One of the cycling brands I really like, and which I use basically every day, is the German ORTLIEB. I discovered it on my first long bike trip in 2001 when my cousin and I rode a tandem bike from the Czech Republic to the Arctic Circle in Finland and back again. As a student from one of the post-communist countries, I didn’t have the money to buy even one pannier, but many foreign cyclists were equipped with them. And it was clear to me then that something must be behind it. Durability, quality, and also a kind of brand atmosphere. A few years later, I contributed to the fact that ORTLIEB now has a distributor in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Around the same time, I managed to start my “personal collection” of bags and backpacks of this brand and today the whole family is equipped with them, and the collection has grown to several dozen pieces. I’ve also owned their recumbent bike panniers, but I have to admit I like the standard Back-Rollers and Rack-Packs from them better.
What’s great about ORTLIEB bags is, of course, their waterproofness, but even more important to me is their durability. Even in the harshest of conditions, there’s no need to take special care of them or worry about them snapping or even breaking somewhere. And even if they do get damaged, ORTLIEB offers a lot of spare parts and also service. Plus, last year, they came up with the great idea of Repair Week, during which discounted repairs on ORTLIEB equipment are offered in many countries worldwide to extend their life far beyond the 5-year warranty normally offered by ORTLIEB.
Product repairs are a significant area of focus for ORTLIEB Sportartikel GmbH. All products from this renowned manufacturer are carefully designed to allow trouble-free replacement of individual parts, ensuring a prolonged lifetime for their bags and backpacks. In response to the spike in consumption associated with Black Friday, ORTLIEB has introduced a Repair Week initiative in 2022. In 2023, the manufacturer, in collaboration with global partners, continues prioritizing this effort to mitigate resource depletion.
Since its founding in 1982, ORTLIEB has offered repair services, consistently expanding this function and training partners to become proficient repair experts. This initiative enables not only specialist dealers but also numerous business partners worldwide to troubleshoot and repair faults on-site, minimizing unnecessary transportation. In the main market in Germany, 53 dealers are currently equipped to repair bags on their premises independently.
Managing Director Martin Esslinger emphasizes the importance of this approach: ‘At our Heilsbronn plant, where the products are manufactured, around 18,000 units are repaired every year. Sustainable practices are rooted in ORTLIEB’s DNA and reflect a commitment to responsible resource management. The focus is expanding to ensure the longevity of the products by using durable materials, incorporating replaceable plastic parts and training distribution partners and dealers who are gradually expanding this network.”
Repair Week, scheduled from November 13 to December 3, 2023, is an example of ORTLIEB’s commitment to supporting sustainable practices and promoting responsible resource management. Contact your local ORTLIEB dealer or a distributor in your country to know how you can repair your ORTLIEB bag, if you need to.