Beer, groceries, a rashly adopted puppy: No matter what you need to haul across town, there’s a bike basket for the job. Forget the stereotype that bike baskets are for pink beach cruisers and picnic lunches today’s baskets offer more functionality than ever before.
But before you buy, you should know what kind of basket best serves your needs. If your primary mission consists only of the occasional run to the corner store, you don’t need a gaping, rear-mounted, option like the Blackburn Local Basket. A sleeker basket like the MEIEM Wicker Bike Basket or the Axiom Fresh Mesh would get the job done. The weight of the cargo is also something to consider—if you’re hauling more than 15 pounds, you should look at a rear basket, like the Blackburn Local or Sunlite Rack Top Wire Basket, because the back of your bike can support more weight without affecting bike handling as significantly.
Of course, you’ll also want to keep in mind price, aesthetics, whether or not the basket necessitates an additional rack, ease of mounting, and even canine carrying capacity. Some baskets, like the Funsport Bicycle Basket, can easily be removed when not in use, if that’s your jam. Here are the standout features and best uses for 10 of our favorite bike baskets.
TESTED AND RECOMMENDED
Blackburn Local Basket
The Blackburn Local Basket leads the pack in adjustability and weight capacity but at a small cost: It’s probably the most difficult model on the list to mount to your bike. That’s no problem if you plan to install it once and leave it on, but if you like to add and remove your basket regularly, you might want to try one with a simpler mounting system. In addition to its seemingly endless adaptability (you can adjust both the height and width, mount it to the front or back of a road or mountain bike, and will work on bikes with disc brakes), this burly aluminum basket also delivers a two-for-one in the form of both a rack and basket. The basket mounts to your quick release or eyelets and includes swivel mounting hardware on the legs to stabilize it against your frame. It has an integrated clip for attaching your light, a cargo net to hold down all your stray produce (or whatever), and a U-lock holster so you don’t have to stretch out the pocket of your jeans. The rack is designed to haul up to 45 pounds if you mount it over the rear wheel, so if you’re looking to carry a lot, this is the basket-rack hybrid for you. A super-adjustable workhorse that can ride on the front or back of your bike.
Linus Delano Basket
The Delano basket is perfect for bringing pastries and joe home from the coffee shop. It’s a stellar option for anyone who wants the utility of a classic Wald with a more elegant design and one clutch additional feature: a cup holder. The basket attaches to bikes's front fender mounts and brake bolt, so it’s a little more complicated to mount than a standard Wald, but still takes only about 20 minutes to install with a small set of tools. With silver alloy tubing and a black base, the 15.75 x 5 x 10.5-inch basket looks great on any bike and has enough depth to hold your beer or groceries upright without necessitating a bungee.
State Bicycle Co. Wooden City Bike Crate
Its bottle opener turns your bike into the hero of the cookout! I’ve been told that installation for this stylish wood crate is a lot easier if you have a State Bicycle Co. bike. For the rest of us, you’re going to need about 25 minutes and a few extra tools. You’re also going to need to buy State’s $40 Front Porteur Rack on which to mount the basket—it isn’t freestanding. Once you’ve put in the time to install the rack and basket, however, it looks as stylish as it is practical. Shallow (four inches) and wide (ten inches by 14 inches), the sturdy crate is ideal for tethering down a 12-pack or a messenger bag full of snacks and other fine necessities. The bottle opener is one of crate’s best features, but you have to purchase it separately. State also sells an equally cool-looking rear crate.
Wald 582 Folding Rear Bicycle Basket
Sometimes you want the carrying capacity of a basket or panniers, and other times you don’t want all that bulk attached to your bike. For cyclists who want to have it both ways, the classic, lightweight Wald 582 Folding Rear Bicycle Basket is the perfect compromise. The basket attaches to the side of most rear racks and folds open to carry about a thousand dollars of Whole Foods groceries (which isn’t even all that much, to be honest) or clamps closed to lie flat against the rack. If you really want to conduct all your bulk transport affairs by bike, you can even get a set of two for $42.
Sunlite Rack Top Wire Basket
The Rack Top Wire Basket clamps to a standard rear rack to hold a couple gallons of milk, a six-pack, or anything else you can dream up. The basic black steel basket is deep enough (13 by 16 by 8 inches) that you don’t need a bungee to keep everything from bouncing out (though you’re probably better off using one) and wide enough to haul a grocery bag without blocking the whole bike lane. The advantage of the rear basket over a front basket is that you can pack more weight on without making the front end more wobbly—and this one is sturdy enough that you can really load it down. We had no trouble mounting the basket to a rear rack using the included hardware and basic bike tools. And the best part is, it’s a killer value.
OTHER GREAT OPTIONS
Thule Pack ’n Pedal Basket
This lightweight bike basket mounts to a front or rear rack (not included). Thule suggests it fits best with the company’s racks, but will work with pretty much any bike rack you have. It mounts to a rack with four screws and, once attached, the box itself is very stable and strong, ready to hold a couple six-packs or a big load of groceries. It measures 16 by 8 by 12 inches, and has a five year manufacturer warranty.
Funsport Bicycle Basket
This detachable carrier makes shopping a cinch. The drawstring top allows you to fill it to the brim with groceries or plop your pet inside with just their head peeking out. It detaches from the mounting system easily with a button. The bag's exterior is made of a polyester with a waterproof coating, and has an interior zip pocket for small items. The basket's mount will fit handlebar diameters from 22.7 to 32mm in diameter, and the system is rated to carry up to 11 lbs. And it’s small enough to carry around by its straps once detached: 13 inches deep by nine inches wide and nine inches tall.
MEIEM Wicker Bike Basket
These affordable, hand-woven wicker baskets are each one-of-a-kind. Available in natural straw color or white. The basket fastens to your bike with two faux leather straps with adjustable buckle. Made from thick wicker and willow cord, they are long-lasting and durable. The basket is a D-shaped so it lays flat against your handlebar, with a length or 13 inches, nine inches wide, and eight inches high. They are a simple, practical touch for your commuter or beach cruiser.
Portland Design Works Loading Dock Rear Rack
A rear rack is an essential part of carrying big loads for errands like grocery shopping. The rear of the bike can handle more weight than a handlebar mounted basket without affecting the handling as much. This rack has a 35lb. limit, and comes with seat-stay clamps to attach it to your bike if your frame doesn’t have rack mounts, but it does require eyelets at the rear dropouts.
Axiom Fresh-Mesh DLX Basket
This basket doubles as a shopping bag: Its quick-release function allows riders to easily clip it in and out of the holster that fastens it to the handlebar. It has a molded handle for carrying around the farmers market, and rubberized feet on the bottom so it will stay put when you set it down. The basket is made of vinyl-dipped steel mesh, with small holes so your blueberries will make it all the way home from the market. The light clip on the front offers a sturdy, thin rail for riders to attach a headlight. According to Axoim, the basket carries about 15 pounds of cargo without sagging, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
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