A wooden crate as a bike basket

When I posted about riding my Dutch bike last week, Trisha noticed that I have a new crate on the front.  Yes, and I love it!

As I explained in my Oma review, I purchased my bike with a heavy duty front rack that attaches to the frame, making a sturdy base for up to 50 pounds of cargo.  I was using a Hershberger’s Baker Basket on the front rack, but two years of heavy use was more than the delicate basket could handle.  First the leather strap in the front broke, causing the top to fly open in the wind, then one of the small leather straps on the back of the lid broke, making the top sit crooked.  The wicker became dried and bleached by the sun.  Basically, the poor thing fell apart.

Baker Basket

Baker Basket in better days

For a while, I detached the front rack and used a pannier on my rear rack to carry stuff.  Then one day Mr. Dottie found a wooden crate in an alley behind a Mexican restaurant, which he thinks was used for avacados.  The crate has “Made in Mexico” stamped on the side.  He attached the crate to my rack with a bungie cord through the bottom and a few zip ties all around; it does not move an inch.


My new Mexican crate

I love the crate for both aesthetics and utility.  I can fit so much stuff in there, and I tend always to be carrying a bunch of stuff – for example, two full grocery bags and a purse.  I can also easily and quickly reach my bag when stopped at a red light.


The crate is heavy – it’s all solid wood and nails.  But so is my bike!  When I’m riding Oma, I’m slow and steady and generally traveling no more than five or six miles, so extra weight is not a big deal.

Does anyone else use a wooden crate like this?

  • Beverley Strain

    I found one at a vintage market, used to be for product from Argentina! I want to use on the rear rack of my Peugeot, but I am going to decoupage some designs on it first.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Oooh, that’s a great idea. Crafty! :)

  • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

    Very cool! As usual, you’re inspiring me. I have had an orange crate I found in my laundry room for literally years, thinking I’d put it on Le Peug. Maybe I finally will after the Century ride!

  • Dennis_Hindman

    Your wooden crate looks very similar to the one used on the Workcycle Oma bike which is shown starting at 1:50 minutes into the video made by the Dutch Cycling Embassy I posted on your article about U.S. cycling from a Dutch perspective. A response by the Dutch Cycling Embassy to the first comment under the video states that it is considered the Bentley of traditional Dutch bikes. All you need is white tires to duplicate the look of the bike in the video.

    The woman in the video looks much more relaxed and comfortable riding the Oma bolt upright compared to other Dutch cyclists around her who are leaning slightly forward.

    The design of the Workcycle Oma just seems to fit better ergonomically with the human body. No stress on the wrists, arms or shoulders and you sit more like you would in a chair in front of a desk.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Dennis, I totally agree with you about the WorkCycles. Every time I ride her, I’m impressed by the feat of engineering that allows such a heavy bike to be pedaled with such comfort and ease. She is the Bentley of bikes and much more affordable! ;)

  • Jochen

    I also thought about an old wooden wine box but ended up with a box similuar like the one you had before. In the Netherlands a ugly plastic box is used often for plain practical reason, and if you are lucky, you will get a new one from time to time . ;o)

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      A basket like the one I had before has the benefit of being much lighter. I guess a plastic crate is very light, as well. A lot of people in Chicago use plastic milk crates; I like to see colorful ones like hot pink.

  • Bez

    I use an old wine crate on my rear rack. I used a stain/poly spray (4 coats) to seal it, and then bolted it to the rack. I have my U-Locks mounted to the inside walls and keyrings screwed to the outside to hook a cargo net or bungee cords to. Silicone on all of the bolts keeps the moisture out. Seriously about the best thing ever. I don’t have to worry about remembering my grocery pannier in the morning if I think I may want to grab a sixer on the way home, pick up the dry cleaning, or do some shopping during the work day. Plus, I ride a GT MTB for my commute, so the contrast between that and the box are very nice.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Sounds like a seriously nice set-up! What a great idea to install u-lock mounts and keyrings. Do you have a picture?

      I’m with you on the convenience of being able to pick up a six pack whenever. :)

  • johnny Stoker

    I made this crate / box myself. It sits on the front rack of my Gazelle. I love it, it makes the bike so much more practical!!

  • Karen Voyer-Caravona

    I found a beautiful wine crate at a lawn sale last summer and purchased it for $10. It is from a California winery and is stamped on the front with the logo, which features a large dog. It will attach eventually to the front of a retooled Breezer or whatever bike I upgrade to after I finish school in the spring.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Sounds perfect! Can’t wait to see how it works out for you.

  • Fred Smith

    It makes your bike look absolutely timeless :-)

  • Pixies

    I love the crate it soooo suits the oma. On another note will you be reviewing reflective wear at any time Iva Jean does a lovely looking waistcoat and velo vixen too but I hoped to read a review or two before choosing. Sorry if this is out of thread I wasnt sure where to ask.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Hi Linda. That’s a good idea! I’ve been curious about the new fashionable reflective wear on the market, too. Maybe I’ll contact Iva Jean later this fall.

  • Janet

    I love your bike ideas! I am currently trying to find a light weight wine crate to turn into a picnic basket for the front rack on my bike. Thanks for all the ideas!

  • lisa

    Nice! thanks for sharing here your information.

    Thanks lot..


  • Gerald Fittipaldi

    I envy the fact that you don’t have to carry your bike up stairs! Stairs are holding me back from purchasing a Dutch bike.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Oh yeah, I could never carry her up stairs!

  • K2

    I have a wire basket on the back that holds lots of stuff. I have a small purse that attaches to the front that I use for my purse. I love being able to ‘haul’ things on my wheels.

  • K2

    BTW, I have a beautiful ‘Vintage Bobbin’ dutch bike…It is very light and easy to carry. I love my bike.