Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus (Rear)

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Erin and Sam Honeymoon to remember and their review of ortliebOver the last year or so I have used my Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus (Rear) a lot.

Mainly to carry my work stuff to and from and of course touring. I fondly called them “bags of evil” simply because you keep putting stuff in them, extra lock and a brick and some tools and a brick and extra layer as it might be cold tonight when going home and that brick you forgot, now did I take a lock might as well just put one in to be sure etc etc. And the pannier just takes it and you end up with all that stuff you don’t need to take.

Since I do carry heavy things in my panniers and rest my Surly Long Hall Trucker against the wall with pannier as the wall support I have already worn a hole in the pannier. Might resort to the classic repair job with some duct/gaffa tape to stop it wearing thin where it is rubbing.

For some reason the spacers or grippers (as Erin and Sam call them) are starting to fall out of the hooks, when taking the pannier of the racks.

Erin and Sam of “A honeymoon to remember” fame over on crazyguyonabicycle.com, are suffering the same problem as me. They have a brilliant review here about that problem and general use of the Ortliebs.

I would say that using it that heavily as Erin and Sam have done over the last 18 odd months. I can understand why something breaks down, though their problems started early on their tour. Peli is using her pannier as much as me and takes hers off more often than I do; don’t have the issue with the grippers. It is only one of the grippers on one of my panniers that keep dropping when taking the pannier with me.

I’m still thinking of a way to solve this problem, which Erin and Sam rightly states shouldn’t be there since you have paid good money for our Ortleib panniers. I have looked at ortliebs .de and .co.uk sites and neither of them have these grippers for sale, so I do need to find a way to secure them.

Super glue : Will only shake/brake lose after a few miles, I’m sure. Though that is the easy option atm since I got glue at hand. Will use this option until I come up with an permanent solution.
Cable ties : They will just stop the hooks and locking mechanism to work, so that option is out.
Dental flush or thin string : Will easily wear out and therefore replaced often. Which of course will break when you don’t have string or paying attention.
Heat : Heating the grippers up and expand them so that it sits more snug in the hooks. Though I got a funny felling that this will not work either.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Don’t forget the good ol’ bungee option. Won’t fix the locks but could possibly hold the bags on?

    Also, think about drilling a fine hole (1mm or thereabouts) and threading wire through. That might even work if you hacksawed a groove. Alternatively, how about bolting the inserts to the pannier rack? But you really shouldn’t have to.

    • Hi Ham, it is not the problem that they fall off, I have gone through some bumpy roads and the panniers stays on my racks.

      It is when I take the panniers off that these little grippers fall of all over the place.

      Your idea of drilling a little hole might be the solution, if I drill it somewhere where the wire will not be in contact with the rack.

  2. I have toured extensivly with these panniers for over 7 years without suffering any problems with the inserts. You could try 3M’s weatherstip cement to hold them in place as this works well for most bicycle glueing applications.
    The only problem that has come up with these locks are mud getting in the hinges making it difficult to take off at the end of the day.
    I found an small piece of electrical tape over the hinge joint takes care of this problem.

  3. Would a silicone caulk/glue work to hold the grippers in place when you remove the panniers.? It’s fairly sticky stuff and not bothered by vibration, as it doesn’t harden like super glue.

  4. Wayne at the Touring Store has new inserts and some good ideas about keeping them in the hooks. I’d give him a call . . . but make sure you have 30 minutes free! http://www.thetouringstore.com/index.htm FWIW, Wayne says there are not only different size inserts but also two different “models.”

    On a related subject, I just reviewed the new Bike Packer panniers v. the old style here:
    http://www.rockyhillside.net/Blogs/index.php/2011/07/12/ortliebbikepackerreview

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