Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Peugeot saddlebag support UPDATE

After trying the first saddlebag support rack on the Peugeot and finding it wanting, I swapped it over to the Rivvy, where it still needs adjustment but is working better there.

I went looking for another one and found it at the Bike Recyclery, a Portland shop dealing in vintage bikes and parts. The maker was unknown, suspected to be Japanese, and seemed like a far better shape and a better attachment design that might work, so I gulped and sprang for it to the tune of thirty bucks. (Though when I consider what I spent on buying, shipping and powder coating the English rack that’s now on the Rivvy, this may have been a bargain. Don’t tell my partner.)

Today I installed it on the Peugeot. And I learned two things: first, these cool, old saddlebag support racks are designed to work on road frames, where these less space between the seat stays and the rear wheel and between the rear wheel and the installed rack. Secondly, those design characteristics mean that any vintage support may work, but will look a little odd on a mountain bike, even an older one.

Still, I forged ahead. And along the way, I had to do some cutting and filing in order to accommodate the frame’s rack eyelets because I didn’t want to cut them off. It took some doing, but in the end I made it work. Again, it’s not a perfect fit, and it won’t be on a mountain bike, but it makes me happier than the previous rack did.


Getting the clamps to fit inside the space between the sear stays and above the brake cable hanger was a tight fit. Squeezing the ends together hurt my hands and I had to try several times before I was successful.

Then I had to remove the rack and cut and file space to fit around the frame’s rack eyelets, which I didn’t want to remove in case I wanted to use a full-sized rack later on.

The aluminum alloy rack came slightly bent out of alignment, and I had to be very careful about how much pressure I used to realign it so I didn’t break it. In the end, with several adjustments in a well-padded bench vise, I got the lower half of the clamps to properly align. If I want to bring the upper half of the clamps into better alignment I might have to use a hammer and punch, after zip-tying the lower halves into place and letting the outer-pushing spring of the rack do its job, I find that it’s holding solidly enough for now. I’ll add thicker zip ties to the top halves if I think it’s needed.

If I tie the rear of the bag to the seatpost and close the bag, it sits well enough on the support that the support actually makes sense. If you look closely at the first photo, you’ll see that the end of the rack flares up just slightly, a nice touch that helps keep the bottom of the bag from rolling off the back of the rack. A coroplast stiffener inside the bottom panel of the bag may help reinforce that aspect. I’ll cut and install that tomorrow and see if it does.


anniebikes said...

I love your ingenuity.

bikelovejones said...

Thanks Annie! I've always fixed and made things with my hands. Keeps me out of trouble, I suppose...