If you want to get stuff done by bike, you probably need a way to carry stuff by bike. I'm sure you've see the ol' standard bike rack- bolts onto the back of the frame, often seen with a milk crate on top or panniers on the side. That works alright, but let me suggest something else. Put the stuff on the front of the bike!
There are a number of front carrying cargo devices for bicycles, each have their own pros/cons. The two pros they all share over rear racks are 1) It's easier to balance the load on the front (IMHO) 2) You can keep an eye on your cargo (which helps with balance). As I mentioned, there are a number of options out there, I'm going to show you these three, because I've actually used them.
Wald has been making bike baskets forever (1905). If you've ever seen a paperboy/girl tossing the daily news out of a bike basket (you know, in a movie or something), it was probably a Wald.
- Come in a bunch of sizes
- Pretty inexpensive ($20-45)
- Light weight (depending on the size)
- Easy to find at your local bike shop
- Made in the US (if you're into that kind of thing)
- Limited attachment system (doesn't fit well on all bikes, see above pic)
- Can't be used on bikes with suspension forks (struts are bolted to the axle and would limit suspension travel)
- Small-ish weight limits
- Easily bent
I posted a pic of this brand new cargo device on the Hub facebook page a little while ago. These are two of my favorite names out of the many suggestions. Evo just calls it the 'Handlebar Basket'. Boring, but accurate. It's a basket integrated into the handlebars.
Lighter than it looks
Can be used on bikes with suspension forks
Holds up to 60lbs
Less expensive that a porteur rack ($67)
Can only be used with a modern style face plate stem
These are the handlebars you get- if you don't like them, tough.
More expensive than Wald baskets ($67)
Only one size- if it doesn't fit, tough
CETMA 5-rail rack
This is my go-to. Handmade by a lovely gentleman in Eugene, OR. I've carried weeks worth of groceries, bags of dog food, other bikes, dry ice (don't worry about it), a microwave, pizzas, cases of beer (such a bike industry cliche), my full travel tool box. If I can bungee it down, I'll take it on my bike.
- Super versitile
- Lowest center of gravity, most stable
- Adaptable to fit many bikes
- Highest weight limit
- Not limited by basket sides (but there are fenced versions available if you want)
- Handmade by one guy
- Most expensive option ($100-120 for the ones we have in stock)
- Can't be used with suspension
There are demo versions of the Evo Basklebar and CETMA 5-rail available at the shop if you'd like to try before you buy. But I'm telling you, I think you'll like it so much you won't go back to your old rack (although, I won't hate you if you do, so- no pressure). Come in and check them out!