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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 11-14-13, 09:55 AM   #1
curdog
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Groceries

I currently have a rear rack on the bike I usually use for errands such as groceries. I've been told before that I might be better off with a front rack and basket for loads under 25 pounds. Has anyone got experience with this? If front is better, could you explain what the advantages are?
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Old 11-14-13, 11:16 AM   #2
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I bring panniers that QR off the rack, and have the checker put the groceries in them .

as a result they credit me .05$ for each carry out bag Not needed.


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If front is better, could you explain what the advantages are?
With a front basket, you can eat stuff you just bought as you ride home.
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Old 11-14-13, 08:24 PM   #3
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Probably has something to do with front/rear weight distribution. I'm 250 lbs riding an upright bike when I grocery shop. Putting 30 lbs in the rear panniers with nothing up front makes for occasionally squirrelly handling. Moving a couple of pounds up front seems to help the handling.
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Old 11-15-13, 10:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post

With a front basket, you can eat stuff you just bought as you ride home.
This man has figured it out.
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Old 11-15-13, 11:05 AM   #5
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Grocery packers don't understand the finer points of pannier packing such as protecting the fabric from edges (eg tin can, packets)
Front baskets are convenient, you can put any bag of shopping in them or use a QR basket mount and carry your basket inside the shop. If you already have a rear rack and pannier there is no point adding the basket.
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Old 11-15-13, 12:16 PM   #6
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Weight distribution for sure. When i put weight on the front it barely slow the bike down. When i put it on rear on the contrary i get a huge hit in speed. I believe it is due to the rear tire that get all the weight and ends up losing its shape increasing rolling resistance.
The disadvantages i see are that it becomes difficult to steer well with the weight on front and bumps on the road generate more discomfort on the front

Last edited by erig007; 11-15-13 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 11-15-13, 02:29 PM   #7
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Another thing to consider is locking up the bike. If you often lock to a U-Rack or "Staple rack" and have to share the rack with another bicycle, having a front basket can make the bicycle a hassle to park. The handlebars from the adjacent bike can interfere with the front basket. Less of a problem with a rear basket or panniers. If the front basket is removable, you have less of a problem here. You'll just have to consider if you want a removable front basket (could get stolen).

Last edited by GeraldF; 11-15-13 at 02:30 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 11-18-13, 12:55 PM   #8
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Front basket and rear baskets FTW!

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Old 11-20-13, 05:00 AM   #9
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I use removable front basket, Wald 3133GB & have brackets for 3 bikes, switching as needed. Your 25 lb capacity is too much weight! That's 3 gallons of milk on the front bars. Balance & stability would be ruined.

1) Front QR basket can be taken into the store & used as a shopping bag.
2) A single front QR basket can be fitted to multiple bikes.
3) As previously stated, rear baskets can be cumbersome and noisy. I removed them from my cruiser & went with a Topeak Explorer rack and Trunk bag. The bike accelerated noticeably better.
4) A front basket seems to have less effect on speed than a rear, but they mess with handling if overloaded.
5) You put the bike on the kick stand & let go of the bars with a loaded basket the bike is going down.

Wald has a new front rack/QR basket combo.
Other than that, rear baskets can take more weight & when loaded don't really mess with handling.
If you're super heavy like me, any weight you can take off the back wheel is a blessing. My heavy cruiser, with me on it is 325lbs+!

Last edited by 1FJEF; 11-20-13 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 11-20-13, 05:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
Grocery packers don't understand the finer points of pannier packing such as protecting the fabric from edges (eg tin can, packets)
Front baskets are convenient, you can put any bag of shopping in them or use a QR basket mount and carry your basket inside the shop. If you already have a rear rack and pannier there is no point adding the basket.
+1
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Old 11-20-13, 12:08 PM   #11
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I use 2 kid "cargo" trailer (removed seats and straps) to carry groceries. Bread and eggs can go in rear panniers.
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