I've been using these bags for a couple of weeks now, and am LOVING them. They are a little heavy, being made from thick leather and waxed cotton, but they are wonderful. They are very waterproof (everything inside stayed dry even when they got dunked in the flood waters last week) sturdy, roomy and just plain good looking. So, since I've decided that I love them, they needed a better way to attach to the rack besides the belt I stole from Husband.
Here's what we came up with:
It's held on with 2 leather straps (actually, another leather belt that was sacrificed for the project) that are bolted onto the bag.
Here's how we did it:
Swiss Army Ammo Bag(s), 1 leather belt about 1.5 - 2 inches wide, 16 (8 per bag) washers (we used stainless steel), 4@ 1/4-20 x 1/2 hex cap screws, 4@ 1/4-20 x 3/4 (or even 1" depending on how thick your leather belt is) hex cap screws (which we forgot about and had to cut down some other screws we had) and nuts. An awl for poking holes, ruler, sharpie or other marker, heavy duty scissors,rolling cutter, exacto or something to cut the belt with.
Cut the belt into 4 equal pieces of about 9" or so.
Take 2 washers. Line the first one up to the end of the leather, and butt the 2nd washer up to the first. Make sure they are centered on the leather. Using your marker or awl, mark the center of each hole. Then at the opposite end of the leather, take just 1 washer and do the same.
Then, using the awl (or a drill), make holes in the leather.
Now, holding your bag up to your rack, find and measure the space available for your leather to loop over. Not all racks are the same. For my bags to fit both the rack on my Hercules and my Pletscher rack, the leather strap had to come in 1 5/8 from the stitching to where I put the mark for the hole.
So, take your 2 washers, and place them on the bag bringing the center of the washer to whatever your measurement is.
Once you've marked for holes on both sides of the bag, use your awl (or you can cheat like we did and use the drill press. I suppose you could make an electric hand drill work as well) and make holes.
Lay the leather on the bag, back side up (if your leather has a front and back), lining the 2 holes on the leather up with the 2 holes in the bag. The end of the leather with 1 hole should be towards the top of the bag. Place a washer over the bottom hole, and put one of the 1/4 screws through it and the bag.
On the inside, place another washer on the screw and then the nut. Tighten that nut down. Fold the leather over (the front of the leather should be showing now), and repeat the order of washer, screw, washer nut as for bottom hole. No need to tighten this one down all the way, just enough to hold it all together. Repeat this for the other side.
Attach to your rack. Unscrew the nut and remove it, washer and screw from the top set of hardware. Loop the leather over your rack, and replace the hardware assembly as before. Repeat for the other side of the bag.
I know that this is not the easiest mounting system, especially if you are inclined to want to remove the bags with any frequency, but it is definitely a sturdy way to attach them. Also, it's silent. Now metal hook to bounce and clatter around. I pretty much let them live on the bicycle since this time of year I'm mostly using Hedwig, so the Pain in the Assness of the mounting system isn't a big deal. If I were to be in a situation where I wanted to take them in stores with me, or move them between bicycles often, I probably would have bought heavy duty snaps and put them where the single top screw is. I can still do that if I decide that I want to move them between bicycles more often.