How can I make my Raleigh play nice with all the pretty bike baskets I want?
May 10, 2012 3:21 PM   Subscribe

Needed: Stylish bike bag solutions! What baskets / panniers would fit my Raleigh's giant rear bike rack?

I'm trying to figure out the optimal basket/pannier arrangement for my new-to-me (1972) Raleigh Superbe. As you can see from the links, it came with a somewhat awkward dynohub light (1, 2) in the front and an unwieldy rack in the back (1, 2).

I know I can just get a little behind-the-seat bag for keys/phone/wallet, but I'd like to be able transport larger hauls (groceries, elaborate picnics, books) as well. I've seen some nice options from Public/Linus/etc., but I have no idea if they would work with my set-up.

Background: I bike to work and to the store, usually about a mile or two each way. [Yes, I wear a helmet!] Ideally, I'd like to be able to toss my purse in a basket in the front (like this) and put groceries and other sundries in rear baskets and/or panniers. I store my bike in my office when I'm at work, and would be fine carrying a basket/bag with me into the grocery store.

How can I achieve my vision of stylish European-style storage options? Will I need to replace the rack? Wrap a million bungee cords around everything?
posted by aaanastasia to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Are you married to that rack? If it can be replaced, would you be open to the idea of a different rack? If so, that would open up different pannier possibilities like Ortlieb Classics.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:51 PM on May 10, 2012

Basil has some great options. They're dutch, so they know what they're doing.

My sister has this pannier, though you might have issues with the rack. This one and the basil panniers just have two hooks at the top, but they might not fit over the tubing on your rack - it looks pretty thick.

Wald folding baskets are an option. I attached mine with zipties - rack type is irrelevant.

Can you move the light? Something like this. That would free up the front for a basket.
posted by kjs4 at 5:14 PM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: Basil D'Azur - Double Bag looks like it might be able to mount using the spring on the rack. Very nice bike! Brooks makes a roll-up bag that would be nice but it's likely expensinve. It's also easy to make bigger hooks from stuff in the hardware store.
posted by glip at 5:16 PM on May 10, 2012

Yeah, the clips that come with those Wald baskets won't fit around the thick tubing of your rear rack. I used zip ties with my Raleigh '72, but they snapped every few days (the underside of that rack is a bit sharp) and eventually I just took the baskets off.
I'm loathe to get rid of my rack - hey, it matches, and it's 40 years old! - so I'm curious to see what people come up with here. I bought a 1 ft sq bungee net on amazon and I use that to bungee bulky things to the back rack. It was great with the Wald baskets full of groceries, too; putting the bungee net over the whole area kept all the groceries in their bags.

I love my dynohub light and could never get rid of it, but I think one might be able to get a front basket and then mount the dynohub on that. It'd take some tinkering.
posted by Sayuri. at 5:46 PM on May 10, 2012

Zip tie some wald baskets to the back. I actually find that zip ties are more secure than the brackets that come with the baskets.
posted by twblalock at 6:52 PM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: Clarijs makes some fine Dutch panniers, for which I'm guessing your rack should be fine. The cost to get my custom-color panniers shipped from Holland was comparable to that of buying the much less stylish and more technical ones in local bike shops.

There are light-duty baskets that can attach to the handlebars. If you want to carry more volume or weight, you'll need some support structure, onto which you can then attach any kind of box or basket with zip ties or otherwise. Either way you would probably need to re-mount the light so it's under the basket.

On my bike I've got a large wooden box tied to a frame-mounted front rack, and large double panniers sitting on the back rack (the Clarijs ones are tied with just velcro strips). Everything goes in the box by default, and groceries also go in the panniers. It works really well, and definitely qualifies as stylish and European-style.
posted by parudox at 9:06 PM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: OK. Here we go.

Out Back: Don't lose the rack, it's beautiful.

1) As mentioned before, dual pannier setups that go over the rack rather than hook onto it will work. Here's a couple of cheap pairs from Etsy.

2) Get a large size saddlebag. This attaches to the saddle and seatpost, and rests on the rack. Holds a ton of crap. Ostrich, Minnihana, Rivendell.

Up Front:

Gotta get under that light. A porteur rack will do that just fine. CETMA, Soma, Velo-Orange all make nice ones.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:26 AM on May 11, 2012

Response by poster: These suggestions are fantastic, and hopefully will save me many hours browsing fancybike shops online. :) I'd like to try to keep the rear rack and dynohub light for now, so I'll look into the double panniers and saddlebags for my work commute + grocery needs. The porteur rack also seems like a perfect front solution. Thanks, all!
posted by aaanastasia at 6:23 AM on May 15, 2012

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