How to Make a Bike Basket
By Nicholas Chen
, last updated December 28, 2011
There are days when you wish that your bicycle had enough space to carry some essential stuff much like a car can. Whether it is used for making a short trip to a video center or visiting the local grocery store, a specially made bike basket can be extremely handy. Bicycle baskets not only allow users to carry everyday objects but also give a stylistic look to the rider. Bike panniers or baskets are lightweight, practical and easy to make. With the right kind of equipment and efficient method, a bike basket of accurate proportions and durable quality can be made in no time.
Some bike basket companies actually specialize in making unique, handcrafted products with a stylistic look to suit your needs. However, one can easily make a bike basket from household items that would otherwise be disposed off. To get started, you need to be clear on the sort of basket you are looking to make. For carrying flowers or other lightweight items, a handlebar basket is perfect. However, if you want to transport larger objects like groceries or luggage, which would obstruct the view of the driver, you should make a bike basket designed to go over the rear wheel.
When you begin the process, there are some items that you absolutely need, and then some optional ones that can give an added advantage. Objects you need include a basket or crate, fork struts or bike rack, zip ties, hooks, a waterproof lid, and a drill. You must also find the perfect object to re-purpose as a basket on your bike. This can be anything ranging from old plastic shopping baskets to milk crates or even storage boxes, depending on the kind of basket one needs. You should choose a compact and lightweight basket because riding with something that is too bulky can disturb your balance.
People who want to use their bike baskets for carrying household items bought from the supermarket should use baskets that have handlebars. The handlebars provide leverage for easier transport of the basket from the bike to other destinations.
One optional item you might use is tarp, to make the basket completely waterproof. Tape the inside of the plastic with a double-sided tape and attach pieces of tarp tightly to the surface. The extra layer of tarp can be cut out with scissors or a knife. For added support, extra tape can also be used around the edges to give the basket a complete seal around the bottom.
If you are looking to prevent rain from affecting the material inside the bike basket, you can attach a simple removable plastic roof to the top. This can also function as a lid.
Bike Basket Liner
Colorful fabric can be used as a bike liner to give your bike a better design. It is a simple procedure in which you need a sewing machine, extra pins for attachment and a colorful fabric matching your bike design. All you need to do is carefully measure the sides of the basket and cut out the pattern pieces accordingly. Adjust the basket liner using pins and then sew the seam around the edges and end pieces. Ideally, the most attractive basket liners are the ones that have contrasting colors on the inside and outside of the basket.
Attaching the Basket
Attach a pair of fork struts or a bike rack to the front side or rear wheels of your bike. Then you can attach the basket to the bike rack that has been setup. You should to use a marker to pinpoint the location of clamps that will be attached to the side or bottom of the handlebars. You can also use zip ties to hold the basket in its place.
If the basket is mounted on the front, then you will require more zip ties to properly fasten it to the handlebars. If the basket does not have holes for attaching bolts or zip ties, then they can also be drilled. Make sure that the basket does not interfere with the brake cables as one squeezes the brakes. This can definitely lead to an uncomfortable ride, eventually forcing you to remove the basket.
With the bike basket firmly attached, get ready for a test ride and see whether there is any need for fastening a bungee cord to hold your luggage. You can do some extra styling by decorating the basket with all kinds of patterns to give it a trendy look. Once you get started, you will realize that building your own bike basket not only gives your bicycle a whole new look, but an improved ride as well.