“That does it,” I said, when, for the 8,000th time, I found that my Krauser was flapping open because I forgot to lock it. The latches were fired – dismissed – their performance had become intolerably incompetent. It’s not just a matter of forgetting to lock them, though – I can’t stand Krauser’s miserable excuse for latches. They are made to look secure though picable with a toothpick, and, unless you treat them JUST SO, you can spin the key (in your choice of directions) for several revolutions without hitting their “spot-“ WAY too reminiscent of my ex-wife. I can do better.
It was over-built (yet insecure), not lockable, and home-made looking. But the pull – yes – that was the other thing missing from Krauser’s design – no PULL to seal the case.
A few weeks ago I replaced the lining in the lid using the stuff they sell to hold screens in windows and doors. It worked better than the dried out rubber that was there originally, but needed just a little more pressure to seal the deal. A pulling system would do that.
I looked online for something that looked classy, looked Krauser, and would be secure. After weeding through hundreds of hasp and latch images, I didn’t see what I was looking for; everything would have either been too big, too flimsy, homemade-looking, or require a radical re-tooling of the whole lid closure system. Out of interweb frustration, I decided to try the local True Value, where I found and purchased one of these:
I wasn’t sure it would work and wasn’t clear on what it would look like. I was reluctant to drill a lot of holes to connect the whole ensemble in case it didn’t work. In particular I was concerned about how the catch would line up on the lid… but for $5 I figured it was worth playing with.
What I discovered was a beautiful coincidence: the shape of the steel spring allowed me to use the original Krauser catch! Here’s what the first trial installation looked like:
Yes! This would work! And they were lockable. Went back to the hardware store and bought 3 more and this set of locks, all of which share the same key (and granted, these aren’t going to allow you to leave your laptop parked in the Bronx overnight, but they are a radical improvement over Krauser’s delivered system!):
And here’s the locked, secure, watertight improvement installed:
Here’s how it looks on-bike:
What follows are detailed, photo illustrated instructions – and a link at the end for anyone who is shaking their head saying “what a moron! Can I please buy the latches you tore off?!?”
What you’ll need is the following (for two bags – divide by 2 if you are converting a single bag):
Four (4) National 2 3/4” (7cm) draw hasps – I paid 5 each from the hardware store, but you can probably find them cheaper online. I tried to provide a link, but it tripped the forum's spam filter. Figure twenty bucks by the time you are done either way.
Four (4) M4 Cheese Head Screws (@ .17 ea. = .68)
Four (4) M4 Fender Washers (@ .13 ea. = .52)
Four (4) M4 Nuts (@ .20 ea. = .80)
Four (4) M4 Locking Nuts (@ .30 ea. = 1.20)
Eight ( M3 Cheese Head Screws (@ .13 ea. = 1.04)
Eight ( M3 Locking Nuts (@ .27 ea. = 2.16)
I don’t remember the lengths, but here’s a picture (with some of the hardware already in place – but at least you can see the lengths and what you are after):
Optional are the set of locks for 14.89. Without them, 26.40.
The only four tools you’ll need are as follows:
A drill with a 1/8” bit
A Dremmel with a bullet point grinder (ore something similar in your drill)
A pair of needle-nose pliers
A Phillips head screw driver.
Here’s what you do:
1. Use your Dremmel or drill stone to grind the heads off these two rivets:
2. With the heads off, you’ll be able to easily lift the latches out.
3. Align the latch with the catch and make sure the hinge is just inside the aluminum edge of the ridged border of the bag…like this:
Mark the spot you want to drill with a screwdriver. If you did it right, here’s where the hole would end up:
4. Use one of the wood screws that came with the hasp kit to secure it lined up exactly like this:
I know it seems odd to be using a wood screw here, but there is a lot of aluminum for it to bight into and it works out surprisingly well. Don’t try and close the case yet; the screw you just placed is swell for holding vertically, but is designed to allow horizontal slide. One more screw and then you can close it.
5. Use the 1/8” drill bit ALONG THE BACK SIDE of the other screw hole and drill through the case wall.
6. You need to use the non-locking M4 nut as a spacer – like this:
It’s going to want to spin around, so jam it with the needle-nose pliers like this:
7. Use a fender washer and a locking nut to finish securing the hasp.
Use the (small) M3 screws and lock washers to fill the holes left by the Kraser latch rivets.
In this photo, you can see wood screw, which has bit into some nice meaty aluminum above what you can see in the photo, the fender washer and lock washer you just added, and the two small screws keeping dirt and water out of the holes from the Krauser latch rivets:
Grind off the screw point with the Dremmel so it won’t scrape your hand someday, but leave the thread kissing the edge of the aluminum:
That’s it! I have not found any downside to this modification; the locks don’t seem to rattle or vibrate annoyingly as I feared, and the upsides are numerous. If you appreciate this post, return the favor in kind with something you’ve discovered as an easy fix.
And last, as promised, if you are clutching your temples saying “Dear Lord, I CANNOT BELIEVE someone was dumb enough to RUIN their delightful Krausers like this!!!” you can express yourself best by searching you-know-where (maybe that tripped the spam filter? So no link) for the four Krauser latches I removed. They are sitting at a penny - twice their worth in my estimation.
I have a set of Krauser bags that came with my free R65. The latches don't. I took one off to play with, and to see if there was a way to refurbish it, but I can't figure out how to get it apart. I really like your solution! Thanks for sharing!
Hi, I am interested in this article but unfortunately I cannot view the images in the thread - is there any possibility that you could repost them? Many thanks.
No photos here...Perhaps they disappeared into the interwebz.....
Somewhere in the distance, I may have actually seen this thread and its photos.
Have a good night.