Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portland, OR
So I went to see the basket today. I'm not going to buy it.
First of all, it was a hideous shopping experience. It's pretty much an overpriced decor store whose customer base seems to be the people who purchase the incredibly expensive yet tiny high-rise condos in the part of Portland called the "Pearl District". The Pearl district used to have warehouses, some light industrial, and low-income housing but they bulldozed all that to build Yuppieland. It's a sunny but windy day here, and so my hair is not the tidiest after a 5 mile bike ride. I walk in there and the salesperson takes one look at me with the ugliest glare. I looked around to see if I had run over a kitten or something, but nope - no maimed kittens or puppies to be found. As she gets closer to me, her glare changes to the most simpering smile I've seen since the last time I visited Southern California and upon asking, points me in the direction of the baskets. I scurry away from her - this woman really scares me.
There are 2 points in its favor. This store only wants $45 USD for it, which seems to be the lowest price of all the sources I've seen on the internet. (No sales tax in Oregon, either.) Also, there's a really nice display for the basket, especially when you consider that this is not a bike shop. It was a tripod stand with a set of bike handlebars attached to the top. The basket is installed, so I could see exactly how it works. I wish I could have taken pictures to share here, but I was reluctant to take out my camera with that salesperson giving me the evil eye. There's a metal plate attached to the handlebars and at the top, there are these flat, metal "fingers" that come out of the top. As you can see in the picture below, there are 2 "slots" molded into the back of the basket. The basket has a carrying strap. You insert those fingers into the slots and that's how it's held. I think the picture blickblocks posted of her mom's bike shows what I'm trying to describe pretty well.
I am skeptical of the fastening method. There is no additional latch or anything like that. I fear that the basket will go flying when you hit a pothole of any significance. There should be a latch on the bottom of the basket that secures it to the bottom of the metal plate. I'm also dubious about the basket itself. It's molded plastic, and the bottom is too flimsy. It's going to sag and bow if you put anything heavier than a moderately sized purse in it. Since my bike is my car, that's not particularly useful to me. If they reinforced the bottom with metal mesh and had the "skeleton" of the basket be metal instead of plastic, I think it would have been doable. (You can see the "skeleton" at the top of the basket at the base of the scallops.) Finally, I just don't like those scallops at the top. The basket was meant to evoke crochet lace stitches, and while they make the basket rather authentic-looking in that respect, it's just not practical for utility biking. Those scallops are going to catch onto things and break off. They also make it more difficult to use a bungee net to keep your things in the basket.
One other thing - the black and white look as they appear in internet photos, but that green basket is deceiving. It looks like a "sage green" on the internet, but is a brighter and deeper "kelly green" in Real Life. I like sage green, but I'm not so fond of kelly green. These things are important.
So I can say without a doubt that I will not be buying this basket. It's not useful to me, in spite of how pretty I find it. That said, it might not be bad for others. If you weren't going to put more than a purse or eggs or other lightweight items, it would work if you figured out a way to really secure the basket at the bottom. It sure would look lovely on a cruiser or a mixte.