Ortlieb is a German based company with over 30 years experience in developing (cycling) panniers, rucksacks, saddle bags and other accessories. We have been testing the popular Ortlieb Micro Saddle Bag.
Saddle bags come in all different shapes and sizes. With size and weight often being a factor for some riders, the Orlieb Micro saddle bag looked like a good compromise between maintaining a bike’s looks and having a place to carry tools and essentials. The bag which is available in black, blue, orange or lime green – is made from a PU (Polyurethane) – coated Nylon. This makes the fabric very strong, very waterproof and at just 139g – very lightweight. There is a well-positioned, good-sized Scotchlite 3M reflector on the rear which is ideal for commuting and riding at night. The saddle bag moves away from conventional zip closure systems. Instead it simply rolls up and fastens with rubber and elasticated toggles. Fitted inside the bag is a thin plastic structure to help it maintain its shape.
The Ortlieb Micro saddle bag connects under the saddle with a secure quick-release system. This is held in place with a two-piece clamp that secures to the seat rails with two screws. The connector on the bag itself is a simple, one-handed button that you just press down and slide the bag out.
I have always been a bit apprehensive about saddle bags that connect with a quick-release fixing. I had always assumed them to be unnecessarily heavier that a standard Velcro strap connection. However, the Ortlieb Micro saddle bag has opened my eyes to alternatives. When it came to fitting the seat bracket, I have to say that I found this pretty fiddly. You have to hold the two parts of the (over/under) clamp together whilst screwing in the bolt(s) from underneath. Then you need to position the clamps in the correct place before tightening. Once attached though, the clamp feels pretty secure. Even on our test rides around pothole-ridden lanes.
The bag itself have a volume capacity of 0.6L. This may sound a bit small but as with any kind of bag or baggage, it depends on what you are wanting to carrying. If you are planning to go bike-packing for example, you are probably not going to get far with this. However, there is plenty of room for spare tubes, tyre levers, etc. I really like the roll up closure as it not only helps to keep the contents of the bag dry. It also feels much more reliable and secure thanks to the elastic bungee style toggles on the sides. The plastic frame inside is useful in that it make putting things in the back a bit easier. Although the narrow opening can make filling the bag a little awkward if you have big hands.
Ortlieb Micro Saddle Bag review conclusion
Saddle bags or seat packs will often divide opinion among cyclists as to weather the look good and are actually required. But the nice thing about the Ortlieb Micro saddle bag is that it is practical enough for carrying your essentials – yet compact enough to make the bike still look good. The whole bag is very well designed. The waterproof PU coated Nylon feels very robust and strong and does an excellent job of keeping the contents dry. Whilst the rolled closure system is a simple and effective, yet secure alternative to a zip. The quick release connection is very user-friendly and once connected , the bag feels secure and sturdy. Although fitting seat clamp requires a little patience. As I said earlier, we managed to fit 2 spare tubes, a pair of levers and patches with a bit of room to spare. From a price point, the Ortlieb Micro saddle bag is available from Evans Cycles and retails at £15.99 – which in our opinion is excellent value for a product of this quality.