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During our first two years of cycling (2005-2006) we used Decathlon's rear bags and mini handlebar bags.
In good weather, no problem… but in rainy weather, despite plastic bags safely added inside… the stuff was very wet.
During our stay in Germany and Switzerland in 2006 we fell in love with the ROLLS of the bag: ORTLIEB.
We have opted for the "classic waterproof" model. This is for the front + rear + handlebar panniers.
An investment much tried and tested and appreciated during the summer of 2007 in the particularly rainy vintage. Everything remained completely dry, even on torrential and stormy days.
Another advantage of ORTLIEB: astonishing simplicity and ease of assembly and disassembly on luggage racks.
In 2015 we replaced our front bags with models of the same size as in the back.
Deceived by the VAUDE ads, we ordered 48 litres VAUDE AQUA BACK (the ORTLIEB BACK ROLLER CLASSIC is advertised for 40 litres). At the reception we were disappointed:
Therefore we immediately returned these VAUDE and ordered ORTLIEB instead.
CONCLUSION: The ORTLIEB, although a little more expensive, are clearly superior to the VAUDE.
|ORTLIEB BACK ROLLER CLASSIC||
VAUDE AQUA BACK
With our ORTLIEB handlebar bags bought in 2006 there was a small defect: the flap closing snaps were extremely hard and difficult to close and open. To counter this defect it was necessary to file very lightly all around the male part.
In 2015 we bought some back to get the size above. So by going from size M to size L we have a capacity increased from 7 to 8.5 litres. This is very appreciable. In addition, with these current models (ORTLIEB ULTIMATE6 CLASSIC) the problem of closing the flap has disappeared; the snaps have been replaced by very practical magnets.
By changing to size L, the increase in volume was not in height but in width. This is very good since it is all the more accommodating.
The support bracket, with its seemingly weak wire fastening, in fact provides an extremely firm hold of the bag even on very uneven ground.
As explained above, ORTLIEB bags, although more expensive than VAUDE, are the best choice. Indeed, for the same capacity, they are lighter and of better quality.
ORTLIEB BACK ROLLER CLASSIC 40 liters bag (identical in volume to the VAUDE, which are falsely claimed for 48 liters)
In 2015, we have profoundly overhauled our equipment to lighten up our cyclo-camping.
We looked for anything that would allow us to do away with the trailer which, although very practical, is penalizing in terms of overall load carried. We therefore replaced a lot of equipment with their current VERY LIGHT and HYPER COMPACT equivalents.
The removal of the trailer was made possible by slightly increasing the volume of the front panniers. For some years now we have been spotting cycloranders with large front bag (of the same size and model as the back). We had successfully tested it on one bike in 2014.
Therefore we have generalized it in 2015. We now have the same bags in the front as in the back, the ORTLIEB BACK ROLLER CLASSIC 40 liters.
In this configuration, the lower luggage rack lug does not attach perfectly to the front luggage rack. Also these front panniers may spread slightly in the lower part when jolting on the road.
To completely solve this inconvenience, simply place a tensioner horizontally on the lower part of these front panniers. Moreover, to have our rainwear at hand, we place it on the front panniers by holding them by 2 tensioners placed vertically. Thus belted, the bags do not move a hair.
Whether you're cycling without camping or cycling with a trailer, the bags designed for the front are perfect.
We had in this mode the ORTLIEB FRONT ROLLER CLASSIC, now renamed in ORTLIEB SPORT ROLLER CLASSIC :
|Sacoche Avant||Cyclorandonneur "Sacoché"||Sacoche Arrière|
The arrangement is as follows:
On rainy days, the folded tent must not be allowed to wet the inner chamber or the sleeping bags and mattresses.
As a result we had, "in our time trailer", 3 bags ORTLIEB RACK-PACK separated in the trailer:
Tent bags are placed across the rear luggage rack on the rear panniers. They therefore require serious securing.
Conventional turnbuckles turn out to be too long or too short, making them too soft or too tensed.
The best solution is therefore to use adjustable turnbuckles.
The best of the best is the model SENDOSTOP-SMARTOOLS sold at Castorama :
For hanging water bags and shopping bags a very functional solution is the Decathlon mesh tensioner.
This correctly embraces objects with uncertain and shifting shapes.
For the various attachments, including the belting of the front bags as described above, the Multi-strand tensioners Decathlon are very practical.
The big disadvantage of these turnbuckles is that they are of low quality (as is very often the case with Decathlon). After 2 years (3 years maximum) the internal elastic threads are boiled and the tensioners are all stretched… they have to be changed!!!
All our other NON-DECATHLON tensioners that we have had for more than 10 years are in perfect condition!!
Electrical appliances, especially chargers, are wired all over the place. The accumulation of these devices in the bags quickly turns into a monstrous noodle bag of tangled electrical wires (impossible to untangle).
To avoid this, a simple solution is to place each device (or family of devices) in a plastic bag (ZipLock type). It is just advisable not to close these bags completely so that they are completely emptied of their air when stacked in the bags (thus avoiding a loss of space).
In order to avoid an indescribable mess in the bags, the ideal is to gather the belongings by families or groups in resealable plastic bags. The most practical and cheapest packaging is ZipLock.
However, some equipment retains moisture after use. For example toothbrushes, tooth spray, sponges.
It is of course advisable to wipe them MAXIMUM before repacking them to put them in a bag. But their plastic bag smells quickly very bad if the hike takes place over several weeks. This is a sign of intense bacterial activity ! Even if you don't close these bags the phenomenon still develops.
The simple solution is to drill a sufficient number of holes in these bags to ensure good ventilation without altering the strength. The even distribution of holes over the entire surface of the bag is essential for successful aeration.
To make these holes simply, quickly and evenly a trick is to use a paper punch. Folding the bag on itself multiplies the number of simultaneous holes.