Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Locally made panniers for a locally made bike

Posted by on March 19th, 2008 at 11:02 am

A local bag maker has created a custom set of panniers that are just as gorgeous as the bike they were made for.

Bike by Ira Ryan/Ira Ryan Cycles, bags by Rebecca Pearcy/Queen Bee Creations.
(Photo: Queen Bee Creations)

The bike is a custom commuter built by local builder Ira Ryan and the bags are the creation of Rebecca Pearcy. Pearcy founded Queen Bee Creations back in 1996 and has seen her business blossom in the past decade.

Her handbags and wallets can be seen all over town, but this is the first set of panniers she’s ever made. I wanted to share them with you not just because they local and quite stylish, but also because Pearcy says she wants to measure interest in the bags in order to decide if she should make them part of her regular offerings.

The bags are made out of a high-quality waterproof marine/auto vinyl material (Pearcy notes that she is working on a non-pvc material for future bags) and they’re lined with water-resistant nylon. Percy says the bags include an adjustable seat belt webbing strap so that the bag can be carried on the body, as well as a webbing handle on the back for lifting with the hands.

As you can see in the photo at right, the handles can be snapped together so both bags can be easily carried with one hand. Other features are plenty of pockets and a standard hook and bungee-cord attachment system.

As for pricing, Pearcy says that depends on whether or not they go into production, or if they remain custom only (like this first pair was). That being said, she gave me a ballpark estimate of $150-$250 each.

Pearcy says she’s, “more of an avid maker of things, than an avid bicyclist,” but adds that making bike bags would, “seem like one of the best things Queen Bee could produce, to inspire people to ride their bikes more!”

But she won’t do it until she hears some feedback on the bags.

So what do you think? Would you like to see her make more of these? Check out a few more photos on the Queen Bee Flickr page and let us know what you think in the comments.

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  • Jeff TB March 19, 2008 at 11:15 am

    These are the nicest panniers I\’ve ever seen!

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  • steve March 19, 2008 at 11:26 am

    While they are not the nicest I have seen, they are damn close.

    Those are some fine bags and she should be proud. I hope she gets busy making more soon!

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  • Anon March 19, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Smart business. I hope she makes them. I\’d buy those as a gift for my wife in a heart-beat. Probably for myself, too, depending on the designs available.

    One design suggestion? Use a light-colored fabric inside. It makes rooting around inside to find stuff much, much easier.

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  • Carl March 19, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Bring \’em on, Rebecca!

    I noticed the other day that Clever Cycles are carrying their own branded shoppingbag panniers. Not sure where they\’re having \’em made or when they\’ll be in need of more, but it might be worth a visit as they do their best to support local manufacturers.

    Regardless, I know of at least one 3-speed in need of your panniers. Any guess on stock vs. custom prices yet? Do you throw in an Ira Ryan with all bag purchases?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) March 19, 2008 at 11:46 am

    \”Any guess on stock vs. custom prices yet? \”

    hey Carl,

    I forgot to add that into the story.. she told me the price depends on how much she ramps up production, and whether or not it remains something that is custom-only or part of her regular offerings… and she gave a range of about $150-250 each.

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  • Ashley March 19, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Awesome! My heart just exploded in happiness. I would definitely save up some money for a pair of these! How wonderful!

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  • mel March 19, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Um… gorgeous! It\’s high time for some cute panniers! Especially from our very own Queen Bee. Though I\’d be supportive of some sort of reflective material – as ugly as that might be.

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  • Brad March 19, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I encourage Queen Bee Creations to put them into production, and I hereby commit myself to buying one to two pairs if it does. I would like a design similar to Queen Bee Creation’s “Vine” or “Minima” styles to go with my maroon Surly Long Haul Trucker.

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  • annefi March 19, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Very nice bags, but they need a large reflective area on the backs, such as the Ortleib panniers have.

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  • Spencer March 19, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Too bad they are not in stores,

    I would buy a pair for my seeties birthday to go with her QB hand bag and wallet.

    Only problem, is that she would want the Ira Ryan next. We live on Willamette and see him riding various creations home pretty regularly. Jealosy.

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  • Bether March 19, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    I would buy these. They are absolutely gorgeous!

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  • Tony Pereira March 19, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    She should contact local builders directly if she really wants to gauge interest. I\’ve actually been looking for someone local who could do this for me. Let\’s hook it up!

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  • Mmann March 19, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Just saw these on Ira\’s site yesterday. Worth a second look today. Yes. If you make them, they will come. My guess is a wait list will be reality soon.

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  • Jason March 19, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Very nice looking bags indeed, and glad to know that a non-PVC version is being explored. I\’ll be holding out on considering Queen Bee products as a viable cargo solution until the alternative material option is available.

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  • mle March 19, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Carl #4, the bags you may be thinking of are the Basil line from the Netherlands, carried by Clever Cycles.
    I heard a rumor that Clever Cycles was actually in discussion with Queen Bee about creating bike bags, when Basil refused to have US distributors (now Basil sells through SBS, but not in the variety you\’ll find at Clever)
    Our household loves our Mirtes and they were only about $70ea, shipped all the way from England, back before Clever had \’em.

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  • april March 19, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    They\’re a bit out of my price range, but they\’re super cute. I love the stuff Queen Bee makes–I\’ve had one of their wallets for a couple of years now, and although I\’ve attempted to abuse the hell out of it, the vinyl hasn\’t frayed or faded or cracked or anything! It looks just like when I bought it. Well, maybe a little dirtier, and full of stuff, but I haven\’t tried to clean it…

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  • Stripes March 19, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    mle – what is \”SPS\”?

    I have had my eye on a Basil product for a while, and can\’t find any way to get their items in the States.

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  • janis March 19, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I want, I want!!!!

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  • Toby March 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    As long as they\’re as functional as they are good looking, I love \’em. You know, keeps the water out, removes from rack easily and is comfy to carry off bike (wide straps, nice!!), then I\’d love them for my school junk. Shmaybe a leather or rubber bottom for setting on ground. I second the comment regarding reflective material. My Ortleibs are awesome, but far from perfect as a book bag.

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  • Refunk March 19, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Very nice, wonderful to see more local craft. Please do make \’em. After checking out just the Flickr link, here\’s my .02, based on experience as a commuter and cyclotourist (there\’s another lifestyle market, Queen Bee):

    1. Consider using canvas, hemp, leather, or Cordura ripstop nylon, for durability (many people think their bikes too cool to use a kick-stand and thus lean the bike–and any panniers–against stuff, to say nothing of normal UV & thermal damage from regular exposure to weather; panniers take a beating) or even more modern one-way permeable fabrics. Keep artistic style, though!

    2. Cannot tell from posted pix whether there is a drain–especially with a liner, a grommetted bottom drain hole is useful in our moist weather. Even the vaunted Ortlieb has to be dried out when water gets in (no–I ain\’t pokin\’ a hole in my Ortliebs!), because they\’re so waterproof that water has no exit (trust me on this). Other materials breath enough to let evaporation occur and pass moisture out of the bag instead of encouraging the unnoticed creation of surprise lifeforms. With a liner, who knows what\’ll happen… Looks pretty (see the orange slip of interior visible in one of the pics) but trapped moisture [even if only condensation] might be a factor.

    3. Reflectance: Visibility is life. Doesn\’t have to look all utilitarian–Martina over at Clever Cycles showed me a collection of small, artistic reflective stickers (Fleur-de-lis, these were), which I was immediately reminded of upon seeing the birds stitched into one of these panniers. She had others–they were locally made by the guy who makes LightOn headlamps, I believe. Then again, you could probably tastefully incorporate a strip of 3M Reflexite tape on the bags somewhere. Another alternative might be the use of something like Kelty Triptease Lightline (woven with 3M reflective thread) in appropriate placement, particularly in such a delineated graphic style (embroidered?).

    4. Good traditional mounting system. Cannot tell from pix if there is a folding concealment or cover flap to protect from the bungie hook when carrying off the bike (an innocuous looking little thing, the hook–ow, ow, torn clothes!)

    5. Cannot tell from text or images how the closures work for the top of the panniers. Velcro? Cinch-locks on cords underneath the flap? Electromagnets activated by handlebar switches? (okay, didn\’t see those, either)

    With so many fine bikes coming out of Portland, it\’s only fitting that designers with complementary skills step up to complete the integration of so much art into the cycling lifestyle. I say, take the plunge, Queen Bee!

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  • kim March 19, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Strong work Queen Bee!!! My Schwinn would totally rock a set of your panniers!

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  • IceArdor March 19, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Those are beautiful works of art. They almost look too nice to get road grit on.

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  • IanO March 19, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    mle #15:

    CleverCycles does make their own brand of no-frills vinyl panniers. I bought a set of white and red ones (super visibility!) when I got my Azor. Very capacious, but they don\’t easily come on and off the bike. If I were doing it over, I would have bought a hueg front basket instead since it 1) comes off and 2) gives better weight distribution for the upright riding position.

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  • jj March 19, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Oooooh! I have a serious Queen Bee addiction and this would be a most welcome addition to the collection! I keep wanting new ones, but my Queen Bees are all in such ridiculously good shape after years of heavy use that I have a hard time justifying it. This would be perfect because it wouldn\’t just be another bag.

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  • b March 19, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    i\’d really like to see pictures of the insides…and how the closure system works.

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  • Dabby March 19, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    These look very nice.

    I must ask if they have been road tested yet, as in miles and miles, full of various things.I am sure Ira would be the best person to do so…Maybe they can carry his robe and crown, as I consider him to be the King of Iowa.

    I have seen and owned, a number of different types of bags (shoulder, hip, and pannier\’s) handmade locally and from other areas. The tell tale seems to be how they hold up ie; stitching,(as in industrial strength thread or not, etc) drainage, wear around screws, drains, and hooks, and stench, after the miles are applied.

    The sad fact is that the many of them, especially the early models, do not really hold up well at all. This is of course a part of product development, as we all know.

    This is especially true with pannier\’s, as they tend to get the heaviest of usage.

    I type this only in a positive manner by the way. I welcome a regional pannier to be hung from racks.

    Maybe some of you will replace those buckets now?

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  • Liz March 19, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Oooh, I love it! I\’ve been wanting a QueenBee bag, but just couldn\’t justify it yet. But if it was a pannier AND a shoulder bag, well, that would be a different story!

    Yes, do consider reflective materials. Also, some of that cool glitter vinyl would add a little extra flair!

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  • Smarty Mouse March 19, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Love my Queen Bee bag. Would LOVE to have panniers so sweet. HOWEVER, my purse is wearing out at the corners after ~ 1.5 years of use. Sorry but I\’m not into disposable products. When I spend this much cash on something I like I want it to last! I\’d like to see some added reinforcements on the purse, I can imagine the panniers would get some harder wear.

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  • Max March 20, 2008 at 6:06 am

    These are great bags and a super cool bike too.

    There\’s actually quite a few custom and handmade bags in town now. One I recently ran across was http://lemolobags.wordpress.com/. His backpacks are quite nice from what I can tell. There\’s also some local messengers being made that are sold at City Workers, but I haven\’t seen a maker name on the tags.

    I\’ve made some things myself, but never this nice. I\’m glad to see the local people getting some exposure.

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  • Brian E March 20, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Reply to #20

    Hope I don\’t get in trouble for posting but these are the reflectors. http://funreflector.com/

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  • deedee March 20, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Smarty Mouse #28, I would give Queen Bee a call – I think they do repairs at little to no cost.

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  • Shamus March 20, 2008 at 9:04 am

    I\’ve been looking to buy some and these look great – count me in.

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  • Rebecca Pearcy - Queen Bee March 20, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Hi all –

    Thanks to everyone for all the great feedback — just what I was hoping for.

    In response:
    – I have many ideas for decorative reflective designs for the bags
    – The bags close with wide velcro strips that are 5\” long, making the flap adjustable up + down to accommodate smaller to larger loads
    – The lining is bright orange and light grey – I agree that it helps to make the lining easy to see into. The bag is one big main compartment with one open pocket in the back, where the stiff board is installed, a large zip pocket, and a small zip pocket in the inside front, with 3 pockets on the front & sides beneath the flap.
    – Smarty Mouse #28 – we do indeed do repairs, usually at no cost. Give us a call and we\’ll see what we can do to spruce up your bag. Due to this kind of wear, the panniers are constructed entirely differently than the normal QB bags, with binding all the way around the seams. This will help avoid that kind of wear on the corners & such. Queen Bee studio: 503.232.1755. We\’re open 9-5, M-F.

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  • nik March 20, 2008 at 9:28 am

    I want these bags to go into mass production so that I can buy a pair.

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  • todd March 20, 2008 at 10:04 am

    i could be mistaken, but it appears to me that these beautiful bags on that beautiful bike are mismatched in a basic way: heel clearance. is this combination actually usable? boxy bags call for longer chainstays and/or racks than this!

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  • Rebecca Pearcy - Queen Bee March 20, 2008 at 10:29 am

    re: todd #35

    We checked heel clearance when the customer came in to try out the prototype for the bike bags – clearance was fine and there\’s room on the rack to position the bags farther back, if needed. I also asked her, once she had both bags & had ridden off into the sunset, if the clearance was good, and she confirmed that it was…

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  • Jason B March 20, 2008 at 10:51 am

    These look great. I would echo the other calls for a non-PVC material (there\’s been lots of research over the past few years on how nasty the stuff is for the environment and human health). Also, it\’s awesome to hear about the pockets – the biggest drawback of the Ortleibs. Finally, truly waterproof is key for us commuters!

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  • Wendy March 20, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I am so happy to see Rebecca\’s beautiful work getting the attention it deserves.

    I can confirm that the bags are *perfect*. I\’ve been using them every day and could not be more pleased. But this does not surprise me, knowing the quality of Queen Bee\’s work. They keep the water out and clean up easily. Plus, they are very roomy with lots of convenient pockets.

    Thanks to Rebecca for taking on this special project, and also to Ira for helping with the crucial initial planning phase.

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  • Torfinn March 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    These are great looking, I think you\’d be able to make a hot dollar with \’em.

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  • Wilsonville9 March 21, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    I made a mistake and bought a giant HP Pavilion laptop that weighs a ton. Will the bags be sufficiently padded for this horrible monstrosity and will they support its weight? It will be several years before I can afford a Mac Air Thingie.

    I\’m Wilsonville9 and I approve these panniers.

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  • eli bishop March 24, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    yes, yes, yes! more pretty portland panniers, please!

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  • kim September 15, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    These are fabulous, please please make them!

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  • uterider September 18, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Perfect solution for all those people complaining that the Kona Ute isn\’t Xtracycle compatible. Get some nice extra long custom panniers made for your Kona Utes.

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  • Jackie from Brooklyn, NY October 30, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    There are so many messenger bags on the market and not enough cool panniers.

    I would also like to see a handlebar bag that works with “Klickfix” attachment system.

    Will these be sold as a pair or individually? I think I would just get one to start.

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  • Bill Michtom April 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm


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