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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    PVC in Ortlieb Panniers?

    I love my Carradice "Super C" panniers. They're made of canvas and I don't think they contain a bit of PVC, also known as "the toxic plastic". I've been through quite a few storms with them and they've never leaked. I'm told Ortlieb panniers do contain PVC, and I'm now being asked by a group of Spaniards I sometimes cycle with which brand they ought to choose.

    Am I right in telling them to avoid Ortlieb panniers or do they offer a non-PVC version?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Ortlieb's "plus" fabric is made without any PVC.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  3. #3
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    If you go online or look at the tags in person there is a little square with the letters PVC with an X through the ones without PVC.
    Which apparantly the ones I purchased on sale do not have (back roller classics). They even have a spiffy green greenpeace version of the plus that is without pvc.

  4. #4
    GATC
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    Ben Stein says PVC is good for you.

  5. #5
    Prairie Path Commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    PVC, also known as "the toxic plastic".
    This is not the place to argue about stuff like this but as a chemist and with all due respect I would like to present a counter point: The above assertion by Green Peace is wrong, at lease for the end user, and is not based on sound science, fact, or reality. It is based on a faulty premise that anything containing chlorine is bad and very weak science suggesting phthalate plasticizers are bad. PVC when improperly incinerated can create dioxins but that is a more general waste disposal issue. There are resources to back this up although I doubt most people are interested.

    [edit] I should add that in general Green Peace’s intentions are good and I do not know why they make such unsubstantiated claims as it only hurts their credibility. Although, I strongly suspect that it is an organization that is driven by people who are more grounded in rhetoric than in science.

    I respect people's right to believe what they want to believe and I am not interested in arguing conspiracy theories. Just wanted to point this out.
    Last edited by robmcl; 05-21-08 at 08:37 PM.

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    Also, if PVC were so "toxic" why would it be used in so many buildings to carry drinking water?

  7. #7
    Senior Member thePig's Avatar
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    I have a set of carradice super c's also and they are absolutely brilliant.
    I have just bought an ortlieb classic handlebar bag and now you have me all paranoid that it is made of some suspicioius stuff :-)
    www.cyclepig.com - discover the world on two wheels

  8. #8
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmcl View Post
    It is based on a faulty premise that anything containing chlorine is bad
    I am NOT a chemist, but I'd say it would be very very hard to completely eliminate chlorine from your daily life.

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    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    View my blog: climbhoser.blogspot.com

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  11. #11
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    The Greenpeace stamp in Ortliebs is more than just the material. From Ortlieb's site:

    Raw materials and manufacturing processes of the Greenpeace line fulfill the ecologically optimised “bluesign” criteria which guarantee the use of “clean” components and low consumption of energy resources during the production process.
    So, if PVC is your concern and you're interested in Ortliebs, any pannier with the Plus fabric will do. If your concern is more broadly ecological issues in general, consider the Ortlieb Greenpeace. If you're really serious about ecological issues, making your own set of panniers will give you the maximum control over materials, manufacturing process and logistics involved.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member cycotourer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    I love my Carradice "Super C" panniers. They're made of canvas and I don't think they contain a bit of PVC, also known as "the toxic plastic".
    Thanks for your help.
    The other side of the coin is that canvas is usually made of cotton and cotton cropping is repsonsible for shocking environmental degradation due to the high use of chemical pesticides and the need for vast quantities of water. Australia's river of shame, the Darling, is virtually dry due to large scale water harvesting for cotton crops in the headwaters of this river.

    The Aral sea in central Asia is down to 10% of its size (and very badly polluted) as the rivers that feed it have stopped running into it ... one of the crops irrigated from these rivers .... cotton. I don't know how bad PVC is, but cotton cropping is an environmental disaster.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycotourer View Post
    The other side of the coin is that canvas is usually made of cotton and cotton cropping is repsonsible for shocking environmental degradation due to the high use of chemical pesticides and the need for vast quantities of water. Australia's river of shame, the Darling, is virtually dry due to large scale water harvesting for cotton crops in the headwaters of this river.

    The Aral sea in central Asia is down to 10% of its size (and very badly polluted) as the rivers that feed it have stopped running into it ... one of the crops irrigated from these rivers .... cotton. I don't know how bad PVC is, but cotton cropping is an environmental disaster.
    Too bad there aren't any hemp panniers on the market.

  14. #14
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    If one resists the use of PVC in your panniers, one should also avoid lubricants for your chain, the use of paint for one's bike, the use of rubber for one's tires etc. Feel happy that you are not using gasoline during your vacation!

  15. #15
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmcl View Post
    This is not the place to argue about stuff like this but as a chemist and with all due respect I would like to present a counter point: The above assertion by Green Peace is wrong, at lease for the end user, and is not based on sound science, fact, or reality. It is based on a faulty premise that anything containing chlorine is bad and very weak science suggesting phthalate plasticizers are bad. PVC when improperly incinerated can create dioxins but that is a more general waste disposal issue. There are resources to back this up although I doubt most people are interested.

    [edit] I should add that in general Green Peace’s intentions are good and I do not know why they make such unsubstantiated claims as it only hurts their credibility. Although, I strongly suspect that it is an organization that is driven by people who are more grounded in rhetoric than in science.

    I respect people's right to believe what they want to believe and I am not interested in arguing conspiracy theories. Just wanted to point this out.
    Thank you. It's too late for me - I already bought a set of Ortlieb Classics. Your post makes me feel better about it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvcrisp View Post
    Also, if PVC were so "toxic" why would it be used in so many buildings to carry drinking water?
    PVC is used in a lot of constructions, but at least around here, and probably a lot of places as well, only in sewage pipes. I don't think thay make PVC drinking water pipes anymore (been replaced with CPVC I believe).

    I have no idea how PVC is toxic, I am not a chemist. I've heard that it's relatively safe, but it's environmentally bad because it's not recyclable and takes virtually forever to break down into simpler chemical components in landfills.

    This said, we cannot assert a product is safe because it is widespread. The past has proven this argument to be wrong many times; even recently, Health Canada moved to ban Bisphenol-A containers from being used as "baby drinking bottles" (sorry, forgot the actual word for those) because they can be hazardous, and yet they were very widespread.

    All things considered, even if PVC is bad for the environment, I believe that the quantity released to the environment through bike panniers is minimal compared to the quantity used by the construction industry. This said, there exists other materials, as good and efficient as PVC for use in bike panniers, and these should be used instead, but I don't think that buying PVC panniers makes you a devil or bad person, because of the relatively small quantity of present in PVC bike panniers and when you consider the long product life of Bike Panniers. You will use them many years. It's not a good excuse, but it can make you feel better if you have those PVC panniers Do you think the plumbers lose a lot of sleep after outfitting a 10 story building with tons of PVC pipes?

    My 0.02 cents.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    I just purchased some Sunlite panniers and much to my horror, in the small print at the bottom of the tag it reads - This product in intended for use of persons over 12 years of age. WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm.
    [SIGPIC]

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Pony up the extra $$ for the Plus Model fabric its the Classic that use the truck tarp PVC sides with the fiber core

    the Plus Lining is a Thick Polyethylene coating that bonds the Cordura Nylon together..


    Dont worry the whole State of California Has become toxic , but profitable for a certain class..

  19. #19
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    I heard the fellow that started this thread 7 years ago is now dead due to PVC exposure, any truth to that ?

  20. #20
    Pie Smuggler timdow's Avatar
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    Trying to get worried about PVC in panniers... trying... trying.... nope. Just can't get worried about it.
    Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry... charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. -Mark Twain

  21. #21
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzy View Post
    I just purchased some Sunlite panniers and much to my horror, in the small print at the bottom of the tag it reads - This product in intended for use of persons over 12 years of age. WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm.
    You are fine... you live in Florida!

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  22. #22
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    Great. I wasted a lot of time reading a bunch of seven year old questions.

    In the comparison of Carradice waxed cotton panniers and Ortlieb PVC panniers, how about the compromise of Carradry panniers that I think are made with PVC?

    Photos show one of my Carradry panniers next to one of my Ortlieb Classic Backrollers.

    20IMGP0987.jpg 20IMGP0988.jpg

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