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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-28-08, 12:29 PM   #1
ClintP
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Anyone use an Ortlieb pannier?

I have been trying to find something to carry my over sized work laptop, but I have been discovering most things aren't large enough.

I saw a bag on nashbar and checked it out online and read a somewhat negative review since it was held onto the rack via Velcro. But the reviewer mentioned Ortlieb bags being good so I have been checking out their site and it seems like their rear bag would be large enough to hold the laptop (11.5 width, 15 length)

I am kind of interested in the Back Roller Classic due to the price of $165 for a pair and they seem large enough to carry my laptop, and all my clothes as well as give me a place to possibly stuff my jacket when i heat up.

Anyone have anything good or bad to say about them?

Here is the link: http://www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-31.htm

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Old 10-28-08, 12:55 PM   #2
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They are definately waterproof. I have ridden with them through puddles where they dragged in the water and nothing got in it. I have carried my laptop, clothes and even a gallon of water in one. Company is so cheap they won't even let us have water They are very easy to pack and use. They are easy to put on and take off the rack but stay put. I in a rush did misclip them once and only the front and the bottom of the 3 pt mounting system was clipped in and they stayed on but bent my rack stay on my rack since the bag was running pretty heavy at the time.

I used them on my recumbent with only stuff on the left side, oh noes lopsided, and they worked great. I'm probably going to use them on my road bike since I just got a rack for it so I can do some commutes upright for a change of pace/muscles.
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Old 10-28-08, 12:59 PM   #3
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How much stuff can you cram in there? I liked that they sold them in pairs so I would be able to make sure I had plenty of room for clothes, extra tube, tools, and a place to stuff my jacket. Would you say it would be safe to assume they are big enough?

Also, what size is your computer? My laptop is 11.5 x 15, so I think these would be large enough for them, don't you?

Thanks for the input!
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Old 10-28-08, 01:07 PM   #4
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Check here for the best prices (shipping is included):

http://www.thetouringstore.com/ORTLI...OME%20PAGE.htm
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Old 10-28-08, 01:16 PM   #5
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Nothing but rave reviews from the touring guys. I have Ortliebs myself, but not the backrollers. I use Back Packer Plus. REI just had them on sale a few weeks ago.
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Old 10-28-08, 01:28 PM   #6
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they're very high quality and you can fit a ton of stuff in them. i just put my laptop (14.25" x 10.5") in and had a good 2" of space on each side. that is without a case of any sort, a sleeve wouldn't make much difference but if you have a thickly padded case it might. if you go that route, i bought mine from http://www.thetouringstore.com/ and can highly recommend their service, i doubt you'll find better prices. he also sells an ortlieb office bag and padded laptop sleeve but there aren't photos that i can see. if you give him a call he'd be sure to help though.

the only negative thing about the roller classics i could say is that there are no external pockets (optional add-on), and getting in/out of the rollers is not terribly easy from the saddle. i use a set of sport packer plus (the non-roller front panniers) on my rear rack every day for the commute, they're pretty convenient in that they have an external zippered pocket for keys/change.

i've never owned a jandd product, but have been very impressed with their quality when i've seen them in bike shops, they have a laptop bag but it's currently out of stock on their website. good chance you could run a search to see if any shops have them though: http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FMACP
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Old 10-28-08, 01:28 PM   #7
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yeah, I got a pair fro REI about a month ago for $110. My latitude D830 fits in it.
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Old 10-28-08, 01:51 PM   #8
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I use this from Otivia http://otivia.com/cargocache.html .

It holds a laptop in its case. Its lockable. Its aerodynamic:

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Old 10-28-08, 02:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClintP View Post
I have been trying to find something to carry my over sized work laptop, but I have been discovering most things aren't large enough.

I saw a bag on nashbar and checked it out online and read a somewhat negative review since it was held onto the rack via Velcro. But the reviewer mentioned Ortlieb bags being good so I have been checking out their site and it seems like their rear bag would be large enough to hold the laptop (11.5 width, 15 length)

I am kind of interested in the Back Roller Classic due to the price of $165 for a pair and they seem large enough to carry my laptop, and all my clothes as well as give me a place to possibly stuff my jacket when i heat up.

Anyone have anything good or bad to say about them?

Here is the link: http://www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-31.htm

I had a pair for 15 years and they were TEERRIIFFIICC ( ref: Charolotte'w Web the kids video )-and then,one night while I worked , someone stole my mtn bike ss converted with them attached from the rack in the parking garage :-(.........a sad day in Northern Maine........

The were simply magnificent............waterproof, sturdy, and balanced...........the pair was a thing of beauty.........I try to support my LBS and bought another brand of waterproof panniers-def not the same.

I miss my Ortliebs............Go buy em...........and I can live vicariously through you
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Old 10-28-08, 02:17 PM   #10
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I have a pair of red ortlieb back roller classics. They have sat outside during a tropical storm here in Florida without a drop inside. They hold a TON, rollup pretty flat when empty, and are basically perfect. I'm planning on getting a front pair for my new touring rig!
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Old 10-28-08, 02:25 PM   #11
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I have used the back packer plus with a 17" notebook. It fits pretty well with a change of clothes. Very good build quality and attaches very quickly and securely. I was using a backpack strapped to the rack but it was very top heavy. I resisted the panniers due to price but I am VERY glad I finally took the plunge. Only down side is they are tough to carry when off the bike. Anybody use the backpack accessory? Nice to have two but I am only using one at a time currently.
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Old 10-28-08, 02:51 PM   #12
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Wow, thanks guys. This thread pretty much confirms my purchase of them. When I am on call for the weekend, I have to take my computer home and I have a backpack for it, but it makes my back hurt about half way through my ride. I bungie cord strapped the backpack with it in it on my rack, but it got top heavy and flew off in the street, so that was it for strapping it down like that.

I also carry a regular backpack that I have had since high school with my change of clothes and I always strap it down on the rack, so it will be nice to not have to worry about that any more. I also keep my bike in my office right in front of me, so I won't need to take them off all the time.
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Old 10-28-08, 03:07 PM   #13
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you will not regret your purchase. The great thing about the rollers, IMO, is that if you want to pick up some extra things on your way home you can stuff it really full and leave the top unrolled. You will be amazed how much stuff you can carry in one of the bags.
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Old 10-28-08, 03:26 PM   #14
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I don't have their panniers, but I do use their saddlebags, and I can recommend them without reservation, despite the relatively high cost. They are the only saddelbags I've ever owned that were truly waterproof, and the bags and hardware have proven to be well designed and durable.
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Old 10-28-08, 04:17 PM   #15
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I've got the Bike Packers - they actually have a pocket/sleeve built in that my laptop fits perfectly into.
Probably not built for that, but it works. The attachment is bomb-proff and wayne at thetouringstore.com is great.
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Old 10-28-08, 04:24 PM   #16
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One tip: I propose to go for the cheaper old "classic" line. The new "plus" line with cordura are also sure waterproof a little lighter but mud sticks to the bags more. The old ones, with one wipe look nice and clean again. I have the frontrollers.
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Old 10-28-08, 04:37 PM   #17
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+ 1 on the backrollers- - -I used a set (front and rear) on a tour in Vermont this year, , , rained more days than not and never had any issues whatsoever- - -like others have said, they hold lots of stuff and are very durable. Adding outside pockets would mean penetrating the bag with more stiches or rivets or whatever- - -that's minimized with this design.
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Old 10-28-08, 05:03 PM   #18
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I also have only positive things to say about Ortliebs. There are cheaper alternatives, though, and you might consider other brands, such as Axiom or Nashbar (I know Machka has traveled the world with Axiom panniers and many people on here use Nashbar panniers with success).
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Old 10-28-08, 05:48 PM   #19
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I have a big (widescreen) laptop that I put in mine, along with it's Targus carrier bag. It all fits into one rear Ortlieb back roller classic.
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Old 10-28-08, 06:27 PM   #20
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I have a pair of BackRoller Pluses that I use daily. I carry my laptop in a neoprene slip case inside of the panniers daily. They have never leaked. They are very adjustable, so you can move them around on the rack quite easily to make room for your heels, etc.

The only thing that I wish they had was an external pocket to hold my lock, etc. You can buy a kit that will install one, but I haven't bothered.

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Old 10-28-08, 06:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I use this from Otivia http://otivia.com/cargocache.html .

It holds a laptop in its case. Its lockable. Its aerodynamic:

That's pretty cool, not seen them before, would be nuts with some of those city box paniers.
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Old 10-28-08, 07:02 PM   #22
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I have the bike packer setup with front rear and handle bar bag and they simply rock.
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Old 10-28-08, 08:26 PM   #23
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They are also very handsome. I've got the red ones on my big black Dutch bike, and the effect of the whole is really pleasing.
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Old 10-29-08, 06:17 AM   #24
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I just got that exact one this month. It's about as good as they get. The new models have a full depth and width sleeve pocket inside the rigid back panel along with a half depth mesh zip pocket. The sleeve looks like it was purpose built for a padded laptop case.

As to cost, shop around. Wiggle UK has them for ~$115USD and many folks have 'em for ~$145 domestically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClintP View Post
I have been trying to find something to carry my over sized work laptop, but I have been discovering most things aren't large enough.

I saw a bag on nashbar and checked it out online and read a somewhat negative review since it was held onto the rack via Velcro. But the reviewer mentioned Ortlieb bags being good so I have been checking out their site and it seems like their rear bag would be large enough to hold the laptop (11.5 width, 15 length)

I am kind of interested in the Back Roller Classic due to the price of $165 for a pair and they seem large enough to carry my laptop, and all my clothes as well as give me a place to possibly stuff my jacket when i heat up.

Anyone have anything good or bad to say about them?

Here is the link: http://www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-31.htm

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Old 10-29-08, 09:49 AM   #25
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For work, I use the Ortlieb Office Bag (standard width). It's cheaper than the panniers, and comes with a strap for carrying, which makes a big difference over the rollers. You might need the double wide for yours.

It also has an optional notebook padding insert. Completely waterproof.

Internal dimensions are 29 cm * 39 cm * 8 cm for standard / 15 cm for large.

Might be a tight fit for your laptop, but it seems like the best solution out there. I have the backrollers as well, for touring, and they taper down in width a bit toward the bottom. If you go with that solution, make sure the size is right all the way down.

The office bag is cheaper, but you only get one.... It's a tough choice. I have both and love them both. Would love to hear which you go with in the end.
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