There’s a hole in the pannier, dear Peli, dear Peli

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hole in ortlieb pannierCome sing along with me …

There’s a hole in the pannier, dear Peli, dear Peli,
There’s a hole in the pannier, dear Peli, dear Peli,
Then fix it, dear woolly, dear woolly, dear woolly,
Then fix it, dear woolly, dear woolly, fix it.

So, I did!

I have been using one of the Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus (Rear) panniers as a tool box over the last three years. Carrying spare parts, sharp and bulky tools along with the random “pet brick” and D-locks. I also park my bike up against brick walls many times a day, along with taking the pannier on/off many times a day.

Therefore at the bottom there are around four holes, one is 5mm wide. Two of them are right up against the frame of the pannier, where my stuff has rubbed against the floor when put on the floor. There’s also a smallish one on the outer pocket, which is clearly a hole from wear against the walls. Then there is one on the corner, from the side to the back, where the stiff inner plastic sits and forms the shape of the pannier: this is from rubbing against the Tubus rack. I always hit there with the pannier when putting it on the rack as a guide, to get the anchoring hooks into the right place. So, it’s safe to say that my pannier has taken something of a beating!

I could go out and get the original Ortlieb Fabric Repair kit, but there are a few DIY options I want to test, first.  I’m sure that I will get a hole some day while away and will have forgotten the Ortlieb repair kit.

Gaffa/duct tape: Brilliant way to put an extra protective layer to cut down on wear. Though over time, with heat and damp, even gaffa tape will start to rub off. So you need to keep an eye one it and reapply. And if you are using it on the inside of your pannier you will end up with that sticky residue from the tape on your belongings.

Puncture repair kit: I have been told that this should work also. I would still put a good helping on the outside of gaffa tape.

Tent repair kit: With some tents you will get a repair kit too, which I’m sure that should work just fine, from the inside and with gaffa tape on the outside.

I have heard that people have had success with superglue and old inner tubes. Though all the glue I have worked with tends to harden. So, it will not flex with the soft fabric the panniers are made out of. There is also some silicon sealant-come-glue products that could be used, though they’re mostly in big “industrial” tubes which are hard to carry with you when you are trying to pack light on a tour.

So, today I took my pannier apart and set to work with some puncture patches. On my first attempt the vulcanizer didn’t bond, it just rolled off, a bit like rolling silicone off a surface. That was even before I applied the patch, I was touching the vulcanizer to see if it was drying. It was a bit hard to see inside the pannier – I need to use my head torch the next time. On my second attempt I managed to affix a patch to inside of the pannier but after two days of bonding it just fell off.

This means it is gaffa/duct tape time or invest in and remember the repair kit.

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