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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 12-21-12, 05:41 PM   #1
no1mad 
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Importance of frame geometry when using a front basket?

I really, really would like to try using a front basket on my bike, the bigger the better. Not that I plan on hauling 50 bags of cement or dog food in the basket, I do question just how big of a basket can be used if frame geometry is a factor in stability while in motion.

Secondary to the first question is whether or not I'd have to swap out the handlebars. I've been wanting to try something like the Nashbar Trekking bars for a while, but unsure if they would be compatible with a basket.

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Old 12-21-12, 08:22 PM   #2
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I have the nashbar trekking bars, don't think they will work with a basket. I use a Wald 139 on an old Raleigh Sports does just fine. I typically haul two twelve packs in it.

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Old 12-21-12, 09:00 PM   #3
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Okay, so using the Nashbar Trekking bars with a basket probably won't work, but would my current minimal rise/sweep bar work?

I no longer feel comfortable cruising at 20+ mph, but wanting to gain more utility from the bike. I figure even I end up plodding along at 10 mph, I'll still be more than 2x walking speed.
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Old 12-22-12, 11:40 AM   #4
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Yes one should work on those bars. Some baskets like the old style Wald have supports that go down to the axles or fender eyelets. Others mount using a handle bar bracket only, those are typically smaller.

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Old 12-22-12, 12:26 PM   #5
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Recently Wald made a strut change, more length adjustable, and the bottom has a big and a small hole,
the smaller one the addition, to bolt on fork tip eyelets, rather than just under an axle nut.
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Old 12-22-12, 01:42 PM   #6
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Yes one should work on those bars. Some baskets like the old style Wald have supports that go down to the axles or fender eyelets. Others mount using a handle bar bracket only, those are typically smaller.

Aaron
I'll see if I can get my primary LBS to order a 198GB Multi-Fit (in black) for me the next time they do their order. I have to pay sales tax, but it should still be less than buying direct from Wald plus shipping would be.
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Old 12-23-12, 05:15 AM   #7
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I'll see if I can get my primary LBS to order a 198GB Multi-Fit (in black) for me the next time they do their order. I have to pay sales tax, but it should still be less than buying direct from Wald plus shipping would be.
Try Amazon or Niagara Cycles if your LBS balks. My LBS is happy to order things for me. They typically order on Tuesdays and Thursdays from their distributors, I have never had to wait more than two weeks for something, and that was only because it was out of stock at one distributor.

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Old 12-23-12, 12:42 PM   #8
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The answer to this question is.....it's a matter of physics.

Weight carried on the front with a pivot point of the front wheels will start to act like a pendulum if the front wheel is moved at all side to side. This will get worse the more weight is carried over the front wheel.

Weight carried over the rear wheel will be much more stationary ,as well as balanced, if loaded in fairly equal manner over the wheel. There can be no pendulum motion that would destabilize the bike in motion. Plus more weight can be safely carried.

Carry light stuff up front , heavy stuff at the rear.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 12-23-12, 01:51 PM   #9
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The answer to this question is.....it's a matter of physics.

Weight carried on the front with a pivot point of the front wheels will start to act like a pendulum if the front wheel is moved at all side to side. This will get worse the more weight is carried over the front wheel.

Weight carried over the rear wheel will be much more stationary ,as well as balanced, if loaded in fairly equal manner over the wheel. There can be no pendulum motion that would destabilize the bike in motion. Plus more weight can be safely carried.

Carry light stuff up front , heavy stuff at the rear.
Physics aside, the reasons why I'm looking at a front basket are:

- I currently have heel strike with my current set up- 16.3" chainstay length, 12" rack platform length, 26" wheels, size 11 (US) shoes.
- No matter how I configure the cargo in the rear, I lose valuable space to mount and properly aim tail lights.
- The amount of weight I'm looking should be no more than 10 pounds. Anything I can't haul by bike gets moved by the Jeep.
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Old 12-23-12, 05:33 PM   #10
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I'll see if I can get my primary LBS to order a 198GB Multi-Fit (in black) for me the next time they do their order.
Now that QBP carries them you shouldn't have any trouble getting an LBS to order one. I put one on my Raleigh Twenty and liked it so much I installed another and a folding side basket on a different bike.

The adjustable brackets are quite long. I used the shortest position an a bike with a 700-38 tire and a fender. Hacksaw?

Their silver stuff looks cheap but the black is pretty nice.

I suspect the most important thing about how well they work is how well the upper clamps grip the bars. Mine are clamping 1" non-anodized aluminum and are rock solid. Clamping 7/8" chromed steel might be less satisfactory.
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Old 12-23-12, 05:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
The answer to this question is.....it's a matter of physics.

Weight carried on the front with a pivot point of the front wheels will start to act like a pendulum if the front wheel is moved at all side to side. This will get worse the more weight is carried over the front wheel.

Weight carried over the rear wheel will be much more stationary ,as well as balanced, if loaded in fairly equal manner over the wheel. There can be no pendulum motion that would destabilize the bike in motion. Plus more weight can be safely carried.

Carry light stuff up front , heavy stuff at the rear.
In theory this all makes sense. And I foolishly avoided carrying significant weight up front for 4 decades because I was sure it would be a problem in practice. You do want to avoid having the load too far ahead of the steering axis and low trail bikes are preferred. However, one of the bikes I have a basket on has a LOT of trail but once I'm moving it's not an issue. Look into the heavy stacks of newspapers carried on front racks by French Porteurs.
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Old 12-24-12, 11:39 AM   #12
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In theory this all makes sense. And I foolishly avoided carrying significant weight up front for 4 decades because I was sure it would be a problem in practice. You do want to avoid having the load too far ahead of the steering axis and low trail bikes are preferred. However, one of the bikes I have a basket on has a LOT of trail but once I'm moving it's not an issue. Look into the heavy stacks of newspapers carried on front racks by French Porteurs.
Again, it's the physics that determines each applications success or failure.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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