Ortlieb or not; and what size?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Caledonia64
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Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby Caledonia64 » 23 Aug 2019, 5:54pm

I require new pamniers, for touring. I am feeling that 40/42L is a bit small, even with a rack bag of some kind (I have a Karrimor one, a little battered but functional).

I have two 15+ year old Altura (front) panniers in excellent condition but they are not large enough, though they would go on the back easily.
Other than that I have been using Basil baskets for commuting/shopping/lugging, and the trailer.

In the past I had Karrimor panniers, of all sizes, but the Iberian and Kalahari for touring, though specific volume escapes me, but I think around 70L. (Karrimor because I had committed to their attachment system but the panniers got musty stuck unused in a shed, the older ones fell apart after 20 plus years, and the disc-attachment things became impossible to find, to boot; and of course, they no longer make panniers).

I know Ortlieb is probably the gold standard (or Carradice if you are more old school), and I like the backpack adaptor system, plus the lockable features on the barbags, I know Vaude are sound enough (though I am not finding the larger volure panniers); I am not finding the larger Altura panniers either. I am not intending to have a front rack as I don't like it's impact on sterring. I will get a barbag though, just for touring holidays.


What panniers do people recommend for touring - and what volume? In this case, the tour in question is a 10-day tour, staying in Youth Hostels or Trekkershutten, ( sleeping bag but no tent, mat, or cooking equipment) and anticipating somewhere between 30-50km a day.

And where best to purchase these items (local cycle shop is all about racing, I think, or mountain biking), and the offerings on the websites of Bike Shops that have shops in Aberdeen seems...paltry.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby Cunobelin » 30 Aug 2019, 6:44am

Caledonia64 wrote:I require new pamniers, for touring. I am feeling that 40/42L is a bit small, even with a rack bag of some kind (I have a Karrimor one, a little battered but functional).

I have two 15+ year old Altura (front) panniers in excellent condition but they are not large enough, though they would go on the back easily.
Other than that I have been using Basil baskets for commuting/shopping/lugging, and the trailer.

In the past I had Karrimor panniers, of all sizes, but the Iberian and Kalahari for touring, though specific volume escapes me, but I think around 70L. (Karrimor because I had committed to their attachment system but the panniers got musty stuck unused in a shed, the older ones fell apart after 20 plus years, and the disc-attachment things became impossible to find, to boot; and of course, they no longer make panniers).

I know Ortlieb is probably the gold standard (or Carradice if you are more old school), and I like the backpack adaptor system, plus the lockable features on the barbags, I know Vaude are sound enough (though I am not finding the larger volure panniers); I am not finding the larger Altura panniers either. I am not intending to have a front rack as I don't like it's impact on sterring. I will get a barbag though, just for touring holidays.


So what panniers do people recommend for touring - and what volume? In this case, the tour in question is a 10-day tour, staying in Youth Hostels or Trekkershutten, (so a sleeping bag but no tent, mat, or cooking equipment) and anticipating somewhere between 30-50km a day.

And where best to purchase these items (local cycle shop is all about racing, I think, or moutain biking), and the offerings on the websites of Bike Shops that have shops in Aberdeen seems...paltry.


Apart from the recumbents, I use Ortlei exclusively as they adapt so easily from bike to bike in addition to the other features and strengths, so I would recommend them

Size, however, is difficult. It depends on overall use. I have front and rear racks, so have both sets.

Buying the big rear ones is more versatile, as it allows for the occasions to fill them, or use them half full, although there is a "rule". that suggests your packing will always expand to fit the available space.

Small front panniers are limited in overall use, as they cannot carry bulkier items, but do prevent overpacking when on tour

My solution is one of the tubular dry bags. Can fit easily on the top of the rack to subsidise a small set if required. They come in different colours, sizes and material wights to suit your needs

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Vorpal
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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby Vorpal » 30 Aug 2019, 8:51am

I think that if you want more volume than the standard back roller, Ortlieb have a few options, up to the back roller pro plus, which I think is 70 litres, plus pockets. There are, of course, other ways to increase capacity, such as a bar bag, rack pack, stuff strapped on the rack (like the dry sack posted above).

Hostelling, I can manage with rear panniers, stuff strapped to the rack, and maybe a small personal bag (I have sometimes hung a bum bag on my handlebars)

Camping, I used to manage with just rear panniers (unless I was with the kids! They seem to cause exponential expansion of required stuff!), but I'm going to try put some things on the front for the first time this weekend. I am taking a little more for various reasons. One includes a little experiment, which if successful, I may post about when I come back. 8)

edited to add: I do like my Ortlieb back rollers. I also have an old set of Karrimors, but they get little use these days.
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pwa
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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby pwa » 30 Aug 2019, 8:59am

If we assume that the bike has long enough chain stays to keep bigger bags clear of the heels, I'd go for the bigger bag size if in doubt. It doesn't matter if you don't quite fill them and at the end of the day when you want to buy a few groceries any vacant space could be very handy.

Norman H
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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby Norman H » 30 Aug 2019, 9:36am

A pair of back rollers and a bar bag should be more than adequate for hostel touring. The Ortlieb dry bags are a cost effective way of expanding capacity. The 13l size are a good fit crosswise on top of the rack and are more than large enough to contain even a 4 season sleeping bag. For more capacity, but a little more expensive, the 31l rack pack is excellent and can be attached by using the buckles of the Ortlieb panniers.

sukuinage
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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby sukuinage » 30 Aug 2019, 11:13am

Norman H wrote:A pair of back rollers and a bar bag should be more than adequate for hostel touring. The Ortlieb dry bags are a cost effective way of expanding capacity. The 13l size are a good fit crosswise on top of the rack and are more than large enough to contain even a 4 season sleeping bag. For more capacity, but a little more expensive, the 31l rack pack is excellent and can be attached by using the buckles of the Ortlieb panniers.

I'd agree. It's not exactly answering your question but I wonder if you need all the stuff you seem to want to take? I use two, partly filled panniers (similar to the back rollers) and a bar bag and that's more than adequate for 10 days. If you need to take a bulky sleeping bag then you could put that in a dry bag on the rack.

NetworkMan
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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby NetworkMan » 30 Aug 2019, 11:16am

Norman H wrote:A pair of back rollers and a bar bag should be more than adequate for hostel touring. The Ortlieb dry bags are a cost effective way of expanding capacity. The 13l size are a good fit crosswise on top of the rack and are more than large enough to contain even a 4 season sleeping bag. For more capacity, but a little more expensive, the 31l rack pack is excellent and can be attached by using the buckles of the Ortlieb panniers.

It's certainly more than enough. I have Ortlieb back roller city with barbag and the last time I used them I took far too much, it was too heavy, I didn't need it all, and I shortened the trip - got just too tired! I'm now wondering about a weekend away with a Nelson long flap saddlebag and a waterproof strapped to the top.

These old tech. things have advantages; no rack needed so weight saved and the Nelson LF weighs almost exactly the same as the Ortlieb barbag with bracket despite being about twice the capacity. Oh, and the leather saddle with loops weighs a bit more but you get that back by not needing a bracket to support the bag.

Psamathe
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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby Psamathe » 30 Aug 2019, 11:29am

As to "what size" it must totally depend on what you take and/or need. I tour with a pair of Backroller Classics, pair of Front Rollers (or Sport Roller, whatever they are called) and a bar bag - all Ortlieb. I tour with tent, camping gear but only a small gas burner and one pot for boiling water for coffee (i.e. I don't carry pots and pans for cooking and don't carry food beyond a couple of emergency dehydrated meals). And I don't have to cram everything in - it all fits fairly easily which makes packing up easier.

But as to what you carry, even people touring as I do carry more or less. I had quite a few people (French & Dutch) comment how little gear I was carrying but I feel I have quite a lot of gear (20Kg without water).

I have an additional Ortlieb bag that clips across the rear rack, nearly attaching to their Backroller panniers, size designed to fit neatly (in you need more gear).

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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby PH » 30 Aug 2019, 11:42am

The requirement for a sleeping bag is a bit of an unknown here, it could be one that packs down to the size of a water bottle or it could fill a 30L bag all on it's own. I'd have thought if you take that out of the equation, then the front panniers you already have might be large enough*. So a good quality dry bag, of the sort recommended by Cunobelin, for the sleeping bag is probably all you need to buy.
I tour with a set of Ortlieb Front Rollers on a rear rack, a 9L Carradice saddle bag and a 6L bar bag. This combination works for me whether it's for two nights B&B or two weeks camping. I'm careful not to pack anything I need on the road in the panniers, that way I can leave them behind at the campsite, B&B or wherever and know I still have on the bike a pump, rain wear, sun lotion, camera...

* Depending on what you choose to carry of course - I once toured with someone who took at least 3X what I was carrying, entirely up to him and I still couldn't keep up!

AMMoffat
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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby AMMoffat » 30 Aug 2019, 1:13pm

It's up to you how much you carry but I'd have thought you could manage with a pair of front rollers, or your existing front panniers if they are a similar size, on the back with the sleeping bag in a dry bag strapped to the rack. It can also help to carry a small packable rucksack that you can use for the evening and following morning's food supplies. If you are able to shop daily it will save on the amount of food supplies you need to cart around.

geocycle
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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby geocycle » 30 Aug 2019, 1:23pm

NetworkMan wrote:
Norman H wrote:These old tech. things have advantages; no rack needed so weight saved and the Nelson LF weighs almost exactly the same as the Ortlieb barbag with bracket despite being about twice the capacity. Oh, and the leather saddle with loops weighs a bit more but you get that back by not needing a bracket to support the bag.


How do find the Nelson LF without a frame? I'm happy using my Cadet and Barley strung from the saddle but had assumed the larger Nelson LF etc would need a support of some description?

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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby NetworkMan » 30 Aug 2019, 2:13pm

geocycle wrote:
NetworkMan wrote:
Norman H wrote:These old tech. things have advantages; no rack needed so weight saved and the Nelson LF weighs almost exactly the same as the Ortlieb barbag with bracket despite being about twice the capacity. Oh, and the leather saddle with loops weighs a bit more but you get that back by not needing a bracket to support the bag.


How do find the Nelson LF without a frame? I'm happy using my Cadet and Barley strung from the saddle but had assumed the larger Nelson LF etc would need a support of some description?

It's OK, though I may have the saddle higher than average perhaps. I'm pretty sure the Nelson is like the Cadet with side pockets added (21x20 cm) and the long flap is just that. I'm also making the point that we probably carry more stuff than we used to and I wonder if we really need it. If you fasten the straps on the inside you get the bag as high as possible and reduce sway too.

BTW the Topeak road morph just fits across inside the Nelson bag so that's handy too.

Caledonia64
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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby Caledonia64 » 30 Aug 2019, 8:32pm

PH wrote:The requirement for a sleeping bag is a bit of an unknown here, it could be one that packs down to the size of a water bottle or it could fill a 30L bag all on it's own. I'd have thought if you take that out of the equation, then the front panniers you already have might be large enough*. So a good quality dry bag, of the sort recommended by Cunobelin, for the sleeping bag is probably all you need to buy.
I tour with a set of Ortlieb Front Rollers on a rear rack, a 9L Carradice saddle bag and a 6L bar bag. This combination works for me whether it's for two nights B&B or two weeks camping. I'm careful not to pack anything I need on the road in the panniers, that way I can leave them behind at the campsite, B&B or wherever and know I still have on the bike a pump, rain wear, sun lotion, camera...

* Depending on what you choose to carry of course - I once toured with someone who took at least 3X what I was carrying, entirely up to him and I still couldn't keep up!

Thank you everyone. I went with the BackRoller Pro Plus which were a good price from SJS (having lost out on an eBay bid for a complete set of panniers and barbag) and an Ortliieb barbag from somewhere where II had a voucher plus extra discount). I also got the smaller Ortlieb saddlebag or tools if not on tour, at home (the Topeak under saddle tourbag I have is rich wiith oil, and bites my fingers nastily when I try to get stuff out: it has had iits day).
I also thought on the Dry Sack/Rack Bag situation for the rack and/or sleeping bag (rather than the Ortlieb dry sack pack which is v expensive), for sleeping bag or any v limited cooking/picnic equip. I can put the sleeping bag in a pannier (in a dry/plastic bag or on the top). I also got a brand new Vaude L messenger/courier bag w waist strap for u £20 on ebay (Green like the Ortlieb panniers) which can go on the rear rack (round or inside a Dry bag or something), and serve for a day sack for off bike meandering.

I have a Rab sleeping bag which packs down smaller than most and would suffice for Trekkershutten, i imagine (now I have the dry bag solution). And have a bid on a new Vango one on eBay.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby Cunobelin » 30 Aug 2019, 8:43pm

pwa wrote:If we assume that the bike has long enough chain stays to keep bigger bags clear of the heels, I'd go for the bigger bag size if in doubt. It doesn't matter if you don't quite fill them and at the end of the day when you want to buy a few groceries any vacant space could be very handy.



I have size 12 feet and have always managed to fit Ortliebs clear of my heels, the only exception being the Birdy

pwa
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Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Postby pwa » 31 Aug 2019, 7:58am

Cunobelin wrote:
pwa wrote:If we assume that the bike has long enough chain stays to keep bigger bags clear of the heels, I'd go for the bigger bag size if in doubt. It doesn't matter if you don't quite fill them and at the end of the day when you want to buy a few groceries any vacant space could be very handy.



I have size 12 feet and have always managed to fit Ortliebs clear of my heels, the only exception being the Birdy

It depends on the individual bike and, as you say, foot size. It is just something to bear in mind. Roughly speaking, if, on a 700c wheeled biked, there is a good gap between the rear tyre and the seat tube of the frame you are unlikely to have a problem with this.