I’ve put the large Schwinn saddlebag on the Ross’ front rack, but it’s a little droopy. I had an idea to reinforce it, and make the rack attachment sturdier.
- 2 long split rivets
- 2 M5 flat head screws (20mm – a little long)
- 2 fender washers for the rivets (a good fit for the rivets)
- 2 nylock nuts (M5)
- 2 P-clamps (to fit the 5/16″ rack tubes)
I blew an hour in the hardware store looking for P clamps (they got none), and being angrily puzzled at the English hex keys in the 3mm bin like a silverback gorilla with a fake coconut. “Urgh! No fit! Tool no fit hex head!” I ended up with nylon p-clamps from the electrical aisle, and I bought a a 3mm hex key from the 2/3 upcharge aisle.
It is really tedious living in the hinterlands sometimes.
The genius of using a ruler for your bag brace is that the measuring is much, much simpler. Mark the ruler with a sharpie where you want the rivet holes, and where the P-clamps will line up, once they’re on the rails. The P-clamps needed to be mounted over a couple turns of bar tape, since they had none that were a good fit.
Countersink a divot in the top of the ruler so the rivet-heads have a good flat contact with the wood. I used some lino-cutting tools. I could have turned the ruler upside-down, but the aesthetic imbalance made me itch. Trivial woodworking – don’t stab yourself.
Once you’ve measured twice (or thrice, like me), the important part is just drilling through the ruler and the bag in one good go. I put a rivet 15mm from each end, and skipped the middle one. The flat head M5 bolts hold everything together closer-in. I beveled the bolt-holes a bit for a better metal to wood connection.
There it is; rack connection, zip ties and toe straps. My original plan called for P-clamps on the backstop, but I used zip ties for the rear attachment instead. I think I could remove a toe strap and have it be just as secure. I didn’t even know there was a strappable flap on the back until today. I also replaced one of the stupid rivets into the wooden dowel the whole bag hangs from with a wood screw after it popped out for the 7th time.