Here at Discerning Cyclist, we believe anything a car can do, a bike can do better. Calorie-burning, congestion-dodging, endorphin-giving: perhaps we’re biased, but we’d say a morning spent cycling is better to spewing out fumes in a four-lane traffic jam.
Of course, it’s an argument that ignores some of the benefits a car gives us. It’s far easier to load up your car boot with groceries than stuff that punnet of eggs into a backpack. Likewise, a car allows you to explore new areas with your family pets.
A front basket can, thankfully, help you both those things and more. For as little as £20, you’ll be adding increased functionality to your bike, and for the image-conscious, you can choose designs to suit a variety of frames.
Types of Bicycle Baskets
There are bike baskets available to fulfil a dozens of needs. Dog baskets, folding baskets, easy release, metal, wicker, – you name it and you can clip it to the front of your bike and go.
Folding baskets are for cyclists who need their bike to perform in a range of settings. A basket might be ideal on the morning commute, but less practical for weekends spent barrelling down downhill trails. Likewise, they’re a clear asset for urban cyclists who need their ride to fit in an narrow corridor.
Metal baskets also perform well for space-tight cyclists. Quality models often come in steel, meaning they don’t rust if the bike is stored outside all year-round. They’re also sturdy and durable.
Wicker bikes are the most traditional of front baskets. Think students careering late to lectures in Oxford town centre. However, they’ll add an air of respectability to any step-through frame. They’re not particularly load-bearing.
They’re perhaps not the best option, then, if your primary mission is hauling a week’s worth of groceries back from the supermarket, but are perfect for quick dashes to the corner shop.
Dog baskets are perhaps the most self-explanatory of all the bike basket on these lists. If properly designed, a basket for an animal will have gone rigorous safety checks. This means you can expect your bike to have features like padding which mean Dexter can enjoy your ride just as much as you are.
Wicker Bike Baskets
Wicker bike baskets are made from, you guessed it, wicker. A series of wicker cords are threaded together to form the basket, and any extras, such as a lids, are fixed with leather straps. This makes every wicker basket a unique piece of craftsmanship.
You’ll also find them dotted throughout cycling history. Up until 2014, you could still see Royal Mail posties riding around with baskets full of cards and parcels. This history makes them a lovely extra to add to retro-style models, such as the Pashley Princess or the Bobbin Brownie.
Unfortunately, the natural construction makes them less durable than other baskets. Wicker is prone to rotting, as anyone who’s left their bike out in the rain can attest. They’re also unlikely to carry the same weight as metal baskets.
You’ll be able to load your basket to the brim with lemonade and sandwiches for an afternoon picnic, but beware trying to haul any groceries, homeware or pets in your basket.
Metal Bike Baskets
Metal baskets are hardworking bike accessories. Often made from steel alloy, the most robust can haul up of up to 10 kilograms of whatever you see fit. Unlike their wicker counterparts, a daily splattering of rain won’t harm the construction, and with easy mounting mechanisms, you’ll be spared the headache of trying to fit it to your handlebars.
They do, however, lack the finesse of a traditional bike basket – although, this could work in your favour. Some cycling advocates claim that a utilitarian choice might just your bike less likely to get nicked.
Why Front Bike Baskets Are Great
As we’ve mentioned, having a front basket expands the functionality of your bike. With the cost of living climbing painfully higher, you’ll be able to save on petrol and get those all important 120 minutes of exercise in as you do it.
Front baskets are also easily accessible. Unlike loaded panniers, you can simply reach in and grab whatever you need. You’ll also be spared the unsightly sweaty back that comes with riding with a backpack.
The baskets we’ve reviewed here sit at a range price points. Some deliver on utility, while others excite with blindingly good looks.
Best Front Bike Baskets [Top 11]
- Portland Design Works Takeout Handlebar Basket [REVIEW]
- Public Bikes Removable Metal Basket [REVIEW]
- Nantucket Bicycle Basket [REVIEW]
- Basil Bicycle Basket Crate [REVIEW]
- Zukka Wicker Front Handlebar Bike Basket [REVIEW]
- Public Bikes Front Wire Basket [REVIEW]
- Hand-Woven Wicker Bicycle Basket [REVIEW]
- Electra Woven Plastic Bike Basket [REVIEW]
- Handlebar Wicker Front Bike Basket [REVIEW]
- Electra Honeycomb QR Front Basket [REVIEW]
- Wicker Woven Bike Basket for Front Handlebar [REVIEW]
1. Portland Design Works Takeout Handlebar Basket
Size: 30.5 x 25.4 x 17.8 cm
- 🇬🇧 £140
- 🇺🇸 $120
- 🇪🇺 n/a
There’s no denying it. The Portland Design is titchy. The manufacturers claim that the basket handles a “five burritos, three chinchillas or an extra layer of clothing”.
Hardly acres of space.
However, if your primary mission is nipping down the high street or chucking in the odd bottle of milk, then we’d say the dimensions are perfect.
After all, the Portland is small, but perfectly formed. Its aluminium build is satisfyingly low-weight, and once you’ve got your head around the finicky installation system, it’s robust enough to stay put.
Credit is also due for the clever U-Lock carrier. Built into the front bar, it’s a thoughtful, and unique feature that saves you scratching your frame or maxing out a backpack. A sign of that the American design team have put in the miles. As is the fact that the Portland is suitable for both standard, and drop handle bars.
Overall, a big surprise in a little package. Just don’t buy any beer kegs while you’re out.
2. Public Bikes Removable Metal Basket
Material: Steel with Epoxy Finish
Size: 30 x 40 x 17cm
- 🇬🇧 n/a
- 🇺🇸 $60
- 🇪🇺 n/a
With Public Bikes’ Removable Metal Basket, the clue’s in the name.
A spring-loaded mechanism allows for incredibly quick removal – and as Public are quick to stress, no clothes will be harmed with WD-40 at any point in the process.
A comfortable carry handle boosts the all-around ease of use. Fill it the brim in the greengrocer aisles and clip straight back on for the ride home. Be warned, though. The wide grid design means we can envisage a few stray tomatoes slipping through the gaps.
Otherwise, the metal build is sweetly utilitarian. As an added bonus, the Public can be fitted to the front or rear racks of your bike. Reviewers have mentioned that they’d like to see an anti-theft mechanism, but it’s likely the only people this would deter is shoppers looking for a speedy release.
Unfortunately, it’s only currently available for cyclists based in the US.
3. Nantucket Bicycle Basket
Size: 22.9 x 19.1 x 30.5 cm
- 🇬🇧 £30
- 🇺🇸 $55
- 🇪🇺 n/a
Oh, to spend a sunny afternoon spread out on the grass with a picnic. In chillier seasons, this might seem like wishful thinking. But, when sunny days roll around, you’ll want the Nantucket there on the blanket beside you.
The roomy dimensions make it ideal for loading up with delicacies. Fruit, cheese, and market-fresh bread will be easily accommodated, We’d even say it’ll take a cool bottle of white, thanks to that quality wicker weave.
The design is quirky – and the history even more unusual. You’ll be using a near replica of ships’ baskets built in 1800s coastal Nantucket. It’s also the only product on this list woven with real natural willow.
Longevity is reportedly an issue, but if you’re only planning on the occasional pedal to the park, we reckon the Nantucket is still ideal.
4. Basil Bicycle Basket Crate
Size: 34 x 49 x 27 cm
- 🇬🇧 £19
- 🇺🇸 $32
- 🇪🇺 €35
Want to haul that set of dumbbells you bought off e-Bay? Or that big bag of cement your mate was clearing out?
Basil have the basket for you.
The German manufacturer’s offering to the market is satisfyingly no-frills. It’s a plastic crate that offers a 40L capacity – more than enough room for some hefty cross-town hauling.
The Crate features a quick click mechanism; it can be easily removed when full. A sweet relief for when carting heavy loads.
The Crate also comes in a variety of colour ways. While the original black matte finish is downright practical, the pink and green will add a poppy flash of colour to your ride.
A quick warning, though. The Basil is designed to work with the MIK accessories range, meaning that if your bike doesn’t have these already integrated, you’ll have to buy an additional adapter plate.
This shouldn’t deter you from a beautifully useful product.
5. Zukka Wicker Front Handlebar Bike Basket
Size: 27 x 21 x 20 cm
- 🇬🇧 £71
- 🇺🇸 $30
- 🇪🇺 n/a
Looks can be deceiving – and Zukka’s offering is a case in point.
On first glance, the basket looks to be straight out of the workshop of a master craftsman. Just one glance at those chunky leather buckles and plaited wood and you can almost smell the polish..
The Zukka, though, is actually the product of some space-age “artificial weaving technology”. And that wicker that looked so earthy? High-quality imitation plastic.
A disappointment for traditionalists, maybe, but it’s perfect for cyclists searching for a fusion of style and substance. Even those beautiful buckles seem to keep the basket in place with only the most minimal of movement. You’ll be able to leave it in the rain without the peril of mould or mildew.
We’d recommend it as a very happy marriage of form and function.
6. Public Bikes Front Wire Basket
Size: 35 x 22 x 24cm
- 🇬🇧 n/a
- 🇺🇸 $45
- 🇪🇺 n/a
Every ride is unique, so why can’t our accessories be? This is Public’s thinking. The adjustable leg system on their Front Wire Basket means you can adapt it not only to your bike, but to the route you’re planning to log on Strava.
At its most basic, the Public’s legs extend so that they can be attached either to the eyelet or fork axle of your wheel. The handlebar clamps are also much longer than usual. These give you a larger wheel clearance and make the Wire Basket extremely versatile.
Versatility does have its limits. Public are keen to remind buyers that this doesn’t mean you can overload your basket. Weight on the handlebars will change the way your bike handles, often making it twitchier and harder to ride. Even the most innovative basket can’t counter this, and riders must practise caution.
7. Hand-Woven Wicker Bicycle Basket
Size: 20 x 15 x 15 cm
- 🇬🇧 £14
- 🇺🇸 $24
- 🇪🇺 €18
As anyone with young children can attest, they’ve got a lot of, well, things. Plastic blocks, wooden toys, comfort blankets, a beloved cuddly toy that lost its fur two years ago. It makes sense, then, to give your child the choice of carrying their prized possessions along with you on a cycle ride. This next option lets them do exactly that.
This model is traditional basket made pint-sized. It can be fitted not only to a first set of wheels, but to a tricycle and scooter too. For anyone with school-aged kids, this is an absolute asset.
The basket is made with imitation plastic, meaning it can take a few bumps and scratches. It should also survive long enough to be given as a lovely hand-me-down. It’s fully water-proof, and if intended as a holiday gift, can bought with handlebar streamers included and in a pink or white finish.
We almost wish there was an adult-sized model available!
8. Electra Woven Plastic Bike Basket
Size: 38.5x 28.5x 24 cm
- 🇬🇧 £60
- 🇺🇸 $75
- 🇪🇺 €70
Trek know a thing or two about build quality, so it’s no surprise that has received universally positive reviews. The Electra is an imitation wicker basket with an glowing spec sheet: 11lb load capacity, steel and a lightweight build.
It does come with a hefty price tag, but compared to the painfully high cost of fuel, you could argue its a bargain. Well, almost.
The Electra is fitted with a bolt-on, not quick release attachment. And although this makes it trickier to install, it’ll work in your favour. Once installed, you’ll have a sturdy accessory that shouldn’t budge, no matter pot-holed your local cycle paths are.
We’re also fans of the Electra for its roomy dimensions. New owners sweetly claim that it’s a particular pleasure to load up for a day trip to the beach. Towels, a bottle of sun cream and some sandwiches, the Electra will take it all.
9. Handlebar Wicker Front Bike Basket
Size: 35.1 x 27.9 x 20.3 cm
- 🇬🇧 n/a
- 🇺🇸 $36.99
- 🇪🇺 n/a
Cheese and crackers, salt and vinegar – some thing are just natural pairs. And if you’ve just bought an elegant Dutch bike, chances are you’ll be looking for the perfect accessory to compliment it. You could always test out other material – plastic might last far longer – but there’s something magic about a classic wicker basket sat atop one of those sweeping frames.
This model speaks the language of academia. It’s easy to imagine it loaded with overdue library books, as its owner careers to campus. It’s one of the only true wicker models on this list. And so each basket is a unique creation, right down to the look of the weave.
The traditional styling does have drawbacks. For starters, it’s a weighty 2kg before it’s even been filled up. Secondly, there’s the question of damp. It might be a heritage piece, but it won’t last to be an heirloom if you leave on your bike out in the rain.
10. Electra Honeycomb QR Front Basket
Size: 31.7 x 23.5 x 21.5 cm
- 🇬🇧 £70
- 🇺🇸 $75
- 🇪🇺 €70
Trek’s Electra Front Basket is so sugar-sweet it’s almost edible. A baby pink design with a charming honeycomb metalwork, it’ll make toting around your odds and ends pleasure. Especially if those ‘odds’ are – as in the case of one American shopper – a tasty “box of cupcakes”.
Of course, if the build quality isn’t great, the Trek’s offering could turn sickly fast. Thankfully, it meets the typical high standards we’ve come to expect from Trek. The construction is steel, meaning it won’t rust beneath that lovely pink glaze.
It can also be attached to a range of bikes, from your classic Dutch ride all the way to fixies with drop bars.
At a kilogram in weight, it will add some heft to your bike, but clearly, the emphasis here is on style and not performance. If pink’s not really your thing, it comes a soft teal, or tan as well as a classic grey.
11. Wicker Woven Bike Basket for Front Handlebar
Size: 25cm x 20cm x 18cm
- 🇬🇧 £23
- 🇺🇸 $26
- 🇪🇺 €24
A simple but charming wicker basket that you can easily attach to your bikes handles with the faux leather straps and buckles provided.
This is a good budget bike basket for any stylish cyclist and offers enough same for smaller items such as a water bottle or even smaller handbags.
All-in-all, this is a really nice hand-woven wicker bicycle basket and provides excellent value for money.
Available in black, pink or white, this is a great addition for an adult’s or a children’s bike.