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I recently got new panniers (specifically these) because my old ones were falling apart and I have been having trouble attaching them to my rack. I've included some pictures at the end of this post to help with describing my issue. Specifically I am confused about using the bottom plastic hook that's meant to secure the bottom of the pannier to the rack. It is different than what I am used to from my old panniers but seemed like a common design when I was shopping so I didn't think too much of it.

However often I feel like the hook won't stay in place. A few times the hook has even come off the pannier altogether. The panniers didn't come with any instructions beyond the pictured "Adjustment Required Tighten Before Use". I assume that refers to this screw on the hook but I've tried tightening the screw regularly and it doesn't seem to help that much. Is there something I am missing?

Picture of rear of pannier

Close up of bottom hook

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The intention is for the upper clips to do most of the work of holding the bag on while the lower hook is there to prevent it swaying out.

The first step with setting up panniers like this is position the upper clips. Typically one sets them to just clear the heel while also spacing them to prevent any fore and aft movement.

Once that's in place, you adjust the lower hook. It slides fore and aft and appears to be flippable. The intention is to wind up with something where you hook the lower on first, then either drop or angle the clips down onto the top.

It may be necessary to go back and change the fore/aft position of the uppers to make the bags further back than ideal, but usually not.

If the screw is coming loose, that's its own problem. It appears to be a wood screw in plastic type thing. Repeat loosening if both the preload you've been applying is adequate and the threads are in good shape is not likely, but if that is what you think is happening then I wouldn't start with Loctite because it can crack some plastics; trying a longer screw to bite into fresh material if it looks appropriate or using natural threadlocker aka beeswax could both be reasonable to try.

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  • thank you! I was attaching the bottom hook first because of my experience with my old panniers. I guess this probably put the hook under too much lateral force. The next time I use them I will try attaching the way you describe and hopefully it will help. Assuming it helps (and there isn't a better answer) I'll accept your answer after the next time I use the panniers. – GageMartin Sep 16 at 12:53
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    Do you understand that all the attachments move around on the bag and they need to be set up to fit the rack? When you're using the bag, typically you do hook the lower first, as you say. – Nathan Knutson Sep 16 at 16:05
  • i didn't understand this, thank you! The old bags I had were handed down to me with my bike/rack so I think the top attachments had already been adjusted and it used a different attachment method on the bottom that was tightened by straps each time I used it – GageMartin Sep 16 at 16:27
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    Thank you again! I adjusted the panniers last night and it seemed to have fixed the issue. During this process, I also noticed that my rear rack has a strange shape to it and I think that contributed to my issue as well (bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/72148/…) I found a different part of the rack to attach to so I can avoid this part causing problems. – GageMartin Sep 17 at 15:30

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