Strengthening Panniers

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )

Strengthening Panniers

Postby Moodyman1 » 6 Jan 2014, 9:06am

With canvas panniers I found they always tore at the bottom first.

I've now been given some Vaude panniers and they look very durable, but I can see that carrying tins of beans (or similar) will eventually tear the base. Any ideas for protecting the base and sides?

I've got some linoleum left over from fitting the bathroom and was thinking of using that.

User avatar
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby meic » 6 Jan 2014, 9:09am

I have a pair of very lightweight panniers that have the back and bottom lined with "estate agent signboard", it gets bent and the edges curl but it still gives enough shape and protection to the material.
Yma o Hyd

User avatar
Mick F
Posts: 48842
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby Mick F » 6 Jan 2014, 9:28am

When I had thin nylon panniers, I reinforced them with thick lightweight plasticated cardboard.
As well as protecting them, it also gave them rigidity because they were quite floppy when empty.
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
Posts: 5558
Joined: 29 Nov 2008, 12:55am

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby CREPELLO » 6 Jan 2014, 10:56am

I've used lightweight foam sleeping mat with some success. You can buy these for as little as £5.

Posts: 28704
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Jan 2014, 2:22pm

A lot of tradesmen's tool bags have a so-called "hard bottom" made out of a moulded pliable plastic material. I've seen children's schoolbags with the same thing. This info is no use for strengthening existing panniers but it would be good if the likes of Carradice gave it a try.

Posts: 3400
Joined: 4 Dec 2013, 3:33pm

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby Bicycler » 6 Jan 2014, 3:14pm

I guess the Vaude's are probably waterproof but with my old canvas ones a good, thick waterproof liner performed two functions; keeping dry and protecting the pannier. The panniers lasted a lot longer like that.

Posts: 3926
Joined: 17 Nov 2007, 3:31pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby Tonyf33 » 8 Jan 2014, 1:10am

I lined (sewn in) my panniers with yeast bags after they had split. Very tough material
Last edited by Tonyf33 on 9 Jan 2014, 6:07pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 18075
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby Vorpal » 8 Jan 2014, 8:10am

I would have go with the linoleum and see how it works.

I have used a lighter, but similarly stiff plastic card in the past. There was a thread about this a couple of years ago.

“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Posts: 28704
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Jan 2014, 9:09am

Cotton duck (as used by Carradice) is vulnerable to damage by abrasion; this is often most obvious on the side pockets of saddlebags. Super C panniers are reinforced internally with what's been called estate agents' corrugated plastic board and while that's an excellent internal support which minimises flopping, it does nothing to protect the outside surfaces. IME

User avatar
Posts: 10618
Joined: 6 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby Cunobelin » 8 Jan 2014, 8:01pm

Beware that with stiff materials like linoleum or coroplast a sharp angle or sharp edge can destroy a pannier by abrading a hole

User avatar
Posts: 13951
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, car park of England

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby gaz » 8 Jan 2014, 8:19pm

meic wrote:I have a pair of very lightweight panniers that have the back and bottom lined with "estate agent signboard", it gets bent and the edges curl but it still gives enough shape and protection to the material.

Edit - pics

Holy Pannier Batman!

Estate agent board insert.

Halfords right hand pannier, £1 a pair off ebay, I wore the hole in it later. At first I tried just lining it with a "bag for life" but this also developped holes. The bag is not waterproof and is often left damp at both ends of the commute, any fabric liner would be doomed to fail.

The estate agent board was picked up off of the road on my commute. I fashioned a box, shaped to match the bottom of the pannier. Attempts to staple the sides of the box to the base weren't entirely successful, so masking tape was added to keep it all together.

Very succesful at keeping everything inside. If the hole gets too big I'll start using its left handed brother but the box will be fitted at the outset.
Last edited by gaz on 9 Jan 2014, 2:22pm, edited 1 time in total.
2020 : To redundancy ... and beyond!

Posts: 41
Joined: 9 Feb 2009, 8:18pm

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby bumper » 8 Jan 2014, 9:16pm

As mentioned above, your best option is the fluted plastic sheet.

It comes in colours too, if you're a colour matching tart. Go to your local plastic supplier or sign shop and ask for corex sheet or twin flute sheet. An 8ft x 4ft sheet in 4mm is approx. £10!

User avatar
Posts: 2639
Joined: 9 May 2007, 1:06pm
Location: Live & work in Briz'l

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby simonineaston » 9 Jan 2014, 8:53am

You mention tins (my NY's R is to read the original post...), so I'm thinking regular shopping. If I used my bike to carry my shopping and I bought a lot of tinned food I would probably use a basket or similar hard-sided device into which to pop my shopping bags, and save using the panniers for softer items, like clothing and other items made of fabric.
There are some hard-baskets out there that are designed to clip on to racks.
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

Posts: 266
Joined: 6 Aug 2010, 1:43pm

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby QUIST » 9 Jan 2014, 1:07pm

Trty cutting cardboard boxes such as those which fruit is delivered in to size - they have always worked very well for me

Posts: 13241
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Strengthening Panniers

Postby mercalia » 10 Jan 2014, 10:32pm

I have karrimore panniers - to stop them drooping and fouling the derailleur when not very full or has say a bottle of milk in, I use a thick layer foam rubber with corrugated cardboard on top side all held together by lots of plastic tape duck tape I think its called, bottom moulds it self to bottom of bag.

Oh i had to repair the back of the pannier as it cracked used Glassfibre - messy but effective -