For city commuters and leisure cyclists the classic bike basket is the stylish and flexible way to carry loads and miscellaneous items – such as groceries, small shopping items etc. – without investing in a complex pannier systems. Meanwhile younger riders will love the ability to take their favourite toys and must-haves with them on family rides or when playing in the neighbourhood.
When choosing a basket for your bike there are a number of things to consider including materials, mounting position and mounting requirements
• Materials: The classic wicker basket is an iconic bike accessory associated with the Dutch-style city bicycle and may well be the perfect finishing touch for your pride and joy, awaiting only a freshly-picked bunch of flowers or bakery baguette to complete the picture. However it must be said that while wicker looks gorgeous, it is heavier and less durable than metal alternatives, may be more awkward to mount and typically less secure. By all means opt for a wicker basket if it matches the aesthetics of your bike but be aware that a steel mesh basket, while perhaps not having that visual appeal, may last longer and be more practical.
• Mounting position: Baskets can be mounted on the front (via the handlebars) or rear (via a rear rack or seatpost-attached mount). In the case of front-mounted baskets it’s worth remembering that overloading may affect steering balance so consider a rear-mounted basket if you think you will be carrying heavier loads. Also, ensure that you have enough free space on your bars for the required hooks or mounts. Some bikes such as drop-barred racers may not be suitable for baskets (although it’s pretty unlikely that anyone riding a racing bike is going to be considering a basket anyway!).
• Mounting requirements: While most front-mounted baskets are simply mounted via handlebar hooks or other attachments, some may require brackets – ensure they are included if this is the case. Meanwhile many rear-mounted baskets are designed to be used in conjunction with a rear luggage rack (either on top or at the side) so make sure that you have a rack and that the design is compatible, if this is the type of basket you want.