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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 11-24-12, 04:14 PM   #1
ganchan
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Plastic grocery basket on rear rack?

Is there any reason I couldn't or shouldn't strap an ordinary plastic grocery basket like this one...

http://www.amazon.com/Plastic-Shoppi...grocery+basket

...to the rear rack of my bike? Seems like I could lash it down via bungee cord or Velcro for easy removal when I arrive at the grocery store; then simply reattach the grocery-filled basket when it's time to go home. It would be cheaper than some of the Wald and other wire-mesh options I've seen online, and it has a certain Fred appeal -- but would it work?

Here's an even cheaper one: http://www.storesupply.com/pc-12094-...azonProductAds

Last edited by ganchan; 11-24-12 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 11-24-12, 08:47 PM   #2
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Should work fine. The footprint of the basket is larger than the top of most rear racks so you would have make sure its attached nice and secure as it might be inclined to wobble/shift around. Would probably work better with a larger platform like a porteur rack or something like that. A cheap enough experiment though.
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Old 11-24-12, 08:50 PM   #3
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I say go for it.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:05 PM   #4
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Yeah, I imagine I'll have to lash it down at all four corners, at the very least. I'd consider a porteur rack, but necessity forces the El Cheapo approach.
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Old 11-25-12, 01:16 AM   #5
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I've used bungee cords to secure both a milk crate and beverage crate before. I didn't like how they shifted around. Better to secure your basket with zip ties, use the stores provided basket to shop, put your bagged items in the crate/basket, then cover that with a cargo net.
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Old 11-25-12, 01:51 AM   #6
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I did a similar thing with an old metal wire milk crate (bigger/stronger)

I like it and the bike with this rig gets used most because of convenience and functionality.

Last edited by mike; 11-25-12 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 11-25-12, 06:39 AM   #7
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I would NOT recommend bungie cords, I have had more than a few of those fail on me, as well as allowing the basket to move. Zip ties are your friend. Use the basket then get some reusable grocery bags and a cargo net to hold things in.

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Old 11-25-12, 10:01 AM   #8
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I second the idea to be cautious with bungee cords, I used several till one of then unhooked and ended up wraped around my rear axle and got twisted up in my chain, Velcro would probably work better although the idea of a more permanent mounting and using the stores cart and perhaps reusable grocery bags to carry to the bike and back.
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Old 11-25-12, 10:36 AM   #9
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Another thought... How UV stable are the plastic baskets? I went to pick up a 5 gallon paint bucket that I have been using around the place for general purpose hauling and the whole top section tore off, apparently due to UV degradation. I used a metal milk crate for several years that was held on with wire ubolt style cable clamps.

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Old 11-25-12, 11:46 AM   #10
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Another thought... How UV stable are the plastic baskets? I went to pick up a 5 gallon paint bucket that I have been using around the place for general purpose hauling and the whole top section tore off, apparently due to UV degradation. I used a metal milk crate for several years that was held on with wire ubolt style cable clamps.

Aaron
Since i keep my bike indoors most of the time, the basket won't be getting more than the occasional half-hour or hour of UV, so it'll probably remain sturdy for a long time. If it does poop out eventually, I could just replace it. Or I could get this thing for a few extra bucks, although it might be prone to rust: http://www.amazon.com/Spectrum-47970...ef=pd_sim_hg_1
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Old 11-25-12, 03:17 PM   #11
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Any reason not to get a Wald basket?

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Old 11-25-12, 03:54 PM   #12
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Any reason not to get a Wald basket?

Aaron
Well, in my price range I guess I could get the Wald 585. Some guy on Amazon was complaining that the fasteners didn't work on his rear rack, but of course I could always tie it down like I was going to do with the other baskets....But if I'm going to do that, I might as well get a general-purpose wire storage basket at the local office-supply store and avoid shipping costs.

Last edited by ganchan; 11-25-12 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 11-25-12, 05:12 PM   #13
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Well, in my price range I guess I could get the Wald 585. Some guy on Amazon was complaining that the fasteners didn't work on his rear rack, but of course I could always tie it down like I was going to do with the other baskets....But if I'm going to do that, I might as well get a general-purpose wire storage basket at the local office-supply store and avoid shipping costs.
A lot of people have taken the precaution to use zip ties in addition to the provided hardware...
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Old 11-25-12, 07:19 PM   #14
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You can get 3 of those baskets from Staples online for the price of that one on eBay. Have them delivered to the store for free shipping.

I do notice that the ones I have are not quite as sturdy as the ones in the big stores, but they are not junk. I have been thinking of using wire ties to fasten one to my bike rack, and just drop another inside it so I would have a lift out basket to carry into the store.
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Old 11-25-12, 09:12 PM   #15
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First thing that comes to my mind is that you need to mark those baskets very clearly somehow that they are yours not the stores. Otherwise things could get potentially interesting when you try to "make off with them", especially true if they are the same color and style as the ones the store is using. In my experience when I go into a store and grab one of those hand baskets and fill it up and put it on the cash register belt they bag the groceries and hand them to me in bags and don't hand me back the basket. If its your basket and it isn't marked as yours very clearly that could be a point of potential conflict.

As far as the Wald rear baskets go if your bike is a conventional hard tail bike and your mechanically inclined mounting isn't too bad although you will still probably have a few bolts, washers, nuts, and assorted brackets of your own to supplement what is provided. Now if your bike does not follow the standard hard tail frame configuration mounting could get a little more interesting. So far I've been able to make them work on everything I've tried to mount them too but some projects have been full day projects with a lot of fabrication and ingenuity required.
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Old 11-27-12, 08:49 PM   #16
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I like the collapsible baskets from wald. They stay on the side of your rack, but when they're empty, they fold down to just an inch thick. Since my bike is primarily my commutermobile, they're the perfect baskets for me. collapsed, they don't interfere with the garment bag pannier thingy that usually drapes over the rack!

/edit/ it's model 582 that I have...two of them at ~$25 appiece, but worth every penny!

Last edited by marnepup; 11-27-12 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 11-29-12, 05:43 PM   #17
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Heavy duty plastic milk crates seem to be the norm in SW Wisconsin.
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Old 11-30-12, 05:19 AM   #18
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I love the Wald twin rear racks. They are hard to beat .
A long time ago, I was needing a shopping basket for another purpose, than bikes. I couldn't find anything online, & asked the " Dollar Store " manager if they ever had any damaged/broken ones. She gave me one right away, from the storage room , that was going to be thrown away. It had only minor damage & I easily made a lasting repair. I still have it after 10 years.
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Old 11-30-12, 12:23 PM   #19
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I love the Wald twin rear racks. They are hard to beat .
A long time ago, I was needing a shopping basket for another purpose, than bikes. I couldn't find anything online, & asked the " Dollar Store " manager if they ever had any damaged/broken ones. She gave me one right away, from the storage room , that was going to be thrown away. It had only minor damage & I easily made a lasting repair. I still have it after 10 years.
Hard to beat free stuff. And I do like the idea of the shopping basket, even if it's permanently zip-tied to the rack, simply because the low profile would help me mount the bike without hurting myself. I do own a milk crate, but I lack the tools to cut it down to a manageable height. (Of course, some people keep milk crates on the rear rack all the time and still manage to swing a leg over the bike....)
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Old 11-30-12, 04:09 PM   #20
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Hard to beat free stuff. And I do like the idea of the shopping basket, even if it's permanently zip-tied to the rack, simply because the low profile would help me mount the bike without hurting myself. I do own a milk crate, but I lack the tools to cut it down to a manageable height. (Of course, some people keep milk crates on the rear rack all the time and still manage to swing a leg over the bike....)
There's more than one way to mount a bike. No rule says that you have to swing your leg up and over the saddle. It'll take some practice and be awkward at first, but you can throw a leg over the top tube in front of the saddle.
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Old 11-30-12, 05:20 PM   #21
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The local Big Lots store said i could snag whatever they had dumped out back. I didn't see any shopping baskets, but I found a beverage crate that might do nicely.
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Old 11-30-12, 10:58 PM   #22
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The local Big Lots store said i could snag whatever they had dumped out back. I didn't see any shopping baskets, but I found a beverage crate that might do nicely.
Beverage crates rock and depending on the dimensions, way more versatile than a milk crate. This is what I had for a time mounted on my rack.
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Old 11-30-12, 11:36 PM   #23
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Beverage crates rock and depending on the dimensions, way more versatile than a milk crate. This is what I had for a time mounted on my rack.
Did you ever try installing it "crosswise" (perpendicular to the rack)? Or would that be too unstable?
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Old 12-01-12, 01:44 AM   #24
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Did you ever try installing it "crosswise" (perpendicular to the rack)? Or would that be too unstable?
I never tried it perpendicular. I ran it inline due to the fact at the time, I was a multimodal commuter that used the bus mounted racks and transported my bike in the back of a Suburban (on its side with the chain side up, of course).

You could try it if you want, but you'll have to be careful about weight distribution- too much on either side will put stress on what ever mounting hardware you use (zip ties is what I used), plus if the load is heavy enough and shifts on you unexpectantly, you could be in for a wicked little surprise.

There were two primary reasons why I swapped out the milk crate for the beverage crate. One a fully loaded backpack would not fit in the milk crate and secondly I am not a Rockette. And then there was also where I had my saddle positioned at the time usually led my cheeks rubbing the top of the crate.
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Old 02-15-13, 06:04 PM   #25
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Beverage crates rock and depending on the dimensions, way more versatile than a milk crate. This is what I had for a time mounted on my rack.
After many delays, I finally got around to zip-tying my beverage crate to my Simple Seven in the same configuration as the referenced pics. But I can't help noticing that even though the beverage crate cuts a much lower profile than a milk crate would, I'm still just barely getting my leg over it when I mount/dismount. I don't think a load of groceries will make things too much worse, but I can see myself getting the occasional scraped shin on this thing. Is there perhaps some some other mounting/dismounting method I could try?
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