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Reviewed by 2 customers
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Comments about Detours Alki Beach Basket:
The pictures for this product are more than a little confusing.
This is a hybrid between a handlebar bag and a bike basket. Like a handlebar bag, it's made of fabric and relatively unstructured. Like a basket, it's easy to remove and comfortable to carry around and it stays open easily.
The "bag" zips on and off a steel hoop that frames the basket's opening. The zipper is protected with a flap and appears to be a good quality one of the sort used in a sturdy backpack. The flap has some velcro reinforcement. If you take the "basket" off the bike and set it down, it collapses into a fairly small package. It is not self supporting the way a metal basket is.
The main disadvantage I see of the design is it is not see through. I regularly would take my old bike basket into stores and use it instead of the store provided shopping basket. Store employees could see everything, and often they wouldn't notice that I'd used my own basket until I mentioned it. I'd hesitate to do that with this basket because it might look like I was trying to conceal items. I plan to ask at a few local shops where I know they've had shoplifting problems about whether they feel this basket design would be a problem for them. If they feel it is a problem, I will alter my habits so store employees can easily see what I'm doing.
The install of the basket was very easy. The instructions are almost unnecessary, and the mounted basket causes much less wheel flop than my old one, despite being heavier and mounted just as high. The installed basket also feels much more secure and stable than my old basket.
The materials are all sturdy or even perhaps overbuilt. The stitching is good, and I don't anticipate the design bending or developing rust under normal use. It also seems like most parts are easily repaired or mended. My old basket handled about 5000 mile of riding with very few rain rides over the last 4 years, but it's already starting to rust out. The new basket appears much sturdier.
I'm only giving 4 stars because this is a preliminary review, and it's always possible for durability issues to crop up. I'm not anticipating anything tho, given that the design is so much superior to my old basket.
Comments about Detours Alki Beach Basket:
I really like having a bike basket. A good one is about the size of a grocery store basket, but it fits on your bike. A grocery basket will (with care) hold food for 2 people for about a week, so it's a surprisingly useful cargo size if you're living without a car. It's also always on your bike. No need to remove it. And with a good design, the contents are easily visible and reachable while you ride. This basket appears to hit my desired size.
My main concern with this basket is it's not see through. I expect most local stores would rather I did not put my purchases straight into it and then repack it after checkout. There may be mesh fabrics that would produce a more usable basket cover, while still maintaining the advantages of fabric. It's also fairly heavy compared to an all metal basket, probably because the frame is a pretty heavy steel hoop. Sturdy, but not as light as I'd hoped for.
The tradeoff is it's a much more repairable design than a typical metal basket. The fabric cover is sturdy, with good stitching and a zipper so it can be removed for washing, repairs or even total replacement. The bike mount is a simple design that should be repairable. My last basket began to rust out after 4 years of being garage kept, and very little rain riding. It probably got over 5000 miles of riding in that time, so it wasn't lightly used... but it wasn't unreasonably abused either. I don't anticipate the same problem with this basket.
As this is a preliminary review, I don't feel comfortable giving the basket 5 stars. I'd expect a bag like the basket cover to hold up for 10-15 years, minimum, so I'll be very surprised if the cover or metal hoop wear out soon enough for a final review.
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