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Recently, everything has been falling apart: exploding tyres, split rims, leaking panniers, flat thermarest, wobbly bottom brackets, wonky hubs.

Having a couple of inches of water sloshing around the bottom of your panniers whenever it rains gets pretty tiresome, pretty quickly. Some people suggest that the way I am fastening my panniers might be the problem. I didn't read the instructions when I got my Ortlieb panniers and so I carelessly discarded what I thought were optional shoulder straps for carrying the bags off the bike. No so. The straps are designed to hook under the hooks at the bottom of the bag apparently rendering the bags more water proof than if you clip the bag shut at the top. In Bogota I fashion myself some new straps to replace the discarded ones. Looks smart, doesn't it? But it still leaks.

Next I notice that the fabric is worn and splitting along the attachment.

It takes a while to find some appropriate glue...

...but eventually a guy making awnings says he has something that will do the trick. He even manages to find some fabric in a matching colour.

Not that I show the same aesthetic sensibilities when I apply a liberal quantity of black silicon* for extra waterproofing.

The newly waterproofed bags withstand an aggressive dousing by hose and I so hope the next time I get soaked in a downpour that my goodies will stay dry inside. Let's see.

*Special thanks to Sarah and Tom for sharing the silicon tip. It’s cheap and easily available from pretty much any hardware store in Central and South America. It works pretty well for patching up Thermarests, too.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Michelle Miller | April 18, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Saludos!!! Had a look at all your photos -beautiful! El Angel looked spectacular! Thinking of you! Michelle

  2. Lars Henning | June 29, 2013 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    Hey, thanks for the tips. I have some small holes in the fabric bottoms of my front rollers. I wonder if I can use the PU awning material for that or would I be better off with some cordura. What kind of glue did you use?

  3. David Eldershaw | July 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I put my head inside the bags on a sunny day to find the tiny holes.
    I put the patches and repairs on the inside of the bags purely for aesthetic reasons.

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