Tag Archives | Ortlieb USA

Rain City Bags

Frustrated by the absence of bags that would fit on the top of my stylish, new Luna rack, I had to consider the alternatives.

Which waterproof bag would be lightweight enough, mostly for use on multi-day tours such as Cycle Oregon, but could also be used for errands, as well as longer club rides and centuries?

I was not looking for a traditional set of panniers or would have selected a more heavy-duty rack to hold them.

I was more concerned that riding with one pannier would somehow throw me off-balance, or worse, “look stupid” (this, according to my sixteen year-old son who is also a cyclist).

Avenir’s medium-sized Rain City bags with a storage capacity of 910 cubic inches per bag are terrific.  The combined weight of two empty bags plus the rack is still considerably less than other “systems,” which combine a bag and rack that attaches to the seat post.

The Rain City bags are so roomy, I only needed one for my southern Oregon and northern California adventure.

They are slick-looking, silver bags made of nylon with a waterproof coating.  They attach easily to my rack and feature a roll- top closure and buckle, and come with foam inserts to maintain the shape of the bag and provide shock absorption for its contents.

Removing these inserts further reduced my carrying weight for Cycle Oregon, but will definitely be returned if I’m carrying a computer, a camera or a dozen eggs.

I’m pleased to report that I never lost my balance with one bag. I’d like to think I didn’t look stupid either.

The bag was so lightweight,  it seemed ridiculous not to keep it on my bike at all times even though gear drops were provided at nearly every rest stop.  The roll top design allows for easy access and makes expanding the size of the bag simple, while keeping its contents dry.

On day four of our trip, in the middle of one particularly hot and steep climb, I stopped to help a fellow rider who looked particularly beat.  “Are you drinking enough water?” I asked noticing both of her water bottles were full.

“Yes.” She insisted.

“Do you need something to eat?” I asked her.

“Yes!  You have food?”

“I’ve got a Blueberry Crisp Cliff Bar, a can of Kern Mango drink, a golden delicious apple and some Lorna Doone cookies.”

“You’re a Deli!” she said and took the Cliff bar.

I took off and headed up the hill.

Later, I saw this same friend and she told me I’d helped her finish her ride.

Me, and the Rain City Deli, that is.

Now that I’m home, I can’t wait to start riding my bike to the supermarket. My plan is to wheel my bike, (along with my Rain City Bags) through the store instead of using a shopping cart. I won’t even have to break my loaf of French bread in half, just to get it home.

Luna Racks by Tubus

I’m of the opinion that unless you are a competitive cyclist, your bike should be equipped to function in a utilitarian mode.    If you need to go to the library, bank or market, why not use your bike instead of burning fossil fuel?

Unfortunately, most bicycle manufacturers don’t see it quite the same way.  They would rather you purchase three or four bikes for different purposes.  Consequently, your road bike in the garage may not be equipped with braze-ons, which would offer you the flexibility of being able to attach a standard rear rack.

Thank goodness for the people at Ortlieb USA, the exclusive U.S. importer of Tubus (and Racktime) racks from Germany.

Their Luna model is nothing less than a work of art reminiscent of famed modern designer, Charles Eames.  Made of welded tubular stainless steel, the Luna is sleek by design, and offers simple elegance.

It’s quite a contrast to other functional, yet cumbersome racks you just can’t wait to take off your bike because they’re so ugly.

The Luna weighs in at less than a pound (435 grams or 15.34 oz) and though made of rust-proof, stainless steel, the matte finish adds to its mystique.

You won’t even consider removing this rack from your frame because its aesthetic construction blends so well with the petite lines of your bike.   But, because your frame is smaller than most, installation may be a little tricky, so it’s not a bad idea to recruit your favorite bike mechanic to help you.  The rack attaches to the frame via the rear brake bolt and if your bike has no braze-ons, Ortliebusa.com offers several adapter kits to assist in a trouble-free installation.

The top “shelf” (or “deck”) of the rack is narrow and not designed to sufficiently support a rear rack bag.

However, it will easily accommodate a set of panniers and can hold about 39 pounds of weight.

Though the cost of the Luna is more expensive than the competition, it comes with a life-time guarantee as well as a three-year “Mobile Guarantee” to registered-owners.  This means if your rack fails due to material or workmanship during this three-year period, a new Tubus rack will be sent via express delivery anywhere in the world with a deliverable address. Investing in a Tubus rack will give your bike a classy refined look. Combined with an Ortlieb bag, your next trip to the market will be more of a delightful journey.  Before you know it, everyone in your family will want one.