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The bicycle basket is an efficient way of transporting stuff. They’re often cheaper than pannier bags, easy to load and come in a wide range of styles. If you don’t know where to begin when choosing a basket, I’m here to help.

Amsterdam is an excellent gauge when it comes to choosing a basket for your bike. There are over a million bicycles on the streets, most of which are kept outside. They have to contend with the weather while getting smacked around when parked next to other bikes.

Here are my suggestions to get you biking with that perfect basket.

How to choose a bicycle basket

Wicker and Rattan Bike Baskets

If you’re after the French country look, choose a wicker or rattan basket. They come in an assortment of shapes making it easy to store a lot of things.
The Nantucket baskets are an excellent choice and come equipped with double hooks and offered in a classic/tapered or oval shape. For a more affordable choice, consider one from clarifylay that has handles and a lid.
Wicker baskets are also suitable for carrying dogs due to their conducive shape. If you would like luxurious comfort for your pet, a basket from Petsafe tops the list. There are also options that come with a useful lid.
Among the drawbacks of a wicker baskets is they don’t tend to last as long and can be harder to mount.

The Wood Bike Crate

Wood crates have a nostalgic appeal and look especially good on a vintage bicycle or a minimalist style bike with a rack.
They come in a range of styles and shapes with some options for personalization. Some models even have a coffee cup holder. The Beauty of choosing a wood crate is that you don’t have to necessarily get one specifically intended for a bicycle.
Weather will take a toll on a wooden crate, though I would argue it may improve the look. A little work may also be required if you want to stain or weather-proof your basket.

The Bicycle Milk Crate

Four out of five bicyclists in Amsterdam use the milk crate, making them by far and away the most popular bike basket.

A successful promotion run by the upscale grocery store Marqt may have contributed to these numbers. But Dutch practicality plays more of a role since milk crates are affordable, easy to install using cheap zip ties and can take a beating.

The Steel Wire Mesh Basket

Steel wire mesh baskets are easy-loading, space efficient and light.
Weather-proof construction is a must. Consider all-purpose Retrospec basket for easy installation (no tools required.) Baskets by Wald are among the best and come in enough sizes, styles and mounting methods to satisfy anybody.
Time and use might make the paint wear off or rust the plated the ones. But these injuries are only cosmetic and you can be rest assured that they will outlast anything that is wicker or rattan under the same circumstances.
Oddly, wire baskets are not that popular in Amsterdam. Likely due to people wanting to avoid rust as it rains often. But also because they transform into garbage bins when parked near the centre of town.

What about alternatives?

Here are a few examples if you want to think outside the basket box. When you know that anything from shopping baskets to suitcases are used, let your imagination and ingenuity roll with it.

Disclosure: This article may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs, or otherwise.

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Carlos says:

    Great post! It’s something special watch all kind of bike baskets in A’dam. One time I saw a Lego one!
    Would be great add a photo of a plastic beer crates and also talk a little bit about the flowers in them! :D

    By the way, I recommend you an Instagram about graffiti on bike crates in Amsterdam, probably you know it, but it’s called @amsterdambikecrates
    It’s really cool because is only a phenomenom of NL (and maybe only in the big cities of the Randstad, I haven’t seen that in the north, at least not at that level!)

    Keep rolling!

    • Gus says:

      Hey thanks for your comment Carlos! A post on beer crates is in the works. I think they deserve one ;)

      I’m not aware of @amsterdambikecrates, but will definitely check them out.


  • Sam says:

    Helpful links, thanks. Little mention of theft – removable metal baskets are fine but I expect they’d be stolen on day 1 here in Berlin. Great tip re: cable ties for milk crates

  • Kristen says:

    I am interested in knowing what brand the very first wicker basket photo is right above the basil brand wicker basket. It is hard to zoom in and read the brand name it looks like wic X iced but cant tell or find it on line. Anyone who has any idea and can tell me where I can find this bike basket and who makes it I would really really appreciate it. Please feel free to contact me my email address is Thank you again
    Link to photo of bike basket I am inquiring about

    • Gus says:

      Hi Kristen, the brand of the wicker bike basket you are inquiring about is by “Wicked.” The model is likely called “Seagrass.” They are marginally available in Europe, though not sure where else you can find it. Hope that helps ;)

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