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Bike Bag Mini-Hack!
Hi everyone! Just a quick one. I’m a perennial cyclist so I decided a while back to invest in a little bike bag, the kind that goes over the pannier rack, just for some extra storage.
I popped along to my local high-street retailed and gosh, was I surprised – they were so expensive! Forty, fifty, sixty pounds for a 10 litre bag- I know you get what you pay for, but this just didn’t seem to warrant the asking price. So I did the only thing my generation of internet saturated comparative shoppers could do in that situation – I went on eBay.
There I found myself this neat little number for £10 – cheap and cheerful.
Only one problem – the straps.
They were attached by Velcro – and the amount of struggling need to thread and un-thread them from the plastic loops was enough to have you tearing your hair out. This needed a change.
I decided to fit it with slide-release buckles, the kind fitted to most back-packs – I had some lying around, but your local haberdashery will stock them for about 50p each.
The first thing to do is measure the width of your pannier rack – they are fairly standard, usually around 13cm – that means each strap should be around 4cm, the width of the buckle itself (mine were 5cm) making up the rest.
Cut off the excess – bear in mind that only one side of the bag has plastic on this particular model, so the strap has to be sewn to itself to form a circle – not particularly elegant, but effective.
On the other side, thread the straps through the provided loops and pin them in place – you can strip out the velcro first with a seam ripper, but it’s not necessary and very fiddly. In fact, I found the stiffness of the velcro to be quite useful keeping the strap it in place.
I busted out my sewing machine at this point, though they can be hand sewn and even stapled if you have a sturdy stapler – I’d recommend this though, staples can rust! It was eight runs of stitches in all – four to close the material round the plastic loops, and four to do the same thing round the buckles. Easy!
And there we go – I won’t say that it is now a breeze attaching this thing to the bike, but it’s a darn sight easier than when it was all velcro.
Hope you enjoyed that, now get on your bike and ride!