I love having a little extra hauling capacity that a milk crate provides for my bike, but there are also times when I don't want to have a crate cramping my style.
"Grocery Pannier" is the correct term for what I truly wanted. But I was able to make due with stuff I already had and the result turned out to be a simple tool that I really enjoy having.
This instructable is an easy one, how to build a sturdy yet removable milk crate mount for your bike. When you take the crate off you can use it as a shopping basket too!
This device is easy, cheap, and effective but I'm sure there are prettier/better ways to accomplish the same goal if you want to take this basic idea and run with it!
Step 1: Gather Tools & Materials
- Milk Crate
- Plastic Cable Ties (Zip Ties)
- 10' x 1" Cam Buckle Tie-Down
- Two rods of some sort. (You could also go with pvc pipe here. My rods were taken from old printers.)
- Waterproof foam sheet.
After moving to a larger city and biking more often, I realized that I needed to beef up my bike security. I went to a city wide event and the cops explicitly said not to use cable type locks because they can get cut so easily. They recommend solid steel U-locks. The products linked below are the ones I used in my pictures.
Step 2: Connect Rods to Basket
I put the zip ties on loosely to hold the rods roughly in place, then I put the crate onto the rack to get a better fit as I tightened up the zip ties all the way. The intent is to strongly attach the rods to the basket and have then very closely straddle the rack. You don't want any wiggle, no reason to be stingy with zip ties here.
Clip the ends of the zip ties when done then cover the inside bottom of the crate with the foam sheet to protect your cargo.
Step 3: Wrap the Strap on the Basket
Of the ~10' strap you don't actually need much of it. I didn't want to cut the strap and instead wrapped all up all but ~40" of it onto one side of the basket.
Step 4: Connect to Bike and Be on Your Way!
The rack holds the weight and constrains the basket base to the plan of the rack surface. The side rails constrain the basket's Z-axis rotation and lateral translation. The strap constrains the fore/aft translation and retains the basket against the rack.
See the video for how to mount and dismount the crate.