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Odd Loads and Your Solutions for Carrying Them

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Odd Loads and Your Solutions for Carrying Them

Old 07-16-15, 09:46 AM
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Ubermich
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Odd Loads and Your Solutions for Carrying Them

TLDR version here, ADHDers skip to the last paragraph.

So I am just starting to make local trips on my Trek 820 as I try to get into shape to start making my commute in the fall (right at 10 miles each way).

This morning I got up and started my morning routine only find that my brother-in-law drank all the milk last night! How am I supposed to have my MMM cereal blend without milk!? So I jumped on the bike and rode up to the local Aldi about 4 miles away. Got my milk and a few other things which seamed to fit in my backpack safely.

When I got home and unpacked, I found that most of my milk was fine. About a quarter cup leaked out through the sealed lid and there was a dent in the jug. I think my bony shoulder blade jammed into it at some point.

This got me to thinking: maybe the milk could have been strapped onto a rack? It could certainly work in a basket. Most of the panniers I've seen look like they would be too tight for a full gallon (maybe my eyes deceive me?)
</TLDR>

ADHD Start Here:
What are some of the stranger cargo items you've hauled (or regularly haul) and how do you carry them? This might be oversized, fragile, or liquid loads. Please no trailers. I'd like ideas for picking things up on the way to/from work and there is no way I'm commuting with a trailer.



p.s. I tried searching and didn't find a thread like this. If it is a duplicate and I just used the wrong search terms I apologize in advance.
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Old 07-16-15, 10:08 AM
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I have a pair of Wald folding baskets attached to my rack.
They are on the heavy side, but can carry a lot of weight.
IF your commute is flat, the weight isn't too bothersome.
Initially, I "hung" them from the rack with "S" hooks and strapped down with bungie cords to make them easily removable.
I got N+1 for my other riding, so I mounted them permanently because they DID rattle over bumps etc.
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Old 07-16-15, 10:18 AM
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Last Friday I stopped at Home Depot on my way home. Got one of those big orange shopping carts, put my folding bike on it while I went through the store, got my gutters...

After paying for my four 16' lengths of gutter, two 10'ers and one 10' downspout, I formed them into one stack and was tying them into a single bundle, the front (that is, one foot ahead of center) resting on top of the handlebar of my folding bike the back (one foot behind center) just below the seat with that nylon twine the give you, when a guy came by pushing a cart of PVC boards. He saw what I was doing and asked how far I was going.

He gave me a ride in his pickup truck.
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Old 07-16-15, 10:53 AM
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The one load that really gives me problems are the massive but flimsy boxes that my favorite vegan-friendly pizza place uses. I typically balance them precariously on my handlebars (which is not ideal). I suppose I could mount a large piece of thin wood on my shopping bike rack or buy a large trailer but I can't think of any other way to transport pizza that does not require a major expense or a major modification.
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Old 07-16-15, 11:35 AM
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Some sort of rack and basket or bucket panniers will haul almost everything. A couple of weeks ago I had to strap a gas to my commuter's rack and bike to the gas station because the power washer was out of gas. It was a little top heavy but cars gave me extra room when passing.
Panniers are definitely the answer for groceries, I can get a half gallon of milk home with no problem, plus 2-3 bags worth of other stuff.
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Old 07-16-15, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
I have a pair of Wald folding baskets attached to my rack.
Are those wide enough for a full gallon of milk?

Originally Posted by Slow Joe Crow
It was a little top heavy but cars gave me extra room when passing.

...because they had images of something like this in their heads:

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Old 07-16-15, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Ubermich View Post
Are those wide enough for a full gallon of milk?


...because they had images of something like this in their heads: [/COLOR]
Oh, absolutely, the only thing is, get Wald, not a knockoff basket like Bell.

The difference is in the connectors that hold the mesh wire panels together, Wald's are strong and can support full bottles of liquids but the knockoff baskets fail at those connectors.
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Old 07-16-15, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ShortLegCyclist View Post
Oh, absolutely, the only thing is, get Wald, not a knockoff basket like Bell.

The difference is in the connectors that hold the mesh wire panels together, Wald's are strong and can support full bottles of liquids but the knockoff baskets fail at those connectors.
Good to know! Thanks for the tip!
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Old 07-16-15, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Ubermich View Post
Are those wide enough for a full gallon of milk?........
12.5" longX7.5" wideX8.5" deep.
About 2" to spare, so you can put 2 one gal. jugs per basket.

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Old 07-16-15, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Ubermich View Post
Good to know! Thanks for the tip!
Another tip, mount them far back as possible if you are not on a long chainstay bike (like a touring bike) or you will get foot strike with the basket when pedaling.
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Old 07-16-15, 12:16 PM
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I've started using powdered milk for most of my needs.

Whatever the generic brand is seems to be pretty good stuff, and I like it as good as regular milk, although I mainly use it in cooking.

Mine says "Village Farm by Sturm Foods".

According to this I get the equivalent of about 20 quarts (5 gallons) per box. Hmmm, it would seem like a little bit more, but that is a lot of milk to be carrying back and forth, and it never goes bad.

I wouldn't completely ignore the trailers. I've carried some loads that would be pretty awkward on any bicycle.

400 to 500 lbs on the trailer a couple of times.
10 foot stepladder.
12 foot 2x4
Lots of bulky and heavy items.
I've had a tandem bicycle as well as a cargo bike on my trailer (both not quite ready for a ride home).

Even if you don't have a big custom trailer, the little kid's trailers have quite a bit of capacity.

I do carry a lot in a backpack. I just find it convenient. However, there are bulky awkward items that I'll tie to the bike rack, for example spare bike wheels. I haven't been using my panniers around town lately, but they are good for extended trips.

And, no, my "road bike" may look bad enough with a rack.. it won't be shamed with baskets too.
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Old 07-16-15, 12:23 PM
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The biggest bulkiest thing I ever carried on a bike was a full sized metal garbage can. I only went about 4 blocks with it and it felt stable enough to go for longer. I used a shoulder strap hooked on the handles and supported the can on the back rack of my English 3 speed I had at the time.
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Old 07-16-15, 12:49 PM
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I have a frame mounted front rack (Azor/Steco Pickup frame mounting front rack) that is removable and works great. I also have a couple of crates that snap on to my front rack and/or rear rack. I also have a regular and XL Basil panniers that snap on to my rear rack (standard Dutch postal).
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Old 07-16-15, 01:04 PM
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4 quarts may be easier to carry than a Gallon.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-16-15 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 07-16-15, 01:20 PM
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One of the hardest things I've found to carry on a bike are bike wheels! You can't strap them down very hard. They're big, awkward and just annoying to carry.
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Old 07-16-15, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
One of the hardest things I've found to carry on a bike are bike wheels! You can't strap them down very hard. They're big, awkward and just annoying to carry.
very easy if you use a backpack or messenger bag -- just zip tie to the loop(s) at the top of the bag.
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Old 07-16-15, 01:31 PM
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I just strap the bike wheels to the side of the bike rack, up and back so they don't interfere with the feet (mostly keep the rear triangle of the bike clear). But a trailer works too.
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Old 07-16-15, 02:32 PM
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I also have a pair of Wald folding baskets on the rear rack of my comfort bike (and am waiting for them to get here for my new touring bike.) They are very convenient for shopping -- a large paper grocery bag fits comfortably in the basket. I also use them for going to the land fill with recyclables, but have to strap the garbage bag on top of the rack -- it's too big to fit into the Wald baskets. So my load is top-heavy on big garbage days, which makes for an unpleasant ride to the dump.
My only real dissatisfaction with the Wald baskets is that they have the worst imaginable latch to keep the baskets folded. Just don't use it and you'll be fine -- I keep the pair of baskets folded in place with a bungie cord. When I unfold either one or both of the Walds, the bungie helps secure the load. It's a much more sensible approach than that metal latch that you have to dynamite open and bends into a pretzel when you do. If you leave your wheels out in the weather (mine is out in rain and snow when I'm at work), you will need to periodically spray some WD-40 on the hinges to keep it folding and unfolding easily. Other than that, they are maintenance-free and built to last. With my new Trek 520, I looked at cloth bags that hang off the rear rack. They seemed very nice, and act as grocery bags when you're shopping. But I decided against them because I often decide on the spur of the moment to go shopping on my way home from work. The Walds can stay on my bike all the time, but the cloth bags would be stolen if I left them on the bike. FWIW
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Old 07-16-15, 02:40 PM
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ortlieb rollers will hold a gallon jug of milk and even hold a gallon of milk if it leaks out of the jug.
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Old 07-16-15, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tclune View Post
I also have a pair of Wald folding baskets on the rear rack of my comfort bike (and am waiting for them to get here for my new touring bike.) They are very convenient for shopping -- a large paper grocery bag fits comfortably in the basket. I also use them for going to the land fill with recyclables, but have to strap the garbage bag on top of the rack -- it's too big to fit into the Wald baskets. So my load is top-heavy on big garbage days, which makes for an unpleasant ride to the dump.
My only real dissatisfaction with the Wald baskets is that they have the worst imaginable latch to keep the baskets folded. Just don't use it and you'll be fine -- I keep the pair of baskets folded in place with a bungie cord. When I unfold either one or both of the Walds, the bungie helps secure the load. It's a much more sensible approach than that metal latch that you have to dynamite open and bends into a pretzel when you do. If you leave your wheels out in the weather (mine is out in rain and snow when I'm at work), you will need to periodically spray some WD-40 on the hinges to keep it folding and unfolding easily. Other than that, they are maintenance-free and built to last. With my new Trek 520, I looked at cloth bags that hang off the rear rack. They seemed very nice, and act as grocery bags when you're shopping. But I decided against them because I often decide on the spur of the moment to go shopping on my way home from work. The Walds can stay on my bike all the time, but the cloth bags would be stolen if I left them on the bike. FWIW
Yeah, I don't know if I would carry two baskets, I've tried that and they really are pretty heavy items.

If you are having issues with bags fitting, I suggest you use smaller garbage bags and take them more often.

Might even find a cardboard box just a little smaller in every dimension than a Wald and place your garbage bags in that while they are being filled, then come time to load them into the baskets, you just put the cardboard box and the garbage bag in there all together.
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Old 07-16-15, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ShortLegCyclist View Post
Yeah, I don't know if I would carry two baskets, I've tried that and they really are pretty heavy items.

If you are having issues with bags fitting, I suggest you use smaller garbage bags and take them more often.
I like the two-basket approach. If I had a road bike, the weight might be an issue. With my comfort bike or my touring bike -- not so much. As to the garbage bags, they are sold by the town. They are what they are, and I'm too cheap to fill them any less than I can. It's really only an issue when the bag gets super heavy with kitty litter or the like. But, on those days, it seems like I am being victimized by my own cheapness - especially if it's an icy winter's day. Blake says, "If the fool were to persist in his folly, he would become wise." We'll see...
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Old 07-16-15, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tclune View Post
As to the garbage bags, they are sold by the town. They are what they are
Whoa. I didn't know that was a thing. To me that sounds like time to vote!

Happen to have a pic of a bag loaded up on your ride?
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Old 07-16-15, 04:33 PM
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I made a rack-top extender out of some 1/4" ply. I just drilled some holes and thread wire through. Fixing is just with a hand twist of the wire ends around the rack..
I can lash oversized or heavy loads.
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Old 07-16-15, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
4 quarts may be easier to carry than a Gallon.
... but around here 4 quarts costs about the same as 3 gallons ... I CANNOT figure out how milk is priced!
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Old 07-16-15, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
ortlieb rollers will hold a gallon jug of milk and even hold a gallon of milk if it leaks out of the jug.
Thank you - I was ready to laugh just now.
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