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  1. #1
    McB
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    Attaching Milk Crates

    Hey guys,

    I was wondering if any of you have some advice for sturdily attaching a milk crate to a rack while keeping it removable. Are bungees really sufficient for a load of groceries? I've also considered drilling a couple of holes in my rack and just using some bolts that I could hand-tighten. A guy at my bike shop suggested hose clamps, but I don't want to have to break out a screwdriver every time I get groceries. Panniers are definitely out of the question, unless you're feeling charitable. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    I don't strap anything with Bungees.... I use nylon straps and buckles (I picked them up at Walmart for less than $2) and velcro. The Nylon straps I picked up near the camping gear... don't remember where the velcro was, but I picked up a package that had like 10 12" lengths in it.

    The buckles have quick releases on them, so putting stuff on and off is quick and easy.

    I have one strap permanently attached to the rack, another permanently attached to the laptop backpack I use, and 2 extras I can use for securing extra stuff..

    Also... I bought my grocery panniers for $35 at Dick's sporting goods... they're awesome for carrying stuff in, and fold flat when I'm not using them.
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  3. #3
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Define removable? Five minutes?

    Depending upon the rack, I'd have a plate (or perhaps some large fender washers) inside the crate and some plates (or washers) underneath the rack. Pass bolts thru the assembly and use a wing nut.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

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    Are bungees so bad? I have been using two bungees, pulled very tightly, to hold my milk crate on. This has worked for two months now. No problems and, very easy to remove and attach. I guess I am just asking for a spilled load or a metal hook through my calf. Should I swap these for something better?

  5. #5
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    *shrugs* I've heard some very bad stories about what happens when those bungees age...

    If you inspect them regularly, you shouldn't have any issues... replace them if they look old.

    Then again.... if you hit a big enough bump, is there a possibility of the hooks coming loose? If so, I'd ditch them.
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

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    Age... something my experience cannot address. Good point. I am sure nylon straps or bolts with wingnuts would last longer. I think I will replace my bungees with one of those when time takes its toll.

  7. #7
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Avoid bungees like the plague...that's all I can say.

  8. #8
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    This dohickie + This thingamabob will do the trick.





    Yeah, I know I'm a fan of their stuff.
    --A

  9. #9
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    For less than that price, he could pick up a pair of grocery panniers. Wouldn't that be easier?
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  10. #10
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
    For less than that price, he could pick up a pair of grocery panniers. Wouldn't that be easier?
    Oh god yeah, more overall practical as well.

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    You could screw some small hardwood blocks underneath the crate to index the crate onto the rack. If you put a hook shape onto the blocks you could slot the crate onto the rack in a quick-release style and use wing nut thingy to stop it coming off.

  12. #12
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG
    This dohickie will do the trick.
    Yeah, I know I'm a fan of their stuff.
    It's a shame Ortlieb or some other distributer doesn't sell in North America the basket portrayed with the Ortlieb dohickie adapter. I have about 5 of these baskets I brought back from Germany where there are sold in various sizes and all fit on rear racks perfectly. There are loops on the bottom of the basket to hook on to the standard rear racks found on European commuting bikes. Zip ties are all that are needed to keep them from rattling. Bungee cords work as well. The large ones cost about $5 or $6 last time I bought them. Lighter and hold more than milk crates. For light loads, mouse trap rear racks don't even need zip ties to secure the basket. In addition the built in handle makes them very portable and handy shopping baskets for small items.

  13. #13
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Kettler and Biria both do.
    --A

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber
    Define removable? Five minutes?

    Depending upon the rack, I'd have a plate (or perhaps some large fender washers) inside the crate and some plates (or washers) underneath the rack. Pass bolts thru the assembly and use a wing nut.

    this is exactly how I attach mine. Two plates (about 6" x 1") with 1/4' threaded bolts and wing nuts w/ washers (locking washers are good). Put one in the base of the milk crate and the other under the rack, drop bolts through and put washers and wingnut on the underside (otherwise the bolts and wing nuts poke through your bags and make holes in back packs and bags). Just tighten as tight as you can and, if you're like me and carry a leatherman, you'll be able to cinch 'em down or undo them if they're a little more than finger tight. Total cost with found milk crate: about $3.

    I can easily carry two very heavy grocery bags plus NY kryptonite Lock and cable in my milk crate and have never had a problem- just make sure you've got a substantial rack that it's attached to.
    Last edited by buzzman; 07-01-06 at 01:27 PM.

  15. #15
    me2
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    I use lash straps (2) to tie down a milk crate to my rear rack. I am able to snug them up really tight and the crate is attached to the bike very securely. It took a few minutes to figure out the best way for me to attach the crate, but now that I have it figured out, I can attach and remove the crate pretty quickly. Lash straps are readily available at any camping store (REI, EMS etc.) that sells hardcore backpacking equipment and are inexpensive. I paid about $1.50 per strap.

    When I first attach the crate to my bike, it change the center of balance so much that it flipped me over (ok, it flipped the bike over, but I was attached to the bike and waiting to cross a major state highway. Needless to say, I ended up on my tail-end beside the road with several honking/waving motorists )

    Hope this helps

  16. #16
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by me2
    I use lash straps (2) to tie down a milk crate to my rear rack. I am able to snug them up really tight and the crate is attached to the bike very securely. It took a few minutes to figure out the best way for me to attach the crate, but now that I have it figured out, I can attach and remove the crate pretty quickly. Lash straps are readily available at any camping store (REI, EMS etc.) that sells hardcore backpacking equipment and are inexpensive. I paid about $1.50 per strap.

    When I first attach the crate to my bike, it change the center of balance so much that it flipped me over (ok, it flipped the bike over, but I was attached to the bike and waiting to cross a major state highway. Needless to say, I ended up on my tail-end beside the road with several honking/waving motorists )

    Hope this helps
    ....

    So... he's got a name for them. I call them 1" nylon straps with quick release buckles. :-p
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  17. #17
    McB
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    Excellent. Thanks for all the advice. I think I'm going to give the bolts and plates method a shot for starters; we'll see how that goes.

    As a follow-up question, do any of you have advice for biking with a high load (eg, groceries in a milk crate on rear rack)? I've never done so, and I'd like to avoid me2's fate.

  18. #18
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Keep weight on the front of the bike. Anything that would cause you to do a wheelie could likely cause you to flip.

    I haven't had too much trouble, except when walking the bike, then there's a tendency for it to go everywhere.

    Just slow down on turns... the bike will feel really wierd the first few times you do it.

    Also, if you can strap something heavier to the side of the rack, rather than the top, it will ride a LOT better. Even if the weight is only on one side. I ride with a backpack on one side of the rack, with about 15 lbs of stuff in it. it's not bad at all.
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  19. #19
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG
    Kettler and Biria both do.
    --A
    Thanks Allen. The Biria is close to what I'm looking for and certainly the closest to what I've got. That model on the Biria site is identical to the one that came with my German "Calvin" bike. Not a surprise since it was made by Biria. Switched it out for a more sturdy wire type I and put the metal mesh basket on a different daughter's bike who wasn't likely to carry heavy loads.

    The blue Zero Seven has the Biria basket.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    I've used multiple (4-5) velcro straps to hold a crate on. Mind you, I have grocery panniers, and have only used the crate for short trips that I wanted to keep level (e.g. a birthday cake).

    If you search the forums, there's been one or two people who have come up with plans for DIY bucket panniers.
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

  21. #21
    cyclist
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    As a follow-up question, do any of you have advice for biking with a high load (eg, groceries in a milk crate on rear rack)? I've never done so, and I'd like to avoid me2's fate.

    Don't swing the bike back and forth. If you need to get out of the saddle try to move your body forward and bring you knees forward instead of to the sides. The motion is hard to describe but easy to figure out. Once you get used to the weight, you can realy zip though turns with the extra weight keeping the rear wheel firmly planted. (that statement is in need of a disclaimer: zipping through turns at a high rate of speed with a lot of weight over the rear wheel is inherently dangerous and can lead to a serious loss of skin, so do so at your own risk, and don't blame me if you crash )

  22. #22
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluebeard
    Are bungees so bad?
    If they get loose for any reason, can have a devastating effect on your wheel.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv
    If they get loose for any reason, can have a devastating effect on your wheel.


    Not to mention your health.

  24. #24
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv
    If they get loose for any reason, can have a devastating effect on your wheel.
    Same for sticks or stones, shoelaces, panniers or things dangling from panniers, water bottles of pumps, or anything else on the bike if not used/mounted properly.

    That's why bungees have hooks and tension.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to use 'em correctly or inspect for serviceability.

  25. #25
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Same for sticks or stones, shoelaces, panniers or things dangling from panniers, water bottles of pumps, or anything else on the bike if not used/mounted properly.

    That's why bungees have hooks and tension.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to use 'em correctly or inspect for serviceability.
    +1, but I like the idea of using tie-downs better than bungees. Get some cheap cam-buckle tie-downs, they'll work just as well as bungees, and they won't rot. Also, if they snap in half, they'll just fall off, instead of rubberbanding into somewhere they shouldn't be.
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