Dec. 22nd, 2011

graafen: (Default)
As you may recall I got myself a new bike back in August and I still love it to bits. Granted it's a heavy beast but it's beautiful to ride and given it's construction it will probably out-live me.

Though it's current use is for leisure, and I would like to use it for commuting (when I'm fit enough to do the 20 mile round trip each day), I did choose that particular bike for one plain and simple reason; survival.

The bicycle has proven time and time again to be a fantastic vehicle, world militaries making use of it up to 1993, and well worthy of consideration as, frankly, the best BOV[1] and the only sustainable method of transport in any sort of WROL[2] scenario.

I will go over my though processes that led me to my decision that bicycles are the best BOVs for temperate to tropical climates with low-to-mid gradient terrain in a follow up post, but I don't want to tangent too far from the topic at hand.

Given that I might want to haul a lot of gear on my bike I decided to look into panniers[3]. I had got two pannier bags when I purchased my bike, but when I got home I discovered that the rack on my bike is too big for the hooks on most panniers. This led to slight modifications, and though they work wonderfully they aren't what I want; hard panniers.

I've spent a few moments here and there over the last couple of months looking at hard panniers that fit into the following criteria:
1) Price cap at £50 per pannier.
2) Must fit the rack.
3) Must have a minimum capacity of 20L each.

I did find some online, but they were either too small, too expensive, and none of them gave dimensions of the attachting mechanism.

Then I recalled that [livejournal.com profile] avagdu had produced a video about using 5 gallon square buckets as panniers, bolting them directly to the frame. I liked the idea of using cheapish plastic containers to carry items but those buckets were too wide for my liking; I wanted something that didn't increase the total width of my bike.

Then, last night, I was talking to Iron Angel in the R4nger5 IRC channel about this and whilst trying to find something through random Google searches I discovered the answer; plastic jerry cans. Two 25L jerry cans, with the proper modifications, would work perfectly, and they're bloody cheap and sturdy.

The current plan is to remove the top of the cans just below the handle and spout, attach mounts to the outside (reinforced and sealed) and add some sort of cover. I'm also assuming that they will need some form of bracing to prevent them from warping due to weight.

I'll have another week off from work in just after New Years Day, so I shall set about making them at that point.

Footnotes
1. Bug Out Vehicle: A method of transportation designed to get one from point A to B (B being a safe location) during a period of time where staying in A would be dangerous.
2. Without Rule of Law: A period of time that succeeds an event that changes life for the majority of human civilisation, most commonly assumed to be a perioud of strife and challenge for those that survive the initial event.
3. Panniers: Bags or containers that attach to a specially mounted rack over the front/rear wheels.

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graafen: (Default)
Graafen

May 2012

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