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Ortlieb Backroller Pack Drop

Although the pair of Ortlieb Back-Roller packs on Mary’s bike make her look like a long-distance tourist, we’re actually on our way to her garden plot:

AS30V-0285

AS30V-0285

The left-side pack suddenly seemed unusually floppy:

AS30V-0300

AS30V-0300

One second later:

AS30V-0360

AS30V-0360

Another second and it’s visible under my right hand:

AS30V-0420

AS30V-0420

The view from her bike at about the same time:

Ortlieb-0158

Ortlieb-0158

I’m expecting to fall to my right, but it’d have been better if I hadn’t kicked the bag:

Ortlieb-0169

Ortlieb-0169

The pack went under the rear wheel and out the far side:

Ortlieb-0185

Ortlieb-0185

Where it came to rest in the middle of the trail:

Ortlib pack drop - aftermath

Ortlib pack drop – aftermath

Elapsed time from the first picture: just under 5 s.

Did you notice the other cyclist in the other pictures? She’s why I veered so hard to my right!

A pair of these latches hold the pack onto the rear rack:

Ortlieb pack drop - QL latch detail

Ortlieb pack drop – QL latch detail

When they’re properly engaged, they look like this:

Ortlieb pack drop - QL latch - secure

Ortlieb pack drop – QL latch – secure

When they’re not, they look like this:

Ortlieb pack drop - QL latch - whoopsie

Ortlieb pack drop – QL latch – whoopsie

Which is obvious in the picture and inconspicuous in real life.

The strap emerging from the top of the latch serves as both a carrying handle and latch release: pull upward to open the latches and release them from the bar, lift to remove the pack, and carry it away as you go. Installing the pack proceeds in reverse: lower the pack onto the rack bar, release the handle, and the latches engage.

Unless the pack is empty enough to not quite fully open the latches as you carry it, in which case the closed latches simply rest on the bar. We’ve both made that mistake and I generally give her packs a quick glance to ensure sure they’re latched. In this case, the plastic drawer atop the racks (carrying seedling pots on their way to the garden) completely concealed the pack latches.

Tree roots have been creasing the asphalt along that section of the rail trail: the bike finally bounced hard enough to lift the drawer and fall off the rack rod.

Memo to Self:┬áIn addition to the visual check, lift the packs using the strap across the middle holding the rolled-down top in place. Remember, don’t check by lifting the carrying handle, because it just releases the latches; another easy mistake to make.

Whew!

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  1. #1 by Trudi on 2018-07-18 - 15:01

    And stop drafting her. At your speed it doesn’t help.

    • #2 by Ed on 2018-07-19 - 20:40

      Hey, sometimes we get into (the low) double digits where I can feel a breeze alongside her fairing!

  2. #3 by Edward Berner on 2018-07-19 - 01:46

    Maybe some bright orange paint to increase the visibility of the lower part of the latch?

    • #4 by Ed on 2018-07-19 - 20:38

      I’d convinced myself there was no clearance in there for anything, not even paint, but:
      Ortlieb pack latch - unlocked, with tape
      Properly latching it looks better:
      Ortlieb pack latch - locked, with tape
      That’s fluorescent orange tape, not paint, so we’ll see how long it lasts …

      Thanks for pushing me off dead center!

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