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10 uses for a wicker basket on your bike

Overloaded bicycle in China
One of the many uses for a basket - carrying a spare set of clothes to change into when you reach the office.
Photo: khmertear

Bicycle basket bananas

If you type in the sentence 'bicycle basket used for' in Google and wait for it to auto complete, then the first four options it gives you are ‘dogs’, ‘sale’, ‘kids’ and ‘girls’. We here at BikeRoar would definitely recommend steering well clear of using your bicycle basket for kids….it’s ever so slightly dangerous.

There are, however, plenty of things you can use a bicycle basket for. Here are a series of things that we would (and wouldn’t) recommend using a basket for.

If you are serious about carrying stuff on your bike, then check out our previous article on "Panniers vs trailers". Otherwise read on!

 

1. Lunching like the French


A bicycle basket is the perfect size for packing a lunch for two or four and heading to your favorite spot for a midday meal. So for a lunch like you see in French films, with people cycling down country lanes and picnicking in a reclined fashion, you need that wicker bicycle basket! Oh, it also works very well for cities.

 

Dog in bike basket

Photo: malsmatesrates / ebay

2. Stick your best friend in it


If you have a small dog, then a bicycle basket is a great way of taking them with you anywhere you go. Just beware of two things: dogs in bicycle baskets are like dogs hanging out a car window - they love it, but that leads to loads of drooling, meaning that cycling at speed can feel like you’re in the shower – and that the weight limit for most bicycle baskets is around 15 kg, and we’d recommend that you don’t put a dog weighing more than 7-8 kg at the most in a bicycle basket.

 

 

 

3. The folly of dropping the handlebar


If you’re planning to transport anything in a front mounted bicycle basket, then there is a very simple rule you need to follow: no drop handlebars. A bicycle basket usually needs back support, and if you don’t have that, you’re going to end up with a basket swinging back and forth like a pendulum. Just imagine having to pick up an entire spilt lunch menu on a busy road and you have an example of what you might be facing if the bicycle basket isn’t properly secured.

 

4. All work


A bicycle basket is a great way of transporting all you need for a day at the office. A laptop, lunch and possibly even a change of clothes should fit in most bicycle baskets.

 

5. Kids


Child in a bicycle basket

Photo: AFP / Getty Images

Yeah, we know we mentioned it at the start of the article, but just making sure you know that the answer is still "no" to that one.

 

DID YOU KNOW?  There are many different types of baskets. It is good to be aware of the bracket used to attach the basket to your bike. Some rely solely on a handlebar attachment with no support underneath the basket. This severely limits the amount of weight the basket can safely carry. If you want to carry lots of heavy stuff get a basket with supports that attach to the front axle or fork as well as the handlebars.

 

6. Book it


Bicycle baskets work perfectly for books – be it for school or reading for pleasure, they’ll be snug as a bug. However, if you’re planning to use the basket for books, or anything that might take a personal affront to being introduced to rain, then you should seriously consider coating the inside of the basket with some kind of water tight material, and having some sort of cover for it.

 

7. Supermarkets


Whether you’re buying vegetables or stocking up on milk, a bicycle basket is perfect for transporting the produce home.

 

8. Tooling up


A few weeks ago, we wrote about what you need to bring with you to ensure the whole family have a good time on a bike ride. The packing list ended up looking like half of the Yellow Pages. One way of transporting it all would be a backpack, but another way to go would be a bicycle basket.

 

9. Sound it out


If you’re into carrying your tunes with you and sharing them with people around you, then a bicycle basket can double as a tiny sound system. An iPod and two speakers will fit nicely in one, and will get the guys in your bunch rockin' while forming up a paceline.

 

10. Beer


Well obviously. This is why the basket was invented in the first place. Some say the explosion in popularity of the bike basket coincided with the introduction of drink driving laws. Just remember though: Beer is heavy and usually requires a basket with support underneath. Best limit yourself to a six pack.

 

 

 

 

1Author: Marc Prosser
A total convert to all things cycling after (mis)spending his youth running around after a football. Loves all things bike, but has a special interest in road racing. Favourite bike would be a Pinarello Dogma black - so completely black that it would make Johnny Cash proud. Favourite cycling team: Saxo Bank. Favourite rider: Jens Voigt.
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