DIY PANNIERS

Transforming your bike into an urban workhorse needn't cost you the earth. Cape Town cyclist and author Dr. Helmke Hennig shares his ingenious, DIY solution to create panniers out of upcycled materials.

Cape Town based author an retired lecturer, Dr. Helmke Hennig, uses his bicycle for purely utilitarian reasons. Living far from public transport routes and no longer being able to drive a car because of failing eyesight, Helmke’s bicycle is often the only way he can travel beyond five kilometers. When presented with the challenge of transporting boxes of fruit from the local market to home, Helmke came up with an ingenious low cost solution to create pannier saddle bags out of old shopping bags and reused hardware supplies. What follows are his detailed instructions to guide you in making your own.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • A bicycle rack
  • Copper tubing (2 pieces as long as the width of your rack)
  • Cable ties (x 4)
  • Hose pipe with a diameter that allows the copper tube to be inserted.
  • Fabric shopping bags or similar which have grommets to reinforce the handles.
  • Metal rods that are flexible enough to be bent, but strong enough to hold weight (Helmke used the rods from an old asbestos drying rack)
  • Plastic tube to fit over rod
  • Two pieces of cord

BUILD IT IN 5 EASY STEPS

 

Credits
Photographs by Ursula von St Ange.
Asbestos drying rack wire rod donated by Al Lastovica.

  • Author Posts
Director & Founder of BICYCLE SOUTH
Cape Town based designer & bicycle activist, Leonie is passionate about sustainability and green living. When she is not busy advocating for bicycle cities or blogging on Cape Town’s bicycle culture, you’ll find her adventuring beyond the city limits on her steel frame touring bike.
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Director & Founder of BICYCLE SOUTH
Cape Town based designer & bicycle activist, Leonie is passionate about sustainability and green living. When she is not busy advocating for bicycle cities or blogging on Cape Town’s bicycle culture, you’ll find her adventuring beyond the city limits on her steel frame touring bike.

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