The Guru College

Pelican Panniers

I’ve decided to re-purpose my trusty Pelican 1450 case into a bike pannier. The difficulty of course is setting up a system that allows for quick attachment/release of the pannier without compromising the security or stability of the case or the bike. I looked at a lot of different options, including just using bungie cords to tie the case down to the rack on the back of my bike. None of them were really satisfactory. I was about to drill holes in the bottom the case and attach it directly to the bike rack, when I came across the Midnight Mods article on using Pelican cases as bike panniers. The lynchpin of the whole setup was a set of Arkel Cam-Lock Hooks, which allow the cases to be attached and removed from the bike quickly, while still providing a very secure connection with the bike.

I ordered the cam-locks on Thursday, the 28th of June, and I got them this afternoon. This evening, after a trip to the hardware store, I went to work drilling holes, threading bolts and attaching the system to the back to the case I have. It went pretty fast – faster than I thought it would go with my 3 and a half year old helping me. After a few minutes adjusting the location of the cams on the rails to make the case lock to the right part of the rack, and the case is rock solid.

Tomorrow on the day off, I’m going to load 20 lbs of bricks into it and see what happens when I ride down a bumpy slope. If it stays on, and doesn’t kill me, I’ll prepare to load the laptop, iPad and the rest into the case. Wish me luck!


The panniers work perfectly, and the cam-locks hold everything together better than I could have expected. I loaded 4 oversized red bricks into the pannier this morning, and took off around the neighborhood. Bouncing up and off curbs, over storm drain grates, and over dirt paths, the pelican case stayed locked to the bike. I did add an additional elastic bungie around the outside of the case, to keep the bottom of the case secure to the bottom of the bike.

I even got the placement correct, and my heel doesn’t come into contact with the front of the case in normal riding! I’m so very happy with Arkel, Pelican and Midnight Mods right now.

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