Ortlieb
Ortlieb

Review: Ortlieb E-Glow, a Bright Spot on the Handlebar

Till now, lights and handlebar bags were separate accessories. ORTLIEB combined them both. Now, urban biking is that much safer.

Bringing the kids to school, taking a leisurely ride. The ever-growing presence of e-bikes increases not only the number of cyclists on the road, but also increases average cycling speed overall. It’s vital for motorists to adapt to changes in street traffic. However, it is all the more important for cyclists to increase their own visibility as much as possible.

Franconian bike bag specialist ORTLIEB, famous for its countless innovations and patents around everything that has to do with bicycles, has developed the E-Glow, a handlebar bag that brings light to every dark or low-visibility situation. With this comes a huge step towards safer cycling. At first glance, the E-Glow bears a striking resemblance to Ortlieb Ultimate Series bags. We reviewed those in detail last year. On closer inspection, while E-Glow seems to belong to the same family, it now has added high-tech features and innovations especially developed for e-bikers.

The Ortlieb E-Glow is the first handlebar bag with integrated illumination

The Ortlieb E-Glow is the first handlebar bag with integrated illumination

For greater visibility in dark conditions

For greater visibility in dark conditions

The inside LED bar can be detached and used as a torch

The inside LED bar can be detached and used as a torch

The LED bar can be charged using the e-bike battery or a powerbank via USB port

The LED bar can be charged using the e-bike battery or a powerbank via USB port

Bright Lights on the Horizon - and on the Street

The E-Glow’s most distinctive feature is its U-shaped LED bar, which stretches to the front and sides of the bag. A transparent yellow film turns the white light of the internal LEDs into an eye-catching, clearly visible yellow light strip. Regardless if traffic is coming from the left, right or head-on, an “E-Glow rider” can be scarcely overlooked. Thanks to the LED bar, fumbling for your wallet, keys or other items buried in the dark recesses of your bag is virtually eliminated, as its light illuminates every dark corner of the interior when opened.

The E-Glow’s lamp is powered by USB cable, with a port integrated into the LED bar. It can be charged when connected to your e-bike’s display, or even through a power bank. As LEDs use very little power, an average battery cycle lasts relatively long. Should this “chain of lights” get in your way, be needed for camping or need to be replaced, the convenient clip holder allows for easy detachment.

Essentials Within Reach

The interior layout of the E-Glow is rather straightforward– and that’s a good thing. With a seven litre volume capacity, large main compartment and small zip pocket with key clip, small items can be stored separately and effectively organized. The bag’s transparent flap pocket is especially helpful when navigating unknown terrain. Most smartphones can be inserted from the inside, however those with bulky protective cases could be a tight fit. The shell of the exterior pocket is designed for easy access to touchscreen devices, which can be used directly through the material.

The E-Glow handlebar bag is always on hand to stash your stuff

The E-Glow handlebar bag is always on hand to stash your stuff

Smartphone mount included: the E-Glow’s touchscreen-friendly cover lets you keep an eye on your route

Smartphone mount included: the E-Glow’s touchscreen-friendly cover lets you keep an eye on your route

Easy smartphone access through the bag’s front cover

Easy smartphone access through the bag’s front cover

Robust and Practical, In the City and on Tour

The bag’s stable, free-standing body is made of a PVC-free nylon textile with polyurethane coating. This allows for a robust, abrasion-resistant and – as always from Ortlieb – waterproof performance. The E-Glow is secured with double magnetic snap closures, and can be opened with a quick pull of the loop. The hem on the bag’s upper lip is raised and pre-folded, providing additional protection against unwanted water and moisture. Since neither the TIZIP zipper nor the rolltop can close at the top, the E-Glow has a protection rating of “only” IP54, meaning the bag is fairly dust- and waterproof as well as highly resistant to moisture in general. Simply put: perfect for touring and urban cycling. A small mesh pocket, located under the reflective Ortlieb logo on the front side of the bag, provides additional storage. Included also is an additional shoulder strap, which can be easily attached by clicking it onto the bag’s side slots.

 

Handy Bottle Cage on the Side

Average e-bike batteries take up a lot of space on the inside of a frame, leaving bottles unable to be readily accessed. The E-Glow was developed to solve this unique problem by incorporating a special feature: integrated mounting rails for bottle cages on either side of the bag. Drinks can be securely and conveniently deposited on either the right- or left-hand side of the bag. The maximum load, however, must always be kept in mind: according to Ortlieb, the mount cannot take on more than five kilograms.

Magnetic snap closures hold your bag securely in place

Magnetic snap closures hold your bag securely in place

The bag opens quickly and easily with just a pull on the loop

The bag opens quickly and easily with just a pull on the loop

The front mesh pocket offers additional storage

The front mesh pocket offers additional storage

Convenient carrying straps convert the handlebar bag into a shoulder bag

Convenient carrying straps convert the handlebar bag into a shoulder bag

Not enough space on your frame? Drink bottles can be mounted on either side of the bag

Not enough space on your frame? Drink bottles can be mounted on either side of the bag

Drinks are always ready to go

Drinks are always ready to go

Correct Positioning of the Bracket

On the subject of mounts, Ortlieb has re-examined its stance on them for the year 2020. Until last year, every handlebar bag included a mount. This year, however, mounts must be purchased separately. What seems like a loss in theory actually makes more sense in practice. In fact, the Franconian waterproofing specialists have significantly improved their handlebar-compatible product range. Aside from a varied selection of bags (also waterproof, naturally), Ortlieb offers further weather-resistant accessories, such as the waterproof Up-Town Urban Handlebar Basket. Philosophy and Logic: one bike, one handlebar, one mount - and maybe diverse handlebar transport solutions. Consumers have a choice between a mount without a lock, a mount with a lock, a mount for e-bikes without a lock and a mount for e-bikes with a lock. But what’s the difference between a so-called “normal” holder and one meant for an e-bike? A wider attachment angle and larger distance between the mount and handlebars leaves enough room for a standard e-bike display. A fitting mount is available for every bike and meets every safety requirement, and the container can be changed to suit multiple owners.

Summary:
Ortlieb has once again managed to further improve upon an existing product by offering innovative solutions. The E-Glow is not just practical - it’s a significant step forward in street safety.

Moritz

Fact Check Ortlieb E-Glow:

  • Material: PVC-free nylon web textile, polyurethane-coated “PS33”
  • IP 54 water- and dustproof rating
  • Magnetic snap closure
  • Volume: 7 litres
  • Weight: 580 g
  • Dimensions (size M): height 22 cm, width 26 cm, depth 14 cm
  • LED strips fixed and removable with clamps
  • Side mounts for standard bottle cages
  • Stable and secure bag body with straight bottom, internal reinforcement
  • Inner pocket with zip closure and key clip
  • Front mesh pocket plus reflector
  • Shoulder strap
  • Maximum 5 kilogram load capacity
  • Handlebar mounts in four versions as accessories sold separately
  • Made in Germany
  • 5 year guarantee
The Ortlieb E-Glow Handlebar Bag and its TrunkBag counterpart, the Ortlieb E-Mate

The Ortlieb E-Glow Handlebar Bag and its TrunkBag counterpart, the Ortlieb E-Mate

A sturdy duo: Ortlieb E-Mate TrunkBag and Ortlieb E-Glow Handlebar Bag

A sturdy duo: Ortlieb E-Mate TrunkBag and Ortlieb E-Glow Handlebar Bag

Be seen!

Be seen!