They arrived yesterday. My new Ortlieb Classic Panniers. Another bike accessory purchased from http://www.probikekit.com. I like to support the local shops but the panniers were 35% less expensive on-line with no shipping charges. I have been purchasing more accessories this way in the past year – tires, chains, cassettes, cranks and now, panniers – but I digress. The subject of the on-line bike retailers is a subject for another blog.
This is not my first set of panniers. I have a small set for the front I have been using for commuting. They are not waterproof and there are no inside pockets meaning small items – smartphones, wallets, keys, sunscreen – drop to the bottom and are difficult to find and retrieve. This has been the biggest complaint with all of the panniers I have owned previously. I purchased them before manufacturers put too much thought into them. Todays’s panniers are better designed.
I looked carefully for new panniers trying several different makes and models. In the end, I decided on the Ortlieb Classics. They are waterproof. Non of my panniers are and this has been a problem on more than one occasion. They have inside pockets – 2 on each side. Again, non of my existing ones do. But what I like most is the simple method of attaching the panniers to the rack. German engineering at its best. You simply pull up on the handle attached to the top of each bag and slide them on. Easy. Secure. Clever.
Today, I took the bags on their inaugural ride, a 75 km trip around the City of Richmond by the water along the Fraser River and Georgia Straight. I loaded the bags with arm and leg warmers just in case, emergency tools, a bike lock, sunscreen and, took off for the day, imagining I was a solo bike nomad.
The panniers were a treat to use. Easy to get on and off. And, easy to separate small items so I could find them quickly.
If you don’t already have panniers, I would recommend the Ortlieb bags whatever your needs.