Saddle bags -- likes and dislikes
I want to make my own saddle bags, but never having used any, I don't have much idea about what I want. Does anybody have ideas? What do you like about your saddlebags? Not like? Wish was on them? Wish wasn't on them? To hard to put on? Don't stay on? Big enough? Not big enough?
I don't want to make the ones that go over the horn, I want proper ones that I can pack some stuff in!
I've often thought about making my own as well but unless you have access to some very heavy material or leather then the proper thread and sewing machine to do it, it didn't make sense.
When you add in the extras that you need, such as straps, buckles, rivets, etc, besides the material and a good pattern, the cost of buying them is much more reasonable. You can buy a usable set for under $25 in a heavy cordura or for about the same you can get a set of rough out leather.
The size I like are 10x10x3. I find that I can carry anything I need for a day's trail ride with that size without having bags that sticks out too far.
Just my thoughts on the subject.
Thanks for the dimensions of yours. That's a help.
Buying saddle bags here isn't as cheap as that, and it won't cost me anything to make them, because I already have everything I would need (I think). But it's also about making something that works for me. For example, today when I went out, I found that whatever I make, has to be much easier to open and close than what I'm using now. Maybe I need one side easy to open, and one side more secure... just trying to design something in my head.
What material are you using? If you would like, I can get the dimensions of mine and post it for you (not just the pouch but the piece that sits over the rear skirt on your saddle).
I may build two pockets and have one close with a zipper flap and one with a latch hook... hmmm.. decisions.... that's why I'm looking for ideas!
Have you looked on ebay? http://sporting-goods.shop.ebay.com/...=p3286.c0.m282
Being an old guy with old ways, I'm partial to leather.
I've found that the 10X10X3 size is about right. If you make it much bigger (or deeper) you'll find that suff gets kinda lost down in there.
Things I require:
Good, heavy leather.
A wide/longish cover flap.
2 Straps to secure the flap.
Yep.... good leather saddle bags are expensive.
You can get the "ebay type" rough-out bags perty cheap. But just know ahead of time that they are cheap for a reason.
So...if you're going to put them to any kind of heavy use, you'll have to re-stitch them with some good thread and do some re-inforcing of the bottoms, right from the get-go. The type of leather they are made from is the worse there is...and won't stand much weather (or abuse) as-is. So you might also give some thought to rubbing a bunch of shoe-grease (or mink oil) into them before subjecting them to rain, snow and/or a lot of hot sun during the summer.
In fact.... If you go that route, I'd say that buying two sets wouldn't be a bad idea. Maybe that way you could just remove the existing stitching, unfold everything and use the pieces to build one set made of 2-ply leather. That would also provide an opertunity to add a divder or something if you wanted to.
You can buy a hand-stitcher for leather and heavy canvas. It's called an awl and they usualy come pre-boxed with a good bit of heavy thread.
They are a bit slow but are quite usable....if you aint in a hurry.
Hope this helps.
Yup, DGW is right about good leather bags costing money, my set was easily over $150 when I had them made a few years ago. BUT a riding partner of mine has the rough out bags and has been using them for quite some time and they have held up very well. The leather was stiff but a lot of oiling helped that but the rivets and the stitching are still intact. He uses them once or twice per week for our 4 or 5 hour rides and has for the past year or so without them coming apart.
To keep the cost down and have a set that will be an easy opener, I suggest the canvas or cordura nylon type. I still believe that you couldn't make them for what they cost to buy them.
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