mounted bag

front bag attachment

bag and bars

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.

ruler and shopping listI pulled a wooden ruler from my stash of art materials and made a shopping list:

  • 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)

bag-attachment drawingI 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.

measure the connection pointsThe 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 some space for the rivet headsCountersink 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.

nail it all togetherOnce 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.

mounted bagThere 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.

side view big bag on the front rack


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UI/UX Designer, bike nerd, artist.

7 thoughts on “front bag attachment”

  1. Nicely done! DIY and cobble-work almost always make a good bike even better.

    Also, I really like the drawings. I wish I could put pencil to paper and come out with something that doesn’t look like a 2 year old drawing on the wall. I am jealous.

  2. Thanks! I’m really happy with it. Stuff goes in, stuff goes out, nothing flops around. Thanks for the drawing envy – that makes me feel good! :^)
    90% of drawing is practice. The other 10% is enjoying the practice enough to put up with the crap you produce. Seriously, though, if you want to draw, buy a copy of “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” and do all the exercises. You can learn to draw. I had that book in a drawing class in college (taught by Bill Abright, who built Charlie Cunningham’s heat-treating kiln – POW! Namedrop) . Bill came over to the table in the back where I sat with the other two kids who could draw better than me and said, “you guys can draw pretty well. If you don’t put in more effort, these retirees who’ve never drawn in their lives will be better than you by the end of the semester.” I looked at their work, and how far they’d come, and I realized he was right. I put in the effort to stay ahead of the curve, but I bet at least one of those 55 year old students is now 78 and can paint rings around me.

  3. I think that 10% is the thing that holds me back from getting better at a lot of things. A bit unrealistically self-critical at times. Thanks for the book recommendation – I’ll have a look around for a copy. One of my not-a-resolution resolutions is to force myself to be more productive regardless of how much I may hate the output. Eventually I’ll be those retirees.

    Also, thanks for the kind words about the blog. I turned commenting off because we were getting very few readers, and the only comments were Peter (the other guy that contributes) commenting on things I’d written. It was a bit discouraging, and I have a hard enough time making myself click the publish button as it is. I’ve been thinking about turning them back on now that I have a enough of a routine going that I’ll likely stick with it.

    1. There’s not a lot of advantage at being really good at something you don’t enjoy. Unless you like the result enough, I guess. Like working out. :^)

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