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Panniers for bicycle touring

July 9, 2010

I’m working on a set of panniers for cycle touring. Today, I’ll post pictures of the prototype I’m building first. Several friends who tour (something I’m hoping to do some of) will be offering me pointers. Panniers are a bike’s equivalent of a horse’s saddle bags. It’s where the rider carries all her stuff, when on long trips. You need a place for your hair dryer, your make-up, your favorite heels, your black lace teddy, and your little black dress. OR, you need room for your tent, cooking gear, Desitin (you’ll probably get saddle sores somewhere along the way), matches, toothbrush, and sleeping bag. And, if you want to keep your friends, a place for fresh clothes, maybe some food, a map, and a spare innertube for your bike.

So, here is the way it’s developed so far:

After some preliminary illustrations, and got out the materials to do a 3-d mock-up

I cut out the silhouette.

And determined how wide I thought I wanted it, and seemed practical considering the width of a car lane.

Then I made a 3-d mock up of the basic size and shape.

Then, I added an external pocket:

And tried it on for fit and proportion.

Now, I need to determine what other external pockets I need, and based on what I might carry, what dimensions and closures might be appropriate.

Stay tuned. More to come.

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