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View Full Version : Experiences with bike buckets sought...


K'Tesh
09-15-2008, 11:55 PM
I'm planning on building my own bike buckets. However, I've heard things that say the square buckets are superior to the rectangular buckets...

I've sourced both, and I'm partial to the rectangular for aesthetic reasons. So, does anybody have experience with both? What would make one a better bucket than the other?

Thanks!

Rubberside Down!
K'Tesh

vincentpaul
09-16-2008, 08:00 AM
Bike bucket panniers. It's easy to make your own, although you can order commercially made ones if you insist. To make your own: Get your hands on a square plastic pail. Common sources are bulk cat litter and laundry detergent containers. Purchase 2 suitable hooks with which to hang the buckets from the rack. Rope cleats work fine, but I prefer boat fender hooks mounted upside down (Perko Model 1246 pictured is $4.99/pair at Joes):

http://www.boatingsolutions.com/images/1246dpchr.jpg

Mount the hooks an appropriate distance apart on the buckets, then drill a hole of sufficient size to draw one-half of a bungee cord through. Draw half a bungee cord through and knot the inside end when the cord is at the right size to stretch down and tighten the bucket to the rack. If you want, you can get quite fancy by placing the buckets inside old backpacks or drawstring bags of an appropriate size. Here's a picture of homemade panniers on tour at the coast last week. They're really just bucket panniers with nylon backpack shells that I scavenged from our Goodwill pile. The front panniers were made w/ the same fender hooks, but using small plastic trash pails from a department store.
http://lh4.ggpht.com/Paul.E.Vincent/SM_Q357NAxI/AAAAAAAAAN8/LliOdhRGZE0/s640/coast_4.JPG

I had to purchase some size 6 bolts, nuts and some washers to distribute the weight, so my total coast was a little over $6 per pannier, which was 20% over my budget of $5. For what its worth, there were several folks with Ortleib luggage that I met on tour last week who thought my kit was more practical and durable than their nylon panniers. When the nylon wears out on mine, you just toss it and get yourself something else as a shell or just go without it.

Square buckets have more loading options, and seem to pack more efficiently for me. They're also easier to create covers for, as any simple square draw bag will suffice. As I indicated above, they're dirt cheap, so why not make both, see what you prefer, and give the others away? One of the advantages of square pails is that they have a 101 uses if you plan on doing any bike camping: turn them over and they become camp stools and tables, fill them with soapy water and they become your laundry buckets, etc.

K'Tesh
09-16-2008, 08:44 AM
Don't you find the fabric vulnerable to road grime? Don't get me wrong, I love the look, but I'm worried about a winter of riding on 217 and what it would do to them. That, and what they'll do to my carpet during wet weather.

Like you said though, they're cheap and easy to make so I'll have to concider making multiples.

Then I read the last part...
When the nylon wears out on mine, you just toss it and get yourself something else as a shell or just go without it.
Thanks!
K'Tesh

lynnef
09-16-2008, 09:16 AM
square vs rectangular - you should consider if there will be enough heel clearance. I've got a square one (yay City Bikes!), and my heel doesn't hit. If the pannier was longer, it probably would.

vincentpaul
09-16-2008, 09:44 AM
Don't you find the fabric vulnerable to road grime?

Sure, just like any pannier, they need to be washed down once in a while. I'll just throw the shells in the wash. It takes about 15 seconds to take the panniers off, lift the buckets out of the backpack, and reattach the pannier to the bike. The shell is purely accessory. Yes, the shells will eventually wear out, but then I'll just find some new ones. Actually, I so like the design and fit of these old backpacks that I'll probably take them apart and use them as patterns to sew new ones. On the other hand, I've got my eye on a couple of pairs of surplus NATO military rucksacs from the Army/Navy surplus store....

Jonathan Maus
09-16-2008, 08:12 PM
check these things out

http://www.bikebins.com

i've got one and it's really cool. don't think the guy is selling them stateside yet but take a look and maybe once i do a little review someone will start carrying them in portland.

biciclero
05-19-2009, 09:53 AM
Probably not the same kind of thing anyone is looking for, but I saw a pretty cool adaptation of a mailbox as a rack trunk the other day. Probably not totally waterproof--but sturdy and lockable. Plus a built-in safety flag...

bubbaPDX
05-19-2009, 12:19 PM
I've used a City Box pannier (available from Nashbar (http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_130139_-1___)) for about a year. Kinda spendy, kinda heavy, but watertight and holds a notebook computer. The ABS case began to crack around the mounting hooks after 1000 miles or so... I reinforced with some big washers.

http://www.nashbar.com/images/nashbar/products/medium/BW-CP-NCL-MOUNTED.jpg

Saw somebody else attaching the same mounting hardware to other briefcases, camera cases (http://www.phred.org/~josh/bike/briefcase_pannier.html), etc. Limited only by your imagination.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3016/2903208583_82166205d1_m.jpg

bikerinNE
05-21-2009, 04:52 PM
I've got some square buckets on the back. They are limitless in uses, and completely waterproof. I decorated mine with stickers and took some reflective safety tape and made a red and white triangle on the back, rather than covering it up with some fabric. Plus when you got the buckets on the back, if you line it up with your rear rack you can use the buckets and rack as a shelf to carry other stuff, like a tent and bed roll.

a couple well made buckets with hanger system, and a couple canvas rucksacks and you've got yourself the best pannier system money can buy, IMHOP.

K'Tesh
05-22-2009, 09:59 AM
I've been riding with a bike bucket now for some time... I had to add an extra (commercially produced) bungie to prevent my bucket (Lemming, and later Lemming Two) from jumping ship.

Lemming died after being landed on (by me) during the December storms, Lemming Two kept jumping off during one of my "Glutton for Pun-nishment" rides.

Now if I could only stop the lid from jummping off and getting run over twice before I can recover it (Portland's 2009 Ride of Silence).

Secure attachments are important...

Rubberside Down!
K'Tesh

bikerinNE
05-22-2009, 04:43 PM
Well that shows how observant i can be sometimes. LOL I thought this was new thread.




I've been riding with a bike bucket now for some time... I had to add an extra (commercially produced) bungie to prevent my bucket (Lemming, and later Lemming Two) from jumping ship.

Lemming died after being landed on (by me) during the December storms, Lemming Two kept jumping off during one of my "Glutton for Pun-nishment" rides.

Now if I could only stop the lid from jummping off and getting run over twice before I can recover it (Portland's 2009 Ride of Silence).

Secure attachments are important...

Rubberside Down!
K'Tesh