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DIY Family Fun – Add A Pannier To Your Yuba Front-Loader

DIY Pannier Rack Yuba Cargo Bike

Are you looking for a way to add additional functionality to the rear rack of your Yuba front-loader? Maybe a fun afternoon activity to teach the kiddos a little bit about tools? Then you are in the right place! 

Option 1: Find A Compatible Pannier

If functionality is what you’re going for, there is always the option of adding a compatible pannier that is all ready to go. 

Some panniers can be strapped or bolted onto the top of the rear rack, no modification necessary. Our recommendation is a Roswheel Expedition Touring Pannier (you can find it here)

However, if you’re not afraid of a little elbow grease, and want a fun family activity, let’s get you set up with your own pannier rail! 

Pannier Bag Yuba Cargo Bike

Option 2: DIY Fun – Build Your Own Pannier Rail

Our DIY will show you how to fabricate a pannier rail that can be mounted to your cargo bike. Once complete, we recommend a pannier like the Ortlieb Back-Roller City (you can find it here). 

Below are the three different ways to make your front-loader compatible with the Ortlieb Back-Roller City pannier. Each of these options involves different tools and materials, so choose whichever option works best for you and the resources at your disposal. 

Three Different Material Options To Choose From

Every material is different and has unique characteristics:

  • Wooden Dowel: very easy to work with, but gets waterlogged easily
  • Steel Tube: needs to be painted to avoid rust
  • Aluminum Tube: you will need to find the right conical / saddle washers

Build Your Pannier Rail – Wooden Dowel

What’s needed?

Tools:

  • Drill
  • Safety glasses
  • Marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Sandpaper

Materials: 

A wooden dowel that is less than 16 millimeters in diameter and at least 25 centimeters long.

How does it work?

  1. Cut your wooden dowel so you have a tube that is 25 centimeters long.
  2. Mark where you want your bolt holes to be on the dowel. In the picture, we we marked it 1.25 centimeters from the dowel end for each hole (leaving 22.5 cm spacing between holes).
  3. Use a drill to create a hole that is large enough to fit a M5 bolt.
  4. After you drilled your holes, double check to make sure that they still have proper alignment on the rear rack and can fit a M5 bolt. Once you have confirmed that the holes have the proper separation, you can use sandpaper to clean up and smooth out any excess wood around the holes.
  5. The pannier tube is all done! All you need to do is connect the tube onto the rear rack and your bike is ready for a pannier bag.

Build Your Pannier Rail – Steel Tube

What’s needed?

Tools:

  • Drill
  • Safety glasses
  • Marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Dremel
  • Deburring tool
  • File

Materials: 

A steel tube that is less than 16 millimeters in diameter and at least 25 centimeters long.

How does it work?

  1. Cut your steel tubing so that you have a tube that is 25 centimeters long.
  2. Flatten the tube ends of your 25 centimeter tube. A vice is a great way to achieve flattened tube ends.
  3. Use a drill to make a hole in the flattened portion of your tube end. The holes should be spaced approximately 22.5 centimeters apart.
  4. Use a dremel to make the holes into slots that are large enough to fit a M5 bolt and give a little room for adjustability.
  5. Clean up the slot with the deburring tool and use a file for any finishing touches to the tube or hole.
  6. The pannier tube is all done! All you need to do is connect the tube onto the rear rack and your bike is ready for a pannier bag.

Build Your Pannier Rail – Aluminum Tube

What’s needed?

Tools:

  • Drill
  • Safety glasses
  • Marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Deburring tool
  • File

Materials: 

An aluminum tube that is less than 16 millimeters in diameter and at least 25 centimeters long. 

Additionally, you will need two saddle/conical washers that match the diameter of the tube

How does it work?

  1. Cut your aluminum tubing so you have a tube that is 25 centimeters long.
  2. Mark where you want your bolt holes on the tube. For this one, I marked 1.25 centimeters from the tube end for each hole (Leaving 22.5 cm spacing between holes).
  3. Use a drill to create a hole that is large enough to fit a M5 bolt. Double check to make sure the holes still have proper alignment on the rear rack and can fit a M5 bolt.
  4. The pannier tube is all done! All you need to do is connect the tube onto the rear rack with your saddle/conical washers in between the tube and the rear rack. Now your bike is ready for a pannier bag.

Have fun hauling with your new pannier bag! If you have any questions about the DIY, please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment in section below.

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