Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Best Quick Release Front Handlebar Bike Basket

Quick Release Front Handlebar Bike Basket: Wouldn't it be great to be able to jump on your bike, ride to the supermarket, do a few quick errands, hang the shopping bag on the handlebar, and ride back? This is exactly for the quick release front handlebar bike basket allows you to do.

The quick release handlebar bike basket is fastened to a permanently mounted, but very light, bracket on your handlebar.  When you need to go for a quick shopping trip, you mount the basket on your handlebar mount and ride to the store. You typically disengage the quick release basket by pulling on the handle, then do your shopping with your basket, reengage the basket on the handlebar, and bingo - you are riding back home with your groceries.

Where a quick release basket does not fit: these baskets do not work with road racing handlebars, which leave too narrow a space in the middle for the baskets to fit. They may not work either if your handlebar is too low on the fork, because they need a minimum of depth. Finally, they will not fit kids' bicycles.

What makes for the right quick release handlebar bike basket

The mount fits your bike. You want to make sure of that first... Be sure to check the paragraph above to validate that your bike fits the general case. make sure to read the basket and mount dimensions prior to purchase. It might be a god idea to buy this item at a bike shop where you can make sure that it will fit your bike.

Secure mount. The basket needs to stay on its mount through bumps and potholes without jumping off.

Easy release. The basket should release and remount easily on the bike.

Weight. The mounting hardware should be very light (since it remains on your bike at all times). The basket itself should not be too heavy.

Sturdiness. The basket must be bale to take heavy contents without bending or breaking

Reliability. The basket and its mounting hardware need to last multiple years without breaking or corroding

Rattling. The basket should make minimal noise while you are riding on irregular terrain.

Installation Issues

All equipment that needs to be mounted on a bike may create installation problems, because bike frames have different geometries and sizes, and because mounted components are all different. It is quite possible that the basket model you pick can be mounted very easily - in fact, it is likely. But there is still a possibility that the way your bike is put together requires some adjustments or extra parts. If you have any doubt, your best bet is to buy the basket you want from a local bike store, and/or ask for the equipment to be mounted for you. It will only cost you a few dollars and make the process very easy. Use your local bike store!

These models did not make the grade

The Pyramid Pyramid Lift Off Front Basket has good reviews, but too many users complain that the basket easily falls off on the bumps when empty. The Bell Quick Release Handlebar Basket is good looking and made of fine mesh, but the mounting hardware is plastic and will not withstand enough stress. The Biria Quick Release basket falls easily, and the plastic bracket also lacks structural strength. The Sunlite Stainless Steel Quick Release has no reviews, and, we feel, is inferior to the mesh bottom basket version by Sunlite. The MTS Quick Release has few reviews, one of which experienced early gear breakage. The Eleven81 looks good, but has few reviews, and but the mounting hardware appears to let the basket jump off easily. The Schwinn Quick Release has no reviews and appears to have a fragile mount. The Topeak Front Basket, also quick release, has a good number of pans in its reviews due to its poor mounting system. The Sunlite Liftoff Basket has fairly good reviews but does not appear to be fully secure on its mount while riding. The Wald 133 has good reviews, but the Wald 3133 uses the same basket and a better mounting bracket.

The Best Quick Release Front Handlebar Bike Baskets

#3 Sunlite Mesh Bottom Bicycle Basket. The $16 Sunlite Mesh Bottom Bicycle Basket  has a solid 1,165 in3of capacity, with 13 1/2" x 9 7/8" x 9.5" dimensions. It is made of powder-coated steel wire, with a mesh bottom.

It is easy to install and fits most bicycles: "installs very quickly", "easy to install", "comes with foam pads in place to protect the handle bars (and make it more secure) as well as a Velcro strap with some padding to hold it against the steering column","easy to mount." While most users were able to mount it easily, one user was not able to make it fit: "just does not fit the handlebars of my bike." It remains reasonably secure while riding, but sometimes comes off the mount: "stay put even over bumps", "can pop loose when going over a bump and it's empty."

The basket is sturdy, and the fit and finish and general quality are good: "very sturdy & well-constructed", "rugged and easily handle 10 lbs or more", "a lot more durable and sturdy compared to some of the other baskets I've researched and the vinyl finish will certainly keep the scratches away." The mesh bottom is quite useful to put items directly into the basket: "mesh bottom keeps things from falling through." The basket is spacious and fits a regular size grocery bag: "two 1/2 gallons of milk, on top of other miscellaneous items", " it was also important that my 5 pound Pomeranian fit in the basket", "will hold the standard paper grocery bag with room to spare."

The Sunlite Basket gets 89% positive reviews but, with only 19 reviews (across several listings on Amazon), likely error may be as high as 14%. Because of the small number of reviews available, we are recommending the Sunlite basket with reservations.

#2 Wald 3133 Q-R Bolt-on. The $25 Wald 3133 Q-R Bolt-On front handlebar bike basket has 1,240 in3 of total capacity and 14.5" x 9.5" x 9" dimensions. It is made, in the USA, of powder-coated steel wire. There is a shallower compact model of the same type, the Wald 114, with 845 in3of capacity and 11.75" x 8" x 9" dimensions. The quick-release mechanism is all metal.

Reviewers find the basket and mount sturdy and well built: "sturdy and practical", "all metal basket, all metal mount", "can (and has) taken some abuse", "very sturdy", "heavy duty", "well made, sturdy." The basket cannot fall easily: "only way that basket is coming off is if the handle is up and the basket is lifted off the hooks." Capacity is good: "3 quarts of milk/juice and a few other things", "capable of holding 1 full grocery bag." A user suggests wrapping the handle in cloth to make it more comfortable to shop with. Another user notes that, if you are going to take it in the store, two handles would be better, a criticism that applies to all quick release baskets.

A small number of reviewers complain that the mount does not stop the basket from falling, and that it can be hard to release as well: "could not get it to stop falling on the wheel", "frequently falls onto my wheel", "basket will not stay on unless you go to extraordinary lengths",  "incredibly difficult for me to pull the basket out of the carrier."  As usual with bike equipment, while most users had no problems with installation, a number of positive  reviews mention some difficulties in installing the hardware: "Installation was very easy", "installed it in about 10 seconds", "mounted with only a little difficulty", "hard time getting it on the bike."

The Wald 3133 gets excellent reviews, with 90% positive ratings (46/51 on Amazon and REI) and a likely error under 9%. We really like the sturdy frame and good mount, and the good number of reviews. We would prefer some metal mesh on the basket so as to allow the user to put some items directly into the basket. In fact, Wald actually sells liners to fit into the 3133 basket. The Wald 3133 basket is an excellent basket and we are recommending it.

#1 Wald 933 Front Mesh Quick release. The $27 Wald 933 Front Mesh Quick Release Bicycle Basket has 1,140 in3 of capacity, and 13" x 9.75" x 9" dimensions. It is made of mesh mounted on powder-coated steel wire: "nice tight diamond mesh and has a tough black vinyl coating." The quick-release mechanism is all metal. While the basket itself is made in China, the rest is US made.

Users like how sturdy the basket is: "very strong", "frame and basket are very sturdy", "amazingly (but not surprisingly) very sturdy", "parts are well made and high quality", "Well constructed", "sturdy basket." The mounting mechanism (the same as for the Wald 3133) gets kudos: "comes with a mounting bracket that attaches to the handle bars by 2 split clamps. It has an angled brace on the bottom that rests on the handle bar tube to prevent the clamps from slipping and tipping the basket out of position", "removal/locking method is quick and dependable", "simple yet elegant mount."

The basket locks in place when the handle is down.  The system worked well for most users, although a few reported some problems with bumps: "basket does not come off when I ride my mountain bike over curbs or rough terrain", "when I hit a big bump, the handle jumps and dismounts the basket. [...] So I put a thin rubber band around the handle through the mesh and locked it down with a carabiner", "basket is held securely in place, no jostling loose", "basket easily attaches securely to the mounting and seems very secure while I am riding", , "the handy would pop up every now and then causing it to almost fall off. An easy solution to that is to bring a twist-tie with you and tie down the handy to the basket while it is empty. ",

The basket releases easily: "easy to release", "basket mounts and dismounts seamlessly", "[most important] issue for me is ease of use because of the arthritis: I have absolutely no problems releasing, reattaching or using it", "When you lift the arm, the arm disengages. My 6-yr old knows how to operate it." One user report rattles: "it rattled when empty. A zip tie solved this easily." The capacity is good: " good size", "I have loaded several pounds worth of groceries -- and the ride is smooth", "fairly large", "big enough to carry all that I want." The mesh sides and bottom really help: "You can put the smallest things in it and they won't fall out. It doesn't need any liners compared to other larger wired basket",

As usual for bikes, some people find it easier to install than others, although the overall feedback is that installation is in general easy: "easy to install on my bike", "it was very easy to mount the bracket to the handle bars","very easy to put on.", "instructions were relatively easy", "it wasn't that difficult to install on my bicycle", "mounting system was quick and easy to install (after pushing aside the brake cables)", "easily installed onto my wife's bicycle", "may work on some bikes, but not all. I solved this problem by using heavy duty zip ties to attach the piece and it works great", " I have an old bike so I needed to make a few adjustments", "I needed to be creative in my assembly because my bike had several cables that prohibited normal installation."

The Wald 933 gets excellent reviews, with 91% positive ratings, and a likely error under 10% (32/35 on Amazon). It is a basket of excellent quality and very good functionality. Because of the mesh sides and bottom, we are giving it #1 rating over the Wald 3133. Recommended.

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