Low-cost Bicycle Baskets

| September/October 2006

Bicycle panniers, or baskets, allow you to use your bike to make short trips in town to the grocery store, library, video store or other nearby shops. For practical, lightweight and low-cost panniers, try using small, rectangular plastic wastebaskets.

Just drill quarter-inch holes under the rim along one side of the baskets, and a few more in the bottom for drainage in wet weather. Then use nylon rope to tie the bicycle baskets to the rear rack. The baskets may rattle a bit when you hit a bump in the road, but they can tilt up to be emptied of leaves and other debris. To carry a dozen library books or a couple days' worth of groceries, use 16-quart bins, which are just the right size.

Billy Owens
3/26/2011 8:20:56 PM

I make "hand-Split" White Oak baskets, using a homemade hand tool called a "Split Knife". I make several styles but the newest one I make is for the front of a bike. I am presently designing one to attach to the sides on the rear like the plastic ones being used in the pictures above. You can see my work at www.owensoakbaskets.com

Pamela Pollock_1
3/23/2011 11:53:02 AM

you can find used buckets (food supply, kitty litter, kitty food) that have lids that go with them and then your goods are protected from the elements!

7/28/2010 11:37:35 AM

Looks like a really good idea, but my rack is only attached to the seat stem. Any ideas to keep the filled baskets out of the spokes? With a flexible frame (shock absorber type) just putting rods to the hub is not an option.

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