Once components and wheels have been taken care of in the process of transforming a used bicycle into a high-performance tourer, the fun begins. It's fun to me because it involves a little bit of creativity, and because the results are truly extraordinary. The fun is in creating an ultralight gear-carrying system. An incredibly lightweight, ultra-stable system is comprised of two parts, a platform that is rigidly attached to a touring rack and a stuff-sack pannier, which is locked in place and compressed very, very tightly against the platform in a highly secure manner with two or three straps. The platform of the stuff-sack pannier system functions like the top platform of a touring rack (think of how tightly you can strap gear, length-wise, to the top of a rack with three straps) or the stiffening plate in the rear side of a pannier. It can be made much narrower than a pannier stiffener as a stuff sack pannier is much narrower than a pair of panniers. The first platforms that I made were only a couple of inches wide. I made them of wood, aluminum and plastic. One of the first ones was actually just a hunk I cut off of a 60”aluminum ruler (too heavy). Through the years I've made many different types, including ones of tubular steel and aluminum, and ones of wood ranging from laminated exotic hardwoods to some made out of scrap plywood. The ones in the photos are of inexpensive plywood purchased at a hobby-craft store. Both are very lightweight. The one on the left is so lightweight (a little less than 2 oz.), and because I mounted it in the way that I did, I used a large but very thin fender washer as a reinforcement at each of the places I connected it to the rack.