A bike basket might sound like a frivolous addition to your bike. Think again. A bike basket can spell the difference between daily frustration and fun, and transform your wheels from merely good-looking to utilitarian to boot.
With a basket on your bike you can bring Fido along on your rides, take the weight and stress off your back and transport heavier items more easily.
There are lots of different types of bike baskets out there and a few factors you need to consider when choosing one. We break down the factors and offer a quick quiz at the end to help you identify your basket type.
To Wicker or to metal?
Bike baskets come in a variety of materials like wicker, metal or synthetic. Wicker and synthetic bike baskets are usually tightly woven so you can toss in small items and they won’t fall out. This is something to consider if you’re looking for a quick way to stash your wallet and keys on your ride. Metal bike baskets are typically able to accommodate more weight. Many times, they affix more permanently to your bike so you don’t have to worry about removing them when you go into a store and if you make an unexpected stop you’ll never be without a means of carrying any items you pick up. Metal baskets usually have a wider spacing between their bars so you can’t just throw in your keys or wallet as they might slip right through. Consider adding a liner to avoid this problem.
And I’m also going to bring…
Do you fancy having Fido along? Will you be lugging your laptop and lunch to and from the office? Or transporting bags of groceries? Asking yourself what you want to carry in your bike basket will quickly narrow down your options. A lightweight basket that attaches to your handlebar will be great for carrying lightweight items like your lunch, purse, wallet or a jacket. If you want to make your baskets really work for you because you’ll be carrying heavier items like a loaded backpack or even your puppy, consider a metal basket that directly attaches to your bike or a metal or wicker bike basket that attaches to your front or rear bike rack. Both options are solid in construction and able to accommodate heavier weights.
Business in Front. Party in Back.
Along the lines of how much you’re looking to carry in your bike basket is the question of where you want your weight to be distributed—in the front of your bike or the rear of your bike. Generally, your rear rack is a better place for heavier items, as most rear racks can accommodate between 20-50lbs. So if you’re looking for a bike basket you can really load up, consider one that mounts or attaches to your rear rack. A front basket will add weight to the front of your bike, but when carrying lighter items that weight will be negligible. Front bike baskets put items within arm’s reach, so if you’re stopping constantly to Instagram your awesome rides, having your phone always at the ready could be great. If you like the look of a front basket and still want to carry heavier items consider getting a bike basket that mounts to a front rack or metal basket that mounts to your front axle or fork.
What’s your bike basket type? Take this quiz to find out!
You’ll primarily be carrying this in your basket:
- Small dog
- Keys, wallet or purse
- Backpack/knapsack and laptop
- A quart of milk, bag of apples, veggies and bulk granola.
Your basket will mainly be used for:
- Cheery cruises around town, with no particular destination.
- Causal jaunts to meet up with friends.
- Daily commuting to and from work.
- Running errands and hitting your favorite weekend farmers market to stock up.
You mainly ride your bike to the:
- Grocery store
If you mainly answered A, we recommend a front basket, so your puppy is always in your sight. If your dog is tiny, consider the Nantucket Cisco Rectangular Bike Basket. If your dog is small, consider a rack mounted front basket like the PUBLIC Wooden Rack Basket or the Wald 151 Front Metal Basket.
If you mainly answered B, we recommend a lightweight front basket that attaches to your handlebars, with a tight weave so valuable items don’t slip through. Consider the PUBLIC Front Bike Basket, Nantucket Lightship Front Basket or Nantucket Cisco Lidded Front Basket. All are built for holding lighter items and things like keys and won’t slip through the tight weaving.
If you mainly answered D, you need a more substantial basket option for carrying all those weighty market goods. The Basil Basket and Wald 582 Folding Basket are good options as a bag of groceries will slip into either nicely. The PUBLIC Metal Basket is a popular option for grocery grabbing.