Thursday, May 14, 2009

DIY Project: Bike Panniers

Last week, I wrote about how to make bike baskets. This week, I'm going to give you some options for making your own panniers (on the cheap).

There are a variety of items that can be transformed fairly easily into bike panniers. A fellow Bostonian made some out of 5 gallon water jugs (the kind that are used in water coolers) and was nice enough to share an instructable about it.

Brian Huntley, of, wrote a great tutorial about how he made some slightly heavier and sturdier ones out of kitty litter buckets.

You could recycle some old messenger bags or backpacks into removable panniers; this instructable shows you how to do it for under $10.

Or you could pick up a couple of old army bags from your local Army Surplus store to make backpack panniers. These can also be made with regular non-army backpacks.

Backpack panniers are by far my favorite because not only are they removable, but you can still use them as backpacks, thereby eliminating the need to switch the items you're carrying from bag to bag when you get off the bike.

If you have any more ideas for homemade bike panniers, let us know by leaving a comment. Feel free to send pictures; we'd love to see your work.

Update: Thanks to Suburban Dollar for including this post in the 179th Festival of Frugality.

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