Other cycling information
David HembrowTraditional English Willow basketmaker. Assen, Netherlands --- Worldwide shipping
Fixing a front basket to a bicycle
For most people, with most bikes, the straps that I supply are all that are required to safely fix a front basket to a bicycle. That's all that keeps the baskets on my family's bikes. Traditional slightly curved handlebar designs make this quite easy. Straight mountain bike style handlebars can present a bit more of a challenge.
Hopefully the information here will help you see how to fit a bike basket to your bike.
With curved bars like this and a short stem, there is northing for the basket to conflict with and mounting is very secure.
With straight mountain bike style bars, it is a little more difficult as the basket mounts ahead of the brake levers and the cables are behind the basket. It is important to make sure that the cables are not compressed in such a way that it prevents brakes and gears from working correctly, and that the brake levers are not obscured by the basket. At the bottom of the basket, it may be necessary to attach a block of wood to keep the basket out from the headset.
On most bikes, it is possible to replace straight bars like this with more comfortable North Road handlebars. This also makes fitting a basket easier.
There is still usually room to mount a light underneath the basket, but make sure that this is not taking the weight of the basket and luggage carried in it.
A tall stem, as on this bike, can also be retrofitted to most bikes
On this bike, you can easily see how the brake levers are keeping the basket away from the handlebars. This is fine so long as it does not interfere with use of the brakes.
Due to the length of the handlebar stem, we need a wooden block behind this basket to keep it from crushing the cables. Alternatively, a bracket to the front wheel nuts could be used to make the basket stay at a sensible angle, free of the cables. Click here to see pictures of a suitable bracket.
This photo of my town bike shows a wooden block used to stop the cables being distorted by the basket. While the cables run between tbe basket and the block, they are no easily compressed and work freely. It's also worth noting how the dynamo light is mounted beneath the basket. With a standard size basket it is usually possible to fit a light in this position, but if not so it would need fitting on the front forks.
Support under a front basket
My traditional bike baskets are strong enough to take any weight that reasonably can be carried in them using just the straps to attach them to the handlebars. However, there are circumstances when it is advisable or necessary to use a support underneath the basket:
We can now supply several different types of front rack for customers who need them including the two designs to the right. Click on the pictures for more details, or click here for a broader selection.
I also provide the details below for a very simple type of basket support which can work in many cases, though I'm afraid I can no longer supply the simple support.
Using a simple basket support with a basket
As I no longer can supply these supports, I suggest that if you want one you take a copy of the pattern to a metal workshop local to where you live.
Please note that the bracket will not work on bikes with front suspension. The reason is that with the basket attached to both the handlebars and the centre of the front wheel, the distance between these two things must be fixed. Suspension means the distance varies so this cannot work. Bikes with suspension are rarely a good choice for load carrying.
This extra large basket was made for carrying a dog. Because a pet will move around you really need a bracket in order to keep the basket firmly on the bike when the animal moves.
These photos show the bracket front underneath and from inside the basket. I have used a small length of tyre to prevent the bracket from damaging the basket.
It is made of steel which is 19mm wide and 3mm thick. It is unlikely that you will need the old-fashioned lamp fixing on the side, so it can be made by bending and drilling a single piece of steel.
Other luggage carrying options
For instructions on fitting a rear basket, look here.
For pictures of more bikes with my baskets attached, look here.
Many bicycles which make fitting a basket difficult can easily be converted to make it easier.
Photos of customer's bikes with my baskets
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