Carry Stuff: Options for a Commute or Shopping Spree
Some cyclists are ultra-minimalist by nature, and can get by with not much more than the bike itself and possibly a small saddle bag. Others are of the load bearing variety, carrying a wee bit of freight around with them wherever they go. If you like or need to carry lots of stuff, don’t fret because there are a wide variety of solutions out there.
From specialty bike-specific bags like panniers or saddlebags, to trailers or cargo bikes for more weight intensive applications -- you’re sure to find a method to meet with your cargo-carrying needs.
For fairly light weight applications. You can’t beat a back pack or messenger bag for its simplicity and accessibility. You’re only limited by how much you can carry on your back, and/or the size of the bag.
Bicycle racks, both rear and front, enable you to carry panniers (bike bags) on your bike -- which allow you to carry quite a load. Most bike shops or even outdoor equipment stores will carry these. Just make sure that you have the proper braze-ons* (A small fitting permanently attached to a frame) that will accept the rack mounting hardware. Check how much the rack can hold, some can only handle 20lbs or less, others can carry up to 100lbs.panniers. These are bike specific bags that fit onto either a rear or front bicycle rack. Depending upon the strength of your rack and/or panniers, you can carry quite a heavy load with panniers, which make them ideal for bike touring. But they make equally fine grocery getters too that range from canvas/nylon, wicker or wire (some even fold down to save space). There are many styles to choose from to fit your lifestyle, need and aesthetic.
easy solution is to strap a milk crate onto the rear rack of your bike. You can fancy this option up or have a more rustic feel with wooden crates. Mix it up and use your creativity!
bike trailer. These hitch to your bike much like a car trailer hooks up to a car. Many trailer styles exist allowing you to carry children, pets, and more.
Xtracycle is an attachment that extends the wheelbase of your existing bike by about 15 inches. Complete with a wide platform, large saddlebags, and a variety of available modular attachments, the XtraCycle can carry a wide variety of cargo (even kids and a kayak!).
abroad that are beginning to address the urban cyclist's cargo needs. Amazingly creative fabrications abound, and if you can afford to spring for the hefty freight charges, they can be yours to show off to your soon to be envious friends.
variations of people-carting bicycles including tandems, sociables, pedicabs even the Xtracycle. Personally I'd like to try out a sociable as they seem much more cozy and well... "sociable" than a tandem where the person is either in front of you or behind you.
for sale on Etsy is from an innovative cycling enthusiast and wine lover in Montreal. If you want to take your special someone out for a romantic bike ride, you can either strap on a picnic basket with the suggestions above or if it's an especially fine vintage, take advantage of this innovative little guy. It easily attaches to any 1" bike frame with antique brass fasteners, while the hidden clamping mechanism holds the bottle securely. The oil-treated vegetable-tanned leather will only look better as it ages.
Walnut Studiolo's shop on Etsy has lots of other leather bicycle accessory goodness to browse through.
Block Surf offers an option that allows you to be hands free. It's designed to carry a single surfboard on almost any bike. It comes fully assembled and ready to install.
If you're afraid a good ocean breeze will knock you silly with the Block Surf rack shown to the right, take a look at Surf Mule's custom designs for Long/Short Boards, Snow Boards, Wake Boards, Skateboards, Fishing Poles, Coolers and more.
Trayak's base model carries one kayak. The double-decker option allows you to carry two.......or more.
*Braze-on: A small fitting permanently attached to a frame. On traditional steel frames these attachments are held on by brazing, but the term "braze-on" is also used for fittings that are welded, glued, riveted or molded onto frames of other materials. Typical braze-ons include cable stops and guides, water bottle cage mounts, shift lever bosses, cantilever brake bosses and cable stops, pump pegs, etc.