Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Bikes: 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, Perfekt 3 Speed of unknown age. Also a 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer for indoor exercise. And several others are now gone.
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By locks, I assume you mean the bracket that the lower hooks attach to.
I assume that the newer design with a single track for the hook is to save cost by using a two bolt design instead of four bolts, that probably saves a minute of technician time for assembly per pair. Perhaps they have not sold all of their white ones with the older design yet?
I have only seen photos of the new version, but it looks like you can unscrew the bolts and turn it upside down if you needed to shift the middle part of the track to a slightly higher position. The curve on the track is straighter on the new design, probably because without a bolt in the middle, the track would flex too much if it had as much curve as the older design.
I have about four pair of non-ortlieb panniers that have straight horizontal tracks that don't fit on some of my racks because the track is too high or too low, I wish everyone used the curve design. Given a choice, I would buy the older design if I was shopping for another pair, the rounder curve gives more adjustment for fitting to a rack.