Clean sportswear, groceries from the supermarket or even complete camping equipment: you can transport it all on your bike. There are several ways to take luggage on a bicycle. Think, for example, of a luggage carrier with straps, a basket on the handlebars or special bicycle bags on the back. There are also special transport bicycles and, of course, cargo bicycles for easy transport of goods.
Method 1 of 3: Installing a rear rack
Step 1. Find a luggage carrier for above your rear wheel
This is a rear carrier where you can take a lot of luggage with you. You can tie up goods – loosely or in a basket – with luggage carriers or with a spider, but you can also attach bicycle bags to it.
If you opt for a single luggage rack on your bicycle, a rear rack is the best choice, because you can transport most goods on it
Step 2. Install a front rack for extra capacity
On the luggage racks that you install above your front wheel, you can usually take less than on the rear rack. This is because the racks are often smaller, but also because steering becomes more difficult due to a large preload. Secure everything securely with a luggage spider or small bungee cords.
If you never take much with you, a front rack is enough and you don't need a rear luggage carrier
Step 3. Use a cargo net, straps or a spider to secure your luggage
With a net you keep everything in place. If you use a spider or elastic cord, wrap it well around the load before attaching it to the rack.
This is the cheapest way to secure items to your luggage carriers. A cargo net costs about five euros, and elastic cords even less
Step 4. Attach panniers to your rear rack
Bicycle bags are fastened with Velcro or buckles that are attached to the bags. There are also bicycle bags to hook onto your luggage carrier, which you can easily remove to take with you to the store.
Panniers are usually sold as a set, so you have one on each side of the rack. Double panniers range in price from €15 to over €60
Tip: there are many different panniers for sale. Choose fun, trendy bags or buy bicycle bags that are spacious and waterproof. The largest bicycle bags are postal bags. These are ideal for a cycling holiday.
Method 2 of 3: Using bags, baskets and bicycle carts
Step 1. Carry a backpack or shoulder bag for light luggage
With a backpack you can easily take your things with you, but a shoulder bag is more comfortable when the weather is warm. A backpack can make your back sweat a lot when it's hot.
In a bike or camping shop you will often find backpacks that are specially designed for cycling trips
Step 2. Create an authentic look with a basket or crate on your bike
There are various baskets that you can attach to the front or back of your bicycle. Such a basket is ideal for quickly throwing things in. If you want to take more luggage with you, it's best to securely attach a crate to your front or rear carrier.
- You can easily remove a basket from your bike, but a crate is stuck. This can be inconvenient if you want to put it in a bike rack.
- Keep in mind that water will get into your crate when it rains. Solve this problem with a plastic bag or a special cover.
Tip: at some shops you can buy bicycle crates, but of course you can also craft your own crate. Just buy a wooden vegetable box somewhere and paint and decorate it just the way you want.
Step 3. Use handlebar or saddle bags for small items
These bags are ideal for things that you want to have at hand quickly. Think of a repair kit, but also your phone and your wallet. You attach them to your handlebars or under your saddle.
You can find all these accessories at bicycle and camping stores. With this you prepare your bike to transport everything - from large to small - with it
Step 4. Fasten things to the frame with straps or elastic cords
Use elastic, Velcro or elastic cords to secure items to the frame of your bike. Make sure that the cords cannot get between your pedals or wheels, because you can have an ugly fall.
- There is special Velcro to use for luggage on your bicycle frame. Rubber bands, such as those used to tie skis together, are also suitable for this, as are all other strong elastic cords.
- The spot on the short, vertical bar under the saddle or on the horizontal bar on a men's bicycle are ideal for attaching small bags. Just make sure they don't get in the way when cycling.
Step 5. Purchase a bicycle cart to transport large and heavy goods
There are all kinds of luggage carts for sale. You attach them to your bicycle with a coupling piece. Check how difficult or easy it is to attach and detach if you don't want to drive the cart behind you all the time.
- A separate luggage cart is ideal if you want to keep your bike as light and fast as possible and only want to transport luggage occasionally.
- Luggage carts can carry more than 50 kilograms of cargo, depending on the model. Check if they are waterproof or buy a special cover.
Method 3 of 3: Buying a cargo bike
Step 1. Buy a special transport bike with customization options
For example, an industrial transport bike has a rear carrier that you can make longer and large panniers, crates and even extra seats for passengers.
- Specialized transport bicycles are often supplied including panniers, luggage nets, handles and back supports.
- A real industrial transport bike will cost you more than € 1000.
- Keep in mind that these heavy transport bikes are much more difficult to ride and control than a regular bike, with or without a transport rack.
Step 2. Buy a granny bike to use as a sturdy transport bike
A granny bike has a sturdier frame than a regular bicycle, so you can load it more heavily. With a granny bike you can take a lot with you, while you can also easily cycle with it.
Grandma bicycles often already have a basket or a rack at the front, because almost everyone takes things with them
Step 3. Buy a cargo bike with a transport rack in the front
These are smaller, but very sturdy bicycles that often have a smaller front wheel. These bicycles have a front rack that may or may not have a crate mounted on it.
This bike is a good choice if you want a transport bike, but are not going to transport very heavy loads with it
Step 4. Buy a cargo bike to be able to transport a lot
Cargo bikes have a solid wheelbase at the front, but a small wheel. A box is mounted on top of the wheel to below the steering wheel.
- Cargo bikes are used in the city to deliver orders, but also to take children to school and to their sports club.
- Cargo bikes are not cheap. You cannot buy a new cargo bike for less than € 1500.
Tip: Internationally the cargo bike is known as 'Long John' or as 'box bike'.
Step 5. Buy a tricycle transport bike
This looks like a cargo bike, but at the front this bike has two wheels for extra stability, so you can transport a heavier load. In the city, however, this bike is far too heavy and far too difficult to maneuver, especially in the corners.
There are more expensive tricycles that tip over slightly when cornering. They are almost as easy to control as a regular bicycle
- Take a cooler bag with you when you go shopping to keep your groceries cool and fresh. Keep this cool bag in your shopping basket or in your bicycle bags.
- All luggage adds up to your total weight and slows down your speed. So if you want to cycle quickly, or if you want to take a bike ride, it is better to take as little luggage as possible.
- Ask the employees in the bike or camping shop for advice if you can't figure it out yourself.
- Make sure that no rubber tires, loose ends of fastening material or points of the bicycle bag get between your spokes, your gears or your brakes.
- Always secure your luggage properly. Use elastic bands or cords to keep your things in place.
- Check if you can balance your load before putting it into traffic. If you swing or if your load starts to slide, you are a traffic hazard to yourself and others.
- Make sure that your bicycle lights are not obscured by your load when you are cycling in the dark. If necessary, use extra separate bicycle lights that you attach to the load itself.