Repairing my Karrimor pannier bags

There’s a certain satisfaction in repairing something old and rekindling the usefulness of something old, almost alike an old relationship.  No, I’m not talking about old flames or anything like that!  Instead reparing my Karrimor pannier bags.

Karrimor Silvaguard panniers

Karrimor Silvaguard panniers

These Karrimor pannier bags are the from the early 1980s and Karrimor’s Silvaguard range (I think).  In those days lots of cyclists were into touring and these Karrimors were a pretty common sight.  As good as they are, nothing lasts for ever and the elastic cords which attach the bag to the bottom of the pannier rack had deteriorated over time.

prising this open was quite hard

prising this open was quite hard

So I bought some 5mm bungee cord through Amazon at an amazing price – 3 meters for £2.75.  Prising the “soft” aluminium hook apart was tougher than expected but done in a fairly straight forward way.  After opening the clamp part of the hook, it was just a case of closing the up hard with the new cord in the right place and then re-attaching it to the pannier bag. I did both sides, made sense.

The really nice thing is the personal history with these pannier bags; I admit to being fond of them and would be very sad should they ever be stolen or ruined in anyway.  Although I cannot remember how much they cost, they were probably all I could afford at the time and tended to go for ‘mid range’ products.  I got them a couple of years ahead of my 1984 trip to East Africa.  I later bought a pair for my mother, although they aren’t as well made (perhaps I’ll have a rant about that some other time).  Consequently these pannier bags are a part of me, my cycling, my journey through life.  I remember the places we’ve travelled to and how faithful they have been in carrying cycling gear, clothing, food and so on.  They have been well used on commuting to work cycle rides, weekly Sainsbury’s shopping trip and so on.

Karrimor elastic strap

Karrimor elastic strap

Consequently these bags mean something to me.  They’re more than old, simple pannier bags.  I have cherished looking after them by re-proofing them from time to time, as well as replacing the elasticated cords.

The main thing is….

The main thing about repairing my Karrimor pannier bags is about enjoying a possession over such a long period of time.  There’s something special about these, not because there’s anything iconic or upmarket about them.  Instead it’s because I’ve had them for so long.  We have some history, some miles and events with each other.  Apart from the Sainsbury’s shopping trips and tours, I actually remember moving to a new flat and using my pannier bags to make the move.  Yes, many rides to-ing and fro-ing between old and new student flats; this was back in the last century and so long ago!  As already mentioned, I would be so upset if they ever got stolen or ruined for whatever reason.  I guess I’m feeling sentimental about an ordinary pair of pannier bags!

The more I think about it, the more I think it’s extraordinary that I’m saying something like that – feeling sentimental about a pair of pannier bags.  Unless you know different…..?

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1 Response to Repairing my Karrimor pannier bags

  1. John Fuller says:

    I have a pair of Karrimor Universal 3 bags (smaller for the front), do you know where I can find the plastic hooks that attach to the rack?

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