Rain Parade

As the rain pours down, bicycle commuters are finding themselves less ambitious about riding to work. It’s hard enough for commuters to stay presentable when facing the lane changes and potholes of Market Street, let alone when the elements deal out a relentless combination of wind and rain. Different individuals have different ways of coping. Indeed, some of the most hearty riders can be seen in the streets of San Francisco regardless of the weather.

A long commute from Davis...

Some invest in fenders, seemingly useless for much of the time as they rattle around on your bike through countless sunny days. That is, until the skies open up and you, noticeably less miserable than others, cast a pitying glance at the individual riding with his hand over his backside: a futile attempt to prevent the unpleasant manifestation of the dreaded ‘swamp butt’.  Other riders take it a step further with wet-weather gear that covers you from head to toe in black Gore-Tex or an alarming hue of neon.  The rainy weather market is often neglected but there is often a positive correlation between dryness and kooky outfits.

Among the wet-weather champions, Ortlieb has always been a brand of choice. Their bags are historically made for the adventurous, often heavily-bearded, Kyrgyzstan-bound cycle tourist. Seeing that there are few things worse than a wet sleeping bag, Ortlieb has gone to great lengths to create durable, reliable and, above all, waterproof pannier bags. So it makes sense that when Ortlieb starts making bags for the dedicated, less-bearded, downtown-bound commuter, they are going to come up with something worth mentioning.

Ortlieb QL3 Mounting System


Ortlieb’s newest development is an improvement on their standard Office Bag. In addition to keeping your shoes, socks and clean shirt dry and clean, the bags are now equipped with Ortlieb’s QL3 system: a modified quick release system in which the hooks that once dug into your side and marred up your clothing are permanently bolted onto the rack itself. The bag attaches through a series of notched plates on the back that slide securely into the mounting bracket. When the bag is removed, these allow for low-profile hook-free carrying.

On time, organized, dry.

Otherwise, the Ortlieb Office Bag is made for those of us who use things like document folders, ipads, pens and legal paper: plenty of compartments to store and organize all the essentials. The bags are available in two sizes and it’s also nice to note that in addition to the need-to-be-seen color schemes of cycle tourists, the bags are offered in the slightly more refined charcoal and hazel.

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