Lockable Bicycle Trunk




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

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Step 1: 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

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

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

Once the ties were tightened completely, I snipped off the ends so it would look a little cleaner and less...you 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.

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    31 Discussions


    13 years ago

    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!

    1 reply

    Reply 13 years ago

    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.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    2 replies

    9 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    chuck bike.JPG

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


    12 years ago on Step 4

    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!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    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 :-)


    12 years ago on Introduction

    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. ++++++++++


    14 years ago

    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.

    1 reply

    12 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    13 years ago on Step 4

    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!