Ortlieb Back-Roller City Rear Pannier
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- Japan Import.
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Classical rear pannier pair with a roll-top closure and the easy to use QL1 mounting system.FeaturesEasily mounted to racks with a diameter up to 16mm (reduction pieces for 8mm and 11mm rack diameters included) PVC-coated polyester fabric offers waterproof protection Edge protector with slots for mounting the ORTLIEB carrying system Top QL hooks and lower sliding hook adjustable with Allen key no. 3 Release handle for mounting and releasing the QL1 system Lateral 3M Scotchlite reflector on both sides for visibility Panniers sold as a pair
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But for just a little bit more money, the Ortlieb Back-roller Classic is a far better buy. Here are features that are missing from this pannier that the Classic includes:
* Buckles with straps that enable closing the panniers more quickly and easily across the top for quick access when using as a commuter and when total waterproofing is not as critical (I live in the desert).
* Compression straps that double as carrying handles when toting the bags around off-bike. Again, for commuters, this is pretty important. The City model does not have any straps anywhere, although a strap can be purchased as an add-on. But the price of a single strap is more than the difference between the price of the City and the Classic.
* Buckles that are opposite each other so that the panniers can be attached to each other off-bike to make them into one big blog of baggage. Again, for commuting I've found this invaluable.
* Inner pouches, with a large, flat pocket and a small zipper pocket. These are very handy for keeping wallet, keys, sunglasses and so forth easy at reach, especially since my cycling shorts have no pockets. The City has one big cavernous space in it.
Otherwise, the two models of panniers are basically the same. But these differences are pretty important to me. I'm using the bags primarily for urban commuting, but I can imagine the same features would be just as important for long-distance cyclists. I just don't think it makes sense, when buying a top-of-the-line set of panniers like this, to save $20 or so just to compromise this much. I wouldn't be surprised if Ortlieb discontinued the City at some point because it's not really cheap enough to be worth all the missing features. Had I known more clearly about all this in the first place, I wouldn't have bought the City.
I just love the Classic, but I ended up getting a better deal elsewhere, so I haven't writtten an Amazon review of that product.
I paired it with a Blackburn Mtn Rack. I have disc brakes, but bought the model for regular v-brakes. The fit was tight, and my LBS recommended a spacer between the frame and rack in order to clear the back brake mechanism. It worked without the spacer, but my heal hit the bags and the spacer allowed me to tilt the rack back far enough to remedy the situation. The LBS guy put on a nut from a presta valve and presto!
I also have a heavy weight ulock,, the Kryptonite Evolution Series 4, velcroed to the top surface of the rack. The rack holds the lock on top, and the bags on the side without interfering one another. They can be removed, added in any order.
Only issues: The closures took a few days to get used to, and I kind of wished I'd gone for the next model up which uses only one closure, but not a problem and now that they're mine they're old hat and I wouldn't want them any other way. The bags have no inner compartments, so it's sometimes hard to find things, but if you'll use bags or containers for small stuff, you'll find them easily by feel. Also, after you become daily acquainted with your gear, you'll find it in seconds by feel alone.
So, in conclusion, the Ortliebs carry everything I need, book binder, bike lights, keys, rain gear, cable (for use with ulock). They're quick on and off, great reflectivity, and perfectly waterproof, The material is rubberized canvas and thick.. And after a few awkward days of initiation, I'm 100% happy with them and would buy another pair...if ever necessary.
One more thing, the rack I mentioned about stays on (sans bags) when I get back on the singletrack. It's so lightweight, it would be more of a bother to take it off. I used Locktite on all bike to rack connections and have never heard a peep out of it.