In this simple guide I’ll show you how you can recycle a square bucket and make your own panniers which are incredably useful. I used four panniers just like this on a 2100 mile Pacific Coast tour with great success. This kind of panniers are also called Bike Buckets.

Things You Will Need:

Things you will need.

  • A bike with a rack
  • A drill.
  • Wrenches, screwdrivers, and/or allen keys.
  • A razor blade or a sharp knife.
  • A plastic bucket.
  • 2 rope hooks.
  • 2 bolts
  • 2 nuts
  • 4 washers
  • ~ 60 inches of 1 inch wide webbing
  • 3 webbing slides
  • 1 side release buckle

The things you need for this project are pretty standard except for the webbing and webbing hardware. I was able to find everything at a local hardware store and a sporting goods store. If you can’t find webbing in your area you can always try Suitable buckets are also easy to find. Mine came from cat litter and mayonnaise. It is worth asking around for the mayonnaise buckets because they have much better lids.

Instructions

  1. Using your razor blade cut out a portion of the ridge next to the bottom of one of the handles.
  2. Cut bucket

  3. Drill two holes in the bucket just under the portion of the ride that was cut out.
  4. Align a rope hook with one of the holes and tilt it toward the edge of the bucket. Make a mark on the bucket where the second hole of the rope hook is positioned.
  5. Drill holes where the bucket is marked.
  6. First three holes drilled, last hole marked.

  7. Bolt the rope hooks on the bucket. Put the washers on the inside of the bucket.
  8. Strap the bottom end of the webbing on to your rack using one of the webbing sliders.
  9. Put the bucket on your rack.
  10. Wrap the webbing around your bucket, around the top bar of your rack, and back over the side of your bucket. It should hang down to about the middle of the bucket.
  11. Sizing the webbing.

  12. Attach the free end of the webbing to the top bar of your rack using a slider.
  13. Starting from the top of the webbing pull it taught over your bucket. At the halfway point of your bucket cut the webbing.
  14. Attach the female end of the buckle to the top piece of webbing using the last slider.
  15. Attach the male end of the buckle to the bottom piece of webbing. The male end should not need a slider to attach.
  16. Give yourself a pat on the back!
  17. Finished product

    Notes:

    I’ve gone through a few different versions of this design. In this version I tilted the rope hooks so the natural wobble of the buckets will be lessened. Prior designs where the hooks were vertical had a tendency to crack along the sides of the hooks. While not new to this design the quick release buckle makes life a lot easier. You could make this work using only sliders and adjusters. A previous design of mine used this but it was cumbersome to take on and off.

    You may want to wrap something around your rack or around the hooks. After heavy use the hooks can damage your rack. I’ve wrapped webbing designed for rock climbing around the hooks with good success.

    Of course you will need to determine if this will work with the brand of rack you have. The majority of racks I see are the universal delta racks which work well but don’t have a horizontal bar at the bottom of the rack. For the purposes of this demonstration I attached the bottom piece of webbing in a way that would mimic a delta rack. As soon as I took that picture I moved the webbing to the horizontal bar. If your rack has one I’d suggest using it.

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