In the spirit of ditching the hydration pack and carrying all essentials in pockets or on the bike, the Ortlieb line makes for the perfect mountain bike saddle bag. The nagging issue with a saddle bag on modern mountain bikes is its compatibility with dropper posts, and the Ortlieb passes that test with flying colors.
Ortlieb’s saddle bag line is built around the company’s universal mounting set, which fastens to 7×9 (usually carbon) and round saddle rails with two screws. This eliminates the velcro loop, which usually attaches to a standard seatpost. We do wish that Ortlieb had used 4 or 5mm Allen bolts rather than Phillips-head screws, but you probably won’t be moving this piece from bike to bike. If you have multiple mountain bikes and wish to bring the saddle bag on every ride, additional mounting sets are sold for $9, and the mounting set is compatible with Ortlieb’s full-size saddle bags.
The Micro is the smallest option in the Ortlieb saddle bag line, which isn’t surprising, as Ortlieb more commonly makes bags and panniers for commuting and bikepacking, rather than day-to-day riding. Still, the Micro fits a 29er tube, two CO2 canisters, small patch kit, and CO2 inflator — everything you should need for a few hours on the trail. It’s a bit too large to blend in on your road bike, but on mountain bikes, I’ve found the Micro size to be just right.
The Micro is not the only bag of its kind, Scicon produces similar saddle bags in its Phantom line, but they are about $10 more expensive than the Ortlieb, and with that price difference, we’d prefer to buy the Ortlieb and a second mounting set. Even Speedsleev, a brand that has dominated the mountain bike saddle bag and tool roll market, cannot compete with the Ortlieb Micro’s $26 price tag. If the electric blue color isn’t for you, all Ortlieb saddle bags come in a variety of colors, one of which is black.
Suggested retail price: $26
We like: Lack of Velcro straps allows it to play nice with dropper posts and won’t ruin your shorts.
We don’t like: The Micro is still too big to play double-duty on a road bike.
The scoop: Easily swappable between bikes with saddle bag mount sets, the Ortlieb saddle bag line is waterproof and versatile