Ortlieb Panniers and bags – staff favourites

Panniers are a 'must-have' commuting and touring accessory. They keep your gear off your back, low on the bike, and attach securely and easily to your rack.Ortlieb Panniers are the benchmark for cycle tourers and commuters the world over. Made in Germany, they are 100% waterproof, super tough, and easy to set up and use. All the staff at Commuter Cycles use them, and swear by them.

Born out out of necessity in 1982 – there were no waterproof panniers available back then – Ortlieb pioneered the use of heavy duty tarpaulin material, seam welded at high frequency, to create a completely waterproof cycling bag.

Ortlieb products have a 5 year warranty, but they will last a lot longer. We have customers who have been using their Ortliebs for more than 20 years and they are still going strong. We also keep a good range of spare parts, so if you break or lose a small fitting, we’ll be able to get it fixed.

The ‘reference’ pannier

Our most popular model is the iconic Ortlieb Back Roller Classic. It has a 40l capacity (20 each pannier), and uses a simple and effective ‘dry-bag’ style closure system. ‘Classic’ refers to the fabric, which is a heavy duty PVC coated fabric available in a big range of colours. If you don’t have a personal preference, we always recommend going for a bright colour to improve your visibility. All the panniers have 3M reflectors, and Ortlieb recently introduced a special High Visibility fabric range that is bright yellow and has a reflective thread woven through the fabric so they almost glow at night!

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If budget permits, most Ortlieb products also come in a slightly dearer ‘Plus’ version which uses a lighter weight, more supple fabric that has the bonus of looking a little less ‘industrial’.

The Back Roller Classic and Plus pair up with a set of Front Roller Classic or Plus which share an identical construction, but have a smaller 25l capacity (12.5l each pannier) to reduce the weight on the front of your bike. If you don’t need to take the kitchen sink, you can use front panniers on the rear, or just one at a time.

New colours & fittings

Ortlieb frequently update their range. Recently a number of new colours were introduced to the Plus products, and the QL2 mounting system was upgraded to employ dual compound resins in the attachment fittings.The new QL2.1 system uses a softer compound where the fittings contact the rack to reduce abrasion and rattling.

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Handlebar bags and other products

Ortlieb has a massive range of products, but the other mainstay for touring is their handlebar bag – the Ortlieb Ultimate 6. 100% waterproof of course, it has an ingenious system for attaching (and removing) the bag from the bars. You can easily access it on the fly to grab your camera or a snack as it hinges at the front, and uses magnets to remain shut.

We carry a big range of stock, and luckily for us, the Australian Ortlieb distributor is only a few minutes away from Brunswick so if you need something unusual we can get it in quickly.

Check out the Ortlieb website for the full range.