Which bike basket is best?
Whether you’re an avid cyclist or use a bike as your primary source of transport, having a reliable bike basket is a must. A bike basket allows you to carry personal items, groceries and more to and from your destination. From the classic wicker aesthetic of the early 1900s to the more modern design of the metal mesh, there are many bike-basket styles out there.
If you’re looking for a sturdy rattan basket with a vintage look for your handlebar, the best one is the Tote And Kari Bike Basket.
What to know before you buy a bike basket
A bike basket’s main purpose is to carry light to medium-weight cargo while riding a bike. From keys to water bottles to handbags, these baskets make transporting smaller items easy and convenient, so it doesn’t impede the bicyclist.
Position and mounting
Bike baskets can go either on the front or back of a bike. Most are designed to readily attach to any type of bicycle, too, making them a great way to customize the bike.
- Front-mounted baskets attach to the handlebars. This can make it easier to keep an eye on whatever is inside to ensure nothing falls out while riding. However, it can also affect the way you steer, especially if the basket is large or heavy.
- Rear-mounted baskets usually hang on the left and right sides of the back wheel over the rear rack. Because they go behind you, they don’t affect steering. They can make the weight distribution feel uneven in the back, though.
Installing a basket onto a bicycle usually involves securing it with mounts, hooks, buckles or brackets. Some baskets use leather straps that go over and around the handlebars or bike rack, which don’t usually require tools. Most come with clear instructions on how to install them.
Be sure to properly secure your bike basket to the bicycle. Test it by riding a short distance to see if it moves or tilts. If it does, go back and adjust the straps or brackets as needed.
Usually, rear-mounted baskets are larger than front-mounted ones, and they can hold more weight. Most can hold around 10-15 pounds at once. If you need to carry more items, consider getting two baskets instead, one for the front and one for the back. Alternatively, you could get a pair of bicycle saddlebags.
What to look for in a quality bike basket
Design and material
Bike baskets come in three main styles:
- Wire: These are more suitable for wetter climates since they’re made from more durable materials such as steel or other metals and are resistant to corrosion or rust. They’re also often less expensive.
- Wicker: These have a more classic or rustic appearance. They consist of plant-based materials such as reed or willow. They’re harder to clean than metal and tend to absorb odors and moisture.
- Fabric: Some baskets consist partly of fabric, though they usually have a solid metal or wicker base. The fabric is often part of an outer shell that’s waterproof and resistant to general wear and tear.
Many baskets are detachable and have handles, making it easy to take them with you when not riding your bike. These are especially convenient for those who want to use them for groceries or carrying books or school supplies. Some detachable baskets have hooks, while others use straps.
Insulation and padding
A few baskets, particularly those made to hold small pets, come with additional padding. They are also thicker and have a stronger mounting system to keep them in place while cycling. Some baskets also have insulation, making them useful for carrying cold groceries or food for a picnic.
Wicker baskets usually come in different shades of brown, including light brown, dark brown and tan. Mesh metal ones often sport a natural metallic color. However, some metal and fabric baskets are dyed bright colors, such as pink, red, yellow, etc.
Those with leather straps are sometimes dyed to match the main part of the basket. Some baskets have patterns, but most are solid.
A standard bike basket comes with one main compartment that’s open to the elements. This is convenient for carrying items of different heights and sizes.
Some modern ones feature a designated bottle holder. A few have dedicated pockets for carrying smaller items, such as a cell phone or keys.
In general, baskets made for bikes are designed to be small and compact enough to fit on most bicycles. An example of a standard-sized one is the Retrospec Steel Mesh Basket, which is 14 inches long, 10 inches wide and 9.5 inches high. If you need something bigger, you’ll want to consider using saddlebags or a bike trailer.
How much you can expect to spend on a bike basket
Most bike baskets cost $15-$70. The more expensive ones are usually made from higher quality materials or have extra features such as special compartments or insulation.
Bike basket FAQ
Can a bike basket be used on any bicycle?
A. For the most part, you can mount a bike basket to any bicycle, including mountain bikes. If the bicycle has a front suspension, it can be more difficult to install the basket, though. Make sure the basket comes with the right attachments for your bicycle.
Can a bike basket affect steering?
A. A fully loaded basket can make a bicycle feel unbalanced, especially if you have a front-mounted one. If it’s too heavy or improperly secured to the handlebars, the basket could make the bike wobble while riding.
Do baskets for bikes come with lids?
A. Some baskets have a top lid secured with zippers or a buckle. These baskets are often more secure than those without, making them ideal for carrying small valuables.
What’s the best bike basket to buy?
Top bike basket
What you need to know: This classic basket is lightweight, durable and installs easily on the handlebars.
What you’ll love: This beautiful wicker basket has a 12-pound weight capacity. It has a wooden base for additional support. It also comes with a cup or bottle holder. Plus, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee that protects it against any manufacturer defects.
What you should consider: Although it can carry a lot of weight, it’s on the smaller side.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top bike basket for the money
What you need to know: This affordable basket consists of metal mesh and is a great choice for those who live in wet climates.
What you’ll love: Available in seven colors, this alloy steel basket is durable and resistant to rust. It’s easy to install with mounting hooks but is also detachable. It has a weight capacity of 12 pounds.
What you should consider: The metal can scratch the paint of the handlebars.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This rattan basket comes with a lid and fits on the front of most bicycles.
What you’ll love: Available in natural gray and honey, the basket has two adjustable leather straps that are easy to secure to any bike. It can carry up to 13 pounds.
What you should consider: It can become damaged if exposed to heavy rain.
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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