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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 05-25-14, 08:30 PM   #1
jade408
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If you don't have a basket, you are doing it wrong!

This weekend I swapped my front basket for a wooden crate. I went cheap and both were Marshall's finds attached via bungees in the case of the basket and zip ties in the case of the crate on my front rack.

I have been striving for car-ligh weekends since I got my bike, since biking to work isn't ideal for me.

But I am picky. I don't like backpacks. And I want to use my "regular" purse so a basket was one of the first things I got after trying to use my rear rack for my purse. (It fell and wasn't very stable). I also have a pannier like basket, but I felt a little weird with my purse behind me.

But it doesn't matter where you attach your basket it makes it way easier to do errands in your bike without having to think much about grabbing a few things on the way home. Today after the movies I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a few bargain items. All easy to throw into my reusable bag and my crate. Yesterday I stopped at the library to pick up a book.

What kind of basket do you use?
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Old 05-25-14, 08:45 PM   #2
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What kind of basket do you use?
I haven't used a basket on my bicycle since I was 10 years old.

  • I use panniers when I'm touring or when I want to carry something larger.
  • I use one of my Carradice bags or other rear rack bag on most of my rides to carry extra clothes in case of rain or cold. Those bags often have room if I wanted to pick up an item or two along the way.
  • I also use a handlebar bag on most of my rides, which is usually only about half full so it too has room for things I may want to pick up.

But during the years when I did not own a car, I used my bicycle to get to and from work, but rarely used it for other errands. For most errands, I walked or took the bus instead.








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Old 05-25-14, 08:51 PM   #3
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This weekend I swapped my front basket for a wooden crate. I went cheap and both were Marshall's finds attached via bungees in the case of the basket and zip ties in the case of the crate on my front rack.
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Old 05-25-14, 09:54 PM   #4
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This weekend I swapped my front basket for a wooden crate. I went cheap and both were Marshall's finds attached via bungees in the case of the basket and zip ties in the case of the crate on my front rack.

I have been striving for car-ligh weekends since I got my bike, since biking to work isn't ideal for me.

But I am picky. I don't like backpacks. And I want to use my "regular" purse so a basket was one of the first things I got after trying to use my rear rack for my purse. (It fell and wasn't very stable). I also have a pannier like basket, but I felt a little weird with my purse behind me.

But it doesn't matter where you attach your basket it makes it way easier to do errands in your bike without having to think much about grabbing a few things on the way home. Today after the movies I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a few bargain items. All easy to throw into my reusable bag and my crate. Yesterday I stopped at the library to pick up a book.

What kind of basket do you use?
I agree! Baskets are cool. I have a big wicker one for my Brompton that I use for shopping.

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Old 05-26-14, 12:25 AM   #5
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This weekend I swapped my front basket for a wooden crate. I went cheap and both were Marshall's finds attached via bungees in the case of the basket and zip ties in the case of the crate on my front rack.

I have been striving for car-ligh weekends since I got my bike, since biking to work isn't ideal for me.

But I am picky. I don't like backpacks. And I want to use my "regular" purse so a basket was one of the first things I got after trying to use my rear rack for my purse. (It fell and wasn't very stable). I also have a pannier like basket, but I felt a little weird with my purse behind me.

But it doesn't matter where you attach your basket it makes it way easier to do errands in your bike without having to think much about grabbing a few things on the way home. Today after the movies I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a few bargain items. All easy to throw into my reusable bag and my crate. Yesterday I stopped at the library to pick up a book.

What kind of basket do you use?
I use waterproof panniers, which, where I live, seem to be a lot more useful than baskets. I like Ortlieb.
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Old 05-26-14, 12:42 AM   #6
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I agree! Baskets are cool. I have a big wicker one for my Brompton that I use for shopping.

Lol, the basket is damn near bigger than the bike!

I just use a backpack. It holds what I need and I can easily take it in with me. Also, I can use it when I'm walking or taking the bus.
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Old 05-26-14, 12:42 AM   #7
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I went from using baskets when I was a kid, to backpacks and a rear rack; and now I prefer a good shopping pannier. It comes with me when shopping and is capacious.

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Old 05-26-14, 12:46 AM   #8
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I went from using baskets when I was a kid, to backpacks and a rear rack; and now I prefer a good shopping pannier. It comes with me when shopping and is capacious.
In your case, the basket isn't so big, but the bike is bigger than the boy!
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Old 05-26-14, 12:54 AM   #9
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Don't know how I manage without a basket.

Oh wait.

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Old 05-26-14, 08:14 AM   #10
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I'm with you Sixty Fiver, my weekly grocery load would not fit in any basket. The Burley trailer I pull handles up to 100 lbs. of everything we need for the week including bags of potatoes, big jugs of laundry detergent etc..
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Old 05-26-14, 08:28 AM   #11
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I have a rear basket, works great in conjunction with my two rear panniers. Bulky/lightweight items go in the basket, heavier items are stored down low in the panniers. Trying to tow a trailer while working urban rush hour traffic is not my idea of fun.
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Old 05-26-14, 09:31 AM   #12
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I think panniers are more akin to the trunk of the car. Whereas a a basket is like the passenger seat. Where you can throw stuff you need without being too careful if you will. The basket is easy access, so if I am wearing a sweater and get hot, I can easily take it off and throw it in the basket. Or if I just need to grab a few small things.

I use a rear basket for groceries but I have a CSA and sometimes stop after work, so I don't use my bike for groceries as much. If I carrier a pannier all the time, I'd have to lug it everywhere and that's too much for a trip to the pharmacy or the coffeeshop or happy hour!

So they totally have different uses in my book.

I'm a backpack hater. When I have a backpack in people start treating me like a teenager. No thanks!
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Old 05-26-14, 09:52 AM   #13
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On trips, panniers are my carriers of choice. When I have a big load, like 500 pounds from the lumber yard or food wholesaler, then I use a trailer. However, for most about town errands, my ginormous metal baskets are just the ticket for me.

I'll add that anyone who is doing it by bike is doing it right as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 05-26-14, 10:02 AM   #14
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I use a couple of different methods, but baskets certainly work and are part of my mix. Backpack is my last ditch choice.

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Old 05-26-14, 10:45 AM   #15
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When I have a big load, like 500 pounds from the lumber yard or food wholesaler, then I use a trailer.
I have the lumber yard deliver heavy loads of that nature to my house, and for food wholesaler items I will do in multiple trips, and prioritizing many items on whether they are really needed to be bought there, especially when I have a local food retailer just a few blocks from my house.
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Old 05-26-14, 10:45 AM   #16
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[h=2]If you don't have a basket, you are doing it wrong![/h]
You've got the LCF spirit now! Do it (or think) like me or you are wrong!
Anyhow you are are right about the utility and practicality of bicycle baskets. Everybody in my family always had baskets on their bike.
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Old 05-26-14, 10:51 AM   #17
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Who needs a basket or a trailer ?

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Old 05-26-14, 12:02 PM   #18
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Who needs a basket or a trailer ?

Who needs lights too! What no night riding? I don't see any lights or reflectors.

Just the thing for a ladies purse or a snack or a six pack or all three.

BTW, what do you guess would be the retail cost of that bike equipped with that combination of accessories? Also curious to how you secure it when it is parked outside.
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Old 05-26-14, 12:12 PM   #19
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Just the thing for a ladies purse or a snack or a six pack or all three

BTW, what do you guess would be the retail cost of that bike equipped with that combination of accessories? Also curious to how you secure it when it is parked outside.
If you went the route of buying the Xtracycle kit you'd be looking at $400.00 to get a highly capable cargo carrying platform... as I fabricated this bicycle myself from salvaged parts my admission to the club was far less and the snazzy bags cost me $5.00 from the surplus store.

I secure it just like any other bike and typically park it with the bags unloaded (they are fixed to the rack so cannot be removed easily) and then after I am done shopping load it up and go.

By using a small set of panniers up front or throwing a small backpack on the deck I can carry the things I don't want to leave on the bike for any duration... things like my rain gear, tools, pump, etc.

It can carry a lot of beer... those bags expand to twice their size and could handle mini kegs.

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Old 05-26-14, 01:05 PM   #20
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Here is my new DIY crate in my bike.

I did order a pannier like messenger bag for my laptop but I am still waiting!

Most trips for me are handled with a front basket, if I am running around.

Today I'm headed to a cook off at a local brewery. Just enough space for my purse and any random stuff I might accumulate during an average day.

It keeps me worry free if I realize later I need to grab some milk or something. So I don't need to feel ultra prepared for any possible errand by bringing another bag and so on. My purse is heavy enough without having to hold extra bags and such. (I do have space for my lights in my purse, and a high-vis vest if I am headed on a darker or less busy bike route).
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Old 05-26-14, 01:07 PM   #21
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You've got the LCF spirit now! Do it (or think) like me or you are wrong!
tongue in cheek of course.
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Old 05-26-14, 01:14 PM   #22
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Here is my new DIY crate in my bike.

I did order a pannier like messenger bag for my laptop but I am still waiting!

Most trips for me are handled with a front basket, if I am running around.

Today I'm headed to a cook off at a local brewery. Just enough space for my purse and any random stuff I might accumulate during an average day.

It keeps me worry free if I realize later I need to grab some milk or something. So I don't need to feel ultra prepared for any possible errand by bringing another bag and so on. My purse is heavy enough without having to hold extra bags and such. (I do have space for my lights in my purse, and a high-vis vest if I am headed on a darker or less busy bike route).
Baskets are handy. I should get a basket. I put one on my grandson's bike, then I always end up throwing my stuff in his basket when we ride together.
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Old 05-26-14, 01:39 PM   #23
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Here is my new DIY crate in my bike.

Most trips for me are handled with a front basket, if I am running around.
Me, I just dislike adding mass to my steering. I have better low speed control with an unladen front wheel.
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Old 05-26-14, 02:16 PM   #24
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Me, I just dislike adding mass to my steering. I have better low speed control with an unladen front wheel.
The nice thing about Brompton baskets and other accessories is that they attach to the head tube and don't interfere with steering.
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Old 05-26-14, 06:19 PM   #25
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If you went the route of buying the Xtracycle kit you'd be looking at $400.00 to get a highly capable cargo carrying platform...
After carrying some highly capable cargo loads, I've found that most bicycle rear axles/hubs/wheels are not up to the task, so add in additional cost for a rear wheel upgrade. Figure in that not every cyclist has access to a large selection of used sturdy rear wheels either.
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