Once you discover the pleasures of pedaling , you start searching for more opportunities to ride! A great way to do squeeze in more saddle time is by running your errands on two wheels. Quick trips to the grocery store, coffee shop, little league games, etc… are an easy way to add miles throughout the week (and you’ll never miss the time you normally spend sitting in your car). The most common excuse we hear for why people still drive for trips under 5 miles is “I have to carry too much stuff”. In this blog, we’ll look at on-the-bike storage options, and teach you how to haul like a pro.
Baskets are the quintessential bike accessory. Perfect for carrying light loads (and small furry friends), they keep everything you need right up front where it’s within reach and they make your ride look even more bike-y! If you’re usual trip involves a few bring-alongs (lock, purse, lunch, etc...) a basket’s likely all you need! If you start carrying more, it might be time to consider a rack:
Racks really expand your carrying capacity by giving you more places to mount storage, and letting you haul heavier loads. Because racks usually mount to the axles as well as the frame, they can support more weight and keep the center of gravity lower so you don’t feel so tippy when you’re loaded up. Because too much weight on the front wheel can make steering a bit more temperamental, front racks make sense for light to medium loads, while a rear rack is better for medium to heavy loads. Once the rack is on there, you can strap your stuff directly to it, or augment it with boxes, bags, or panniers!
A crate or box can make a classy carrier that attaches directly to your rack! Similar to a basket in terms of practicality, the rigid form does a great job keeping cargo contained, and mounting points for all manner of bungees and cargo nets can help you keep a lid on loose loads.
Bags are ideal if you rarely carry anything large enough to stick out of your basket and you prefer the security of a top that can zip closed. What you sacrifice in terms of space, you make up for with with sleeker lines, a little aerodynamic benefit, and something that keeps wandering eyes from seeing all the goodies you’re carrying with you. A bag can also be inconspicuously brought in when you reach your destination, so that saves the time and trouble of emptying your basket into your pockets or leaving your stuff on the bike while you pop in for dinner/drinks/etc…
For the heaviest cargo, consider a pannier or two! These mount to the side of a rack and because they keep the center-of-gravity so low, they help you stay stable, even with a bike full of groceries. They’re available in all shapes and sizes like waterproof materials for longer tours or as removable baskets for carrying around while you shop. I like to bring mine into the store with me and, when the pannier is loaded up, I know I’ve got a bike-full!
And that's it! Now you're ready to carry cargo like a pro.
Already a heavy-duty hauler? Tell us how you tote your totables and share your insight with fellow riders in the comments!