Author Topic: Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers  (Read 6847 times)

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Offline TimTyler

Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers
« on: January 08, 2011, 10:27:59 pm »
After reading the BikePacking article in the last Adventure Cyclist magazine I started thinking about how fun it might be to tour lighter. I'm not a weight weenie by any means, but the concept of shedding maybe 50% of the usual touring package seemed like it was worth some thought, especially for warm weather trips.

I started my search for a smaller touring kit by looking for smaller bags. Nothing says "Leave that at home" like "There's no room for it!"

I like the Ortlieb Back Roller Classics I have now, but they're big and relatively heavy (1900g/pair). The lightest Ortliebs I've ever seen are the Front Roller Plus panniers at 1440g/pair.



Then I noticed their Front Roller City bags on some of the European online bike stores. Capacity is the same as the Front Roller Classic and Plus models at 25 liters/pair. At only 1210g/pair they're comparatively very light, and at £60/pair ($93) they're inexpensive too! I ordered a pair.

The first thing I noticed is that there's less hardware, although for me that's no problem at all. No fastening strap is included, nor is there a hook where the strap would attach.

Most obvious hardware difference is the anchoring hook and rail on the back. The hook can be flipped to point left or right, but it cannot be positioned any other way. It does not rotate like the hook on the Roller models. The single, straight rail that the hook is fastened to allows for horizontal adjustment but offers no vertical flexibility. For the record, the hook center is about 7.75" below where the top of a rack would be.



The closing clasps attached to the sides of the bag's opening are both male and therefore cannot be mated to each other. The only place they can attach to are the female sockets about halfway down the sides of the bag. I wonder why Ortlieb didn't just reverse the male/female configuration on one side so that there would be more closing options.

Otherwise construction is to the same high standards we expect in Ortlieb bags. No surprises. I'm ordering a second set now.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 11:58:50 am by TimTyler »
Tim

Offline PeteJack

Re: Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 07:02:05 pm »
This is quite interesting. I have a pair of regular Front Rollers that are splendid. My only gripe is that they slide back on the front rack and the clip rubs against the fork chafing it down to bare metal. Fortunately it's a red paint job so I should find some fingernail polish to match. Any suggestions for preventing this short of sacrificial electrical tape around the fork? Hmmm... should rattle a bit less that way.

I agree that small panniers enforce a discipline with your kit. Do I really need that tent peg hammer?

Offline lonerider

Re: Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2011, 08:41:55 pm »
Any problem with breakage of the plastic hooks over say, 20-30k miles? Are there weight restrictions?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2011, 09:52:31 pm »
I'm curious as to what keeps these city panniers from bouncing off the rack. Without the strap, it doesn't seem they can have the sliding part of the clip that goes under the rack rail, thus making a completely secure connection.

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2011, 08:59:29 am »
I'm curious as to what keeps these city panniers from bouncing off the rack. Without the strap, it doesn't seem they can have the sliding part of the clip that goes under the rack rail, thus making a completely secure connection.
There is a latch in the hooks that wraps around the rack.  When lifting up on bag handle, the latch opens and allows for instant removal.
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Offline RussSeaton

Re: Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2011, 05:05:18 pm »
I have a pair of regular Front Rollers that are splendid. My only gripe is that they slide back on the front rack and the clip rubs against the fork chafing it down to bare metal.  Any suggestions for preventing this short of sacrificial electrical tape around the fork?

How about wrapping some electrical tape around the rack tube?  The horizontal top tube the bag hangs from.  I am pretty sure I did this to keep my front panniers' hook from sliding into the fork.

Offline TimTyler

Re: Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2012, 07:58:58 pm »
Just a follow-up...

These panniers have worked out fine although I really didn't do any long tours last year.

I really wish the top clasps would attach to each other so that the bags could be closed in more than one way.

Here they are on my kid's bike:

Tim

Joe B

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Re: Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2012, 08:19:52 pm »
... Any suggestions for preventing this short of sacrificial electrical tape ...

At the risk of being accused of shameless promotion (again) , I recommend SUGRU , great stuff.  Google it.

Joe B

Offline staehpj1

Re: Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2012, 10:35:23 am »
If it works for you that is all that matters, but...
I have to say that the notion of getting smaller pannier to force you reduce the load is putting the cart before the horse.  I mean do you really pack based on what fits in the panniers?  It seems to me as if you should have the packing list figured out before you put anything in the panniers.  If anything I would recommend picking all of the gear and then choosing panniers that will hold it.

BTW, I plan to go sans panniers next trip (Southern Tier).  I am using sil-nylon dry bags instead of panniers.  I chose the gear and bought bags to accommodate it.  The Sea to Summit ones range from .4 ounces (2.5 liters) to 1.2 ounces (20 liters) and come in a bunch of sizes.  The roll down tops allow adjusting capacity as food and water reserves vary.  I think they start to make sense as the base gear weight gets below 20 pounds or so.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/ScrapingBottom
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Ultralight
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 10:37:17 am by staehpj1 »