Introduction: Lockable Bicycle Trunk

Picture of Lockable Bicycle Trunk

Build a small, lightweight trunk for a bicycle that you can also lock. This cost me about $10.

Step 1: Obtain Trunkish Object

Picture of Obtain Trunkish Object

I used a 16" toolbox from Lowes, which cost me about $8. The brand is "WorkForce" (very tough sounding, no?) and it has a metal clasp, pass-through for a lock, and is made of plastic - all traits it needs for this project.

Step 2: Drill Holes

Picture of Drill Holes

I lined up the tool box where I wanted it to be on the luggage rack, and marked where it passed the cross members of the rack. These are where the trunk will attach to the rack. I used cable ties (about $2 for a small bag) to fix it to the rack.

Step 3: String It Up

Picture of String It Up

I drilled 12 holes in all. That's 3 rows, with 2 holes on each side. I laced the cable ties through these holes, leaving plenty of room on each end to tighten them. Once they were in, I lined it back up on the rack, and tightened them down.

Step 4: Enjoy

Picture of Enjoy

Once the ties were tightened completely, I snipped off the ends so it would look a little cleaner and know...cable-tied. This certainly doesn't make this the most secure system in the world (anyone who wanted could slice these ties and take the whole box), but ot's more of a method of helping honest people stay honest. I don't leave anyhting very valuable in there for long periods of time (like outside my building all day), but it works well when I go into the bar for a drink, but don't want to carry around my blockbuster movies.


shruti.takhral (author)2014-10-01

10$ for this is pretty cheap

CZR (author)2008-11-06

I used a 50 cal. ammo box (different sizes available, most military surplus stores have these for a few bucks). These are lightweight, metal, waterproof (o-ring lines lid) with a latch that can be modified to be lockable. I easily drilled holes to attach to rack in the bottom, and slapped down some duct tape in the bottom after fastening with zip ties. This size can hold a 6-pack, a bunch of tools and crap, a big lunch, a jacket, etc. It quite sturdy and light weight.

FreshPineSent (author)CZR2009-05-06

I have an identical ammo box. How would I mod it to be lockable?

vonslatt (author)2006-03-09

I made something similar from a double mop-bucket.



bad link.

hensonkid (author)vonslatt2006-04-25

Wicked. I've got a couple of plastic cat litter bins that are going to become panniers kind of like that. After I wash them of course.

melirose20 (author)2010-06-25

Awesome! I love everyones creative additions as well! My husband made his out of an old plastic marine battery box. He had to add a plastic soda crate on top for extra storage. He attached that with small bungee cords. He did the same attachment of the box with the zipties.

His Sir Legend Koolness (author)2008-09-03

I would just take that handle off; this way it doesn't look like a you're going fishing.

His Sir Legend Koolness (author)2008-09-03

I like this, it looks very neat and efficient, good job.

orpharion (author)2007-11-28

This is a great low cost alternative to buying a commercial locking trunk from a bicycle store. I'll size and cut a piece of plywood to fit the bottom of the case and then drill holes for a "bolted on" option. Thank you for sharing the clear instructions and photos!

Pietn (author)2007-05-17

You can also mount a few speakers in the box, and just connect those speakers to your mp3 and voila... you have music on your bike!!! And for real fun, get yourself a nice and small amplifier and connect it all together :-)

Sgt.Waffles (author)2007-05-14

I would pesonally use a nice big U bolt instead of zipties. Im going off to college soon, and ill need a trunk though. Good Instructable. ++++++++++

osman (author)2005-11-20

Nice instruction. You could also bump up the security a notch or two if you wanted with a bracket and screws from a hardware store, rather than using the zip ties.

lacrosseislife24 (author)osman2007-05-07

i agree. it was a great idea, but a pair of wire cutters migth be able to cut the cable ties.

hedgiehog (author)2007-04-04

Not to be negative because it is a good idea, but if you can drill holes in it with simple power tools i wouldn't leave anything valuable in there, still a good idea!

TutTut89 (author)2006-11-10

Awesome tutorial- It would probably work a lot better than my bungee cords and is able to resist the elements (little punk thiefs). Now you just need to make the rear reflector visible. ( ; I didn't see one on the bottom of your bike rack but maybe it is on the fender- I can't really tell by the picture angles. Anyway, great job!

stephilosophy (author)2006-10-18

I made one of these for myself. I live in Key West...a perfect place for a bike trunk. I ride my sweet cruiser everywhere! I used bolts, the kind that are smooth on the head, to secure my tool box trunk to my bike rack. Works perfectly and much more secure. Noone can steel my trunkl. They would need tools to remove the whole rack or just steel my bike. I invented this idea on my own but then searched the web to see if anyone else had thought of it. And here you are! Kindredspirit....cheers to you!

strannik (author)2006-09-07

Pretty cool - I made one out of a metal ammo case (lockable), attached with stell u-bolts, that I don't worry about leaving behind, but it is a bit too heavy.

DiamondBack (author)strannik2006-09-22

Exactly what I was going to suggest, as I was reading thru these replies. $5 for a .50cal ammo can, $7-12 for a decent lock and latch, done deal. You can quiet the metallic banging inside the can, by using 1/4" foam, or cut-out sections of an old wetsuit

DCwom (author)2006-07-07

I've also made my own trunk, although mine was cheaper, and detactable, does that mean I win?

Honestly, you've got a good idea, I like the lockable concept.


DCwom (author)DCwom2006-07-07

OK, I think I figure how to add a pic of my trunk, here goes...

See the whole thing at:

Crash2108 (author)2006-05-12

I can see putting a few lantern batteries in there.

stephilosophy (author)2006-05-06

These ideas are so cool. I live in Key West and ride my everywhere. I am needing a place to keep valuables when I want to get off and go inside somewhere. It's a pain to always lug a backpack into a place so the best idea I could come up with was a trunk. I was going to build one out of light weight wood until I found your idea. Thanks! I'm going to do this and I'll let you know how it goes. I really like the mop bucket idea too but the tool box one looks easier.

mikesty (author)2006-04-12

Way cool! My house has a rickety old barn in the back yard. Over the winter, the wind and snow forced one corner to collapse :( Yet, a previously unreachable bike spilled out among the wreckage!! It was a nifty, shiny blue Panasonic Villager III. It's gonna take a ton of work, but it will be my road bike and I'll be sure to build something like this. Even if I go with a mop-bucket style, thanks for the inspiration!

veggiecycle (author)2006-03-22

I like quick and easy.. Great job ...

neuralstatic (author)2006-01-03

how about instructions for the lamp in the background? :D

saul (author)2005-10-16

i love the concept of "helping honest people stay honest" I bet you could fit a padlock through from the inside of the box around and under the bike rack?

hensonkid (author)saul2005-10-17

Probably. I guess I figure that if anyone really wanted to take my stuff, they will. And if they do, I hope they need it more than me. I am more concerned with helping my stuff not walk off because someone was bored or a little too drinky when they walked past it. You know, someone like me.

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