ideal bike basket for carrying laptop bag and other stuff
July 24, 2007 12:08 PM Subscribe
Seeking: lightweight, deep "pannier"-style bike baskets that will keep my bike's center of gravity low and protect my laptop in case of a spill.
posted by amtho to travel & transportation (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've been looking for the perfect bike baskets and having no luck. What I believe I want is a rigid but lightweight pair of baskets to go on either side of my bicycle's rear wheel. I want each basket be deep (vertically) so that I can nestle a laptop, in a laptop bag, down in there with no fear of it falling out, and also fit other tallish items in there (picture wrapping paper on a cardboard tube, if it helps, or large flattened corrugated cardboard boxes on the way to the recycling bin).
I don't think I want the cloth pannier bags I'm seeing everywhere, because I want the basket contents to be protected from squashing in case of a wreck. Also, I really like the idea of using my own bag(s) and just setting them into the baskets, quickly and easily, rather than going through the time of buckling them onto a rack. I also picture just dropping my helmet into a basket when I park at home - no fuss.
I would prefer very deep and/or low baskets because I imagine a) it would lower the center of gravity, which would make riding safer and easier, and b) the basket contents would move less, side to side, relative to the ground.
I've found pretty generic basket assemblies which all seem to be made of heavy metal wire with the same length/width/depth ratios; the largest is 12" deep (I think I want at least 18" top to bottom, maybe more). This largest basket also is 7" wide (outside to inside) which seems like more than I need. It's also very heavy, as it's made entirely of galvanized steel, I think. I went ahead an ordered one, it's on my bike now. The bike is definitely weighed down, even with nothing in the baskets.
Is there some European or Japanese supplier that might help me?
Also: I've thought about somehow making my own, but am having no luck thinking of how.
I've seen willow basket makers who will custom make baskets, but that's too expensive for me, and I think I'd prefer a design that would allow air to pass through easily when the basket isn't full.
I've also seen plastic bucket-derived basket systems; these are a bit wide (outside to inside) for my needs, and also a bit too clunky-looking, I'm afraid.
If this _isn't_ a good idea for some reason, I'd love to have that explained.