Can You Put a Basket on a Mountain Bike? (Read To Know!)

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Since the pandemic, more and more people have taken up mountain biking as a way to reconnect with nature. According to Forbes, the number of mountain bikers surged by 500% since 2019.

Biking is a great leisure activity. It’s a missed opportunity if you can’t bring picnics or fishing gear on your off-road trips. With that, can you put a basket on a mountain bike? Read more to know!

The Short Answer

Yes! A basket is a useful addition to a mountain bike, but you might encounter some challenges if your bike has suspensions. Regardless, the advantage of having a basket is worth it.

The History of Baskets in Mountain Biking

Bike used by the 25th infantry bicycle corps§

Mountain biking existed almost as soon as bikes got invented. It didn’t take long for people to use them as delivery vehicles.

Roads rarely had pavement in the 19th century. Because of this, a team of riders called the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps customized bikes to help them go through rocky pathways.

In 1896, riders from the corps rode from Montana to Yellowstone National Park to test the bikes as a tool to carry gear for the military. The riders would strap parcels directly onto their bikes.

When Were Baskets Added to Bikes?

Baskets came into play in the early 20th century. Canada was the first to make the switch.

Horses started getting phased out as a method of delivering mail. The government believed that bicycles with baskets were more practical. The vehicles had a larger storage capacity as well.

Why Don’t Mountain Bikes Come With Baskets?

Hardcore mountain bikers prefer to use backpacks over baskets as storage. Because of this, manufacturers may make bikes without the needed fittings to install a basket. They consider that adding gear to a bike will affect its movement.

Nevertheless, baskets are a fine addition to bikes if you’re looking for multi-functionality. Plus, if you’re the type to bike at a slow pace for leisure, then a basket is perfect for you.

The Benefits of Attaching Baskets to Mountain Bikes

As we mentioned, with a basket, you can bring various items with you on your off-road travels.

You may be able to bring food and a picnic set and go on a date in the forest. If there’s a river nearby, you could bring some fishing and camping gear.

For people who love to travel with pets, you could place them in the basket and take them with you. It’s also critical to have emergency tools and a first-aid kit on hand during your outing. A rear basket would be the perfect storage for that.

Mountain bikes aren’t just for rough terrain. You can use them on paved roads to go to places in your city. Bike baskets will help you carry groceries.

Factors to Consider Before Putting a Basket on a Mountain Bike

Before attaching a basket you should consider safety and movement. Heavy gear will affect your bike’s movement.

Carefully select the type of basket. Having a rear basket makes mountain bikes easier to maneuver versus one with a front basket.

Consider getting a basket with a lock as well. Since mountain bikes shake a lot, it’ll help secure all your items during your trip.

Types of Baskets for Mountain Bikes

The type of basket you chose should depend on the type of your mountain bike and cargo.

1.   Front Basket

Front baskets are the most popular type of basket. However, if you have a full-suspension mountain bike, a front basket may pose a challenge to install. 

For this type of bike, you may attach a small basket directly to the handlebar.

If you have a rigid mountain bike, you can easily attach a basket to the front rack. This could help you carry up to 25 lbs of equipment without issue.

2.   Rear Basket

Mountain bike with rear basket

Rear baskets are the solution for people who aren’t comfortable with having extra weight at the front of their bikes.

You may connect the rear basket to the seat stays and rear axle wheels on most mountain bikes.

If you have a suspension type of bike, a seat post rack is the most ideal. This is more like an area where you can strap bags, instead of an actual basket.

Moreover, quick-release baskets are a new option for cyclists who don’t necessarily want to have a basket on their bikes 24/7. With this, you can easily remove the basket and reattach it only when you need it.

How to Attach Baskets on Mountain Bikes

To attach a basket to a mountain bike, you’ll need to do the following steps.

1. Select a Basket

Baskets may be metal, wicker, or plastic. Some baskets are foldable and detachable. Others are even made for carrying pets.

To select one, you should check the weight of your cargo and factor in the rigorous shaking that a mountain bike has to endure.

For mountain bikes, it’s best to have a bag that’s designed to go into bike storage. This can prevent small items from falling out of the basket.

2. Pick an Area Where You Want to Attach the Basket

You can’t just strap a basket anywhere on your bike. You’ll have to consider places where it won’t get in the way of the bike’s mechanism.

Popular areas to attach baskets are the front rack, strut, handlebar, seat stay, and rear axle wheel.

3. Secure the Basket

Never drill into your bike to attach a basket! You could compromise the bike’s safety and possibly even damage it. Instead, use clamps to hold your gear.

Clamps may be zip ties, belts, bungee cords, or rope.

Whatever you do, ensure that these clamps are tightly installed. Double-check if they bend or loosen during your ride and replace them accordingly.

Trends and Future Implications

Mountain biking is gaining popularity as an exercise that can boost your well-being.

We believe that we’ll see more people who wish to have added storage on their bikes so they can carry materials for outdoor activities. Hopefully, manufacturers can make it easier to put baskets on mountain bikes.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Paul Tuthill
Growing up in Scotland, Paul developed a love for the outdoors and a desire for adventure from an early age.