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Panniers...

Golfmad123Golfmad123 Posts: 2
edited August 2014 in Commuting general
Am looking at a new set of panniers, for commuting and light touring.

I seem to have narrowed it down to a pair of Ortliebs or Altura Dryline but am finding it hard to choose between the two sets. I get the feeling the Ortliebs are lighter but not as sturdy, is this a fair thought?

They will be fitting on a Topeak rack that I already have.

Has anyone had experience with both?

Posts

  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Ortliebs are basic in design but waterproof and very sturdy. I'm sure they'd outlive most things made by Altura.
    If you can live with few internal and no external pockets, Ortliebis a great choice.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    Ortliebs are known for their sturdyness, they are the no.1 choice for expedition touring.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    Got Ortliebs early this spring. Nice red and black ones. Great for commuting and other types of riding. I fit them onto topeak rack (the supertourist DX one). It has the top surface of the rack but a lower and wider horizontal bar which the panniers fit onto. This lowers the centre of gravity a touch I think which other racks don't have.

    The panniers are virtually immaculate. I only use one and have scuffed it a few times but the only concern I have is my rack is leaving a black mark on the pannier fabric. No sign of wear just a black mark on the back. Tough as anything IMHO.

    I thought they were a simple one compartment pannier. They are but there is a solid fabric pocket against the inside back plate and this also has a zipped mesh pocket sewn onto it. You can also get accessory pockets to attach to the pannier. These use a pin to go through the fabric and have a washer and bolt (like those fixing the attachments on the pannier) to seal the pocket onto the pannier. If you wanted pockets on the back of the pannier you c an always add these. It would cover the reflective patch but I think they have one on the pockets too.

    I also looked at those two panniers and ended up going for the cheaper ortliebs due to price and actually waterproofness/durability. I know from mates who use ortlieb drybags in watersports that they are the toughest stuff out there.

    Either set of panniers are among the best out there in many retailers so you won't go far wrong with either. However I have read a bit on here where some ended up replacing Alturas, Vaude and others for ortliebs in the end.
  • holiverholiver Posts: 800
    Vaude also make good panniers.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    Nearly mentioned vaude panniers. They are supposed to be almost as good as ortlieb and indeed are a similar tough fabric IIRC. Good German panniers, can't go wrong even if they aren't made in Germany.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,962
    Or get ones made by Carradice that will outlast you, your children and your grandchildren....... Made in Lancashire 8)
    Faster than a tent.......
  • topcattimtopcattim Posts: 766
    Golfmad123 wrote:
    Am looking at a new set of panniers, for commuting and light touring.

    I seem to have narrowed it down to a pair of Ortliebs or Altura Dryline but am finding it hard to choose between the two sets. I get the feeling the Ortliebs are lighter but not as sturdy, is this a fair thought?

    They will be fitting on a Topeak rack that I already have.

    Has anyone had experience with both?
    I don't have experience of both but I have a pair of Altura Dryline 32L on a Topeak rack. They are just fine for my commute - I can fit my lunch, some clothes and some work paperwork in one pannier very easily, across two its a doddle. What impresses me most, though, is how easy the panniers are to drop/clip on to the rack, no fiddling around at all.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    Same with the Ortliebs. You just hold the handle that keeps the hooks back and drop onto the bar. Then let go and the hooks drop down around the bar of the rack locking it securely. There is a bottom hook that can be loosened by a 3mm allen key and moved into the best place to fix to the lower part of the rack then tightened. Once you have that right the pannier is held in top and bottom very securely. I didn't sort the hook at the bottom out properly and it was not hooked on enough. Went over a few different potholes and the slightly flexible tip of the bottom hook allowed the bottom of the pannier to swing up and out wildly. The top fixing hooks held it on the bike but it was alarming as I thought the pannier was going to fly off into traffic.

    Those QL1 fixings are so secure I had no worries really about losing them. i have since changed the bottom hook opsition and now it is very secure down there too.

    I am guessing the Altura ones also have two hooks at the top and one at the bottom in some form or other. The top ones locking and the bottom one just an open hook that can be moved to where it is needed most. I'm sure modern panniers are so much better than old ones for security of the fitting.

    I'm not regretting the Ortliebs at all. I've not seen the retro Carrradice panniers these days but I used to live near them in Blackburn and a lot of the local riders had the old Carradice saddle bag. Indeed one club actually told me I would not be allowed out with them without full mudguards and a Carradice saddlebag on my bike!!! I never did join them and took up kayaking instead.
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