DIY Bucket Panniers Update

Judging by the amount of traffic we get, there seems to be a lot of interest in our blog entry about miss Sarah’s homemade bucket panniers. I love the idea myself and really would like to make some for urban riding where I just need to chuck stuff somewhere. ( I really want to build an entire urban assault bicycle, but that’s another blog entry 😉 )
Anyway, I have come across some more information that may be helpful to those of you that are actually making some. First of all, I found this small company on the web that sells the mounting hardware in a kit. http://www.thebikebucket.com/
They sell the buckets, too.
I also found a good source for buckets at reasonable prices, US Plastics. The neat thing is that they come in a variety of colors; green white, red, black, yellow, etc. The other cool thing is that they are food-grade (look for HDPE, or high-density polyethylene). I just recently purchased blue 5 gallon buckets from them for water storage.
Now, I would think that half of the reason you would want plastic bucket panniers would be to keep your stuff dry, right? But prying off those plastic lids is a real PITA. Enter the Gamma Seal Lid! US Plastics has them and they also come in various colors as well. What it is is a plastic ring that snaps onto the top of the bucket. The inside of the ring is threaded and the actual lid screws down into it. It has a built in rubber gasket. I have a couple of these that I use to store pet food and other supplies. Works great, if a tad pricey. Awesome invention.
Other ideas; US Plastics has all kinds of buckets, including square ones with hinged fold-open lids. They also have smaller 1 and 2 gallon buckets (gamma seals may not fit these) that might be better for front panniers. And if you really need to haul a big load, they have 6 and 7 gallon buckets!
Another source for cheap buckets and Gamma Seals is Home Depot. Their buckets are orange with their logo, but if you don’t care, you can get a bucket/Gamma Seal combo for about $12.
So there you have it, a roundup on bucket panniers. If any of you have built any, drop me a line with some pics…
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bucket

A Home Depot "Homer Bucket" with Gamma Seal lid in the rain in my yard. I have pet food in it, high and dry.

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