I used the panniers as battery containers with a little trepidation, there was a lot of design and work creating the set up, with no guarantee it was going to work. Now I have done my first couple of days commuting with them, I am very happy with the results. They are quiet, they only make noise over kerbs and the very worst pot-holes, normal rough road surfaces have no effect on them or their contents. The storage space they provide is already proving useful, and the look and style of them is growing on me!
One of my customers (Tim), is a saddler and I have passed over the second set of panniers and my designs to him, to get a quote for making a pair of really stylish lids in leather. I have given him a simple brief, and asked for some ideas based on his expertise, in particular some sort of locking mechanism for the two boxes. If the quote is good, and they look good on Lynns bike, I may get a second pair made, but I might stick to black 8oz Oxford nylon rucksack material on mine.
The evenings are drawing in, and it is already dark in the mornings when Lynn would go to work, so lights are becoming an issue, and panniers make normal “tube” mounted lights difficult to position. Both racks have standard light brackets on them, but no one in NZ sells anything other than tube or clothing mounted rear lights, so I ordered these lights from the UK, which mount directly onto the racks mounting points, and being attached with nuts and bolts, are relatively secure when left on the bike. If necessary, they could also be mounted directly to the panniers.
Our Cateye Volt 300 lights on the front are more than good enough, and removable to use as a torch when required, and when leaving in insecure places, so they will stay as our main forward lights.