Panniers!!!

Finally managed to get the pannier racks onto both of the bikes a couple of weeks ago, over several weekends in the freezing cold… Well, actually Seven also needed to be put back together (remember the brake issue?) for her MOT. So we also did the brake pads on Seven and the brake fluid on both Seven and Suki. (Most manuals and many people will tell you that changing brake fluid and bleeding the brakes best be done by an experienced professional…… but its not that difficult if you take your time and do it carefully and methodically πŸ™‚ )

Ok, got everything? Dot4, newspaper.....

Ok, got everything? Dot4, newspaper…..

Where was the brake fluid reservoir again?

Where was the brake fluid reservoir again?

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And.... does the brake actually work? ...  YES! :)

And…. does the brake actually work? … YES! πŸ™‚

The pannier racks were a bit of a bitch though. On Aidan’s BMW the different parts of the bike, held together by one bolt, which now also had to hold the rack (down near the foot peg) shifted seemingly irreversibly, so getting the bolt back in was a nightmare. ButΒ  we got there in the end (one whole afternoon later…!) We chose ARD Cases panniers. They were affordable for us and had pretty much all the specs we wanted: watertight, slanted lower edge in case they fall on top of us (at lease sort of), welded, not riveted, lockable with a single key and locked to the racks and hooks on top of the lids for attaching things. Basically the best bet for that sort of price we thought….. only time will tell πŸ˜‰ (Update – we put them through hell on a three week trip round Europe and they stood up to every test). Oh, and Roger responded immediately and the panniers arrived pretty quick and as promised. So good, reliable service too πŸ™‚

Our Choice....

Our Choice….

Finally the racks are on and the bolts in place!

Finally the racks are on and the bolts in place!

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Looking good....

Looking good….

Good to Go! :)

Good to Go! πŸ™‚

Seven wouldn’t give up the bolt in the first place, despite our soaking it in WD40 (as usual) for several days. We ended up rounding the torx head off, or almost anyways. We had some idea that maybe the different frame parts are putting so much pressure on the bolt, that it was stuck. So we (CAREFULLY – despite appearances πŸ˜‰ ) lay her on her side to take the weight off the bolt…. That didn’t help either so we put her back upright and resorted to eating chocolate bunnies.

Just checking whether this really is a bike you can fix with a hammer and a spanner as we had wanted ;)

Just checking whether this really is a bike you can fix with a hammer and a spanner as we had wanted πŸ˜‰

Living dangerously!

Living dangerously!

No hiding place here, I found you! MUNCH!

No hiding place here, I found you! MUNCH!

I eventually gave it another go the next weekend. This time with a lot of patience and low expectations. Turn the screw back in, cover in WD40. Turn it back out as far ar it will go – more WD40. Then back in…. you get the gist! All the while pressing the Allen key in with all my strength so it would catch the tiny bit of torx markings left deep inside the basically rounded off bolt. About 30-odd times back and forth and a lot of sweat later it finally came out! Whoopieeee! Time for a huge gulp of beer. After that it was a breeze to fit the rack and the bikes now have shiny new panniers. Looks like they are basically ready to go πŸ˜‰

Quick pose for the camera and then lets go! Pleeeeease!
Quick pose for the camera and then lets go! Pleeeeease!

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