In what is sure to be a ludicrously hipster-pleasing move, Brooks of England and Ortlieb of Germany have got together once again and significantly expanded their range of insanely expensive expedition-grade panniers and bags for 2015.
Sold under the Brooks brand but advertised as being made in Germany, the existing Land’s End (rear) and John O’Groats (front) waterproof panniers have actually been around a while already — currently on their way round the planet on the back of Tim Moss’s bike, in fact. They’re significantly cooler and arguably tougher versions of Ortlieb’s Roller Plus panniers, which (together with the Classic variant) have become the ubiquitous round-the-world pannier, as well as being sold by the bucketload to everyone else as well.
Coming soon to any number of independent East London bicycle boutiques near you, then, will be the Norfolk (front) and Suffolk (rear) panniers.
Like the aforementioned set, they’re constructed using Ortlieb’s QL‑2 attachment system, and are comparable in capacity and shape.
The big difference is that, rather than welded waterproof fabric, the Norfolk and Suffolk bags are made of a cotton-canvas-style material with a waterproof coating, and they’re stitched, rather than welded.
And so the resulting panniers are quite like Carradice’s canvas Super C panniers in that they’re extremely weatherproof but won’t stand being fully submerged. Like Super C users, then, the fashion-conscious and seriously minted world tourer would respond by selectively drybagging the contents as and when necessary.
Brooks have taken full advantage of the not-quite-100%-waterproof angle by attaching to the exterior all manner of pockets, straps and stretch pouches, the result being a vintage-looking receptacle that oozes class and will perfectly complement the carefully-cultivated image of the foppish yet discerning bicycle-mounted flâneur that you have decided to impose upon the world at large. They’ll be available in three colours, depending on how dark your mood.
Alongside these most ultimate in world-touring fashion panniers comes the Isle Of Skye handlebar bag, using the Klickfix attachment system, and the Isle Of Wight saddle bag in three sizes.
OK, Brooks, now where’s my matching rack-top holdall?