Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

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DaveyDave
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Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby DaveyDave » 5 Feb 2011, 5:42pm

Hi Guys,
I need to replace my halfords panniers. They've been surprisingly good and I've toured, Ireland, Scotland, LEJOG and Iceland with them but I think they've had their day.

I've settled on Ortlieb panniers and almost definitely the rollers which I perceive to be (either rightly or wrongly) more waterproof. Question is, should I go for the Classic or Plus variety?. I've done a bit of research:

Classic
- Uses the older QL1 mounting system
- Rubbery PVC material
- Heavier
- Look like my halford panniers

Plus
- Uses the newer (better?) QL2 mounting system
- Non PVC material
- Lighter
- More expensive

From what I've read the QL1 and QL2 are different but no one seems to have any probs with either - QL2 can be adjusted without an allen key but I guess once they're fitted once, this won't need to change anyway. I've always been really weight sensitive. I'll cut the end off my toothbrush and sleep naked to get the touring weight down. (Ok, so I don't really sleep naked but you know what I mean). Therefore I should favour the 'Plus'. Trouble is, the Classic looks tougher to me although I've never got my hands on either. As the Plus is newer it's tempting to just think that they are better period, but I'm not sure as for some reason I just like the look of the 'Classic'.

Has anyone had any experience with both of these and can therefore make a reasoned comparision?. In particular, is the 'Plus' material tough like the Classic material appears to be?. Seems to me that everyone loves their Ortliebs irrespective of what variant they have, but as I have a choice I would like to try to make an educated choice.

Finally, there's the issue of colour (why so many options?). I'll almost definitely go for black as I reckon the reflective ends are the same on all the colours and I think the black will look better with age. I think the red ones are quite funky but to be honest I like to try to blend into the environment I'm touring through and not draw much attention to myself.

Thanks for any comments or suggestions,
Dave

Barrenfluffit
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby Barrenfluffit » 5 Feb 2011, 7:11pm

I chose a different colour for front and rear but I can't remember why... visibility on the road was a factor I think.
I've got the classics. The rubbery stuff isn't indestructible and I've worn/ made about 4 holes in mine. Typically moving contact with rough walls. I've also had the adjusting clips loosen and the bolt fall out. An advantage of the design is its flexibility about how full it is and the way you can tuck a coat etc under the strap without opening the pannier. But the closure is more fiddly than a straight buckle.

Mattie
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby Mattie » 5 Feb 2011, 7:24pm

A very interesting article by Robert Ewing, on Crazyguyonabike. Judging by his article he has a lot of experience in fabric design and he has written an article about the differences between the Ortlieb Plus and Classic fabrics.

His article is at:http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=RrzKj&doc_id=6434&v=1G#138280

Definitely worth a read.

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georgew
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby georgew » 5 Feb 2011, 7:44pm

^^^^^^ Good article.
I've had the Classic Rollers for years and they have performed magnificently. I believe this opinion is widely shared among the touring fraternity. Haven't used the Plus but I would imagine they too are of top quality.

bogmyrtle
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby bogmyrtle » 6 Feb 2011, 10:41pm

I've got roller plusses on the front and classic bikesters on the back (lid rather than roll top). One of the benefits of the clasics over plusses when camping is that slug slime wipes off the classics without leaving marks.
A bike does more miles to the banana than a Porsche.

mattraisin
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby mattraisin » 8 Feb 2011, 1:28am

I have a full set of classics and I have to say with around 1200 miles done and a 17 day tour which only had 2 days that didn't rain, they are most definitely waterproof and outstandingly tough. I was run off the road into a hedge and ditch with them at about 25 miles an hour and while managing to stay firmly attached to the bike they faired much better than my displaced shoulder. Will tell more about the accident if anyone is interested. I have scuffed and soaked my classics day after day and they always remain just as good as new + that cherished worn look. I think the price difference just isn't worth the benefits. The classics are already a perfect set and any improvements are just superficial. Also, the attachable pockets are recommended, great for keeping the tool kit or anything that you don't want to leave on your bike when going in the shops ect. as it attaches and detaches with ease. Also the QL2 is only useful if you want to change the bike they are on regularly or switch your front pannier onto the back quite often. However, the QL1 is just as easy to use but requires an allen. I don't think you can go wrong with the plus but the 80 quid price difference of a full set makes you wonder if they are worth it when you can't go wrong with the classics either. Met a German guy who had been using the same classics for years on end without fail. They can also be easily patched I am told.
A puncture in the middle of nowhere simply gives you more time to admire the view.

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simonineaston
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby simonineaston » 8 Feb 2011, 8:57am

ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

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simonineaston
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby simonineaston » 8 Feb 2011, 10:10am

Sorry to hear about your tangle with the motorist and a hedge, Matt - your tale reminded me of another poster on this very forum, who told us that his bike ended up in a river, and was kept afloat by a set of Ortleib rollers. :shock:
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

Dudley Manlove
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby Dudley Manlove » 8 Feb 2011, 1:47pm

From reading these threads before, i have a hunch you will get people coming out 50/50. They are both good panniers. I had some Pluses 3-4yrs now.

They are pretty tough, the only damage I've had with them was when slopply attached pannier full of beer bottles fell off into the road and smashed- a slither of glass ended up going thru the side, but it was simply fixed with an innertube patch which has held since. Apart from the hole the pannier full of beer didn't leek at all so they're waterproof alright.

I've got a rolltop bag in the Classic material, and I find it a bit stiff, but mabye it's a heavier grade of material.

gregoryoftours
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby gregoryoftours » 25 Feb 2012, 3:53pm

I've got roller classic front and plus rear, and an ortlieb classic kit bag made of PVC material. I'm strongly in favour of the plus. I was initially worried because the material is significantly thinner than the classic PVC - and the waterproof PU coating is on the inside of the panniers only. I thought that this coating would be damaged by hard objects jostling around inside the pannier, but have so far had no problems with this (about 9 months daily use only). The outside of the plus material has so far proved to be more resistant to abrasion than the classics - the outside of my kit bag got damaged by the straps I used to secure it. The thin material is a lot easier to roll over to seal, meaning that a waterproof seal can be acheived more easily with less turnovers, meaning in turn that they can be filled more. The classics are quite stiff - and get stiffer still in cold conditions. PVC is more polluting to manufacture. If I was buying again I think that I would go with the convenience of the bikepacker plus lid design. I'm sure that they would be adequately waterproof. One thing I'd definitely recommend in any case is buying an extra anti sway hook for each pannier as I found a single lower hook disengages quite easily over rough ground.

geocycle
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby geocycle » 25 Feb 2012, 6:21pm

I have had 5 years of daily use out of bikepacker plus panniers. No problems to report apart from the inner pockets splitting. The plus material is fine.

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foxyrider
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby foxyrider » 25 Feb 2012, 10:48pm

Classic for me - mine are seven long tours old, never had any issues with QL1 plus unlike the Plus, they can easily be cleaned!

New for 2012 are 9 new colourways for the rear Classics!

The difference in weight is neglible and unless you have real eco issues the Plus are an indulgence with no advantages.

Bike Packers are not watertight regardless of material, fine for drier climes but you'll need liners to keep stuff dry in northern europe.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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syklist
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby syklist » 26 Feb 2012, 8:13am

DaveyDave wrote:Hi Guys,
I need to replace my halfords panniers. They've been surprisingly good and I've toured, Ireland, Scotland, LEJOG and Iceland with them but I think they've had their day.

I've settled on Ortlieb panniers and almost definitely the rollers which I perceive to be (either rightly or wrongly) more waterproof. Question is, should I go for the Classic or Plus variety?. I've done a bit of research:


My experience and that of my cycling partner is that the Classics are a little easier to close. The material is stiffer which helps us especially when we are a bit tired. You can also wipe water off the shiny material that the Classic is made of before opening/closing the top. Either use the side of your hand as a squeegee or a tissue/cloth. The Plus panniers become damp at the top after several days of rain the rough surface holds onto the moisture. Not that we have had any problems with water getting in either type mind you.

We also find that the shiny interior of the Plus panniers is somewhat more grippy. This makes it harder to push in some larger items (sleeping bags or mats in their own bags). It makes it a little easier though when you are stuffing the panniers full of loose items (fleece or jumper) as the bag grabs onto the item as you push it down.

If you are using Ortlieb Front Rollers with a Tubus Tara rack you will need a conversion kit for the bottom clip. The QL1 clip is too small to fit round the thick lower tube of the Tara.
So long and thanks for all the fish...

Cachao
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby Cachao » 27 Feb 2012, 12:52am

I've only had about 2,000 miles touring with them, but in short, the classics are excellent.

geocycle
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Re: Ortlieb Roller Panniers - Classic or Plus?

Postby geocycle » 27 Feb 2012, 8:45am

foxyrider wrote:Bike Packers are not watertight regardless of material, fine for drier climes but you'll need liners to keep stuff dry in northern europe.


Not in my experience. I have used them in ridiculous rainfall and forded streams with them. Nothing short of full immersion would let water in. That said, if I ever wear these out I'd look carefully at roller plus.