500 gram pannier set

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foxyrider
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500 gram pannier set

Post by foxyrider »

Well not quite but its possible! After spending a couple of weeks getting everything together, this evening i decided it was time for the build! :D

Superlight Pannier Bags

There has been much talk about the weight of pannier bags, why doesn't anyone make any, how durable / waterproof bags are and so on.

A little research with Ortlieb is quite enlightening, they arguably make some of the best and lightest bags around, fully waterproof, durable with an easy to use fitting system. For the purposes of this exercise i decided to use a fairly standard front bag as the guide, so each bag will be @ 12.5 litre capacity, 25 litres for a pair.

They make three qualities, City, Classic and Plus all nominally the same size, 30x25x14 cm. heaviest of these is the Classic at 1590g/pair, Plus is 1440g/pair and City comes in at 1210g/pair. Most of the weight saving with the City is due to losing the inner pocket, shoulder strap system and the estimated 2.5litres of extra capacity the other bags boast. As most will know the saving between Plus and Classic is due to the lighter non PVC material used for construction.

As weight, waterproofness and capacity rather than long term durability are the key points, the aim is to if not outperform at least equal the City bags. Of course if we can do something about price as well that will be a bonus. It was pretty obvious that utilising Ortlieb's fixing system and basic design would keep things simple and so i set about locating the ingredients.

So here is my recipe for 1 approx 14litre bag

ingredients
Ortlieb QL1 lower hook set E109 34 grams (£5.00 JE James)
Ortlieb QL1 hooks with handle E162 71 grams (£8.49 JE James)
Ortlieb QL1 top rail short E170 46 grams (£5.50 JE James)
Bluefield 15l drybag 65 grams (£3.50 Ebay)
1 sheet A3 4mm corrugated plastic board 49 grams (£1.50 Ebay)

Tools required: scissors, T15 torx key, 12mm ring spanner, bradawl, 3mm hex key, pen

Time required: 20 minutes

Using a disassembled Ortlieb Front Roller as a pattern, first job was cutting the plastic board to size and then marking the position of the holes required to fix the lower hook set and top rail. Using the bradawl pierce the board at each required hole. (this will make it easier for the self tapping screws to be fitted.) Before going further assemble the upper hook assembly to the top rail - you can't do this later without disassembly.

Next place the plastic board inside the bag ensuring it sits at the bottom of the bag and that the roll closure is in the same plane. This part can be a little fiddly, any mistake here may result in you needing to repair a puncture before continuing! Once you are happy with the position carefully mark where the self tapping screws will pierce the bag then using the bradawl make a tiny hole at each point.

We are nearly done now, its just a simple case of assembling the components, lower rail first. Carefully screw the self tapping screws through the fixing, bag and backing plate taking care not to damage the other side of the bag! Make sure that the bag is stretched flat across the backing board before fixing the top rail in place. Once you've tightened all the screw/nut assemblies the bag should be watertight once more and its ready to use.

IMG265.jpg
installed on my Tubus Carry rack
IMG269.jpg


My finished bag weighs in at a staggering 265 grams and cost £23.99.

What could be improved? well you could cut some holes in the back plate or sculp the shape some and you'd be under 250 grams easily. If you are worried about the material stength at the fixing screws you could use puncture patches to re-inforce the area. I've used a smaller size bag but you could use bigger if you need more capacity and dry bags are available in various denier materials, mine are @ 80 den. You could also replace the self tappers and nuts with lighter aluminium bolts and nylocs - probably save @ 10 grams (i'm sad enough that i've done this with a seatpack!) That would give you a fully functional bag weighing @ 240 grams compared to 605 grams for the City pannier.

For lightweight, hi volume stuff like tent canvas, clothing, sleeping bags etc this should work pretty well, they won't stand up to fetching the weekly shop too well though. Given that the fixings are easily recycled onto another bag the initial outlay could potentially give you a new bag for under a fiver if you need to replace it. (you could 'borrow' everything from an esisting bag if you wanted!)



I'll post a full how to on Flickr in a couple of days!
Last edited by foxyrider on 18 Mar 2013, 11:29pm, edited 1 time in total.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by NATURAL ANKLING »

Hi,
Stealing my thunder...... :)
Got to a market for semi light panniers.
Folding and foldout panniers from rack bag got to be light eh :?:
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pedalsheep
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by pedalsheep »

That's brilliant! :D
'Why cycling for joy is not the most popular pastime on earth is still a mystery to me.'
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Mick F
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by Mick F »

These panniers I had back in the late 80's were featherlight. Just thin nylon material and zips. They sat over the rear rack and had clips on rubber bands to hold them down.
Wombats.jpg
Mick F. Cornwall
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RickH
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by RickH »

A word of caution - make sure the pannier can't get into your wheel. I would recommend using a rack with a "dog leg" rear stay

this style
Image

rather than this
Image

so the back end of the bag can't swing into the spokes, especially when the bags are not full.

It is probably worth using a webbing strap/belt as a compression strap in such circumstances too.

Rick.
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foxyrider
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by foxyrider »

Whilst i fully agree with the dogleg rack statement because of the stiffener board in this design they shouldn't sag into the wheel!

I learnt all about that issue 30 years ago with bags like Mick F's with no stiffener fitted - they ended up in the wheel quite often until i retrofitted a hardboard backing plate! Not light but effective. :D
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!
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Mick F
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by Mick F »

I can't remember having problems with mine at all. It's a long time ago since they bit the dust, but I can't remember problems. They were dirt cheap - I do remember that! - and worked ok.

That photo was taken in Tasmania 1988 by the way.

I actually bought the panniers to commute with. Very often I had to take a change of uniform in with me so I had plenty space for shoes and shirts etc. Riding empty, the panniers could be folded up and clipped to the rear rack out of the way.
Mick F. Cornwall
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simonineaston
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by simonineaston »

Well Done FR :-)
(I 'spect I'm not alone keeping such lists, so have no shame in showing mine...)
Here's the difference:

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So that works out at a 14% reduction in weight between the Ortlieb equipped and the FR equipped bicycle. That seems significant, to me. Sounds Good!
(rides: Brompton nano & ever-changing Moultons)
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RickH
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by RickH »

I had (still have tucked away somewhere I think) a similar set (from the late 70s/ early 80s) that were probably the worst of both worlds. They had a stiffener built in but it didn't go all the way to the front of the side bags where they strapped onto the frame, if you weren't careful - and with a rack without a dog leg - the stiffened bit could move enough to rattle in the spokes (thankfully without any serious incidents - just interesting noises :) ).

Rick
LollyKat
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by LollyKat »

Looks good - though I can't find any 15L dry bags at the moment. 20L seems to be the smallest.
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3spd
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by 3spd »

Alpkit do 13L dry bags

http://www.alpkit.com/shop/cart.php?tar ... ory_id=296

this is a link to there Airlok xtra but they do do a thinner (lighter) model.

I have no connection with Alpkit apart from being a very satisfied customer over and over again.
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andrew_s
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by andrew_s »

Looks good!

Let us know how it performs in the longer term.
Durability when parking against stone walls etc?
Do the screw fasteners for the top rail & lower hook seal properly against correx and with thin proofing? (as compared with fairly stiff & solid plastic, and a thickish proofing that will help make a seal on Ortlieb.)
Any problems with extra floppiness?
hufty
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by hufty »

Like them a lot. Do you actually need anti sway hooks? Loosing them and the rail might save a few more grams.
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foxyrider
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by foxyrider »

hufty wrote:Like them a lot. Do you actually need anti sway hooks? Loosing them and the rail might save a few more grams.


you need something although it could be a velcro tab, that would make it a bit fiddly to remove but if you aren't fussed :P
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!
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foxyrider
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Re: 500 gram pannier set

Post by foxyrider »

As promised here is a link to my how to pics on Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/92281886@N ... 075870799/ :D
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!
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