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  1. #1
    40 yrs bike touring
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    Ortlieb Pannier long term use feedback

    I have been following a CGOAB journal called A Honeymoon To Remember. The young couple have been touring Asia for nine months or so.

    The following link shows their Ortlieb problems and mentions those of others they met:
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...id=125016&v=1E

    I thought that current Ortlieb users and would be Ortlieb buyers would be interested in their experience.

  2. #2
    Senior Member aggri1's Avatar
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    They mention screws coming loose. The screws on my BackRoller Classics that hold the grip-release-handle to the clips kept coming loose until I undid them a bit, put a dob of good glue between the two bits of plastic (around the screw) which the screw was holding together, and retightened. No coming loose since.

  3. #3
    Cycled on all continents JohnyW's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I used my Ortliebs 7 years. Thaen they are destroyed totally. I asked (no warranty) for the costs of the repair or a gift coupon if they aren't repairable. I received brand new pannier. That's very good service.

    Thomas
    My Travelogues: http://thomasontour.de (currently only in German)

  4. #4
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    I have also experienced the sagging rails on the back. and some plastic breaking.

    switched to carradice super C, and have been very happy with those. not so technical as the german bags, theyre just stout.

  5. #5
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    We have been very happy with our Ortliebs. I wonder if this couple just got a dud run from the factory? Perhaps their panniers are of an older type? I don't know...

    What I can say is that ours carried us almost flawlessly through almost 48,000km of touring. They remain waterproof, if a bit faded. There is one hole in one of my back panniers but that was my own fault (I scraped the bike up against a sharp piece of metal). The tire patch I applied to the bag did the trick to fix it and it's still on there.

    The few problems we did have:

    In Alberta - about 42,000km into our trip - we had to replace some of the plastic clips and buckles on the straps as they'd broken, we think purely through 3 years of daily clipping and unclipping and extreme temperatures. Ortlieb sent us replacement attachments, which Andrew sewed on

    Generally - the grippers inside the top frame attachment can indeed come off but we found a bit of duct tape held them in place
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

  6. #6
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I read that review and have a few comments:

    - my Ortliebs have various mounting systems as I bought them over the years. I don't use those plastic clips any longer. I just use electrical tape on the rack to build up the rack to the diameter of the Ortlieb mount. This saves the rack from getting worn through the powdercoat. It also means I can move panniers from rack to rack without worrying what diameter the rack is and swapping in the adapter clips.

    - I haven't had any issues with screws loosening on my panniers even after dirt road/offroad use. My oldest set is well over 10yrs old now and has been gifted to a friend who is using them to commute. She hasn't touched the mounts or screws and everything is fine. If I did have screw issues I'd use shoe goo on the screws which would act like loctite and should resolve the problem once and for all.

    - I find how well the lower mounting hook works really depends on the rack and the setup. On my last offroad tour my friend used a set of my Ortliebs and had issues with them coming unhooked on bumpy roads. My Ortliebs were fine the same stretches. The difference was he didn't spend enough time making sure he used the best possible positioning of the hooks. One night at camp we sorted that out as he was fed up of stopping to fix the problem and it didn't happen again. On some of my Ortliebs with QL2 lower mounts [oval track] I've mounted 2 lower hooks [one above and one below] this gives and uber secure mounting option. Ortliebs have a built in buckle for an extra strap to attache the pannier to the rack as well so you can strap them on on really challenging roads and to stop thieves from snatch and grab. Also note Ortliebs sells some optional lower hooks with different shapes if your rack requires a different mounting setup - every rack is different.

    - you can permanently repair Ortliebs using PVC patches like they use on river rafts if you've got the PVC type. For an easy field repair I carry shoe goo and nylon cloth to patch all my gear. On our summer GDR tour my buddy crashed his bike on a downhill landing on the Ortliebs I lent him. I expected the worst and assumed I'd be the owner of some damaged panniers when I saw him hit the deck on a rocky descent, but other than a couple scuff marks there was no damage and they are 100% waterproof still.

    I met a guy on the Dempster last summer would was running a full Ortlieb setup and his panniers were ancient compared to mine, but going strong. It had been pouring rain for days and both of us commented how nice it was to be able to pull dry gear from our bags.
    Last edited by vik; 09-28-09 at 08:00 AM.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  7. #7
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avatarworf View Post
    We have been very happy with our Ortliebs. I wonder if this couple just got a dud run from the factory? Perhaps their panniers are of an older type? I don't know...

    What I can say is that ours carried us almost flawlessly through almost 48,000km of touring. They remain waterproof, if a bit faded. There is one hole in one of my back panniers but that was my own fault (I scraped the bike up against a sharp piece of metal). The tire patch I applied to the bag did the trick to fix it and it's still on there.

    The few problems we did have:

    In Alberta - about 42,000km into our trip - we had to replace some of the plastic clips and buckles on the straps as they'd broken, we think purely through 3 years of daily clipping and unclipping and extreme temperatures. Ortlieb sent us replacement attachments, which Andrew sewed on

    Generally - the grippers inside the top frame attachment can indeed come off but we found a bit of duct tape held them in place
    I wonder if they simply exceeded the duty cycle of the bag. Most people I would think probably do 2 or 3 tours a year, maybe 4 000 km a year on good roads, tops. A bag that lasts 10 years or 40 000km is pretty good, and most people would be looking at, nice new clean bags at that point anyway. Someone who does the same distance in a much shorter time, say a year ir two can have the same amount of wear, over a much shorter time. It's like the travelling salesman who buys a new car, puts 350 000km on it in six months and wonders why it's worn out already.

  8. #8
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    I wonder if they simply exceeded the duty cycle of the bag. Most people I would think probably do 2 or 3 tours a year, maybe 4 000 km a year on good roads, tops. A bag that lasts 10 years or 40 000km is pretty good, and most people would be looking at, nice new clean bags at that point anyway. Someone who does the same distance in a much shorter time, say a year ir two can have the same amount of wear, over a much shorter time. It's like the travelling salesman who buys a new car, puts 350 000km on it in six months and wonders why it's worn out already.
    Good point - everything has a service life. Also different people wear gear at different rates. I have a good friend I've bike toured with, sea kayak toured with and done road trips with. We have often bought the same gear around the same time - sometimes at the exact same time. Her gear always looks twice as old as mine after a few weeks and after a couple years looks trashed while mine looks great. What is weird is I don't see her abusing her gear and we go to the same places and do the same things. Our running joke is if one person picks up an item we both own and is not sure who it belongs to we just check out how beat up it is....if it looks new it's mine and if it's gnarly it's hers.
    safe riding - Vik
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  9. #9
    Crazyguyonabike
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    On the subject of Ortliebs, I recently had an interesting phone conversation with Ian over at Ortlieb USA. I had originally called to inquire about the maximum recommended load capacity, but then he also had some other interesting tidbits regarding those little plastic inserts, and increasing the durability of the top mount:

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum...ested=0#137433

    Neil

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