In the last post about the panniers I bought, I fixed up the cracked leather buckles. However they still were attached to the rack using leather straps, one of which broke when I first loaded them up. The other thing bugging me about them, apart from potentially breaking again is that they take so long to remove and attach that I wouldn't bother removing them. What I had planned to do for a while was to somehow modify them to use modern quick-release hooks which also meant I could quickly move them from bike to bike.
I had a search on the internet and found that Ortleib has a whole range of spares, so I ended up ordering a pair of short rails, pair of hooks and a pair of side supports. All up this cost more than I paid for the panniers! Although admittedly I got the panniers for very cheap. The parts I got are from the QL-1 series which is the older style, it adjusts with a 3mm allen key. The newer QL-2 fixings can be adjusted without tools, however they didn't have all the parts I needed.
|The panniers original construction has a thin strip of steel which |
the leather straps went around, I drilled four holes through this to
securely attach the Ortleib rail to.
|The bags themselves don't have a stiff backing piece like most|
modern panniers so I decided to make stiffeners that connect the
upper hooks with the lower hook. This also makes it
easier to attach to the pannier as the lower hook doesn't flop about
|I fixed the rails through and attached the aluminium straps|
to the lower hook.
The panniers now attach and detach just by lifting the black straps in the picture above which releases the hooks. I've ridden a bit with them now and they stay on the rack even more securely than before, the stiffeners not only help with attaching them but they also have given the pannier a much better shape, before they sort of sagged a bit. Now they are a lot more useful because I can quickly detach them and take them in with me, or once I get a rack for my other bike I can swap them over quickly. All up the cost was about the same as a set of new lower-end panniers, however these combine the old school looks with new school function. Well apart from the fiddly leather buckles that open/close them, but you get the point.