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Showing all 32 results
Panniers are great for carrying everything you need in an easy to access place; check out the options from Ortlieb, Brooks & Revelate.
The biggest name in bicycle pannier bags is Ortlieb. If you are doing your research you will most definitely have seen them pop up. Ortlieb is a German brand that invented the very reliable waterproofing method used on bike bags today. Creating this method of welded seams made pannier bags simply the most functional way to carry on a bike. Ortlieb’s panniers (and their other bags too) are fully waterproof, and come in many styles.
No matter the style of pannier from Ortlieb, it will be waterproof. They make roll-top bags & lid-closure bags with drawstrings internally – but all are equally waterproof.
The reason there are so many choices in the world of panniers is because people use these bags for different purposes. There are bags designed for commuter cyclists – these are often single pannier bags for carrying laptops and spare clothes to work. Then there are touring cyclist panniers, these are huge capacity bags – up to 40 litres! This allows you to carry your life on your bike for months at a time.
There are also panniers for the front of the bike & the rear. The main difference between these is the size & shape. Panniers for the front of the bike are compact, and narrower than rear panniers. This is to account for the way the panniers move when the handlebars are turned, and to ensure you don’t hit them when you pedal.
If you are planning to start out in the world of panniers, we recommend you choose rear panniers, and definitely choose Ortlieb.
Ortlieb make panniers in different fabrics, and this is perhaps the most confusing part of shopping for these online. We stock all the Ortlieb product you see on this site in our bicycle repair shop in Richmond, so you can come see them in person. Otherwise, here is a bit of a rundown on the differences.
The Ortlieb Back-Roller is a pannier for the rear of your bike. They come in Classic, Plus & Free models. These refer to the different material they are made from. The Classic material is tarp-like. The Free fabric is the same as the Classic, but without PVC – something popular in Europe! The Plus fabric is our favourite – it is a lightweight Cordura. If the weight of your gear & your bike overall is worrying you, choose the Plus fabric for your panniers.
Following this difference, we get into Bike-Packer vs Back-Roller. The Bike-Packer style of pannier is a lid fastening & drawstring closure version of the pannier. Some people, especially touring cyclists, really prefer these. The type of closure or opening on the pannier can make your packing easier or harder, depending on your preference! The same rules of the fabric types apply to the Bike-Packer range. The Plus fabric is lighter, and as a slight difference to the style the Bike-Packer Plus also comes with a front pocket. We love a front pocket for organisation purposes on your ride.
The next thing you may notice when looking at panniers – both for the front & rear of the bike – is the QL2.1 & QL3.1. This refers to the type of Quick Lock system that Ortlieb has used for the mounting system on the bag. These locking systems are what holds the pannier to your bike’s rack.
Not all the panniers come in all the systems, as the QL2.1 system form Ortlieb has been the dominant system for a while. Both are of course extremely reliable & repairable. We stock all the Ortlieb spare parts to fix your pannier or it’s mounting system if you ever need to. And they keep their spare parts available for many years!
The QL2.1 system is a simply hook & handle system on the back of the pannier – it comes with the pannier so you don’t need to buy this separately. It leaves no trace on your bikes rack, so you can easily swap the bags between bikes. The QL3.1 system leaves more of the mounting system on your bikes rack, leaving a less obtrusive handle on the bag. This is preferable if you have something like Ortlieb’s pannier briefcase, or their pannier backpack like the the Vario. Less bulk on your pannier is nice if you have to carry the pannier a long way off the bike. If however you will have the pannier on your bike most of the time, the QL2.1 is great.