Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Porteur Bag - Good Enough For Government Work

After much thinking, drawing, and figuring, I finally put the porteur bag together. I'm not as pleased with it as I am with the frame bag but it's to my benefit to consider it a learning exercise. Putting it together went great. I had all my pieces sized up, lined up, and matched up just right. It was going together so easy I was getting excited at having a finished product.

But the design and the materials are lacking. The nylon material is substantial but not nearly enough to keep it's shape. Like me, it needs structure. I added some corrugated plastic board to the bottom and sides. I used duct tape to hold the pieces together so they don't shift or slide. That is working pretty good.

The vinyl I added to the lid to hold a map or other papers isn't as useful as I hoped.  It's too loose so everything falls out when you open it. I might close up the forward edge.

The velcro holding the sides and back of the lid isn't quite in the right place so there's some peeping out from under the edge of the lid. It remains to be seen how well the system I came up with for strapping the bag onto the rack works. I have two weeks to test it out. Well, one, because if it doesn't work out I'll have to buy a porteur bag. Or maybe stuff everything into a dry bag and strap that to the rack.

I didn't enjoy making the porteur bag as much because I put so much thought into creating a method for attaching it to the rack that fits within my means, i.e., my wife's 24-year-old sewing machine and the materials it can work on. So making another bag is questionable for the time being. I'll see how well it holds up on the trip.

The top with the sides flipped up.

All the pieces attached to each other and ready to have the sides sewn together.

I don't care for the ugliness up front but that's what 
my weak mind thought of until I had a better idea later on.
I have nylon webbing with inner tube strips sewn in and then velcro onto the front.

I added an elastic cord and a hook to help hold the top down 
and minimize the forward slide of the bag.

And in the blue corner, weighing in at 65 pounds...
the Elephant!!!

I loaded up all my gear and found I still need the panniers to carry everything for the Hot Springs Loop. The weight up front really smooths out the ride but when I get some speed there's a tendency for some oscillation. I rode up Division to North Division Bike Shop to pick up a couple of items. Climbing with the heavy bike didn't seem all that bad but I was on asphalt. I'm sure there's a difference when it's several miles and on forest service roads. I didn't let the bike completely go coming back down the hill. I figure I need to get a couple more rides in to get used to the feel of the loaded NFE. Tomorrow morning I'll get some gravel climbing on the way to work.

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