Pros: Inexpensive, easy to install, easy to remove, good size
Cons: Can only take light items, may scratch your paint
This summer I purchased a bicycle with the intent of doing my around the town errands on the bike. It became quickly apparent that to get many errands accomplished I needed to be able carry things on my bicycle. I began researching luggage options and ultimately chose the Wald 133/3133 basket.
Specifications of Basket
The Wald basket is a metal wire basket. It is available in two powder coated colors: black and white. The dimensions are 14 x 9.5 x 9 inches. This is the perfect size to comfortably hold one paper grocery bag (or one of the re-usable grocery bags) upright. The basket attaches to the bike on the handle bars and has a support that rests against the bike. The mount is intended to be left on the handlebars but the basket easily lifts off the mount and has a handle for easy transport. You could bring the basket into the store with you to do your shopping.
I found the directions for installation to be quite poor, but with a little common sense it was easy to figure out how to install the basket and mount. The only tool needed is a screw driver. The mount has two clamps which screw onto your handle bars with two philips head screws each. By default the clamps are meant to accomodate large width handle bars but they also come with rubber strips that can be inserted to accomodate smaller width bars as well. You also need to attach a brace onto the mount which rests against the front of the bike. This piece does not actually attach to the bike just sits against it for support.
Unlike other models there is not a brace that attaches to the wheel arms. This might make for simpler installation, but may make it less steady under heavier loads.
I find this basket to be very convenient. It is the perfect size to hold a couple of small purchases from the store, while not being so large it gets in the way. It comfortably fits one full paper or cloth grocery bag standing upright. You do have to be causious not to overfill the basket. While it is large enough to fit two gallons of milk and some other items it may not be that strong enough. I would not put more than 10 pounds in the basket. If I shake the basket it does wiggle around on my handbars. Also when I go over bumps the basket bounces around. This could be in part because I have smaller handlebars and had to use the rubber strips to make it fit.
Another reason to avoid overfilling the basket is that heavy loads can affect stearing. If you are carrying heavy (more than 10lb) items I would not recommend attaching them to the front of your bicycle. At that weight it will start to affect your handling and stearing.
The wire design is fairly low profile and does not look out of place on my bicycle. There are other fancier baskets out there if you are looking for something that looks high end. I appreciate that the basket is also very easy to remove if I am going somewhere and don't need to take it. To remove the basket you simply lift the basket's handle to unlock it from the mount and lift it up. It takes less than 30 seconds to be on your way.
I would caution potential buyers that the bracing arm for the mount may rub the paint off the bike. It is really just a piece of metal designed to sit against your bike's frame. It is not stabalized to the bike so it will rub and bounce against the frame as you travel. For me this isn't really a big deal as I have an inexpensive bike - but it may be a deal breaker to someone who cares more about their bikes finish.
In the end I am happy with this basket. The basket is very functional, easy to use, easy to install and has a decent carrying capacity. It is also quite inexpensive compared to other options on the market.