Suburban Assault

Posts Tagged ‘Bike Basket

We’ve Got Basket Clearance, Clarence

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Foot Clearance

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.

SPUV - Single Person Utility Vehicle

Written by dickdavid

May 13, 2012 at 8:05 am

Posted in Commuting, Misc

Tagged with ,

Trying Out A Basket

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Po-Man Rack

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.

Zip Ties

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.

Written by dickdavid

July 12, 2011 at 8:26 pm