To start off, I’m preparing for a trip down the GAP and C&O in a couple of weeks. At this point I’m just trying to get everything ready.
I’ve noticed that my panniers are rubbing into my rack. I use Ortlieb Classic panniers which have worked out great for me so far in my daily commutes. I’m using an Axiom rear rack and a Jandd front rack; both are aluminum. I’ve got the panniers rigged up such that they are as close to possible to a snug fit on the rack. However, with all the bumps in the road around here, they bounce around a tiny bit, which is just enough to grind away at the rack. Interesting, the plastic on the pannier is no worse for wear. The paint and worryingly, the aluminum, on the rack are showing wear. I imagine I would probably get another 1k miles out of the rack before needing to worry about the damage, but it would be ideal to stop it now so I don’t have to replace the racks.
Has anyone encountered this? Any good solutions? I’ve heard of people using electrical tape, or silicone to protect the rack. Unfortunately, the way the Ortliebs are constructed, it would be difficult to bungee them.
Maybe some really small tubing, the kind they use for an aquarium pump? Slice a slit down the side to fit it over the tube and then use a pair of zip-ties to hold it in place. Heat-shrink tubing if you can slide it on somehow. You could also try painting liquid electrical tape on the spot that is rubbing. Gasket material/ rubber matting would also work with the zip-ties.
Another thought is wrapping cord or rope around it..
The nice thing about this approach is that it’s functional on several levels… you could place a couple of spokes under the wrap and you never know when you will need some extra nylon cord…