If you think baskets are just for kids bikes and cruisers, think again. For a lightweight, versatile solution for toting your stuff, consider bike baskets. They come in a variety of sizes and materials and will instantly add style points to your ride.
Add them anywhere. Baskets will mount to the front or rear of a bicycle. Rear bike baskets tend to be deeper to accommodate larger items like groceries and, unlike most panniers, they have no lid, allowing you to tote taller items. Bike baskets mount to rear racks and typically hang on either side of the wheel. Front baskets, on the other hand, tend to be smaller, wider and shallower and mount to either the handlebar or front fork. When shopping for a bike basket, look for ones that you can quickly detach and take with you, preferably with handles or shoulder straps.
Wire versus wicker. The main difference between these two basket materials is how much weight they can support. While a wicker basket adds more style, it also holds less and isn’t the best choice if you live in a wet climate.
Rear Bike Baskets
Topeak’s TrolleyTote Folding MTX Rear Bike Basket ($79.95) is one heavy hauler. With 1,526 cubic inches of gear capacity, this basket features a telescopic handle and trolley wheels and also folds flat for easy off-the-bike transport and storage.
For a touch of nostalgia, check out Basil Memories-Bottle Bike Basket ($36), a steel rack with a vintage milk bottle outline. Available in a variety of classic colors, this rack easily hooks onto the side of any rear rack and has a soft nylon handle for toting.
Wald has been making functional and durable bike baskets and accessories since 1925 and their 520 Rear Twin Bicycle Carrier Basket ($30.50) is no exception. This double wire basket also serves as a rack, increasing the load stability of large objects like stacks of newspapers and large boxes.
The Peterboro Basket Company has produced traditional hand-woven baskets for more than 150 years. Their Original Bike Basket ($37.80) is made from Appalachian White Ash and easily attaches to a handlebar with two leather straps.
Want to give your pooch a ride? Nantucket Bike Basket Co.’s Somerset Collection (prices vary) is designed to safely haul small dogs under eight pounds. A wire frame keeps Fluffy safe and the basket’s faux rattan is durable enough to withstand the elements.
For an easy-to-use metal basket, check out Sunlite Cycling’s Quick Release Bike Basket ($22.08). Removal is a snap with a quick release and fully adjustable mount. This powder-coated basket also features a handle that makes quick shopping trips a snap.