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  1. #1
    ............ deerhoof's Avatar
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    Arkel or Ortlieb For off road

    I would like to hear some input on what brand panniers people are running for front and back on panniers.
    I like the waterproof feature on the Ortlieb's, but i dont think the mounting system stacks up to the Arkels. Has anyone used the add on covers for the Arkels? Also, do the Ortlieb's, being non adjustable, fit well on the short chainstays of a mountain bike?

    thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Touring is a must
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    I have placed Ortliebs on a mountain bike with no problems. I did not have any problems with the clearance for my clipless shoes. The bike is a Specialized rockhopper.

  3. #3
    Touring is a must
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    You can check these guys out. They have been using the Ortlieb for a few years on the road with no mention of breakdowns. They started out with Arkels I believe but they did not switch because of the mounting system.

    http://www.downtheroad.org/Asia/

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I have used the Arkel rain covers (on XM-40 & 28's), they work really well.

    One advantage of rain covers is that when they are wet and dirty you can clean them off under a tap or swish them about in a stream, etc. and hang them over night outside your tent. Your panniers then are safe (and maybe only damp) with you inside your tent.
    2006 Lemond Sarthe
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  5. #5
    ............ deerhoof's Avatar
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    is any one familiar with the differences in stability for the ortlieb QL1 and QL2 mounting system. I noticed the QL1 has a spot for a add on strap, seems like if i ran one down to the hub it would tighten things up a bit.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I have Arkel T42/GT30 for my road touring setup, but recently purchased Jandd Mtn and Large Mtn panniers for offroad use. Lots of good deals on Ebay. The Jandd packs are awesome for rough country due to their bomber construction, very good mounts for offroad use, and multiple compression straps - they pull in tight and snug the load down really well and remind me of really good ruck sacks. However, they are not particularly waterproof and the rain covers are expensive, not a big deal since I'll use stuff sacks anyway.

    I think the Arkel XM series would be pretty hot for offroad also, with that multi-directional compression strap they have, and the ability to go in from top or side. They are cut narrow also, for mtn bike heel clearance. If you need even more clearance, try the Jandd Exped rack - it is about 3" longer than most.
    Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc, Cannondale T2000 (touring), Stumpjumper M5 (Mtn - hardtail), Cannondale Rize4 (Mtn - full susp)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deerhoof
    I would like to hear some input on what brand panniers people are running for front and back on panniers.
    I like the waterproof feature on the Ortlieb's, but i dont think the mounting system stacks up to the Arkels. Has anyone used the add on covers for the Arkels? Also, do the Ortlieb's, being non adjustable, fit well on the short chainstays of a mountain bike?

    thanks for your input.
    I have both Arkel and Ortleib rear panniers which I use, loaded, for daily commuting. I've had the Arkel for a few years and just picked up the Ortleibs for my wife as she hates the Arkel mounting system. I've been using the Ortleibs for the past week or so.

    The Ortleib Q2 mounting system is very adjustable, just as much as the Arkel. I as surprised by this. I was also surprised that the Ortleibs don't show a lot of dirt after snowy, salty, slushy rides.

    The rain covers on the Arkels are okay, no water gets into the panniers, but the rear of the pannier can get quite dirty and a bit wet in the exposed areas.

    No pockets on the Ortleibs are a bit of a drag, you need to rummage through the pannier to find anything. Ortleib sells some sort of pocket insert, but I have not seen or used it.

    The only thing I would worry about is the plastic breaking in the Ortlieb mounting system in a crash. You can be rather sure that the metal Arkel system would be stronger.

    All in all I say go for the panniers that have the features which you want most as they are both good panniers with decent mounting systems.

  8. #8
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    I have Ortliebs. When they get dirty, I hose them off.

    And they are adjustable too, although they only need to fit my bike, so I only needed to adjust them once.

  9. #9
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Yes, the Ortleibs are adjustable, and the hardware seems plenty strong. I've taken the Ortleibs on some totally heinous descents on rubble and riff raff, and they held pretty solid. I'd probably use the strap you can attach to the back if I was doing the Continental Divide trail, I guess. You could easily make your own using standard 3/4 inch webbing.

    I pack a little extra mounting , but haven't had to use it yet.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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