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  1. #1
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    framebag construction advice

    My wife is making me a framebag for my new Beargrease. As we've been discussing it, a few issues have come up we could use some advice on:

    #1: Why does everyone seem to prefer the waterproof zippers? its not like the rest of the bag is waterproof. Plus, I have found that a "sport" zipper is easier to pull. Any reason why everyone is choosing waterproof models? Are they lighter? More durable?

    #2 The small beargrease frame I have is, well, small. Not much room for a bag. We're hoping to make it wider to improve its capacity. Seems the wide q-factor on the fat bike will lend itself to this. Anyone have a rule of thumb for how wide a frame bag can get or how to determine an optimal width?

    #3 I've got a little bento box, but with the frame triangle being so small, I'm going to need a bigger top-tube bag eventually. Any places to find patters for these or suggestions for construction. I know a guy with a Revelate Gas Tank that looks pretty slick. Maybe I should save my pennies back up and just buy one of those?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by FishMan473; 12-16-2012 at 08:56 PM.
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  2. #2
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    The rest of the bag should be waterproof actually. What fabric is she using? A sport zipper should work for most water resistance unless you're in a constant downpour for a long time. You've also got to worry about rust.

    I just finished a frame bag tonight for my wife's tiny 29er frame and you're right about the size. The triangle doesn't offer much space at all really. You still shouldn't go much, if any, wider than the frame itself though or it'll rub on the legs while peddling. Use a space filler or something and sit on the bike to see if a width will rub.

    It won't be right the first time most likely. Took me a few attempts to get the whole process down and sizing right. It's great and rewarding to make your own gear though. Good luck and don't forget to post up pics when you're done.

  3. #3
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    The material we're working with is Cordura, which is water resistant from what I understand, but not waterproof.

    She has made me 3 bags already, one was kind-of a prototype with canvas, but the other two have been pretty slick. I think she has the method down pretty well, but the small size is throwing us.

    Thanks for the input so far.
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  4. #4
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    you'll be fine with a non water resistant zip. if you live in a rainy area, consider putting a flap over it. coated Cordura shouldn't leak very much... except through the seams.
    the biggest need when picking a zipper is making sure its durable enough - replacing zippers isn't fun.
    I'd use a #8 or #10 continuous coil zipper, preferably from YKK, then take your pick or water resistant or not.
    as far as bag width, I cut the tubing panel to either 3.5" or 3.75" before sewing. generally for larger steel frames (skinny tubes) I'll use 3.5" and for smaller frames or Al frames (wider tubes) I'll cut to 3.75." Perhaps on a small framed Al fatbike you could cut to 4.0" and be fine - if you try it and its too wide, just turn it inside out again and take the seam a bit farther in - no problemo.

  5. #5
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    What patterns do you guys use and where do you get them (if not just your own)?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenemtbing View Post
    What patterns do you guys use and where do you get them (if not just your own)?
    For frame bags? Cardboard template of the main triangle, then add a zipper and a strip of fabric between the two sides.

  7. #7
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    Sounds easy enough -- at least for the pattern. My wife and teenage daughter sew a lot, but their machines are standard household ones. Maybe I can sweet talk them into trying to make one with a material that would work in their machines.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenemtbing View Post
    Sounds easy enough -- at least for the pattern. My wife and teenage daughter sew a lot, but their machines are standard household ones. Maybe I can sweet talk them into trying to make one with a material that would work in their machines.
    I used a standard Singer for many bike bag projects.... just hand crank the machine if it starts to bog down.

  9. #9
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    Check out this thread on making a framebag. It predates the bikepacking forum, so it was posted in the fatbike forum.

    How to sew a frame bag. Long and pic heavy.
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