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Show me your milk crates!

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Show me your milk crates!

Old 05-22-23, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
When commuting in hours of darkness on busy 4 lane 55mph roads, a bicyclist can never have too many lights or reflectors. Sturdy baskets are also useful for mounting elevated lights so they can be seen by more than the first vehicle in a line of vehicles approaching from rear at high speed.




Bottom photo was taken with flash, note how well the reflectors (the bottom three red objects return the light to the source.

I love old simple technology like this, However the amount of reflected light (because of the small surface of reflector) is not much, something that you need for drivers appraching you to see while their eyes see more of the oncoming brighter light from opposite direction of traffic, So a cheap simple small $30 red strobing Cygolite might make a bike more visible from farther distances behind.

Last edited by Eds0123; 05-22-23 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 05-22-23, 03:34 PM
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A couple of someday-projects in waiting, if my wife doesn’t trash them with malice



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Old 05-22-23, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Eds0123
I love old simple technology like this, However the amount of reflected light (because of the small surface of reflector) is not much, something that you need for drivers appraching you to see while their eyes see more of the oncoming brighter light from opposite direction of traffic, So a cheap simple small $30 red strobing Cygolite might make a bike more visible from farther distances behind.
I did not remove the reflectors when I added the Tower of Power. I guess the lights on the pole and basket blinded you and therefore you didn't notice them.
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Old 05-22-23, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I did not remove the reflectors when I added the Tower of Power. I guess the lights on the pole and basket blinded you and therefore you didn't notice them.
I didn't tell you to remove your reflectors 😊 So yeah keep them; and more "Power" to You and to your "Tower of Power". man 😊

Last edited by Eds0123; 05-23-23 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 05-30-23, 12:41 PM
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The first bike is my previous cargo bike. A tandem recumbent converted into a cargo bike with 2 milk crates and panniers made of bird seed buckets. Bike has been sold and replaced with a used Radwagon3. This time I used a larger veggie basket vs a milk crate because I wanted one larger box vs two smaller ones. However the milk crates are way more sturdy. But it works well.
I also figured out that I prefer my old panniers over the buckets. Easier to load and not as wide.


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Old 06-05-23, 09:09 AM
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So glad I came back to check the thread! And I'm about to buy an elongated milk crate from over the river in Jersey. They said they have like 20 of them and want $1 a piece. Just sayin;, let me know if anyone is interested who's within about 30 min of the tristate area (PA/DE/NJ, heck even MD).
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Old 04-19-24, 12:24 PM
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No milk crate pix on this computer; I have mounted them in the past, but here are some things that are close:


Aventon Level.2 eBike commuter with Topeak MTX trunk bag w/fold-down panniers.



Basket from Lowe's on my Juiced HyperScrambler 2 eMoped.



A simple trunk bag from Amazon that attaches via velcro straps. It has a hidden strap in the bottom so it can be carried with oneself cross-shoulder.
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Old 04-20-24, 02:43 PM
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LOVE the brown diamond quilt saddle on the Juiced. That’s bomb. Looks great with the rack and “top box” basket.
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Old 04-20-24, 03:07 PM
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I gotta say as a longtime owner of the genuine dairy 6 gallon milk crates they are da'bomb ! So versatile.
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Old 04-20-24, 07:55 PM
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I'm in the process of spray painting them pink for an event next month (commuter challenge). One coat didn't quite cut muster.
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Old 04-21-24, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Garthr
I gotta say as a longtime owner of the genuine dairy 6 gallon milk crates they are da'bomb ! So versatile.
check out Farm Plast USA for those crates. They have 12 differs colors, highest price is $12. You can get them one at a time or multiples and you can get multiple colors in each order.
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Old 04-21-24, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid
Isn't against the Law (In some states.) to have a milk crate on your bike as most of them are stolen?
Borrowing is the same as stealing. Once I taught in a school consisting entirely of portable trailers. When the school got too old, they towed it away. Every teacher finally returned the one or two or three (or more) milk crates that they had "borrowed" for their classroom over the years. This added up to literally an entire refrigerated box truck load that the milk company didn't have available for their use all those years.
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Old 04-21-24, 09:59 AM
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Tip #1 - I use my bike cable lock to help secure my crate to my bike when I'm riding. Once I had the bracket snap on my rack and dump my belongings all over the street.

Tip #2 - I 've used my bike cable to attach oversize items to the back of the bike as well - anything with a hole in it. I remember recently doing folding pet cages and a softball helmet.

Tip #3 - I have a backpack with my bike tools and my daily stuff in it. It rides in the milk crate. If I buy a lot of groceries, the backpack can fill up with stuff and go on my back, leaving the milk crate entirely empty.

Tip #4 - A milk crate is the best way to bring home a nice bakery item like a cake or pie on a bike without banging it up.
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Old 04-22-24, 07:18 AM
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Yeah. The dairy industry loses $80m a year to crate theft, but much of that is stolen on a huge scale with the express intent of grinding them up to resell as recyclable material. Although, I do have to giggle about the teachers…! But hey, you can buy one at Home Depot for $9. Black only, but it’s brand new and clean! I have a “borrowed” xl crate that I’ve used for years now. It’s become “my crate” in the sense that I have it set up how I want and reuse it again and again.

but to play nice, I just purchased a brand new set of crates outright, square and rectangle for $6/11 respectively. both in bright clean red and they look great on my black Rad Wagon.
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Old 04-23-24, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Phornbostel
Yeah. The dairy industry loses $80m a year to crate theft, but much of that is stolen on a huge scale with the express intent of grinding them up to resell as recyclable material. Although, I do have to giggle about the teachers…! But hey, you can buy one at Home Depot for $9. Black only, but it’s brand new and clean! I have a “borrowed” xl crate that I’ve used for years now. It’s become “my crate” in the sense that I have it set up how I want and reuse it again and again.

but to play nice, I just purchased a brand new set of crates outright, square and rectangle for $6/11 respectively. both in bright clean red and they look great on my black Rad Wagon.
The problem with purchased milk crates is that they're decidedly lighter duty than the commercial dairy ones; very thin and flimsy, as they're not made to be stacked 8 deep while full of milk. ← That's high stakes too, as if the milk ruptures, it's a huge mess and financial loss too.

I bet there's some dairy program where they will sell you milk crates; they should make it more obvious.

On the other hand, we cyclists don't really need commercial duty milk crates. We're not stacking them so that our crate ends up having to support 150 lbs... So we should just buy one rather than steal. A nice side benefit to being honest is that we'll haul less dead weight too.
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Old 04-23-24, 09:28 AM
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now this thread just needs some good ole DIY cat litter carton panniers.
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Old 04-23-24, 10:19 AM
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got these crates from Farm Plast USA. Standard dairy industry crate, not the ones you get at target for the dorm room. Not stolen, got the colors I wanted (that’s orange and red, btw) and they look nice and clean!
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Old 04-26-24, 09:33 PM
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Does anyone have a more permanent method for securing these crates to a bike rack?
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Old 04-27-24, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by PrincipalRider
Does anyone have a more permanent method for securing these crates to a bike rack?
I suppose you could weld metal crates to a rack but I don't know what would be gained over sufficient bungee cords, zip ties and /or hose clamps.
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