wrinkles and really make everything stick I used a... Well a glass candle but a rolling pin would also work just something round you can turn and apply pressure. 

You will need to repeat this process until you have 4 - 7 pieces together depending on the width of the tubes and how long you want you panniers to be.


Step 4: Planning It Out

Now that you have one large sheet of rubber you need to plan out the size of the bag.

1. lay it out on the carpet.

2. Pull the material doubled over on one side to the size you want.

3. Pull it a little farther and flip it back over to account for the material needed for the cover flaps.

4. Measure the size of your rack and calculate that into the center part.

5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the other side of the rubber sheet.

6. Tape Everything in place and lay it over your rack. (remember that when it is glue you will be losing about and inch from all sides because you will need to glue it together.)

7. Cut off what you decided you wanted the flaps to be. Cut out a little width from the rack area to the length of your rack. 

8. Put it all back together using tape and on the bike to see how you like it.

If it works for you time to start gluing, if it doesn't go back and redo measurements.

Step 5: Gluing It Together Again...

Now do the gluing the same as before. 

1. Cut little slits in where the curve of the bottom of the pouch would be in order to make folding it over easier.

2. Put glue on outside front edge of front pouch and glue on outside edge of rear pouch.

3. Fold the front puches outside edge in half and connect the two glued areas together.
(you could do the inside edge of front pouch and out side pouch of the rear of the pouch and glue them together but that doesn't make the bags rounder and are more easily torn apart.)

4a. Next glue the Cover flaps above the pouches making sure they are long enough to cover the pouch when it is full. but not to far down as to make it hard to pull stuff in and out.

4b. Notice on mine I glue the flaps directly on without folding them over and then gluing. If you glued them the opposite way so that the flaps would fold over the glued section it would make it look better I believe. If you try it let me know.

There you have it a very simple bike Pannier, But I continued on to add bonus features, so don't stop here.


Step 6: Adding Tie Downs

I punched holes in the rubbed round the edge of the rack and then laced stripes of rubber around the bottom of the rack and then over the top of the rack and rubber and tied them together. That holed my panniers to the rack actually quite well.

Next I need a way for the Flap to stay closed you can think of a different idea that might work better but I had a lot of rubber so was determined to use only rubber.

I cut strips and glued them to the flap covers then made sure there was a enough of the rubber strings left to tie into a heft knot that would hang off the edge. I then filled the bag with items and measured where the knot would reach to. I then glued a strip of rubber to the pouches with an area of no glue in the center so you could slip the knot through it. You can see what I mean in the second picture. It looks bad int he picture but it actually lined up and worked quite well.

I also glued a strap across the top in the area I have marked in the first picture for a handle so when I take it off I can carry it.

Suggestion - Looking back I could have made slits in the rubber and run the strip trough it looping the bottom of the rubber and going up top like a circle, that would provide more stability.

Step 7: Making It Look Good

At this point I was satisfied with the panniers but they still need a little improving on the looks.

Grab a pair of scissors and round everything out so you don't have random jagged edges. Give the rubber edges a little style. That made it look real good. However one thing was still missing. Racing Decals.... I cut the names of the tube company out of previous tubes and glued them onto the flaps to give it a better look but there was some already from other tubes I had used but this made it look even more professional.

You could cut out tires pieces and glue them to the corners for more strength on the corners.

Step 8: Not Necessary But Probably a Good Idea.

I also added pieces of metal off my rack so that the bag could never hit my spokes, it would really only hit them if you had one small heavy item at the back of the bag but better safe then sorry. Usually I would have welded this metal pieces to the other rack, but because very few people have welders and I had a lot of rubber I tied them.

Step 9:

It's finished take it out for a ride. Hope everything works out for you, if you make it and do something better or cooler or more practical let me know love to see more ideas. You could definitely make this a very nice and easy to use bag if you used zippers and buttons but I had lots of rubber.

Comments

author
Kwolf12 (author)2015-08-15

Sweet! I think I'll make one of these for my daughter's bike. I've mostly just used old inner-tubes for protecting ropes and staking out trees, but they always seemed to have such potential to be other things. I don't think I've ever thrown one away ... such good material.

If you ever do decide to go fancy when you're making something with them, be aware that they make really awesome braids and rope-like weaves. Cut thin strips of tube, about one centimeter wide, and do a simple braid, then tie at the end with a thinner piece (the contact cement will help a lot to make that knot stay) and you have a very nice leather-look rope to tie panniers shut or tie gear on top of the rack.

author
Ruud van Koningsbrugge (author)2012-12-09

Hey Zyan,
Great idea! I worked a lot with innertube, but never thought of bicycle Pannier. Put old tyres where they belong: on a bike! You may consider cutting a tube lenghtwise and put it on the rims. It will look great and make it less "floppy". Visit my website www.ruudvankoningsbrugge.nl and look under "Tassen" (Bags) for more idea's. Sorry the website is in dutch.

author

Hi ruud since you're dutch could you maybe tell me what the dutch word is for contact cement? I have no clue what to buy in Belgium.

author

Hi bogaardesquat,
Ik denk dat contact cement ongeveer overeen komt met bison kit of bison tix, een contact lijm die je op beide opppervlakken aanbrengt, even laat drogen en dan op elkaar perst. Mijn ervaringen met binnenband in combinatie met dergelijke lijmen ( ook van andere merken) zijn niet erg positief, Ik vind het niet stevig, en niet betrouwbaar

author

' You may consider cutting a tube lenghtwise and put it on the rims. It will look great and make it less "floppy" '

I had a look at your site and your stuff is AMAZING, Its clear you have a lot of experience. I have done some work with bike tubes but I can never stop the 'floppy' problem, could you please explain a but clearer how you cut and attach the bike tubes to avoid this problem?

author

I will try to explain.
Tube comes in two types. One rounded, the other flat ( see photo) the right flat one is the only one to create a non floppy surface.
Second photo shows a flat tube cut lenghtwise in two "folded rims"
Third photo shows the rim sewn round the edge of a bag-flap.
The rim reïnforces the otherwise floppy rim.

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author
onrust (author)2013-01-26

The perfect combination of ugly and awesome. I love it!

author
scraptopower (author)2010-11-15

Love this! I only have 23c tubes though, do you think it will work with such thin tubes ? What size did you use ? I'm surprised it only took 7 or 8 tubes to make this.

Voted and rated 5* :)

author
Zyan (author)scraptopower2010-11-15

Hey

Yah it would probably work, but take a lot more tires, might make it easier with thinner tubes to use a tube or strip of a tube for a backing that would also make it look like there is no layers and one solid piece and might be easier to get one strip fully covered in glue and pop to half glued pieces to it. just an idea would give it a flat look also. hope that makes sense but yeah it will take a lot more time to glue them all together might be worth it to just pick up someone elses old tubes that are bigger and you could use the small tubes as backing pieces if you wanted to try the flat look. I have hard time writing what I am seeing in my head sorry, hope this makes sense. all the ones I used were around 26's 1.90 to 2.3 range. If you make one you should let me know and post a picture!

Zyan

author
wingbatwu (author)2010-11-14

make it shiny with armorall

author
aaron-k (author)2010-11-14

AND DUCT TAPE!!!!! DONT FORGET DUCT TAPE!

author
Zyan (author)aaron-k2010-11-14

haha yah can't forget duct tape.

author
busidit (author)2010-11-13

Hey, Great project!
I especially like the way you used the printed parts of the tubes.
I've been digging inner tubes a lot lately. I have so many surplus tubes around they have become, along with zip-ties, the solution to most of life's problems;) An example is mounting a big plastic milk crate on the front of my bike. The rack is a hacked rear rack and it's mounted very securely to the forks with zip-ties. The inner tube protects the paint and keeps everything from sliding. I'm working on a complete Instructable on it, but in the meantime here's a quick preview.

Bicycles 014.jpg
author
Zyan (author)busidit2010-11-14

Thanks
I like what you did there. yup Zip Ties and Inner tubes can fix almost anything. let me know when you post that instructable!

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