Bike Hack: Pannier Bags & Polymer Clay

For the last couple of years I’ve been using a pair of Dawes pannier bags on my Pashley.

The trouble is that they’re not really designed for the chunkiness of the Pashley’s rack, and they’d also be really easy for someone to just lift off when the bike’s parked. It was to overcome these shortcomings that I’d used a whole bunch of cable ties to fix the panniers onto the rack:

But I needed a more permanent solution – my experience at Newcastle Central Station had shown that a pair of scissors could make short work of the cable ties’ security benefits.

I needed something more permanent, so I headed off to the Big Orange DIY store to buy some P-clips. The trouble was, they either had massive ones, or ones that were 0.5mm too small to fit snugly round the rack. The problem with that is that when you tighten them, you put a lot of stress on the clip and it’s prone to failing:

What I needed was some sort of gap-filling wedge. I made these from some of Daughter’s leftover scraps of polymer clay – this is basically a thermosetting polymer with a mineral filler to give it a clay texture.

The wedges were moulded in-situ:

I then carefully undid the bolt, removed the wedge, and baked them to cure the clay:

As you can see, they’re threaded:

All I had left to do was cut off the bag’s hooks, drill the holes for the bolts, and fit them to the rack:

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