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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 12-21-12, 07:01 PM   #1
dcr
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Thinking of these panniers for my commute--anyone have Ortlieb? Suggestions?

My commute is about 12 miles round trip. I'm a teacher who brings papers and books to and from work. I will commute in rain and snow. Does this look like a reasonable choice? Any suggestions--perhaps less expensive? Thanks!

http://www.rei.com/product/604989/or...-panniers-pair
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Old 12-21-12, 07:06 PM   #2
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I do not have Ortlieb, so I am hijacking in a way. But after much research, Santa is bringing me a pair of Banjo Brothers waterproof panniers, at under half the price. I like the quick, one-handed mount and release, the waterproofness, and simplicity. I have used one of their waterproof backpacks for a year, and believe in their quality and very, very reasonable price.
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Old 12-21-12, 07:07 PM   #3
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I have these and they are worth it. Ortlieb quality is well known. There isn't really a better setup IMO. They're 100% waterproof and I trust them to hold my laptop, camera, change of clothes, papers, etc. I recommend you buy them.
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Old 12-21-12, 07:15 PM   #4
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I have those as well as their little brothers ( http://www.rei.com/product/604990/or...oller-panniers ). I use the little guys every day for my commute. They are big enough to hold laptop, lunch, clothes. I use the big boys only when I have a "restocking" trip to bring in a bigger load of towels and such. I've used these almost everyday for about 3 years and they are still in great shape. Love the quick pull release to remove them.
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Old 12-21-12, 09:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcr View Post
My commute is about 12 miles round trip. I'm a teacher who brings papers and books to and from work. I will commute in rain and snow. Does this look like a reasonable choice? Any suggestions--perhaps less expensive? Thanks!

http://www.rei.com/product/604989/or...-panniers-pair
I have those panniers - Ortlieb Back Roller Classics - and I love them. I use them every day. Worth every penny I spent and more. So easy to get on and off the rack (lifts off with just a quick pull), yet secure and 100% waterproof. The grabby parts are adjustable so you can configure them just for your bike's rack configuration. Highly recommended!

They are not cheap, but for me they are money so well spent in the long run.

I have seen them in many different colors and the price differs by who is offering them, but that REI price is a little high, but ballparkish.

Last edited by Bluish Green; 12-21-12 at 09:47 PM. Reason: checked and found Amazon price was $149 currently
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Old 12-21-12, 10:24 PM   #6
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Asking people in this forum if anyone uses Ortleb products is like walking into a bar and asking if anyone drinks beer.
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Originally Posted by david58 View Post
I do not have Ortlieb, so I am hijacking in a way. But after much research, Santa is bringing me a pair of Banjo Brothers waterproof panniers, at under half the price. I like the quick, one-handed mount and release, the waterproofness, and simplicity. I have used one of their waterproof backpacks for a year, and believe in their quality and very, very reasonable price.
You're not really hijacking, as the OP is open to suggestions (especially lower cost ones). While Banjo Brothers makes a decent product (had one of their backpacks and currently own a mess bag- both the largest size available), they lack variety when it comes to different sizes while still being waterproof. Plus, I hear Ortlieb's mounting system is the bees knees.
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Old 12-22-12, 11:05 AM   #7
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I'm now thinking of the Sport Packer Plus--something a bit smaller. Anyone own those---did size become a factor? Anything to recommend or dissuade about buying them?
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Old 12-22-12, 11:15 AM   #8
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I don't have those particular items, but i have the Ortlieb messenger backpack and the office bag. The clips that attach the office bag to the rack are nice. They are totally waterproof. The quality seems top-notch. I tried to go cheap on a number of commuting gear items, but I decided to go high-end on the critical area of carrying options, and have not regretted it.
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Old 12-22-12, 05:14 PM   #9
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I usually use a Ortlieb Bike shopper for commuting but when I need to carry a laptop in addition to clothes and other daily stuff, I use a Bike Packer Plus. If I ever need to replace the Bike Packer's or if I only keep one, I would probably get the Sport Packer Plus instead for the slightly smaller size. Ortliebs work really well and last a long time.
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Old 12-22-12, 06:38 PM   #10
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I got them. Go for it.
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Old 12-22-12, 08:02 PM   #11
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I have a pair of large front roller Ortliebs that I inherited from a friend over a decade ago. They are great! They're holding up just fine, and I really appreciate how easy they are to mount and dismount. Unlike many other panniers, I NEVER worry they are going to "jump ship" and end up in the road. They always stay mounted to the racks. I also like that I can clip them together, either to themselves or with the shoulder strap, and toss the two of them over my shoulder like horse saddlebags. Makes it convenient at times, although it occurs to me that I am a big, broad shouldered fellow, this might be a little harder for smaller statured folks.

One of the other things I like about the Ortliebs is that they kind of act as an insulator. The material of the bags seems to keep hot food warm and things from the refrigerator cool for long times. They can also be used as a cooler! Occasionally I'll fill one of them will ice and beer and roll out to a picnic or party. The design of the Ortlieb isn't hurt at all by being filled with water.

Last edited by Medic Zero; 12-22-12 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 12-22-12, 09:17 PM   #12
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the ortlieb office's (large) are also great; holds way more than the downtown
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Old 12-22-12, 11:00 PM   #13
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Santa is bringing me the Ortlieb Office bag large (but I snuck a look!). It's a briefcase and looks professional (another teacher here), but has the rolltop waterproof top and the Q3 quick release. Also has typical briefcase internal dividers, zip compartments for phone, pen slots, etc. Very impressed with the quality.
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Old 12-28-12, 07:32 AM   #14
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Racktime Workit Pro is an outstanding commuter pannier.

The Ortlieb Office Large is another ideal commuter pannier.

Both of these quickly convert to very usable shoulder bags/briefcases.

Alternately, either the Ortlieb Roller or Packer make exceptional panniers for mostly leaving them on the bike.
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Old 12-28-12, 07:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Montuori View Post
Santa is bringing me the Ortlieb Office bag large (but I snuck a look!). It's a briefcase and looks professional (another teacher here), but has the rolltop waterproof top and the Q3 quick release. Also has typical briefcase internal dividers, zip compartments for phone, pen slots, etc. Very impressed with the quality.
Yeah - I'm thinking you might be happier with something specifically designed for books and documents. Books can have sharp corners so good fit is essential. Most panniers are intended to store soft compressible items like clothing. You might also be able to pick up something more generic and line it with closed cell foam. Suggest you bring the largest item you're likely to want to put in it with you or at least measure them.
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Old 12-28-12, 10:08 AM   #16
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They also make a very Briefcase like Waterproof Zip closed bag that uses a QR rack Top Mount..

Another long term advantage : any lost mounting parts can be replaced..

Carradice uses their Heavy canvas to be quite water proof
+ a Wax treatment. can make water run off..

the welded seam construction has been taken up in Asia too, Axiom , Sunlite,
and Such, even Nashbar.. go there to get the price down.

I have an older set of Sport packer +'s, on the front rack of my Bike Friday,
the daily ride .

And a set of Roller classics, Between Tours, I use on Grocery runs when ! Need the Volume..
and have the checker pack them rather than use a store carry bag
[ an $.05 discount, each bag]

these seem nice, look Pro, if you only need one, ..http://www.rei.com/product/815181/or...wntown-pannier

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-28-12 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 12-28-12, 10:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by dcr View Post
My commute is about 12 miles round trip. I'm a teacher who brings papers and books to and from work. I will commute in rain and snow. Does this look like a reasonable choice? Any suggestions--perhaps less expensive? Thanks!

http://www.rei.com/product/604989/or...-panniers-pair
I've got a pair of Ortlieb back rollers. I don't give them a huge amount of use but when I do use them I usually load them up.

The shape of them is such that the bottom part sometimes feels a little awkward, they are straight sided for most of their height but slope inwards at the bottom. Sometimes packing round things is a bit awkward, but that might be the same with other panniers as well - the Ortliebs are the only ones I've ever owned.

The waterproofing can't be faulted. I've cycled with them in torrential rain, I've cycled through water deep enough that it almost reached the reflective marks on the back of the panniers and they didn't leak a drop. That can be a downside as well as an upside, as I found out the time I had nothing more than a spare tube and a water bottle in my pannier, and the water bottle fell over and leaked its entire contents into the pannier. Of course being waterproof they didn't leak a drop so the water sloshed around until I realised and poured it out.
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Old 12-28-12, 10:18 AM   #18
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I have the Ortlieb rollers and love them. I don't think you can find a better all weather pannier, go ahead and pull the trigger, you won't be disappointed.
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Old 12-28-12, 11:28 AM   #19
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Yeah. I got 'em. Pull the trigger. You won't regret it. There are others less expensive, but when you're carrying a classroom full of papers that need grading, I personally wouldn't compromise Ortlieb quality. What would you tell little Johhny when the paper he spent so much time on is an illegible mess? :-)
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Old 12-31-12, 10:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I'm now thinking of the Sport Packer Plus--something a bit smaller. Anyone own those---did size become a factor? Anything to recommend or dissuade about buying them?
May be OBE by now, but SPPs are part of my daily commute. The Back Packers (and Back Rollers) are HUGE -- used them on my cross country ride, but now I use them annually for the fall trip to the orchard -- each one holds a half bushel of apples.
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