Trying Out A Basket
Ever since I got my transit rack on the back of my commuter bike, I haven’t been able to use it to it’s fullest potential. Sure, I was able to strap down the occasional package or grocery bag, but nothing of great utility. My ultimate goal was to get some sort of pannier or folding basket and convert my bike to a true stuff hauler.
There was one problem, those things are expensive. I wouldn’t mind making the investment if I knew for sure, that was how I really wanted to roll. But as I’ve been occasionally commuting to work these past few weeks, I’ve discovered that the lighter I travel, the better. Would having a heavy stuff hauler be the right choice? Would it be worth the investment?
Well, the only way to know for sure was to actually try it out. Since there aren’t any basket or pannier rental services in town and I don’t know anybody willing to loan me theirs, I decided to opt for another solution. A cheap one.
My first thought was to get some sort of milk crate and strap it to the top of the rack. But as I was searching for a cheap one that would fit, I discovered something in the domestic section of my local Walmart. It was an accessory refrigerator basket, designed to help people store more frozen dinners in their freezer. It was about $6, which was much cheaper than most bike-ready baskets.
I strapped it onto my rack with a few zip ties, and found that it fit really well. I’ve used it to haul quite a few things, including my work clothes and all my emergency bike gear – stuff I would normally carry in my messenger bag. It was really nice getting those things off of my back, leaving me a little less sweaty when I got to work.
After a couple of weeks, my conclusion is that I prefer the convenience of having the basket. My only complaint is with how open it is, and not being able to secure small objects. I’ll keep using this temp solution until I find something that’s better enclosed and built for multi-use. Perhaps something like the TransIt Epic DX Rack Trunk at Performance Bike.