Two grocery bags on a bike... Baskets? Trailer?
I've been riding to the commuter rail every day for a couple years with no problem. But I've always had a car to borrow for errands, grocery runs, etc. What's the easiest way to do without the car altogether? I'm thinking a couple heavy grocery bags on my cheap fixie commuter...
Fold out "pannier" baskets? I've seen some that looked just the right size. A trailer? Nashbar has one for $70 now, but it looks like cheap crap. And the higher end trailers are mighty pricey. I even wondered about a large handlebar basket like I've seen some bike messengers use, but they look kind of clumsy.
Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated...
rider of odd bikes...
IMHO, any trailer is better than anything mounted on the bike for carrying heavy stuff. I have a kid's trailer, a cargo trailer, and a pet trailer... all Burley. I think the cheaper ones would do just fine tho. I bought the Burley kids' trailer 20 years ago, and it was just easier to have a single hitch setup as I acquired the others. I prefer the two-wheeled variety over the "Bob" style, although I don't think there's anything wrong with a Nashbar cargo trailer. With a two-wheeled trailer, you don't have to carry or balance the load as you ride like you do with panniers or a single wheel trailer.
Here's a pretty inexpensive cargo trailer on Amazon.com...
Let us know what you decide.
Question:How many bikes does one person really need?
Answer:Just one more...
Panniers work fine on my fixie rain/utility bike. If it were more than 2 or 3 miles to the grocery store the handling issues might be a concern, but it's no big deal for a short ride. You're gonna be slow pulling trailer, too.
I have the Nashbar "townie' baskets, but I see they have a clever new one that you can pull of the rack quickly and take in to use instead of a separate bag. Makes sense to me. They're on sale for $20 apiece right now; seems like they'd be useful enough to invest $40 to see if they meet your needs.
Depends on how much you have to carry and how often.
I'm single and most weeks I can get away with one trip to the grocery store with grocery panniers. My old ones (Nashbar Townies) finally wore out and I replaced them this season with the Arkel Shopper grocery panniers. IMHO, they are beyond category for grocery panniers.
The trouble with baskets is that they're always on the bike, and they aren't flexible so you can't either overstuff them, or take up any slack. Although, since they are always on the bike, you can stop and shop on impulse, any old time.
As for your "cheap fixie commuter" a trailer may be a better choice. Loaded panniers (and baskets) have an adverse effect on bike handling if the bike isn't designed for them. Touring frames are. Most street fixies are based on track racing frames, which are not.
I have a rack on a run-of-the-mill road racing geometry frame and beyond about 10 pounds, the bike really doesn't like it. If I put on the grocery panniers and load them up, it REALLY, REALLY doesn't like it. It becomes like riding a bull in a rodeo. If it could, it would snort while it tries to buck off the load.
My other bike, designed to carry loads, just gets better riding the more I put on it. Except that it takes more oomph to get started and to climb, I forget that the load is there.
I've never used a trailer, so I can't comment on whether or not it would work well with your fixie.
Last edited by brucew; 06-06-2010 at 07:36 AM.
That Arkel does look nice, but I'm a little confused -- it's $90 for one or a pair? And you need a rack to hang it from?
Each. It's safe to assume panniers are priced per each. When they're priced by the pair, it says so.
Originally Posted by JohnStonebarger
The Arkels are definitely the high-priced spread. After four years with the bargain-basement Nashbar ones, I think they're definitely worth the extra money. I thought I was doing pretty well with shopping by bike. The Shoppers have completely transformed the process and have made it easier and a more pleasurable experience.
Yes, you'll need a rack, and that's true for any pannier. Avoid racks with fewer than three legs. It's not a weight-bearing issue--the front and rear legs keep the panniers out of the spokes. I learned this one the hard way.
Carradice and Soma also make grocery specific panniers. I have the Carradice and it's awesome. Not as nice looking as the Arkel (and doesn't fold) but because of the adjustable lid you can overstuff the hell out of it.
Originally Posted by brucew
"He groaned when we hung the rope over the tree but was relieved to see the white pinata."
For most of my shopping I use Ortlieb panniers or my Chrome Ivan backpack. I tend to favor the panniers if I'm getting more then a couple of things. One pannier can hold more then a regular grocery bag. I bring them with into the store and can avoid having to get bags for my purchases.
I have BOB trailer and use it for big loads, but for the most part it sits around. It gets busted out for 25-50 pound bags of bulk flour, rice and such. I prefer the ease of not having to park a longer bike and lock a trailer. For the right situation it is great, for me though that is a limited amount of time.
One of the things I find is that I grocery shop more regularly and in smaller quantities then most people who shop in cars. I probably hit the store 3 times a week, but I rarely get more then about 10 items. It limits the size of loads that I need to carry.
Certain bulky things are always something of an issue, but with a little creativity it can be dealt with. My Chrome Ivan backpack witll take a 12 pack of TP. You can also strap it to a rear rack. Get creative.
I now use panniers, but was using Wald fold-out baskets that are sized for grocery bags.
Work great, and cheap.
Panniers are typically priced by the pair. However, grocery panniers for some odd reason are the exception to this -- they're almost always priced individually.
Originally Posted by JohnStonebarger
You can get a fairly nice set of touring panniers (like the Axion "Seymours") that will hold just as much groceries & stuff as a set of grocery panniers, for about the same price you would pay for a single grocery pannier.
Arkels are definitely worth the price. They're just about bomb-proof.