Why Basket Case on a Bicycle?

Because I wanted to focus on the pratical, everyday nature of bicycles, and baskets are often a very important, yet overlooked feature of such bicycles. If people were to use bicycles more for everyday transportation, things such as baskets and racks would be more likely to be standard features of bicycles.

But then why not a name like “Bicycles for Transport” or “Racks on a Bicycle”? I specifically chose basket case because in the U.S and much of N. America baskets have been maligned as pansy, cutesy, girly features that are installed not to serve a practical purpose, but for looks. LoL. Have people in N. America forgotten that baskets can actually carry stuff? Many people living in nations where cycling everyday is a normal, average thing to do don’t have these negative, sexist connotations with baskets. Just look at Denmark, Holland, Japan or China or other places where it is actually neccessary to cycle around one’s neighborhood or city sometimes to get somewhere. While carrying daily goods.


By now y’all probably all know I like baskets best (although I don’t have one on my current bicycle, as it came with the rack and I didn’t feel like spending extra money for a basket).

My reasoning was always that baskets are the cheapest, longest lasting and most convenient to use out of the three options. For the everyday back and forth, they also offer enough space to put your stuff. Though there are gigantic ones that can carry up to four bags of groceries. Baskets generally start at around $20, though there are some cheaper ones. Having a metal option also makes them very sturdy and the option of easily permanently attaching them makes them very longlasting. (Although the wicker option is supposed to be very sturdy too.) Convenience – no need for tying stuff down generally, unless your basket is one of the really shallow types. You don’t have to worry as much about properly arranging things so they won’t slide out either. Personally, I find that permanently attached baskets are the most convenient as I don’t have to remember to attach it or worry about someone stealing it. But some like being able to use it also as a shopping basket, but without the odd look of panniers.

Racks come in next in terms of price, although most start at around $30-40. But they are as long lasting as baskets, cause they’re made from metal and permanently attached. Racks themselves probably lose out in convenience, as the platform (which is often a not so wide one) makes tying down things properly neccessary. I have had a few things fall off mine, which is another worry. But their ability to support panniers and baskets makes them great for carrying alot of stuff. Also, unlike baskets or panniers, they don’t limit the length or width of the items.

Panniers sadly lose out in terms of price as many options start out around $60 and often go higher. They also need a rack to support them, so that could cost an extra $30-40. They are also mostly removable so this can be a big worry for people if they are leaving their bicycle outside. They are also made of cloth, so they would wear out faster. In terms of convenience, they have the largest storage capacity, unless you have a larger than average basket or rack.

So who is the WINNER? Click for the next episode of BASKETS vs. RACKS vs. PANNIERS!


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