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I’ve seen quite a few different methods of toting stuff along with you as you go from place to place, pedaling, ducking, dodging, and darting through traffic, weaving in and out of lunatic drivers. In my brief (and unfortunate) days as a bike courier, I made the investment of getting a metal bike basket attached to the back of my bike. This was not my first attempt to carry a lot of stuff with me without having the added struggle of trying to maintain my balance with a heavy backpack on my own back (I found it quite difficult to turn around to view traffic, to lean into turns, and other very necessary movements that not only keep you safe, but improve the speed and quality of your bike ride.) One of the things I tried before the metal basket on the rear end of my bike was a woven basket.

Woven basket I ordered from Amazon.com

It’s cute right? Yes, I thought so too, but the problem with being uber excited about having a new basket on your bike to carry your daily junk in (at this point in my life, I was working two part time jobs and a full time student with a lot of art classes who wrote poetry and made sweaters so I was in the habit of carrying a lot of stuff all the time.), is that it only takes about 3-5 days before you’re totally convinced that the product descriptor that says the weight limit of your cute and expensive little woven basket is 13 pounds is pure and utter nonsense written to ruin your life and prevent you from carrying your entire life on the front of your bike.

This basket is made of a hard metal, not a flexible aluminum like most bike baskets. It’s better for carrying heavy loads, like textbooks (which was important to me because I was in school at the time.)

This was not nonsense this time. This basket held up as best it could, I even added some extra rope to its little straps to give it more support, but no matter what I did, it just couldn’t support the weight of all of the stuff I needed to maintain my daily life. Not only was this bike basket not holding up a big issue and a super waste of money, but I realized that putting that much weight on my handlebars made steering an incredible challenge (which for a girl riding the dangerous roads of Long Island, very quickly became a huge problem.)

So back to the metal bike basket. As I was saying, I used to be a bike courier. It can be a very unfortunate job depending on what you’re delivering and the time constraints that may be imposed on you to get it done. That is beside the point that I’m trying to make here today. Carrying things on your bike is a must for anyone who rides regularly and has stuff they need whether that stuff is your purse or laptop, or art supplies or anything.

I will say that my only regret about this basket is that I should’ve had it installed long-ways instead of  the wide way. This is because having the basket sit wider than the bike makes riding through tight spots a questionable activity because there is a higher risk of scratching a car as I roll by or getting caught on something. *shrugs*  Though this is definitely something to be concerned about for anyone who rides in a crowded city with high traffic like NYC, for other riders who live in places where people are actually sane, I don’t foresee having a “wide load” as being an issue. I had the basket put on this way so that the bike rack beneath it would be better able to support the basket. This has worked out very well so far in all of my rides.

Unfortunately, I have no idea where this bike basket came from. It was something that this lovely bike shop on Fulton Avenue of Brooklyn had inside their store (They’re really friendly people and installed the basket for me. If you need some stuff done, don’t hesitate to go see them.)

Lanno 15″X15″ Bungee Net Bicycle Cargo Net for Bike with 6 Adjustable Plastic Hook – Stretches to 30″

So, in short, having a basket made of hard metal on the back of my bike has been the most suitable option for carting my stuff around the big city. Just remember to pair this basket

Planet Bike Eco Rack Oversized 6061 T6 Aluminum Bike Rack with Pre-installed Hardware

with a basket cargo net to prevent the loss of any object. The basket net should fit tightly (if it’s loose, it’ll pop off and go bye-bye with some of your cargo.)  Oh yeah, and also, also, for this bike basket setup, you’ll need a bike rack too. This is the one I have and it’s been on my bike for about 3 years now with no problems so I’m giving it the stamp of my hard to earn approval.  🙂


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Maple Summers

Author. Blogger. Feminist. Pole dancer and musician with an obsession with blenders and squeezing a little bit of healthy into every day.

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One Thing Every Bike Commuter Needs in Their Life: The Bike Basket





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