Sometimes, you’ll need to carry more than just your body on an eBike: You need a basket. However, not all bike baskets are equal, and electric bikes aren’t regular manual bicycles either. So, what will you need to know before getting an electric bike basket?
A basket for an eBike must be able to safely carry your cargo without destabilizing the bike. Both front and rear baskets are available depending on the cargo’s weight and your bike’s structure.
What is an Electric Bike Basket Used for
You can use the electric bike basket to carry light cargo, your shopping, repair tools, or even a small pet. Electric bikes don’t usually have an impressive carrying capacity. So, unless you have a basket, you’ll be in trouble if you must transport anything past yourself.
Bike baskets are also safer than backpacks. Although you can ride carrying a bag, it reduces your stability. And seeing as eBikes are fast, you should avoid being unstable.
Last, a basket is a classic accessory for any bike. While wicker baskets aren’t the most fashionable anymore, especially for men, they’re nevertheless attractive. However, they’re not the only choice either. Steel, plastic, and canvas baskets exist too.
Choosing a basket that complements your eBike is a savvy way to impress your friends and show everyone that you’re a genuine commuter, not a casual rider.
Different Types of Electric Bike Baskets
Electric Bike Front Baskets
Front baskets clip or strap onto your eBike’s upright handlebars. They’re the most traditional style, often wicker, although metal mesh and wire versions are popular alternatives.
You can drop your things into them and set off immediately without worrying about pockets, a backpack, or multiple trips. If you need your stuff while cycling, you can reach over and get them quickly.
There are now front baskets with insulation or waterproofing available, so you can also put your laptop or other fragile goods into them.
They’re also ideal for small pets. Even a well-trained cat or puppy can get nervous on a bicycle ride. Having them upfront with you lets you keep an eye on them, stopping them from escaping and comforting them if necessary.
However, an eBike front basket has a couple of downsides. They’re surprisingly easy to overload, offsetting your bike’s center of gravity and steering. That’s especially true if your cargo moves to one side of the basket.
Not only that, but an overloaded front basket will also impact visibility. Seeing as these baskets sit in front of your handlebars, anything that sticks out will get in your face.
Electric Bike Rear Baskets
Rear bike baskets slot over your back wheel and are ideal for carrying heavy loads. Overloading them won’t impact your steering as much, and they’re more extensive than front baskets.
These electric bicycle baskets are often long and thin, perfect for carrying luggage. Thanks to their design, they also have much higher weight capacities.
Panniers are another style of rear basket. They’re two connected bags that fit over your rear wheel, one on each side. They’re incredibly stable and are often waterproof or insulated.
This option has some issues, though. Rear baskets aren’t as accessible as front baskets. If you need to get something out of one, you’ll have to dismount your eBike first.
Rear bike baskets need some handiwork before you can use them. They don’t clip directly onto your rear fender or triangle. Instead, they slot onto a luggage carrier or a rack. So, unless your eBike already has one installed, you’ll have to add that part yourself first.
Fortunately, longtail cargo eBikes have built-in racks for rear baskets. These eBikes are longer than standard designs, as their name would suggest. Thanks to that, they can safely support a larger-than-average basket and its load.
The Benefits of Electric Bikes with Baskets
- Perfect Addition to eBike
- Good for Light Shopping Duties
- They Allow You to Carry Your Puppy
- They Make it Easier to Ride
- Easy to Install
How Do I Choose an Electric Bicycle Basket?
To choose an electric bicycle basket, you’ll have to decide what you plan to carry. There are several styles of baskets, each with a different shape, purpose, and capacity. Panniers aren’t appropriate for pets, while a front basket won’t fit groceries for an entire family.
A bicycle basket should protect your cargo. This isn’t a big deal if you’re not transporting anything fragile. However, you’ll need a waterproof basket if you live in a rainy area.
Speed is also an issue. You don’t want to turn a sharp corner and have your cargo come flying out. Likewise, security can be a problem, especially if you want to leave anything in your basket. Find one with a lid or lock in that case.
If you’re carrying small objects, ensure you get a canvas basket or one with mesh tight enough that nothing can fall through.
You’ll need a soft, comfortable bag for a pet. It should be deep enough that your furry friend can’t jump out.
Fashion is also a factor. Nobody wants an ugly basket or one that clashes awfully with their eBike.
Last, ensure that your basket is physically compatible with your electric bike. These machines are bulky and sometimes lack the racks, luggage carriers, or other points required for specific baskets.
Can I Put a Basket on Any eBike?
You can put a basket on any eBike, although the type of basket might differ. Remember that electric bikes face many of the same restrictions as manual bicycles. Not every basket will fit onto every eBike.
For instance, if your eBike has drop handlebars, you’ll be unable to correctly clip a regular front basket onto it. Likewise, a front basket might get in the way of accessing the motor panel.
Front baskets are also risky because they can interfere with your steering, which is the last thing you want when racing at 15 MPH.
Electric bicycles are also bulkier than their manual counterparts, so keep that in mind before buying a basket. Standard saddlebags or panniers could have trouble attaching to your bike’s wider frame, particularly if the battery gets in the way.
Panniers and luggage carriers present different issues, too. These options clip onto a rack, which you must bolt onto your frame. Not all eBikes will be compatible with this rack, and drilling into your eBike to make bolt holes might damage its internal machinery.
Front baskets with support brackets have a similar problem, except you’d need to bolt the support bracket onto the front wheel axle. Again, doing so can be risky.
Consult your eBike manual before modifying it, or take it to a bicycle store so they can safely fit the basket or supporting structures.
Electric bicycle baskets are an excellent accessory for anyone transporting cargo while commuting. There’re dozens of options available, but each of the two main styles has its own strengths and weaknesses. Front baskets are ideal for light loads or anything you must access frequently. Rear baskets need a rack, but they can carry heavier loads without harming your steering. Both options can be waterproofed, insulated, or locked to further protect your cargo.