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Old 01-14-19, 09:58 AM
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Chris!
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Pannier talk

Looking at upgrading my panniers, they are 10 year old axiom panniers. They have been great but are not waterproof, I'm looking to upgrade to a waterproof set. I'll be using my jandd rack on either a surly crosscheck or jamis renegade, tours are never much more than a weekish. Been looking at the waterproof axiom and the ortlieb panniers. Any input on the durability of either of these. They both seam to have all plastic attachments while my old axioms are metal and plastic. I'm gonna go to an REI and check out the ortliebs this weekend. Any other brands people use and like? Thanks
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Old 01-14-19, 10:16 AM
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I have been using my Ortliebs since 2010, I think they will last longer than I will. Mine are the Backroller Classics. I have not used the water proof Axioms, have no opinion on them.

Regarding the plastic hooks, not a problem. But the hooks on the older ones like mine will deform slowly over time so the little plastic inserts might fall out later. I put some PVC plastic tubing over the rack, I do not use those little plastic inserts. The plastic tubing protects the rack from chaffing.

The photo shows what I am talking about with the PVC tubing, slit lengthwise and held on with electrical tape, I think the tubing was 3/8" ID and 1/2" OD.

REI often discounts their Ortliebs, so if you decide to get them and if you get them from REI, you might want to wait for their big sale in a couple months when they mail out dividends. If they do not discount teh Ortliebs, they usually have a 20 percent off one full price item coupon at that time of year.


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Old 01-14-19, 10:23 AM
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I've had Ortlieb panniers and I also auditioned an Ortlieb saddle bag. With the panniers I had two issues (one was a sewing problem, the other was an issue with the attachment), and the saddle bag was a thoughtlessly engineered complete fail that I returned after fewer than a month's use. Just my experience, of course. I am happily using Jandd panniers. Not waterproof, but as a decades long canoeist I'm accustomed to using waterproof stuffsacks, so I don't need for my panniers to be waterproof.
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Old 01-14-19, 11:32 AM
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A few hundred cyclists pass through town on the coast every summer, Ortlieb panniers used by a vast majority of them

seams are welded.. I use them a lot daily , grocery shopping , and on my daily bike..



Mid 80's I bought a Bruce Gordon racks, Beckman Needleworks panniers combination , then in 90s I had some rain covers made..

Compartmentalized was good for organizing.. their inconvenient mounting scheme , made them secure. , left on the bike..








...
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Old 01-14-19, 11:48 AM
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Find an Ortlieb set and be done with it. If you want to save a few bucks, as others have said REI regularly runs sales, as does Moosejaw/Mountain Steals, and occasionally Sierra Trading will have last years "design" series cheap. Expanding on what bob said, when I was in France on a touring route last tummer, I took mental note, I'd say a good 60% were Ortliebs, 15% Decathalons house brand (forget the name of it right now), 15% Axioms and Arkels, and the remainder unbranded/off brands. Sometimes things are popular truly because they are a great choice.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
The photo shows what I am talking about with the PVC tubing, slit lengthwise and held on with electrical tape, I think the tubing was 3/8" ID and 1/2" OD.
Thats a good idea, I'm stealing it

My one complaint about Ortliebs is that I have lost those inserts. Generally I notice right away, but one of the wife's got away from us last trip.
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Old 01-14-19, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
...
Thats a good idea, I'm stealing it ....
I stole the idea from someone else years ago, but he used zip ties instead of electrical tape to hold the tubing on. It is that clear flexible tubing at hardware stores.
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Old 01-14-19, 12:11 PM
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I presently own 2 sets of Axiom waterproof panniers (Typhoon LX and Monsoon LX) and 2 sets of Ortliebs as well. Both are very similar in construction but the mounting systems are different. I somewhat like the Axiom mounting system better but really it's a wash. I personally don't feel you can go wrong with either BUT...replacement parts are much easier to obtain with Ortliebs and both my experiences with the customer service at Axiom were non-existent or terrible !
Were I to purchase more, probably Ortliebs for those reasons.
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Old 01-14-19, 12:17 PM
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For waterproof panniers it's hard to go wrong with Ortlieb. But I'm not wild about their attachment system and have had a loaded pannier come flying off more than once.

That said, they are well made, completely waterproof and relatively light. And most people haven't had the problems I've had with the Ortlieb attachement, but I find that I have to be very careful about attaching them or I can have them come off when riding through rough patches.

Another brand I really like is Arkel, but I haven't tried their lineup of waterproof panniers. I do have a set of their classic (non-waterproof) panniers and they are excellent and I much prefer the attachment system they use: it's virtually impossible for it to work loose in transit even if I'm careless about attaching them.

But they tend to be heavier than Ortliebs, and I don't know if their waterproof line is as durable as Ortleib, though I suspect they would be well made. The classic Arkel panniers I've got are very well constructed and will likely outlive me for what that's worth.
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Old 01-14-19, 12:30 PM
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I have Ortleib 2 sets of back roller classics & another set that is exactly the same but 50% bigger. I don't remember the name exactly...Pro-plus or something similar. (I use it for my Igloo Playmate lunchbox ) Mine are the old-style classic PVC/vinyl type material.

As far as I can tell, there isn't any detectable wear at all on any of them. They all look as new as the day they were bought. They are indeed 100% waterproof. I'd venture a guess they could claim air-tight as well. In the event of a waterlanding I have no doubt they could be used as a flotation device. Believe it when people claim they will exist & be servicable long after it's owner dies.

Yeah, they can be pricey, but they'll be the last panniers you ever buy.

I can't speak to the new style material that is more eco-friendly to produce. Maybe some one can chime in on that.

FYI: SJS has backroller classics on sale at £99.99 which is about $60 USD cheaper than can be had in the US after exchange rate. REI usually has them at $180. Shipping from the UK is usually about $40USD so you still save about 20 bucks if you buy at Saint Johns & a lot more if you are going to buy more than 1 set.

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Old 01-14-19, 12:58 PM
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I bought a pair of Ortliebs (Sportspacker +) a dozen years ago, and still use them for daily commuting. Also have a pair of Bikepackers (big 'uns) for touring, and a replacement set of SPPs in case I wear the first pair out.

One of the daily-use panniers got scuffed up in a spill on tour. 300 pounds+ going down at 30 mph might do that. There's a minor leak in that pannier, but it's not enough that I've ever been motivated to track it down or try to fix it. I wrap commuting clothes in a bag to keep them clean, and if it's rained an inch or more during my 45 minute commute, the outside of the bag feels damp.

Other than that, they're still waterproof, easy-on/easy-off, and I've had no problems with the attachment. (The bags stayed on in the crash, FWIW.) I've replaced the male buckle clips ($15 total plus a half hour of pfaffing) a couple years back. Those Ortliebs are like the Energizer Bunny -- they keep going, and going, and ...
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Old 01-14-19, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris! View Post
Looking at upgrading...
You can probably still get a good deal on Ortlieb City line of panniers if you buy from a German/Euro Internet Bike Shop - they were a better deal 2-3 years ago when currency exchange rate was more favorable to USD and Ortlieb began selling City bags in USA. City are very close to Classic Rollers (CR) - same material, same nominal size, but cheaper and lighter. They are significantly lighter than front and rear CRs because they lack their overloading capability, and the material required to provide this capability. They also lack the shoulder straps of CR, but Cities straps are shorter and a bit lighter too. Ortlieb sells an accessory shoulder strap for City if you need it. Finally, City rear bags are not compatible with Ortlieb Rack Pack bags but you shouldn't need this much capacity for weekend tours anyway. OrtliebUSA renamed all their front bags Sport a while back, so don't let that confuse you.

https://www.ortlieb.com/de/back-roller-city

https://www.ortlieb.com/de/sport-roller-city

https://www.ortlieb.com/downloads/da...oller_city.pdf

https://www.bike-components.de/en/Or...nniers-p28205/

https://www.bike-components.de/en/Or...nniers-p26164/

https://thetouringstore.com/thetouringstore/ortlieb/
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Old 01-14-19, 01:48 PM
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Been using Ortlieb Sport and Bikepacker Plus since 2011. Like them a lot. Never once had one come close to coming off, even on rough, unpaved mountain descents.
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Old 01-14-19, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by winston63 View Post
For waterproof panniers it's hard to go wrong with Ortlieb. But I'm not wild about their attachment system and have had a loaded pannier come flying off more than once.
....
This is the first I have heard of an Ortlieb parting ways with the bike.

On one occasion I glanced down and realized that one of my front panniers was only hanging on with one hook, not two. Not sure how I did it, but after eight years to get one on wrong without realizing it is pretty good. Since the hooks have that under bar tab that locks them on, it was pretty clear that it was user error in my case.

***

Someone above mentioned the City version and also the Rack Bags that can attach to the Backroller. The Backroller and Frontrollers have a strap that goes over the top. On my front rollers I often strap my rain gear on top of the pannier so it is readily accessible.

That center strap is also used to strap the Rack Bag to the Backroller, see photo. But if you are only going out for a week, the odds are you would not need the Rack Bag on top of the rear panniers, a smaller dry bag can certainly be straped on top of the rack instead.

A friend of mine uses the City version, he liked the lower price and they are a bit lighter. But I prefer the classic version with that strap over the top.

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Old 01-14-19, 03:07 PM
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If you have the bit of extra cash, Arkels are the best panniers Iíve ever dealt with. Completely waterproof, hard wearing, solid attachment system, and a little nicer material than Ortlieb imo. I havenít owned Ortleibs, but they seem very well made and certainly have a lot of happy customers. I would never waste my money on another Axiom product. After a rack failure that was far under itís weight limit and Monsoon DXL panniers that were a patchwork of duct tape by the end of their first tour, both items which should have been covered under warranty and werenít, I consider them to be bottom tier products with poor customer service. The guy at the bike shop flat out told me that Axiom ďisnít going to cover a rack failure.Ē Said I could leave it and heíd try if I wanted, but he knew the rep would say no to a rack replacement. For the panneirs, one of the reasons they gave me for denying warranty was that I ďcontinued to use the product after the hole developed.Ē Was I supposed to stop my tour, email them, wait for reply, send in the pannier, wait for replacement, then continue my tour? Ridiculous. Of course I didnít immediately stop using it. Their ďwarrantyĒ isnít worth the paper itís written on. In any case, the DXL panniers seemed to leave my clothes feeling a little clammy on rain days even before the holes. The Arkels that went on that same tour kept my things dry and still looked good as new by the end.
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Old 01-14-19, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
This is the first I have heard of an Ortlieb parting ways with the bike.

On one occasion I glanced down and realized that one of my front panniers was only hanging on with one hook, not two. Not sure how I did it, but after eight years to get one on wrong without realizing it is pretty good. Since the hooks have that under bar tab that locks them on, it was pretty clear that it was user error in my case.
Probably it was some degree of user error on my part, but I have had my Ortlieb Bikepacker's come off more than once. They may not play well with my Toepeak explorer?

In any case, what I think has happened is that I've done what you describe above: hooked them on, but only one of the top clips has fully engaged even though it looks like both have.

In fact, since it last happened I've been doing a second check and making sure both clips are locked on, and I haven't had this issue repeat. And very often when I check, it initially appears that the bag is properly attached but one of the clips is not fully engaged until I push it down firmly. If I forget to do this, I have a fair chance of losing a bag

I won't disparage the product, it's obvious that many, many people use and love them, but if I were doing it again I'd buy the Arkel waterproofs instead of the Ortliebs because I much prefer the Arkel attachment system.
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Old 01-14-19, 04:55 PM
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I strapped together the pair , early sport packers ..I fit on my Bike Friday front racks , so when I lock the bike up, the 2 bags come off together,,


when I put them back on I check that their 4 bag hook latches are closed.. , you do that?
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Old 01-14-19, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I strapped together the pair , early sport packers ..I fit on my Bike Friday front racks , so when I lock the bike up, the 2 bags come off together,,


when I put them back on I check that their 4 bag hook latches are closed.. , you do that?
I haven't strapped the bags together, but yes, now I double check the latches and I admit that I haven't had a bag come off since I've been doing that.

I'm surprised at how often it appears that the bag is solidly attached but it's not though. It makes me a bit nervous because I'm ridiculously forgetful of things like that and I can easily see myself riding off in a hurry without checking them, then losing one somewhere along the line.
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Old 01-14-19, 06:05 PM
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Arkels

Thanks for all the input. I was gonna wait until the spring REI sale but the Arkel panniers look pretty great and I really like all those pockets on the dolphins.
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Old 01-14-19, 06:07 PM
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I own Arkels (gt-54s) and would also recommend Ortlieb. Arkels make some of the finest touring luggage on the planet it has loads of organizational space, excellent mounting and cannot be ripped without a really sharp knife doing some serious work on them. The ones I own are relatively water resistant but not fully waterproof (because at the time that was less of my concern and I wanted more organizational space). I will have these panniers probably till I die unless I sell them which I probably won't and maybe aside from the looks being a little different (sun fading and such) I have little doubt they will hold up to many tours, commutes and general abuse.
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Old 01-14-19, 07:06 PM
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Ah, the gt54ís are the big luxury bags with tons of pockets, right? Are they heavy? I think all of the openings allowing more points for water and dirt to get in and the weight would keep me from those.
My experience is just with the dolphin 32s. I think theyíre fantastic. Theyíre hard wearing, completely waterproof, nice material, and have the best mounting system, imo.
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Old 01-14-19, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
Ah, the gt54ís are the big luxury bags with tons of pockets, right? Are they heavy? I think all of the openings allowing more points for water and dirt to get in and the weight would keep me from those.
My experience is just with the dolphin 32s. I think theyíre fantastic. Theyíre hard wearing, completely waterproof, nice material, and have the best mounting system, imo.
The Dolphins look awesome to me. Iíve got the smaller GT 18s that I use as front panniers if Iím doing a loaded tour (with my Ortliebs on the rear). They also see a lot of use on the rear rack hauling stuff when Iím commuting or running errands.

The GT 18s are indestructible, but they are not waterproof, and even with the optional cover donít provide the same protection that you get from something like your Dolphins or the Ortliebs.

I agree regarding the Arkel attachment system. Itís secure, versatile and very well engineered.
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Old 01-14-19, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
Ah, the gt54ís are the big luxury bags with tons of pockets, right? Are they heavy?...
A friend of mine has the GT54s. His are red and the red ones fade really bad in the sun so he always uses the rain covers. That pretty much defeats the purpose of having lots of convenient pockets. But his have done two cross country trips plus many shorter ones.

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Old 01-14-19, 09:09 PM
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Yep they are the big luxury bags with all the pockets. They aren't really light but I don't mind so much. Sure I would love to redesign them a little with some lighter maybe more waterproof fabric looking back but honestly I am fine with the way they are. I like that organization it is really helpful to me because I suck at packing and having spaces I can dedicate to different items is useful to easily find stuff again.

I haven't gotten any dirt ingress into my stuff and no water ingress but I haven't used them much in rain. The outside has gotten dirty but I can just brush that off.
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Old 01-15-19, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
A friend of mine has the GT54s. His are red and the red ones fade really bad in the sun so he always uses the rain covers. That pretty much defeats the purpose of having lots of convenient pockets. But his have done two cross country trips plus many shorter ones.

excellent park. Devil's lake is nice too.
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Old 01-15-19, 12:23 PM
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^ Funny. My brain didnít take notice of the name of the park. My best friend and I used to ride the trail from Madison through Verona and Mt Horeb to camp at Governor Dodge. Itís actually a perfect little touring training ride for anyone living in Madison, and in general a great way to spend a weekend. Just donít forget to stop at Grumpy Troll for late lunch and a beer! Anyone in the area who hasnít done that ride definitely should!
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