Ortlieb Backroller Pannier Bag Tip

Ortlieb Backroller pannier bags are my favourite bags on the market. They have very few shortcomings, and for the shortcomings that they’ve had I’ve found a fix. There are two-related issues that I’ve come across.

The first is that the pop rivets that hold the QL1 rail onto the back of the pannier bag can sometimes break and will need replacing. A more secure method of re-attaching the rail is to use a bidon cage bolt and nut. If this problem does arise, simply bolt the rail back to the bag. I recommend using a washer against both the bolt and the nut to gain extra torque, as well as loctite or grease if possible.

On the Myanmar tour, Campbell’s rivet popped on his Ortlieb bag. This is due to the amount of stress that the hooks undergo when the bags are really full!

The second is related to the first. It occurs when the pannier bag becomes slightly rounded when it is choc-a-bloc full of gear. This means that you have to really force the pannier hooks onto your rack, putting a lot of force onto the Ortlieb rails. This is generally the reason why your rivets will pop in the first place. What Campbell and I do now is run four hooks per rail, which allows your pannier bag load to spread evenly across the rack and the four rivets along the rail. You can buy spare Ortlieb QL1 hooks from your Ortlieb dealer.

Running four Ortlieb hooks per side reduces the stress on the bags rivets.

  1. Must say, I had noticed on my Ortliebs, that they too did seem to round of. Had thought, how long would those last with extended weight over time. As they say, prevention is better that cure! So as your idea, will add another set of hooks.


  2. That is really clever. Will definitely look at using 4 hooks on my next big tour

  3. Thanks for the suggestion on the bolt and nuts. A great idea.  Personally I would be looking to try and reduce the load a bit but to reduce the stress on the panniers 🙂  

  4. I have the plus models with the QL2 system – a bit better apparently.. but I am annoyed as I was supposed to buy some extra hooks with my last order from Evans (I bought some shoes and the front rollers) but I totally forgot! Someone gave me the tip of the extra two hooks for added security years ago.

  5. Sorry for the spam. That above link was for the lower anchoring hook, not the upper rack hook. 

    The advice I got earlier was to have two lower anchoring hooks as this prevents the pannier bag from moving fore and after, instead of just one direction as is the case with the stock design of a single lower hook. PBK also sell the extra upper hooks too, and it seems like shipping is free with them as a bonus! 🙂 

    Here’s the link if anyone is interested: 
    http://www.probikekit.com/au/accessories/luggage-transport/panniers-luggage/ortlieb-ql-2-replacement-hook.htmlIt's a pity that Ortlieb dont just give you a few extra as spares when you buy a bag, considering they are quite expensive.

  6. Another trick I found useful has been along with running the two extra hooks on the top rail, I run a 2nd hook on the bottom rail which adds greater stability and less rattling. Not that they rattle a lot though anyway.

  7. Have you used Arkel panniers? I’m especially interested in opinions of the T-42 and GT-54 models.

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