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?
15 replies on “Eurobike 2014: What Happened When Brooks And Ortlieb Got Together And Made Panniers”
If you’re handy and can sew, like I can then you can make yourself a set. I did, it cost about $25 AUD for the fabric and several hours of my time as well as a $15 vintage sewing machine that can sew heavy weight fabric. One of those times where soft furnishing experience comes in handy. I made mine in cocoa coloured oilskin with light tan trim. A bit more practical but still has old school safari feel to it.
Update on Suffolk/Norfork Panniers after 1 1/2 Years of Touring.
Just a quick update. I’ve been touring for years on a Miyata 1000 with Yellow Ortlieb Panniers. The Miyata 1000 finally wore out and I built another Miyata, a 610 that’s Black with Tan (cream) highlights, a Campy MTB Group, Brooks saddle, Tubus SS racks, Nitto seat post/cockpit etc.. I bought the tan Brooks Pannier (Suffolk/Norfolk) set with Map case and saddle bag. The complete set was ~20% than standard Ortlieb set but 10x nicer/more durable…and yes completely waterproof. (not canvas but a heavy duty version of waterproof denier). After 1.5 years of use the panniers have taken on a beautiful natural patina..just like the old days of canvas bags. The standard Ortlieb’s seem cheap by comparison. I’m sure I’ll never need another pannier set…that’s just how well these are built and perform.
Well, despite the sensible bright color and the expensive price for that panniers, they are very very nice and stylish. I guess you don’t need the most expensive in life to be someone but nonetheless, if I would have that money, I probably would buy that panniers. Simply wonderful!
it reminds me on adoolf loss, “the crime of ornamental” I love this bags! agelessly!
Adolf Loos is better known for his essay “Ornament and Crime”.
But even if deStijl or the Bauhaus designed bike touring accessories, they’d still need form as well as function.
Why not just use them and let them develop a dirty patina? Apparently Carradice Super C’s age well.
Far to fancy. Look ‘Gucci’ though. KISS … Keep It Simple Stupid!
So back to ones Ortlieb Classics 🙂
Oh dear. The downside of the (very welcome) increased popularity of cycling. Truly remarkable — I’m old enough to remember the PG Tips Can You Ride Tandem ad where day to day cycling was seen as a sad joke. At least the colonisation of a simple pleasure by more monied poncy types can’t be ruined like football has been — you can still cycle how you want. I’ll look out for a bike equipped like this on tour and lock up beside it — should spare my bike from unwanted attention.
Ha ha! that was my thought too. Silly color. Like buying a bike with a white showroom finish for touring. They should have used a mid tone gray, not rocket science really to think of that.
These are some seriously nice looking panniers. That is, until you ruin them after the first ride! What were they thinking? The only way you’ll be able to keep these things clean is if you prep a touring bike to hang on the wall in your garage.
Isn’t that why people buy expensive touring gear these days…?
Ryan I was thinking the same thing. Why would you make these panniers white and take them into a big Central American city and get them dirty and the attention that you do not want. No wonder people complaint when locals give you tourist prices. They do look nice but no way, those colors except for the black and they are not 100 percent water proof, forget it.
I imagine the canvas would soon look pretty well-travelled. Perhaps Brooks think that’ll be part of the appeal. Non-waterproofness isn’t necessarily a deal breaker; my Carradice Super Cs have been going for years paired up with smaller drybags inside. The price tag (120 EUR for a single pannier), however…
What I like about the bags after talking to them at Frostbike, was that they actually are not canvas! They are waterproof polyesther made to look like canvas (which is why they were so light)
It’s a nice color and comes in other, darker colors. I tour extensively with bright yellow Ortliebs that are aging nicely. The brighter the better. Not much experience touring?????