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Lightweight, waterproof panniers for all-around use?

Old 03-26-17, 12:50 PM
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kalash74
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Lightweight, waterproof panniers for all-around use?

Looking for a pair of panniers that I can use for commuting, carrying groceries, etc. If possible, I'd like to leave them permanently on my bike so they are always ready to go. I'd also like them to be lightweight, preferably around 2 lbs or so for the pair.

I hear that Ortlieb is the way to go. I'm closely considering the Sport Roller City Panniers:

https://www.ortlieb.com/en/Sport-Roller%20City/

They are described as weighing 42.7 oz for the pair, so a bit heavier than what I was hoping for. I think they go for around $130 shipped.

I have some concerns about theft. I hear that they are easy to remove. I do know that Ortlieb makes anti-theft cables that you can purchase. Would zipties work? It's kind of a hassle to remove them if I want to, say, go shopping on the way home after work or to the train station.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-26-17, 06:26 PM
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Ortliebs are as easy to remove as lifting up on the handles. They release and come right off. I don't think zipties would provide much theft protection. A pair of scissors or a pocket knife would defeat them. I would just take the bag into the store with you. That way you can load it with groceries and then pop it back on the bike. I don't know what the crime scene is like where you live, but if you left them on in a train station in the San Francisco Bay Area, they wouldn't be there when you got back.
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Old 03-26-17, 06:42 PM
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Get something with back pack shoulder straps. I have an Arkel that also has a helmet pocket.

If you want something permanent on your bike, get a wire cage basket. You can dump panniers, backpacks or bags in it without the fuss of hooking it to the rack because the basket is already doing that.
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Old 03-26-17, 07:50 PM
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I live in Jersey City. NYC metro area. So, yes, bike theft is a problem. (It's a bit less of a problem on this side of the Hudson--I see bikes locked up all the time with measly chains from Home Depot). I'm not sure if people steal panniers regularly though. The only issue with the backpack idea is that I typically already have a backpack in addition to the panniers. I suppose I could carry them with me, but that's just a lot of hassle in case I swing by the store on the way home.

Do you guys think the Ortliebs are a thief magnet? Do thieves know their value? Perhaps I could go with a low-key color, like all-black instead of red?

I'm not definitely opposed to the idea of taking the panniers with me wherever I go, but it would be nice to leave them on the bike from time to time. (My wife rides around with her Linus panniers and leaves them on there with a small padlock).

Now as far as taking these into the store, does anyone know if the carry handle can easily handle heavy grocery loads? I know that Ortlieb makes a grocery pannier, but I want something that is a bit smaller/lighter and will be multi-use.
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Old 03-26-17, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by kalash74 View Post
The only issue with the backpack idea is that I typically already have a backpack in addition to the panniers. I suppose I could carry them with me, but that's just a lot of hassle in case I swing by the store on the way home.
I have been taking the opposite approach. I have my laptop and work stuff in an Ortlieb Office Bag pannier with the QL3 mounts. I take that into the office with me. I carry a small packable backpack in case I need to stop by the store.

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Old 03-26-17, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RunForTheHills View Post
I have been taking the opposite approach. I have my laptop and work stuff in an Ortlieb Office Bag pannier with the QL3 mounts. I take that into the office with me. I carry a small packable backpack in case I need to stop by the store.
I have been using an Ortlieb off bag for several years and really like it.
I will be switching to a Chrome messenger bag, but that's because I have switched to an e-cargo bike for commuting and will be semi-permanently mounting giant 90L panniers on it.
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Old 03-26-17, 10:12 PM
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Panniers can either be safely permanently attached to the bicycle, or easily removed to carry them along. They can't achieve both - not any models I know of.

Ortlieb are perfect if you will be carrying them with you. If not, they are expensive, while easy to remove and steal. They are relatively light, waterproof, with lots of space, easy to mount/dismount - the only thing they can't do is be safely permanently locked to the bike. At least not with conventional methods, you'd need to be creative.
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Old 03-26-17, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I have been using an Ortlieb off bag for several years and really like it.
I will be switching to a Chrome messenger bag, but that's because I have switched to an e-cargo bike for commuting and will be semi-permanently mounting giant 90L panniers on it.
It has been a good bag. The shoulder strap leaves something to be desired, but I suppose I would have replaced it by now with a nicer strap if I really hated it.
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Old 03-26-17, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RunForTheHills View Post
It has been a good bag. The shoulder strap leaves something to be desired, but I suppose I would have replaced it by now with a nicer strap if I really hated it.
Yeah, the shoulder strap isn't that good, and the ql2 hardware is a bit intrusive when walking around with it.
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Old 03-27-17, 05:08 AM
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Folding wire basket on each side secured with stainless steel hose clamps.
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Old 03-27-17, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Yeah, the shoulder strap isn't that good, and the ql2 hardware is a bit intrusive when walking around with it.


The QL3 mount isn't intrusive at all.
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Old 03-27-17, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RunForTheHills View Post
The QL3 mount isn't intrusive at all.
Yeah, but I got a super deal on the ql2 bag.
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Old 03-27-17, 01:29 PM
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Banjo brother waterproof pannier backpack
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Old 03-27-17, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Whynot1999 View Post
Banjo brother waterproof pannier backpack
Good recommendation on good product.

If ortleib is the way you want to go, the classics in a few colors are available from STP for $100/pair. Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic Cycling Panniers - Pair - Save 45%
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Old 03-27-17, 02:11 PM
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The Ortliebs are fantastic for their purpose and I've carried sixpacks, couple of bottles of wine, and a gallon of milk (not all at once) in my front-rollers (mounted on the rear of the biek). However, I try to avoid carrying my panniers by the 'carry handle' as it engages the unlocking mechanism and feels like it could break. I also realized that they aren't very convenient for commuting use due to lack of internal pockets (the mesh ones only let you store something relatively flat) and because they aren't very convenient to open/close if you need to.

While it's nice to have the option to for the future, at this time I don't ride in pouring rain for hours, so a better choice for me probably would have been a less-waterproof but more city-oriented option such as https://www.ortlieb.com/en/Velo-Shopper/

P.S. From the source: https://www.ortlieb.com/en/QL2-Anti-...nt=veloshopper

However, in my experience even cable locks will fall victim to a pair of handheld snips; all this does is prevent a grab&dash theft.
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Old 04-05-17, 09:59 PM
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I've been using a pair of Carsick Designs bags that aren't on their site anymore. Very simple, light, easy to use with a roll top and single click buckle to secure the rolled top. Using them has made me realize that some of the touring panniers are overkill for everyday commuting use. Mine are waterproof when rolled shut correctly.
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