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Welcome! Find Ortlieb Bicycle Touring Panniers and Packs, Lone Peak Bicycle Touring Panniers and Packs, Tubus Bicycle Racks, Busch & Muller Taillights, bicycle commuting panniers and packs at TheTouringStore.com - all at excellent prices! Check back during the year, as I add a variety of expedition quality bicycle touring gear to this website.
A Discussion of Pannier Waterproofing . . . and a comparison of Lone Peak and Ortlieb Panniers.
Are Lone Peak Panniers and packs waterproof? . . . If the standard for waterproofing is being able to keep items dry while a pack is submerged in water, then the answer is no, because zippers simply can't provide 100% waterproofing. HOWEVER . . . in order to have that level of protection, you will have to give up the convenience of zippers and multiple pockets for accessing and organizing your gear. Multiple zipper pockets make it easy to get to all of your gear, all of the time. Lone Peak packs are very water resistant. All Lone Peak packs are made from fabric that has been impregnated with waterproof polyurethane. In the main compartments there is a 3/4 inch binding sewn over the inside of the seams, providing an extra level of protection beyond the waterproof fabric. And there are flaps to pull down over the zippers to help keep water out. I have ridden through some serious rain on a 2-3 mile commute and arrived home with dry gear inside. That being said, if you get caught riding in an all day rain, you may get some water in the packs through pocket seams and through the zippers.
I think Lone Peak Rain Covers are a good idea if you are planning a cross country tour. Rain covers are a great solution for those days when you must ride in all day rains and want extra protection. And there are some extra benefits to having rain covers. They are really handy when you have a small tent and don't want to bring all your gear inside on a rainy night. In the morning your packs will be clean and dry under the rain covers - very nice on wet and cold mornings. And rain covers help keep your packs clean in nasty weather. After a wet ride, you can wash and dry the rain covers, put them away, and enjoy panniers that are free of mud and grit from the storm. Perhaps the best reason for taking along your rain covers, is their bright yellow color. They make you and your bike MUCH more visible when riding in high traffic situations, when there is no shoulder and you have to share the lane with automobiles, or when you are caught riding in low light and visibility situations, such as severe storms, or riding at dusk or at night. So don't just save them for the rain. Note: A great tip for increasing your level of moisture protection is to pack your gear in a variety of sizes of zip-loc bags. The bonus is that this makes it even easier to organize your gear - and to keep your gear organized for the duration of your tour. I particularly like the slide-lock on the Hefty "One Zip" storage bags, because it is easier to open and close than the standard zip-loc design -- and if you can find them, there are some extra heavy duty zip-lock bags out there for industrial uses. Click Here to see Lone Peak Rain Covers.
Ortlieb Waterproof Panniers . . . OK, I just spent about 500 words explaining why all you'll ever need are Lone Peak Panniers, so why would you want to consider Ortlieb? Lone Peak vs. Ortlieb. Apples and Oranges. The two designs are just plain different. Ortlieb makes all of their packs waterproof. Every seam is completely sealed by computer controlled high frequency welding. I promise that you will never find a pack with better workmanship. Every piece of fabric is perfectly cut and shaped, and because there are no stitches through the waterproof fabric, each pack will literally hold water. Which means they will keep water OUT as well. There is no need for rain covers. Ride in the most serious rain, and your gear will stay dry. So, what are the selling points for having few pockets and large main compartments? Pockets are great, IF all your gear fits in them nicely. Fans of the Ortlieb design say "no" to having lots of pockets. If you have a lot of odd size items, extra groceries etc, it is great having larger main compartments. Simply organize your gear in a variety of smaller stuff sacks and plastic bags inside the panniers. When you get where you are going, you can quickly pull out the various smaller packs and organize your camp. And you won't have any problem figuring out where to put an odd-sized camp stove or long handled frying pan. And of course, because the packs are waterproof, you won't have to figure out where to put your rain covers. If you still want pockets - no problem. Each Ortlieb touring pannier has a large pouch pocket hanging from the inside top of the back panel, and a smaller zippered mesh pocket on the face of the pouch -- maybe a good place to keep your wallet, keys, or other small items you don't want dropping to the bottom of the main compartment. Ortlieb makes some nifty optional Small Outer Pockets that can be added to any of their panniers. These Outer Pockets are completely waterproof, and they are removable. And if you don't want the outside pockets to be waterproof, you can add large removable mesh pockets for drying out items while you ride. You can also add removable water water bottle cages to any of the Ortlieb panniers. If you choose the Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus rear panniers, you will have a built-in large outside waterproof pocket for carrying gear you would like to access easily during your ride. These are fantastic quality panniers - many consider Ortlieb to be the best quality panniers in the world - period! You'll pay a little more, but you won't be disappointed.
LONE PEAK vs. ORTLIEB MOUNTING SYSTEMS. . . Both are EXCELLENT! The Lone Peak "Loc-On" hook design is incredibly simple, yet completely reliable. The Loc-On pannier hooks are virtually indestructible. I have yet to hear of a damaged hook. I imagine that could happen in a serious crash, but I haven't heard of it yet. The Loc-On hook closes almost completely around the rack rail, so your panniers cannot fall off. This is a GREAT design. The hooks are ideally spaced for most racks, and the Lone Peak pannier design allows for excellent heel clearance, so most people will be able to find the perfect placement on their racks.
Ortlieb uses a bit more sophisticated hook system, that is also extremely durable and also hooks completely around the rail. Advantages? You'll have more flexibility in pannier placement on the rack. The Ortlieb pannier hooks are mounted on rails, and can slide from side to side on the back of the panniers, so you can choose the perfect place to put the hooks. If you need a little extra heel clearance for a large shoe size, you can simply slide the panniers back on the rails. And the hook mechanisms are operated by the carrying handle. When you want to take the panniers off the bike, you simply lift the panniers by the handle. They come off so easily, that you will wonder how they stayed on the bike in the first place! But rest assured, when they are mounted on the rack, they are quite secure. I can't imagine a pack falling off while riding. For you off-road riders who just KNOW you are going to crash sometime, the Ortlieb hook design allows you to add extra hooks to the panniers (some world tourists will also like this feature). You can put three top hooks on each pannier, so that if you crash and damage a hook, you will have built-in spares. NICE! Both the QL-1 and QL-2 systems includes adapters for 8mm and 10mm top rails, and will fit 16mm rails without the adapters. The QL-1 hooks require and allen wrench for adjustments. The QL-2 hooks adjust without tools -- great when you move your front panniers to the rear rack, and need a quick hook position change, or for moving your panniers from one bike to another.
SHOULD YOU GET ORTLIEB OR LONE PEAK PANNIERS? There is no right answer here. If price is a major consideration, Lone Peak might offer the best value. If you want the absolute Top-of-the-Line panniers made anywhere, and don't mind paying a little extra, then Ortlieb may be the way to go. You will get MANY years of expedition touring out of either brand of panniers, so durability is not an issue. Personal preference is perhaps the biggest factor. If you like lots of pockets, then Lone Peak is the way to go. If you want the largest main compartments and completely waterproof panniers, then you'll want Ortlieb. I get thank you notes from customers who have purchase each brand - who are enthused about the quality of each! Give me a call on my toll free number. We can discuss your needs, and I will be happy to help you decide.
HOW DO I MEASURE MY RACK TO DETERMINE LONE PEAK PANNIERS HOOK SIZE? . . . How to Measure Rack for Lone Peak Panniers Hook Size
Do Lone Peak panniers come with racks to mount them on a bicycle? . . . NO. Your bike must have racks installed. I now carry Tubus bike racks. These are GREAT racks with much higher carrying capacities than competitor's racks. And their fine craftsmanship makes them a compliment to the best custom touring bikes!
WHAT IS THE LONE PEAK WARRANTY? Click Here for warranty information.
WILL MY INFORMATION REMAIN PRIVATE ? . . . Just so you'll know, I will NEVER share email addresses or any personal information with third parties. Information you give me will remain private! I do not advertise by email, and you won't be on any spam list. In warranty situations I will sometimes forward emails to the product manufacturer or distributor.
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