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Kit Review: Ortlieb Back Roller and Front Roller Classic Panniers
Our Rating: 9/10
Ortlieb Back Roller and Front Roller Classic panniers with roll top 

Purchased August 2008

Ortlieb Back Roller and Front Roller Classic Panniers
The Ortlieb Back Roller and Front Roller panniers are completely waterproof and clip on and off via a quick release handle. They consist of one large compartment and a slip pocket at the back of the inside to slide items into. There is a reflective patch on the front and back of each pannier and a shoulder strap for carrying. The Back Rollers hold 40 litres, and the Front Rollers hold 25 litres.
Our Ortlieb panniers never let us down which is remarkable considering the number of times we pull them on and off the bikes and drag them about the place. They really are very durable and 100% waterproof, no need for rain covers or bagging your belongings in bin liners.

It is worthwhile carrying some patches as they do tend to tear against sharp surfaces. After a fall, Freddie had a small hole in one of her panniers which she patched up successfully with an Ortlieb patch.

With the easy release handle the panniers come on and off the bikes easily and with the adjustable clips you can get a really snug fit on your racks with minimal rattle. It is also easy to carry them off the bikes due to the long shoulder straps. They are very roomy and can be expanded or compressed according to the amount of gear carried thanks to the roll top closure.

The screws and clips need to be checked regularly (ideally every 500km) as they can rattle loose over time, especailly on bad roads. We did get lazy with this and as a result we lost a stabilising clip on the rough roads in Turkey. The loss of the clip was no major concern but Ortlieb were great and sent a couple of new clips to us free of charge.

A useful additional would be an external side mesh pocket to be able to slide things into without having to open and close the panniers each time, this can be purchased separately from Ortlieb.

  • Durable
  • Water proof
  • Good customer support (sent us spare part free of charge)
  • Easy release handle makes it easy to take bags on and off
  • Roll top system allows for varying load capacity
  • Lack of small spare parts given during purchase
  • Can develop holes but easily fixed with repair kit

Reviewed On

8th February 2011

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