Choosing a bike pannier or basket is simple. Just ask yourself where you want to attach it on your bike – so that’s either the handlebars or pannier rack – and how important waterproofing is to you.
If you want to keep an eye on your belongings or distribute the weight of it more evenly, what’s the best solution?
AT THE FRONT
Front baskets are practical because you can always see them, but they can’t hold very much. Generally, the maximum load is 5 kg, with a 12-litre volume.
Some metal or fabric baskets fix to the front of the bike on the handlebars themselves, while others require a front or rear pannier rack. Just make sure your basket is compatible before you buy it!
AT THE BACK
Panniers are generally fitted to the back of a bike, on a pannier rack.
You can get single panniers that take up just one side of the rack as well as double ones, which take up both sides. The capacity will vary depending on the model you choose and will be given in litres for panniers and kilos for baskets.
If you use your bike regularly to get around, waterproofing shouldn’t be overlooked. It might seem like an optional extra when buying your basket, but you’ll soon change your mind after the first downpour.
WATERPROOFING IS NOT THE SAME AS WATER REPELLENCY
But remember, water repellency and waterproofing are not the same things. Water repellency is the fabric’s ability to ‘pool’ water on its surface. The faster the water runs off without soaking into the fabric, the higher it is water repellency. Of course, that doesn’t mean water won’t soak through the fabric – eventually, it will, so water-repellent panniers or baskets are best suited to short rides and light showers.
Waterproofing is the fabric’s ability to prevent any water – be it rain, snow, dew or water vapour – from penetrating it.
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