Ortlieb pannier rucksack adapter

Discussion in 'Cycling Archive' started by Adam Funk, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    I can't recall if this particular combination was discussed in the
    last thread on making panniers suitable for carrying around off the
    bike, but last night I met someone who had an Ortlieb pannier with a
    "rucksack adapter", made by Ortlieb to fit their own products, &
    designed so you can roll it up & stick it in the pannier. She let a
    couple of us try it on, showed us how it worked, &c., & swore she
    wasnt' getting kickbacks for it.

    Based on what she said about how long her friends' panniers have
    lasted (the one she was demonstrating was fairly new), I'm just about
    sold on the cost over time of investing in Ortliebs.

    Just having a quick look at wiggle.co.uk, I see there are a bunch of
    different back panniers: roller city, roller classic, roller plus,
    roller urban, bike packer classic, bike packer plus (not including the
    "briefcase", "office bag", &c.). AFAICT, the main difference is
    between the rolling closure & the clip-down one; the "urban" one looks
    more like cloth but is "nonetheless absolutely waterproof"; other than
    that, are the variations basically just in volume?
    Adam Funk, Jun 16, 2015
    1. Advertisements

  2. AFAIK, yes. The rolltop is the critical difference - really completely
    waterproof, not that the clip-down ones aren't sufficient for most things
    short of falling into rivers.
    David Damerell, Jun 16, 2015
    1. Advertisements

  3. There is a difference in material - 'Classic' is a heavyweight, very
    tough material, vs 'Plus' which is somewhat lighter (but still pretty
    Also they used to use different fittings for attaching to the rack -
    Classic had QL1 (which you need an allen key to adjust), Plus was QL2
    (can be adjusted without tools). But it seems the new models all use
    QL2.1, which is an improved version that can be adjusted without tools.
    Though some shops may still have stock of the old versions.

    Yes, the roller versions are roll-top. Which is very waterproof, but
    maybe a bit more faff if you want to open and close it regularly. Also
    the rolltop means you can overload it if necessary, ie leave things
    sticking out the top.
    Craig Wallace, Jun 16, 2015
  4. Adam Funk

    kimble Guest

    Having patched holes in a crash-damaged 'classic' (with the official
    hard to find patch material), I reckon the 'plus' material is likely to
    be easier to repair, as it's less stiff, and uses the same material
    throughout (rather than having an awkward seam right where it's most
    likely to get torn).

    How useful this is depends largely on whether you're swapping between
    bikes with different luggage racks, of course. I believe they're
    equally good in use.

    TBH, it's no real hardship to use an allen key to adjust the QL1
    fittings, but it's quite a small size, so I'd be concerned about the
    screws rounding off if adjusted frequently.

    On the other hand, with flap closures you can wedge things under the flap...

    My general preference is for flap closures for utility cycling, and
    roll-top for touring: Flaps are quicker to open and close, and
    flap-closure panniers (not specifically Ortlieb) tend to have more
    useful zip-up pockets where you can put your roadside tools and forget
    about them, (rather than empty them out with your shopping and forget
    about them). Roll-top closures are more fiddly and inherently a
    two-handed job, but when it comes to keeping your sleeping bag
    absolutely dry even when the pannier falls over in a puddle, they can't
    be beaten.

    kimble, Jun 17, 2015
  5. In uk.rec.cycling.moderated on Wed, 17 Jun 2015 00:12:09 +0100
    Much depends on your usual methods.

    As a motorcycle tourist I long ago learned to put things in plastic
    bags as throwovers were never waterproof and hard cases ditto more
    often than not. Plus I also learned that waterproof means it doesn't
    get out either and water that gets in slowly leaves even more

    My radical design panniers are not waterproof but like the Arkels they
    are shower proof.

    When touring I divide things into "must be dry, should be dry, don't
    care". The "must" like sleeping bag and clothes live in drybags,
    the "should" like shoes and food live in less aggressive bags to
    keep them sorted, the "don't care" like tent, stove and crockery
    are just chucked in.

    That way the kit is sorted, the dry is dry even if I have to open the
    pannier in a rainstorm or the tent is packed away wet.

    To others that's too much faff and they just want to throw stuff in.

    For commuting I am seldom in enough rain to get through the Arkel's
    water resistance and if I am I put the cover on and so far all has
    been good. I quite happily trade the "put a cover on once a year" for
    "easy to manage and no bloody rolltop in stiff fabric" the rest of the

    People in "God should have given us gills" countries may find the
    proportions reversed and a waterproof pannier more attractive.

    Zebee Johnstone, Jun 17, 2015
  6. Adam Funk

    Peter Clinch Guest

    I've patched "Plus" with a standard puncture repair kit. Needs re-done
    periodically but is basically okay. That was one wee hole from a lot of
    daily use in the "light" material: they're pretty tough, and the
    Classics are tougher.
    I have both in various combos, and as Kim says it's a bit of a non-issue
    in practice. I'm (very) happy with either.
    Yes to both of the above. The rollers do overload more gracefully, but
    having each available I don't have a marked preference one over the other.
    The "City" version with a roll-top has closure clips down the side and I
    found them a bit of a pain, and my kids found them sufficiently
    unworkable (I'd bought them for their cycle to school commute) I sold
    them on and got Sport Packers instead. The "City" is a blot on Ort's
    copy-book as far as I'm concerned, and is not so good value despite the
    considerably lower price.
    Yet more furious agreement.

    I have the rucksack thingy. Never use it: takes up quite a bit of space
    not in use and in practice I just use the basic shoulder strap (they
    all, City excepted, come with shoulder straps). Wee Bear is up to Big
    School next year so a basic pannier not so good as a pack for zooming
    around the place and rather than saddle her with the Ort rucksack
    conversion I picked up a VauDe converting pannier/rucksack with all
    sorts of compartments. I think it's a better tool if you want a
    rucksack /and/ a pannier and may want extra compartments (might have got
    the Ort Vario, but thanks to Evans' bargain bin the VauDe was half the

    I really rate Ort panniers. I'm not terribly fussed about the
    waterproofing, TBH. If you want something dry a liner not only keeps it
    dry from the rain. but also keeps it dry when you put your sodden
    tent/waterproofs/washing/leaky flask etc. in the same pannier. What I
    like about Orts are the remarkably painless easy-to-use fittings and
    excellent build quality. I have Classics and Plusses, rolltop and flap
    closure, and they're all excellent. Hard to choose one flavour over the
    other if I just had one set.

    Peter Clinch, Jun 17, 2015
  7. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    I see on wiggle:

    The Ortlieb QL2 system allows fast and easy single-handed mounting
    and removal of the panniers. The QL2 hooks can be adapted to the
    rack without requiring any tools, and are suitable for racks with a
    tube diameter from 8mm to 16 mm (differently sized hook inserts are
    included). Once on the rack, the hooks close automatically. For
    removal, you simply lift the pannier by its carrying handle. Quick
    and easy!

    Am I being paranoid, or does that present some security risk of
    someone grabbing a pannier off your bike while you're stopped (at a
    red light, for example)?

    Interesting, thanks.
    Adam Funk, Jun 17, 2015
  8. That would be a possiblity with the QL1 (which I have), though the
    strap one would need to grab doesn't tend to stick out much.

    Here's an image of the things installed:


    and there's no sign of the thin latching strap at all. From the other
    side you can get some idea of its size:

    Roger Bell_West, Jun 17, 2015
  9. Adam Funk

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Up to a point, Lord Copper. You /could/... *if* you happened to be
    familiar with Ortliebs (i.e., you owned some) and were a complete
    scumbag and the opportunity presented itself, and you could run away
    suitably fast carrying a pannier, you /could/ do that.

    In practice I've never heard of it happening, and the paranoia about
    scumbags with a decent set of Allen keys attending my parked bike is a
    far greater worry.

    The "unlock by picking them up" point is one of the things I
    particularly like about them.

    Peter Clinch, Jun 17, 2015
  10. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    OK, thanks for that.
    Adam Funk, Jun 17, 2015
  11. Adam Funk

    kimble Guest

    Yes, though the QL1 system works in exactly the same way - lift the
    handle and the hooks release - the difference is in how you adjust the
    hook positions to fit the bike.

    There are a couple of work-arounds. One I favour is to lengthen and
    cross over the closure straps from the left and right rear panniers
    (assuming you've got both fitted). In order to remove a pannier from
    the bike, you now have to release two clips before you can lift it by
    the handle.

    Ortlieb also sell a security kit which locks panniers to the bike with a
    thin cable. Probably too much faff for commuting, but might be a useful
    option if you're touring in urban areas.

    I don't worry about people grabbing my front panniers. On the recumbent
    they'd have to get in under my seat and find the handle first, and I
    hardly ever use the Ortliebs on the front of my DF bike now I have a
    trailer for bigger utility trips.

    Another option is to use Altura panniers: They also use Rixen & Kaul
    fittings, but a variety where you have to push in a button while lifting
    the pannier by the handle to release them. If you've got two working
    hands that's almost as convenient as the Ortlieb system, but less suited
    to walk-by pannier-jacking.

    kimble, Jun 17, 2015
  12. ISTR this attack was actually implemented in Reading; the attackers used
    mopeds, with a pillion passenger doing the grab.
    David Damerell, Jun 17, 2015
  13. Adam Funk

    Peter Clinch Guest

    R&Ks seema bit variable to me. The Klikfix bar bags are great, I have
    some Altura pannieris with one of their locking hook systems and it's a
    PITA. I thought it was just a PITA because of the 13mm rack tubing on
    the Panzerfiets, but it turned out to be a PITA on the sproggen's
    Islabikes too. There was an alternative I retrofitted, and that was a
    PITA too, so I unretrofitted it (these bags are now semi retired,
    replaced by Orts). However, there are people out there who like both of
    these systems, and panniermongers choosing them to fit to their premium
    In other words, do assess for your personal reaction before commiting if
    you can.

    Peter Clinch, Jun 18, 2015
  14. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    Interesting, thanks.
    I noticed the shoulder straps on some models, & I'll make sure I get
    some with those. I've always wondered why a shoulder strap is not
    considered an obvious thing to need on a pannier.
    Adam Funk, Jun 18, 2015
  15. Adam Funk

    Adam Funk Guest

    Adam Funk, Jun 18, 2015
  16. Adam Funk

    kimble Guest

    I agree that they're a worthwhile feature, but very rarely feel the need
    for them.

    For doing the shopping, I just park the bike and bung the panniers in a
    trolley, though for more 'commutery' trips (I mostly work from home)
    I'll either carry a pannier by its handle or might use the Brompton and
    C-bag which does have a strap.

    When touring I do bring one Ortlieb shoulder strap with me, which I can
    use with one of the front-rollers to carry the valuables and useful
    items with me when wandering around somewhere on foot.

    I think it comes down to how much walking you're going to do off the
    bike. For me, cycling is a major way to avoid having to walk more than
    necessary, so if I've got cycle-specific luggage with me, I've probably
    eliminated most of the walking already. At which point carrying a
    pannier by its handle is preferable to faffing about with straps.

    kimble, Jun 18, 2015
  17. Adam Funk

    kimble Guest

    Agreed. I do generally prefer the Ortlieb ones, largely because the
    "two working hands" requirement of the Alturas is a lot more annoying
    than it might sound (especially in a utility cycling context, where you
    seem to have your hands full with random stuff half the time).

    My partner, who has two partially-working hands, can't work the Alturas
    at all. She's not brilliant with Ortliebs either, but that's okay
    because her cycling luggage needs are mostly met by a pair of Radical
    bananana bags that spend most of their life attached to her trike seat.

    (Going off-topic for a bit, I built the battery and auxiliary
    electronics for the trike's electric assist into a Rixen&Kaul rigid
    plastic lockable rack-top box, which slides into a permanently attached
    mounting plate, and can be locked in place. That's the sort of
    practical utility luggage you just don't find in the UK - I had to
    import it form Germany.)

    However, the Altura fixings do meet my primary approval criteria for
    cycle luggage: That is, once in place they do an admirable job of
    staying attached to the bike, no matter how nasty a pothole you fail to
    spot at speed. Ease of removal is great, but very much secondary to not
    bouncing off and being run over by a taxi.

    kimble, Jun 18, 2015
  18. Adam Funk

    Ian Jackson Guest

    I can detach one of my Alturas with one hand, but my hands are
    overspecced (from being a climber, mostly).
    Ian Jackson, Jun 18, 2015
  19. kimble twisted the electrons to say:
    R&K's do mostly need two hands to get them off the bike, though I seem to
    recall "press the red button down with two fingers whilst pulling with
    the rest of the hand" as being viable. OTOH, Ortliebs seem to require
    two hands to get them *on* in the first place whilst with R&K's that can
    be done one-handed ... You pays your money, you makes your choice I
    The ICE-specific Radical bags are truly wonderful! Not to say that the
    generic product isn't, but since the ICE ones only have to deal with a
    single seat design there's no faff fitting them the first time!
    Alistair Gunn, Jun 18, 2015
  20. Adam Funk

    Sam Wilson Guest

    We have Edinburgh Bicycle branded Vaudes and they have a very similar
    system though it does need an allen key to adjust the pannier to fit.
    I note another poster mentioning the moped-supported thievery, but it
    would be a hassle getting the Vaudes off in a hurry. The way we have
    them configured you have to pull them pretty near vertically for several
    inches to get the bottom hook out from between the legs of the rack.

    Sam Wilson, Jun 19, 2015
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.