Can You Put a Basket On A Mountain Bike?

Are you a regular bike user either for adventure or for exercise purposes? Cycling is an excellent way to keep fit and move around. At times, you will need to carry some groceries or your pet with you. But can you put a basket on a mountain bike?

Yes. You can put a basket on a mountain bike without much of a struggle. Actually, you can mount it at the front or on the rear rack of your mountain bike without issues. All the same, if your bike has suspension, your available options reduce because the support struts may upset the functioning of the shocks.

If you use a mountain bike on the streets, you aren’t alone. Actually, most folks like using mountain bikes for their freedom to travel on different terrains. What should concern you is how to add a basket to your bike.

Can You Put a Basket on a Mountain Bike - Bike with a rear basket

Can You Put Basket on a Mountain Bike – How Do You Do It?

As earlier noted, it is possible to add a basket to your mountain bike. Notably, you can have the basket at the front or the back, depending on your preference.

Also, the other determining factor as to whether you install a handlebar or a rear rack basket is the intended purpose.

Mainly, if you intend to carry light parcels, a front basket will work perfectly for you. On the other hand, a rear bike basket is the best for bigger and heavier loads.

How Do You Put a Front Basket on a Mountain Bike? 

First, if you have one of those rigid pioneer mountain bikes, it is easy to install almost any front baskets without a hassle. Unfortunately, these mountain bikes are not easy to come by these days.

As for the modern hardtails, they all feature in-built front wheel suspension. These bikes will only work with smaller baskets as compared to rigid bikes.

Mainly, there are three types of front install bike baskets

Strut Attachment Baskets 

These baskets mount directly on the handlebars and the forks. Have a look at Wald 198 Front Bicycle Basket if your bike forks are the rigid type.

Notably, most mountain bikes’ forks have fender eyelets that are ideal for basket installation. If there are no fender eyelets, you can use clamps or attach the basket to the front wheel axle.

How Do You Put a Front Basket on Mountain Bike with Front Suspension

Front Rack Attached Baskets 

This type of bike basket is sturdy and can hold up to 20 lbs. Therefore, these baskets are common among messengers and couriers.

First, if your bike doesn’t have a front rack, you need to get one like the Topeak Explorer Rack and set it up. Afterward, you can use planks, bolts and nuts, or zip ties to attach the basket to the rack.

At the same time, some racks come with built-in attachment ports for baskets making installation relatively easy.

Quick Release Attachment Baskets 

Their unique mechanism makes the quick-release baskets a darling of most commuters. Ideally, these baskets attach to the stem.

They are technically easy to mount and dismount. A good example is the Ohuhu Bike Basket which is light in weight and doubles up as a shopping basket.

The detachable steel half-mesh Apollo Bike Basket with Handles is also a reputable choice. The basket has removable handles making it easy to carry.

The only limitation with this type of front bike baskets is that they work for bikes that feature thread-less stems.

Unfortunately, these baskets have low weight capacity, which averages at 11 lbs.

Why should you go for a front basket? The main benefits of a front basket include:

  • Ease of access to your cargo and,
  • Your load is in sight at all times

For these reasons, you will find most people using front baskets to carry their rucksack and the main bag.

How Do You Put a Front Basket on Mountain Bike with Front Suspension? 

Installing a basket on a mountain bike that has a front suspension is a bit limiting. All the same, it is possible.

If your bike has frontal suspension, then you should go for a strut attachment basket. Technically, these baskets tend to bend under pressure without damage when the forks sink.

You can also use a handlebar basket and attachment clamps to mount it on the bars to solve the problem. Make sure the clamps are wide enough to fit on the MTB bars.

This Swagman Retro Bicycle Basket is a good example.

On the other hand, you can apply a front rack and amount your basket on it. Unfortunately, this option can be more limiting than the others.

How Do You Put a Front Basket on Mountain Bike

How to Attach Rear Basket to a Mountain Bike

Again, if you have one of the retro mountain bikes, it most likely has fender eyelets for mounting racks on the frame.

On the other hand, modern hardtails mostly come without eyelets. If you have one of the modern bikes, you can still get one of the following racks.

  • A rack that fastens straight to the seat stays. These racks come with clamps that you can use to attach the rack, even on hardtails.
  • A rack that attaches to the rear wheel axle. You can install these types of racks on bikes without fender eyelets. The drawback of these racks is that you have to remove the rack’s legs whenever you remove the wheel.
  • A seat post rack. If you have a full-suspension bike, you can go for a seat post rack. Unfortunately, the luggage will in a seat post rack is usually high, and the baskets have a low weight capacity.
  • A Rear rack for full suspension bikes. Regular racks cannot work on a full-suspension bicycle. Technically, the rack’s support arms would break. Therefore, you should get a rack for a full-suspension bike. For example, the Thule Pack’ N Pedal Tour Rack is one of the few racks you can use on a full-suspension bicycle.

Just like we had mentioned when we were looking at mounting a front rack basket, if there are no in-built mounting devices, you should use clamps or zip-ties.

Also ReadHow to Ride Bike with a Dog In a Basket

Final Take

So, can you put a basket on a mountain bike? Yes, you can. Actually, if you have the rigid mountain bike model, you can use a variety of baskets.

If you have one of the modern hardtails, you can also put a basket on your bike, but you have only a few baskets to choose from.

Notably, you can choose either to have your bike rack at the front or the back. If your bike doesn’t have fender eyelets, you can use clamps to mount bike racks if you decide to use rack-mounted baskets.