Even during a tip-over your aluminum
panniers can be damaged/deformed. The reason for most
deformations is that the rack usually is smaller than the pannier and
mounts on the weakest part of the pannier, the large, flat backside
Disregard the small black box, it's a battery pack for LED's.
Here is how to
harden your panniers with a few, easy steps:
the outside of the pannier rack on your pannier. If you have ridden
with you panniers for a while ths may not be needed, as the rack will
show on the pannier. Remove your panniers from your racks and remove
the mounting kit.
hardening the panniers I use two steel bars, 2.5" x 1/8", as long as
the pannier. These bars are available for relatively cheap from many
online metal shops. Yes steel bars add a little weight, but aluminum
bars would need to be at least twice as thick to have the same
strength, and that comes out to about the same weight.
The bars have to go from one pannier edge to the other edge to work
properly.They can be a little longer, but not shorter. The edges are
the strong parts of your panniers and need to be included in this
Lay the bars on your
pannier, so that they cover where your rack goes, as well as the
the inside of the pannier mark the holes of the mounting kit. Drill the
same size holes that are in your pannier into the bars in the positions
you marked. Take care in marking and drilling to get a good fit.
Lay the bars back onto the pannier and check the hole position.
If needed drill the holes a little bigger or file the holes into a slot.
drill, and tap 5 or 6 more holes into each bar. Two holes close to each
edge of the pannier and one or two in the middle between the mounting
kit. I used M4 screws, which are plenty strong for this.
Mark these holes onto the pannier and drill thru-holes in these
positions into the pannier.
Clean the bars and paint them to prevent them from rusting.
From the inside of the pannier use button-head screws with fender
washers to attache the bars.
Re-attach the mounting kit and you are
ready for your next adventure trip.
This will not prevent the pannier from deforming if you go down hard,
but a tip-over or a slow down on sand or gravel should not damage the
pannier. This has worked for me a few times already, but your
experience may be different. Sorry, I'm not taking any responsibility