Amsterdam bike crates
May 7, 2017 6:13 PM   Subscribe

An instagram account of homemade bike crates in Amsterdam. Or you can buy one already made. Or, re-watch one of the most touching Dutch shorts about bicycles.
posted by growabrain (20 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
On my taxi ride into town from Schipol, I swear to God, one of the first things I saw was a person with a CELLO in their bike crate. I almost looked around to see if I was being filmed for some kind of stunt.
posted by praemunire at 6:31 PM on May 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


Since I'm American, I have to use a Wald basket on the front rack of my bike.* On the upside, it's lighter than a crate and exactly the right size for carrying two six-packs at a time. But on the downside, pretty nearly everything else starting from not looking half as awesome.
*(no really it's like in the Deblaration of Independences or something.)
posted by ardgedee at 6:53 PM on May 7, 2017


The animated short is good, but it's heavy.
posted by wormwood23 at 6:59 PM on May 7, 2017


Since I'm an american with a set of tin snips, I took an old Wald basket and made it a bit more shallow and mounted it over my rear tire. With two bunjee cords it will keep two six packs inside a cooler on ice. And it looks awesome.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:53 PM on May 7, 2017


These are nice and all, but it will take wooden clogs on the neck of American cycling culture to normalize fenders and rear racks.
posted by groda at 11:55 PM on May 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


The custom crates are stupid, overwrought and ugly but... the cup holder... I'm stealing the cup holder...
posted by From Bklyn at 12:11 AM on May 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


it will take wooden clogs on the neck of American cycling culture to normalize fenders and rear racks.

Wait. You don't have fenders and a rear rack on your bicycle? Year round, I ride to work and I ride to shop. I don't want to get places with water and mud all over me, and I want something I can bungee cord my stuff to so it's not all crammed into a backpack.
posted by pracowity at 12:44 AM on May 8, 2017 [4 favorites]


I just bought a bike that is fenderless. To be fair, that bike lives in Phoenix, AZ; when it *does* rain it's heavy enough I wouldn't want to be out in it anyhow. Otherwise, no real use for fenders, it's not like they reduce the heat.

We'll see if I end up adding a rack+crate..
posted by nat at 3:33 AM on May 8, 2017 [2 favorites]


I think that there's a divide between rear racks and fenders in America. Fenders are a lot less common, because most people tend to avoid riding in the rain if they can (i.e. if they don't absolutely depend on their bicycle for commuting), because it's more hazardous due to reduced visibility on the part of motor vehicle drivers. (As with most aspects of riding a bicycle in America, many if not most of the problems and hazards are really due to drivers.) But rear racks? Absolutely; even a lot of road bikes (at least ones that are set up more for touring than for speed) have them for rear trunks/bags, and city bikes almost always have one.

Front racks or baskets tend to be less common, because if you put a lot of weight on the front of a bike it becomes a lot more awkward to steer. I see a lot of front baskets advertised and in bike shops, but I don't see them actually in use. (As with any of this, YMMV depending on your local cycling culture.) I have a front rack on my city bike, but it's small and I have it mostly for overflow if I have my rear rack loaded down pretty well and/or if I have something that is kind of difficult to strap to the rear rack (oddly-shaped or bulky but not too heavy) and I want to keep my eye on it and not find out that it fell off my rack after having pedaled several miles.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:55 AM on May 8, 2017


> if you put a lot of weight on the front of a bike it becomes a lot more awkward to steer

The added weight over the front axle makes it understeer relative to unloaded -- if your bike's handling is kind of squirrelly when you ride it, carry stuff on a front rack and handling improves. Stuff on a front rack also means you don't have to figure out how to get your leg over the bike when the rack (plus or minus crate) is overloaded.

It's only been in the most recent few years that good front racks have been available in the US without having to get something custom made (well, Nitto's been making nice ones all along, but they're not designed for heavy loads). It's a golden age of front racks for bikes.
posted by ardgedee at 5:06 AM on May 8, 2017 [2 favorites]


I want a Donky.
posted by pracowity at 6:02 AM on May 8, 2017 [2 favorites]


Otherwise, no real use for fenders, it's not like they reduce the heat.

My go-everywhere bike in a mostly-dry climate has fenders. They're great for keeping dust and gravel from getting in my face or on my clothes, so I'm not inclined to ride without them unless it's explicitly a recreational ride to nowhere on my road bike. Plus riding through the occasional puddle is fun.

And riding without a rack and panniers or baskets as an everyday thing is just...no. Why wouldn't I make sure I could stop and run errands at any point in the day? I think many people who bike daily without any cargo capacity are relying on sharing a household with a person who drives a car everywhere. Meh to that. Don't just share the road, share the load!
posted by asperity at 6:27 AM on May 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


Nobody can generalize on the best way to use a bicycle in the U.S. because it's a lot bigger, more spread out and more diverse in climate and terrain than The Netherlands is.

Where I live is amenable to all kinds of cycling but any food I buy has to be stable in direct sun and 90°F heat for the half hour ride home (half-gallon of milk? no. A couple pounds of corn meal and dry beans? probably. basket of veggies? eeeeehh...).

Which doesn't mean I shouldn't do more errands by bike, only that "oh while I'm out riding, I ought to stop by the grocery store and get stuff, what with this awesome bike rack I got" is a less viable scenario; either I plan ahead and start the ride with a cooler, or I make a second trip later.
posted by ardgedee at 7:01 AM on May 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


Grumpy dutchman here. Bikecrates are aweful. In regular bike-sheds, bikes with crates take the space of three regular bikes. They're as antisocial in cities as SUV's are.
Those crates are mostly empty anyway and seem to me to be more like a fashion object than real utilitarian most of the time.
posted by Kosmob0t at 7:08 AM on May 8, 2017 [2 favorites]


Wait. You don't have fenders and a rear rack on your bicycle? Year round, I ride to work and I ride to shop. I don't want to get places with water and mud all over me,

My husband tried to buy a Euro style commuter bike in Berkeley for the same purposes...one guy at a bike store actually told him that fenders are inferior, it's 'much easier' to wear full rain gear and scrape the mud off your back on arrival. Another explained to me that a chain cover is completely unnecessary, since chain lubricant 'does not stain.' We eventually managed to find a Euro style bike but man, bike store employees are the worst crowd of arrogant mansplainers I've ever come across!
posted by The Toad at 7:10 AM on May 8, 2017 [6 favorites]




 â†’ Since I'm American, I have to use a Wald basket …

Back when I came to Toronto, it seemed that every bike had a pilfered Sealtest milk bag crate bolted to the rack. Now a web search for "toronto bike crates" is all artisanal wooden things, dammit. You can buy a milk crate for $8 without risking the wrath of dairy.

Not that I could put a crate on my bike, of course. The idiotic US-made bike locker that I use barely takes my unadorned Batavus in all three of length, width and height. And to think the reason for American cyclists liking mucky chains and backs is because of a long-expired protectionist import duty, in the same way the postwar Chicken Tax gave use the SUV.
posted by scruss at 10:05 AM on May 8, 2017


On my taxi ride into town from Schipol, I swear to God, one of the first things I saw was a person with a CELLO in their bike crate. I almost looked around to see if I was being filmed for some kind of stunt.

My workplace is neighbor to a music school. I see those every day
posted by mumimor at 11:00 AM on May 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


bike store employees are the worst crowd of arrogant mansplainers I've ever come across!

I know a guy something like that. Anti-helmet because, he says, helmets actually increase danger and totally not because he thinks he looks like Jacques Anquetil or Eddy Merckx in his little cycling cap. Anti-fenders because you don't need them, he says as he walks away with a line of mud and oily street water reaching from the crack of his ass to the nape of his neck. It's simplest to just put together your own bike, he said before Christmas as he started building the bike he just finished.
posted by pracowity at 1:00 PM on May 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


My uncle the surgeon has a quote about helmets:
There are two types of cyclists:
Those that wear helmets,
and cadavers.
posted by blueberry at 11:22 PM on May 16, 2017


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