Friday, November 18, 2016

Repairing the Blackburn Central Shopper's Pannier

Adding an extra strap saves the day.
After using Blackburn's Central Shopper's Pannier almost daily for six months, the latch hooks that secure the bag to the rack broke - both failing within the same week. Some folks might rant to Blackburn: others might just throw the bag away and call it quits, never to purchase anything by the company, ever again. I love to fix things, if only to extend their life, and if it involves sewing, well it's worth it to try fixing the item rather than sending it back.

The left hook shows the broken latch whereas the right hook still has the secure latch.
A couple days later this one also came apart.
The hooks are still usable, but now without the extra security measure, the slightest jostling could dislodge the pannier off the rack.

Another view. I added plenty of strap length for when I use the extension sleeve so I can cinch a large volume to rack. Ideally, I would've preferred to pull and tighten the strap so it dangles the opposite direction, away from the wheel, but when unbuckled, the long strap tucks into the same pocket as the hooks, hidden by the zippered panel.
  Refer to previous  blog post. 
For sometime I've been wondering how to fasten the top opening plus hold the bag closer to the rack to prevent sway - indeed, when I first started using the pannier (reviewed here) it was the one feature I wished the bag came equipped with. If I add more volume I cinch the drawstring extension sleeve, but because of the bag's slightly wedged shape (wider at the top) it would come in handy to have extra protection holding items closer to the frame.

Once the hooks broke it was imperative to quickly come up with an idea to secure the pannier to rack. My solution was simple. I used a Fastex-type clasp and black strap, which when looped around the rack close to the hooks, secured the pannier and when pulled tight, the strap closed the bag opening. This simple idea also keeps the shoulder strap from slipping or coming unlatched altogether and dangling near the wheel. I love that the added buckle and black material looks like it was originally part of the design (Backburn, are you reading this?).

I'm pleased I figured out how to save this otherwise wonderful bag. I'll cross my fingers that the remaining hooks stay intact or I'll be undertaking a more difficult solution and potential repair. I really love the bag's quality material and features.


  1. Thats a good fix. I've had similar breakages on my panniers too and often you can buy spare parts. They might no be from the same manufacturer but usually they can be adapted to fit your panniers. Out of curiosity I googled Blackburn and came up with this.....
    Postage costs may not make this viable but you may be able to find similar parts locally.

    1. Dave, thank you for this link. I know this hook style is something new for Blackburn so at least they are providing replacement parts. At some point I may need to replace the hooks, but I will not use the proprietary Blackburn style because the hooks are mounted on the inside of the pannier, and in the case of the Shoppers Pannier it is not an easy fix because of a liner which hides access to the screw heads. I think Blackburn failed in this regard. It it comes to a repair I will use universal pannier hooks, but as I stated, only if I have to.

    2. I just bought my wife this bag, and it states it comes with a lifetime warranty. I think you can get this fixed free of charge.

    3. Chris, yes, there's a warranty. However, for my tastes, I didn't really like the clip system. My fix also provides a way to cinch the bag so there's less sway, which I'm very happy about. Since this repair, the bag has not come unhooked. The rest of the bag is a quality product!

  2. Good bit of mending! What sort of sewing machine have you got?

    1. I think it's a White machine. My father gave it to me about 30 years ago and it's still going strong.

    2. The older ones are the toughest!


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