Cycling and Shopping

Ways to carry goods on your bike

Biking is a great alternative for travelling to work or school, running errands or even shopping. Some benefits of shopping by bike are; getting exercise while running errands, supporting local shops and markets, avoiding delays due to traffic and congestion, being environmental conscious, saving money on fuel and vehicle costs.

With a little planning and proper bike accessories, you can carry almost anything on your bicycle.

Accessory Best For Things to Consider


A bag you carry on your back secured with 2 straps that go over your shoulders

Light loads and short trips

Can cause back strain, so not recommended for longer trips or for carrying heavy objects

Can add perspiration on your back

Front Basket

Front Baskets
Wicker, plastic or metal baskets can be attached to the front of most bicycles or anchored to the handlebars and the front fork
Any trip

Well-constructed baskets are strong and can hold a lot

Some baskets can be easily clipped on and off the bicycle so you can take them inside for shopping and unloading

The more weight you put in the front basket, the moreeffort it will take to steer and control your bike

Front baskets are convenient, but it will take time to adjust your steering and manoeuvring

Rear Rack

Rear Racks
A metal rack that can be attached to the seat stays of most bicycles
Any trip

Considered one of the safest and most convenient ways to carry things on your bicycle when used with a pannier

Can secure objects directly to the bike with bungee cords, install a rear basket or attach panniers

Front Rack
Front Racks
Similar to rear racks, front racks can be attached to the front of the bicycle to allow for panniers over the front wheels
Any trip

Don’t overload a front rack: the extra weight on the front of your bike will make it more difficult to steer



A basket or pack, usually one of a pair, that fastens to the rack of a bicycle and hangs over the side of one of the wheels
Carrying heavy things

Considered one of the safest and most convenient way of carrying things on your bicycle when used with a rear rack

Can be canvas, leather or a variety of synthetic and waterproof materials

Good for carrying a variety of things, and usually have alarge capacity

You can bike with just 1 pannier, but it’s best to have 2 to distribute the weight of your load on both sides of the bike

The bulk of the weight remains low to the ground

Seat Bag

Seat Bag

A storage accessory hung from the back of a bike seat
Trips where you don’t want to carry much

Provides storage for small objects such as energy bars,a wallet or keys

Attaches under the seat

Won’t interfere with your riding technique or balance.


A carrier you attach to the back of your bike for carrying large, heavy and/or awkward items

Pull a lot of weight

Come in a variety of different sizes and styles

Can have any number of wheels

When using, bike in a low gear to minimize strain on your joints

Are easy to use, but cycling with them requires practice

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