One pannier to rule them all.

Yellow Ortlieb panniers

Introducing the Ortlieb Pannier.

When you are out touring or on a long distance bike trip, the last thing you need is your possessions you are lugging about to be damaged by water.  The R&D team at Ortlieb have developed a waterproof pannier system, the Back Roller Classic, to make sure ‘your’ stuff stays high and dry.  The roll top closure system is designed so that even if the pannier is submerged in water if for some reason it was, and if folded correctly, it should stay dry inside.

Ortlieb Pannier
It’s in the box.

The lightweight yet durable construction is perfect for long distances, where energy conservation is critical. Wherever you take your bike, take your Back Roller Classic with confidence that it will last the length of your journey and then some.

I bought myself a new set of panniers to go on my new front rack, the pannier of choice this time was the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic in eye catching yellow.  I got my latest set from ProbikeKit for $103 AUD delivered.

Features of the Back Roller Pannier.  The important ones are in Bold:

  • Cordura fabric for durability
    Ortlieb pannier
    The Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Panniers
  • Release handle for attaching and detaching the Quick Lock 1 (QL1) system
  • 3M Scotchlite side reflectors
  • Buckles at the top or for connecting the shoulder strap
  • Additional closure with buckle and D-ring
  • QL1 bar for quick fastening and release
  • Edge guard with slots for mounting the Ortlieb carrying system
  • Adjustable anchoring hook for providing lateral movement of the bag
  • Shoulder strap with padding for comfortable carrying or for fixing to the hook
  • Sold as a pair
  • Waterproof
  • Size: 42 x 32 x 17cm
  • Capacity: 40L – that’s 20L per pannier.
  • Weight: 1750g Per pair
The roll top closure makes sure no water gets inside the bag and the strong fabric looks like

Ortlieb Pannier
Bits and Pieces

it will last longer than my bike.  Things I was concerned about before they arrived:

Would these panniers actually attach to my rack?
How would they fit on my rack?
How much fluffin about to put them on and then take off?
Would I need assistance from my 15 year old, just like the video recorder?
No wucken Forries at all, the QL1 fitting system is as easy as posting a misspelled blog post.
Ortlieb Pannier
Front and Back

Yep, they come with insert clips so that you can use racks can go down to 11mm and 8mm size racks (from 16mm) or do what I did and place some clear tubing over your rack bars and save losing your inserts.

Mmmm let’s see what else? oh yeah they are waterproof, reflective, wipe clean and no zips or complicated fasteners to let you down.  Easy installation with one hand, the fitting mechanism is simplicity itself.  I went with the hi viz yellow my next set will most likely be danger red if I ever buy that Extra Wheel trailer (insert hint for wife).

The top QL1 rail of the bag hooks over the horizontal bar of your rack (the hooks can be moved laterally using a 3mm Allen key), there’s another movable hook at the bottom of the bag to stop that flapping about – it neatly slips over one or another of the racks uprights.

A smart handle release system means the top hooks won’t jump off – the hooks encircle the rack bar until you pull the handle, releasing the clamp.  The same clever handle means it’s a no-fuss operation to get the bags off the rack once your journey is done – you literally grab that handle and pick the bag up, no mess, no fuss.
Time for a few educational youtube clips I think:
by OrtliebGmbH
by Antranik DotOrg
A few of the maker’s videos on the Quick Lock systems they use and the differences.
QL1 System
QL2 System
A very good article on the Cyclocamping.com website on the 3 different QL systems used by the Ortlieb Panniers.

There is also a front rack version of which I do not own and have no plans to buy but Aushiker has done a blog post on the front panniers so if you duck over there for a gander

These quality Ortlieb panniers won’t leave you by the side of the road picking up your belongings and looking for something to put them in when your cheaper bag has split or blown it’s arse out.