article by Rolling Spoke’s Gus
The bicycle basket is an efficient way of transporting stuff. They’re often cheaper than pannier bags, easy to load and come in a wide range of styles. If you don’t know where to begin when choosing a basket, I’m here to help.
Amsterdam is an excellent gauge when it comes to choosing a basket for your bike. There are over a million bicycles on the streets, most of which are kept outside. They have to contend with the weather while getting smacked around when parked next to other bikes.
Here are my suggestions to get you biking with that perfect basket.
The Wood Bike Crate
Wood crates have a nostalgic appeal and look especially good on a vintage bicycle or a minimalist style bike with a rack.
They come in a range of styles and shapes with some options for personalization. Some models even have a coffee cup holder. The Beauty of choosing a wood crate is that you don’t have to necessarily get one specifically intended for a bicycle.
Weather will take a toll on a wooden crate, though I would argue it may improve the look. A little work may also be required if you want to stain or weather-proof your basket.
The Bicycle Milk Crate
Four out of five bicyclists in Amsterdam use the milk crate, making them by far and away the most popular bike basket.
A successful promotion run by the upscale grocery store Marqt may have contributed to these numbers. But Dutch practicality plays more of a role since milk crates are affordable, easy to install using cheap zip ties and can take a beating.
The Steel Wire Mesh Basket
Steel wire mesh baskets are easy-loading, space efficient and light.
Weather-proof construction is a must. Consider all-purpose Retrospec basket for easy installation (no tools required.) Baskets by Wald are among the best and come in enough sizes, styles and mounting methods to satisfy anybody.
Time and use might make the paint wear off or rust the plated the ones. But these injuries are only cosmetic and you can be rest assured that they will outlast anything that is wicker or rattan under the same circumstances.
Oddly, wire baskets are not that popular in Amsterdam. Likely due to people wanting to avoid rust as it rains often. But also because they transform into garbage bins when parked near the centre of town.
What about alternatives?
Here are a few examples if you want to think outside the basket box. When you know that anything from shopping baskets to suitcases are used, let your imagination and ingenuity roll with it.
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