February 14, 2006

    Hi, I live in Sweden. Although we bicycle a lot here there are very few types of bicycle baskets to buy. About 3 or 4 different models, of almost the same size, that's all.
    I sell on Ebay and as my bicycle is my only way of transporting things to the Post Office, I need as many baskets/panniers I can put on my bicycle. Until now I've had two Swedish (not very big) wire baskets on the rear end and a former shop exposure basket (the kind for displaying smaller items in shops) in the front. I attached it with various kinds of nuts, bolts, and whatever I could think of, since it's not made for a bicycle. It's bigger than the biggest bicycle basket, that's why I use it. But it's kind of wiggly since I can't get the proper fittings for it.
    Do you know if Wald has any European distributors? It doesn't have to be in Sweden. I have e-mailed them several times but they don't answer. I would like to buy their largest front basket, the one that is 21x15x9, but it would be too expensive to buy it from USA (plus the customs, taxes, postage, and other fees would raise the price more than 100%).
    Are there other brands of baskets of the same size (or bigger, I would love to have one that is deeper)?
    Also, my rear baskets I have been forced to attach with various screws and bolts, otherwise they get stolen. And they are too small; Swedish bicycle baskets are slightly conical so they narrow towards the bottom. For example, to put a plastic grocery bag in there with letters or groceries mostly means that they stick when you lift them out, and the bag gets torn—and sometimes so do the contents.
    So I've been thinking of buying two large, waterproof panniers so I can easily pack them in my apartment (for mail) or in the grocery store (for food) and don't have to keep them attached to the bicycle all the time but carry them on and off. As I have never had panniers before I find it very difficult to look at all the different brands and types. I've been searching on the Internet but it's too confusing.
    My main requests are that they are a) big, b) waterproof (without having to put on extra protection covers, and c) easy to lift on and off but staying securely in place when riding, even if they are loaded with heavy things. I wouldn't mind if the price is reasonable either (I don't care about brands, just function).
    I would be very grateful if you can help me. Thanks in advance.

Susann T.

    I can’t help you with Wald. However, my utility-biking friends on the continent recommend the products from a German company called Klickfix. While I can’t speak from personal experience, Klickfix seems to have a wide array of carrying products for bicycles, including both front baskets and rear panniers. It looks like they do have a waterproof cover for their panniers.
    Plus, they have a distributor for Sweden.
    Though you seem pretty good with hardware, note that my book, Urban Bikers’ Tricks & Tips, has a bunch of illustrations on creative ways to attach carrying accessories.
    Congratulate me for not making any meatball jokes.

Mr Bike

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