The front basket used to be a necessary part of any city bike setup, but it seems to have been forgotten over time with the rise of mountain and road bikes.
But baskets are coming back — and in a wider array than ever, from the fancy to the utilitarian. An environmental blog recently did a comprehensive review of a variety of front-mounting baskets currently available (including two locals, Ahearne Cycles and Cetma Cargo).
It also turns out that it’s far easier to take photos from a bike when you’re sitting upright on it, and a front basket helps this pursuit immensely. Below are some photos of the current iteration of front basket setups on bikes we use here at BikePortland.
(Photo © Elly Blue)
He keeps his camera case in there, secured by a bungie cord — tightly enough so his camera doesn’t fly out when riding over bumps, and loosely enough for a quick draw when needed to capture a homegrown bike lane marking, or a crowd of bicycle mounted police who happen to ride by.
While covering Pedalpalooza back in June, I began to get reacquainted with my old, yellow, 1950s three-speed Schwinn Breeze cruiser.
Around this time a lacy green basket arrived in the mail for review from a company called Stockholm Design House. The Ikea-esque packaging and the claim of being inspired by “Grannie’s crocheted tablecloths and spontaneous picnics” was charming, but I was initially underwhelmed by the 5 kilogram (11 pound) weight limit and the $60 price tag.
I attached it to the Breeze, however, using the solid hardware provided, and after a few weeks of riding it around I have to say I love it. It’s not what you want to use to carry all your things on your commute, but the Breeze isn’t a commuting bike, either. It’s for making short runs wearing skirts and nice shoes to a coffeeshop or lunch cart or a meeting, and that’s what you need this basket for as well — a place to keep your purse in easy reach along with a carton of leftover Thai food, four milkshakes, or your notebook and camera. If a purse isn’t your thing, the whole basket detaches easily to be carried around on its shoulder strap.
A wire basket mounted more simply would serve the same purpose for a tenth of the price, but if you’re looking for something more on the vélocouture end of things, this setup is pretty sweet.
Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com