We’ve Got Basket Clearance, Clarence
To borrow a quote from the 1980 movie, Airplane, clearance has been an issue for me on my old Diamondback Apex (mountain bike to commuter bike conversion). Foot clearance that is. I’m not sure if it’s bike frame geometry, if it’s too small for my body or that I just have freakishly big heels, but I can’t seem to put anything that hangs too low on my bike rack. I always end up kicking it. Of course, I haven’t tried everything and I’ve heard that there are some panniers out there designed for just this issue – I just haven’t had the budget to consider a serious look at this time.
For now, I’m trying an experiment with my cheap freezer baskets. These things run about $5-6 at your local Walmart, and make pretty durable baskets for hauling. I originally kept one of these at the top of my rack, with no issues. However, I wanted to try moving it to the side of the rack, to lower my weight distribution and not be so top heavy. For better balance, I purchased a duplicate basket and fastened them both to the sides of my rack with zip ties and hose clamps.
The first attempt was a failure. My first spin had me ramming my heels against the bottoms of the baskets. The only solution was to move the baskets back pretty far on the rack. This is obviously not the best solution for hauling cargo, but I’ll knock out a few commutes to try it out.
Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions for some good panniers – that aren’t to expensive – let me know. I’m in the market.