A bike bag or basket might sound like a frivolous addition to your bike, but think again. A bag or basket can transform your wheels from merely good-looking to a utilitarian force.
There are lots of different types of bags and 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 type.
Bags vs. Baskets
Baskets are great for instant accessibility. If you’re looking to have your cell phone nearby so you can document your ride on Instagram, a basket could be right for you! They also look nice. People love the aesthetic of a bike basket; however, they can become a problem when the weather turns nasty. Bags are great for both weather protection and the ability to quickly disconnect from a rack on your bike so you can take your gear with you. If you’re looking to bring your change of clothes with you to your destination, a bag could be right for you!
I’m Going to Bring…
Will you be lugging your laptop to and from the office? Do you fancy transporting bags of groceries? Or just looking to have a space for your phone and wallet? Asking yourself what you want to carry with you will quickly narrow down your bag and basket options. A lightweight basket that attaches to your handlebars or small saddle bag that latches on to your seat post will be great for carrying lightweight items like your purse, wallet, or jacket. If you will be carrying heavier options, you want to make sure to get a bag or basket that really does the work for you. Looking for something to carry your heavy laptop and other work supplies on your commute? Go for a pannier that can hold it all easily. Want to take your puppy to lunch with you? Consider a basket that directly attaches to your bike rack.
Business in Back. Party in Front.
You will want to think about how much you’re going to carry on your bike. Along these same lines, it is important to think about where you want your weight distributed- in the front or in the rear of your bike. Generally, your rear rack is a better place for heavier items, as most rear racks can accommodate 20-50lbs. So, if you’re looking for a bag or basket that 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 whatever you are carrying is easily accessible while riding. If you like the look of a front basket and still want to carry heavier items, consider getting a bike basket that actually mounts to a front rack instead of hanging off your handlebars.
What’s your type? Take this quiz to find out!
What will you primarily be carrying?
A) Laptop, notebook, change of clothes
B) Quart of milk, bag of apples, veggies, and granola
C) Wallet, keys, and cell phone
D) Small dog
What is the style of your bicycle?
You mainly ride your bike to the:
B) Grocery Store
Mostly A: PUBLIC Carryall Single Pannier
Called “carryall” for a reason: load it up with your laptop (in the interior laptop pocket), coffee tumbler (in the exterior side bottle pocket) and change of clothes (in the roomy interior), and watch it take you from work to work-out to after-party. Generous haul handles and shoulder strap make for easy carrying when off the bike. Crafted of sturdy cotton canvas base and color-contrasting interior.
Mostly B: PUBLIC Metal Basket
Simple, lightweight wire bicycle basket with a spring-loaded quick release, so you can easily attach and remove it from your rear or front rack. It instantly clamps onto most standard racks and sits flat when not on the rack. A comfy carry handle makes it ideal for taking into the grocery store. The durable steel construction with a silver epoxy finish ensures you will use it for years to come. It is truly a bicycle basket you can take with you, or simply remove, in a few seconds. It fits on either a front or rear rack.
Mostly C: BikeSmart Saddlepack 2.0
A saddlebag is an incredible handy item to have, and this well-crafted bag from BikeSmart is a reliable choice. It easily fits all of your flat changing essentials with some room to spare. It features a spare compartment for extra storage and easy to access to the essentials you put inside it; like phone, wallet, and keys. With a durable construction to hold up to the trials of riding, this saddlebag ensures you’re prepared to rude as long as you want. Reflective piping enhances visibility and a sturdy rear taillight strap ensures you’re prepared if your ride outlasts the sun.
Mostly D: PUBLIC Bike Basket
This beautiful, classically styled bicycle basket is handcrafted by the Peterboro Basket Company, who has been producing fine American-made baskets since 1854. It easily attaches to your handlebars with two adjustable leather straps on the back. It also comes with a stabilizer that you can tie to your head tube for additional support. This basket is big enough to be useful without requiring additional structural support from your bike.