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Ortlieb Mounting Question

Old 05-29-20, 08:46 AM
  #1  
Classtime 
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Ortlieb Mounting Question

I'm new to Touring and Panniers.
What is the best position to have the lower anchoring hook? Should it face forward or back and should I have it high or low and should it go around one or more stays? I'm seeking a shortcut to trial and error methods. And when you install and remove them, do leave the lower hook alone or open and close it.

I have Ortlieb Packer Plus with an oval track for the lower hook, vintage Blackburn rear rack, and a 1985 Trek 620.
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Old 05-29-20, 10:13 AM
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Lower hook does not matter that much, aim it in any direction that works well when you mount the pannier on the rack. If you lie the bike down on its side, the lower hook should hold the pannier to the rack. The upper hooks are the ones that support the weight of the pannier in normal use. Thus he upper hooks are the ones that are important to get them attached well to the rack.

I have some shopping panniers that do not even have lower hooks, as they are not that important.
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Old 05-29-20, 10:50 AM
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Agree with Tourist. I get my top hooks hanging how I want them, then just turn the bottom to fit whatever bar I have convenient on the rack. All the bottom does is keep the bag from flopping around on bumpy surfaces.
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Old 05-29-20, 11:03 AM
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I use my front panniers (packer plus series) most of the time as rear panniers on a couple bikes. The lower hooks are a bit of a pain at first to get lined up. Between 3 racks - rear on my touring bike, front on my touring bike, and rear on my folding bike - the positions are a bit different. I can get by with the hook in the same position on my 2 rear racks, but the front rack is a different story.

My philosophy - adjust it as needed.

Every rack is different. It is sort of like asking what type/size shoes to get when everyone's feet are different.

As to getting the panniers on and off - I haven't given much thought to it. I have had the hooks in positions where they come off on-the-go. The top latches are what hold the panniers on so all the hook does is keep the bottoms aligned/secured to the rack. Other than that, getting the latches on the top to work is what I go after. Wherever the bottom hook needs to be to hit a frame piece of the rack that allows the alignment of the top latches is good enough. If that is up, down, sideways, left, right, flipped upside down, or spun around it doesn't matter. If you don't like them - take them off and leave the bottoms of the panniers swinging in the breeze. They won't go anywhere as long as the top latches are closed.
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Old 05-29-20, 11:10 AM
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On my bike, the front rack has an oval at the bottom; the back rack is a down facing fork. Both sets of bags have lower attachments and easiest (standing over the bike) is to catch the lower hook first, then lift the upper hooks just over the rack rails to seat them.
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Old 05-29-20, 11:22 AM
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Thanks. With all that adjustability, I thought there was some optimal adjustment.
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Old 05-29-20, 11:35 AM
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I think you already got good advice. I only watched a little of this youtube but I think it addresses your question
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Old 05-29-20, 02:19 PM
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Close inspection of the lower hooks will reveal that they sit on a slanted washer. Changing the orientation of the washer changes the angle of the lower hook, and its utility.
Good luck
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Old 05-29-20, 03:32 PM
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I have to disagree with most of youz here. it is important from my experience to have an opposing forces thing going on between the lower tab and one of the upper clamp attachment points.
What I mean by this is that on nearly all rear racks, there are bars that go across the top of the rack, so I want one of my top attachment points to be , lets say looking towards the front of teh bike--one point to be ahead of this traversing bar, and therefore my lower tab to behind the racks vertical or slanting support pieces.

so that the lower tab stops the bag from sliding forward under braking lets say, and the upper attachment point stops the pannier from sliding backwards. (or the other way around, whatever works best)

all of my bikes are set up this way for my ortlieb panniers.
I start to put on a pannier by hooking the lower tab on partly, then tilt the pannier so that the upper attachment part can get over the top bar that goes across the rack, then I tilt it all downwards so that both upper hooks go onto the main rack rail.
Now the pannier wont slide either forward or back because there are two opposing contact points.

Ive ridden a lot on really rough roads in other countries, not to mention simply Montreal crappy potholey streets, and my panniers never shift around or come loose.

I also do that extra thing of removing the inserts that come with the panniers for diff rack diameters, and I "bulk" up my racks so that there is no free play when I hook on the two swivel holdy things that make Ortlieb panniers so great.
I realize this is a pain when using diff racks on diff bikes, so not really necessary. I just did it because of a couple of trips I did where I expected a lot of rough riding and wanted to eliminate any play, to reduce loosening of pannier bolts etc.

I hope my description of "opposing forces" makes sense

if not, I can try to take a photo to make it easier
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Old 05-29-20, 05:23 PM
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The "oval" (or I called it the football) lower hook track is an older design, I think Ortlieb changed it later, maybe six or eight years ago? My Ortliebs are over a decade old with the football shape.

The top hooks can be slid for and aft. Mine take a 3mm allen wrench but I think the newer Ortlibes might use something else to tighten up the hooks to the track. When I set up my panniers to the rack, I set the upper hooks so that the pannier can't shift more than a few mm fore and aft, the upper hooks butt up against part of the rack to stop it from sliding in either direction. Thus the lower hook does not keep the pannier from sliding the way I set it up. That said, if what Djb does works for him, great, it works for him so that is not wrong either.



To the OP, if you are not yet aware of this, it is best to get the cargo weight as far forward on the rear rack as practical. That basically means to set the upper hooks so that the pannier is as far forward as it can be without causing any heel strike problems. By heel strike, I mean hitting your heels of your shoes on the panniers when pedaling. If the weight is farther back than it needs to be, that can impair the handling.

I have three different bikes that the Ortliebs get used on, that means each time I use a different bike for a trip, I have to re-adjust my panniers fore and aft position. Each of those bikes has a different chainstay length, thus the rack position compared to the pedal position varies from bike to bike.
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Old 05-29-20, 05:41 PM
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To the person asking, goes to show that there are no exact answers of which way works best, so play around and try different setups and see how the panniers are. Filling them with stuff is a good idea too, the extra weight is good to have, as was mentioned, to see how handling is and if you need to move panniers forward a bit, until heel strike starts happening.
its certainly worth experimenting and trying out stuff, no harm in it.
I'm lucky, my front panniers on my touring bike front rack work on one of my other bikes rear rack as is. That bike is lighter and faster, so handy to use a smaller pannier on the rear of that bike... But I fluked out.
I've marked positions of the mounting clips with a grease pencil ortlieb rear panniers I have, that I use on another bike I use in fall and winter, so a fast change from bike to bike. Handy and easier than trial and error each fall.
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Old 05-29-20, 05:50 PM
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The QL2.1 system is still used. QL3.1 in used on their city bags.

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Old 05-29-20, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Thanks. With all that adjustability, I thought there was some optimal adjustment.
Make sure the lower hooks are tightened well. I had one fall off one of my fronts at some point and didnít realize it. The front pannier banging around was most annoying. Finally decided to use one of the two bungees that was holding my sleeping bag to my front rack platform to secure the bottom of the pannier against the rack. Only a three day trip, so not a biggie.
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Old 05-29-20, 07:44 PM
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I have four generations of ortliebs:
- bungee elastic band and hook type from early 90s,
- maybe early 2000s maybe with tab but limited movement and straight shape single slot for it to slide in (not curved) bought em used so not sure of age
- single slot for tab but curved
- double curved slots, aka football ones

the second one, with straight shaped slot for tab to move in is the most restricted, i see why they improved it to curve and double curve football ones
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Old 05-29-20, 09:39 PM
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Mine are the QL2 I purchased second hand with football shaped track for lower hooks. I like the idea of locking them in so as not to slide forward or back. I did read about using a coin to ensure the hooks are tight. I needed that repeated. Thanks indyfabz And I have plenty of room to move them forward even with my size 12s thanks to the 620's chain stays. I guess with the rigid track that the top hooks are attached to, the panniers are well supported even if the hooks are not close the ends.
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Old 05-29-20, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
so that the lower tab stops the bag from sliding forward under braking lets say, and the upper attachment point stops the pannier from sliding backwards. (or the other way around, whatever works best)
This is a valid point.

Something to consider is heel strike as you are pedaling. This is a bigger consideration with the larger "rear" panniers of the Ortleib sets as they are "wider" (side to side, which means "longer" fore/aft with respect to the bike). You have less room with that extra width.

To combat that you can adjust the top latch hooks to set them for places on your racks where they work best - to eliminate the sliding that you are referring to.

This past late winter/early spring I took my folding bike on a day trip and used the large rear panniers. I had never used them on that bike before, but with the gear (clothes, cook set, coffee, etc, etc) I decided to see if I could get the big ones on there. I had the latches in the furthest forward positions I could get (so the panniers were pushed furthest backwards) and was able to get them to work just fine. I did have to force the rear latches on both sides a little bit because the spot where they fit was also where the rack started to bend. I suppose I could have gone up a size with the inserts, but it wasn't that tough of a fit and works fine.

At the 50 second mark in the video linked below they show the adjustability of the top latch hooks.

Originally Posted by debade View Post
I think you already got good advice. I only watched a little of this youtube but I think it addresses your question https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Alb4A8D6_co
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