I would like to share with you some images and information of a rear bike rack and pannier system that an acquaintance had built. I had the opportunity to have a very long and in-depth conversion with the maker and was given the Ok to make a quick instructable.
My apologies in advance for the poor images
Lets have a look!
- A Discarded lawn chair- this is where all the tubing came from
- 2 similarly sized backpacks
- "Coroplast“- essentially a plastic cardboard, this was used to stiffen the back of the backpacks, many other materials could be used for this
- 2 bungee cords- This will help keep the bags in place
- Electrical or hockey tape, eh! (this was a quick and dirty way to help cover up the cut pipe ends)
- Assortment of fasteners - bolts were mainly used, some joints used pop rivets
- Surface to hammer on- could be just the concrete, or the side of a sledge hammer head or just a random thick plate of steel (bonus tip- when using a steel plate or sledge hammer head place a scrap of carpet or thick cloth between it and the floor to help reduce the amount of noise)
- a punch- they used a concrete nail, apparently these nails are much harder than regular nails (but i wouldn't go looking for these as i don't think they are particularly cheap)
- Drill and drill bits
- Hack saw and/or pipe cutter
- Bench vise – optional but super useful
- optional- pop riveter and pop rivets
- file or grinder
Unfortunately i don't have much info on the specifics but...
Creating connection holes in the tube
Its hard to drill through the center of round pipe with a hand drill, so instead a nail was used as a punch and literally hammered though the pipe were needed, you could drill larger holes if needed as you would already have a good pilot hole.
The rack mounts directly to the wheel axle- the pipe was flattened and a hole was drilled, a slot could be made on the end of the pipe instead to help make removing the rear wheel easier
No welding was done, all visible welds were from the lawn chair which the maker was lucky enough to take advantage of, but they are not essential to the construction and modifications can be made to account for this. For example the cross beams between the two halves could easily be tubes with flattened ends bolted or pop-riveted in place.
leftover coroplast was used to make a quick rear mud guard, zip ties where used to connect it to the bike and rear rack
Step 2: Panniers
The panniers are basically two backpacks with no sewing or other semi-/permanent modifications. Coloplast was used as the stiff backing and bottom in the bags to keep the bag from touching the wheel. the bags are attached to each other by threading the lower strap of one bag to the upper strap of the other bag, hopefully the picture above will get the point across.
The bags are simply hung over the rack and a bungee cord is wrapped across the bottom to keep them from swinging on turns. The exposed pipe ends and some of the joints were wrapped with hockey tape to reduce the chances of cutting/wearing holes in the panniers.
This is defiantly not the prettiest setup but it does the job and is likely much stronger than many cheap rear racks. It was the result of an fairly urgent need for a strong rear rack and large panniers and when it was originally built it was intended to be a temporary solution. It appears to be holding up well and the maker told me he has no intention in replacing it any time soon.
Hopefully this instructable has provided some useful information and perhaps inspired some ideas. I plan to attempt to make my own and update this instructable with any new observations or tips.
This setup is very similar to "Bike rack, panniers, adventures: 4 Packs, Trailers and fun." by mikerushford - I recommend you check it out as it very well made instructable and also made with no welds, link below