Can Mountain Bikes Have Baskets – Bicycles In Motion

Can Mountain Bikes Have Baskets

Can Mountain Bikes Have Baskets

Baskets are a common bicycle attachment, but can mountain bikes have baskets? Mountain bikes are more rugged, but it would still be handy to have a place to put things. All bikes can accommodate baskets of some kind and mountain bikes are no different.

There are both front and rear baskets you can get for your mountain bike. Most baskets are fixed, but there are some that are removable too. The important thing to remember is that your basket should be tough to withstand the rugged terrain that mountain bikes are ridden on.

Baskets on bikes have come a long way from just being decorative. Baskets on your mountain bike can hold all the things you need quick access to and keep some weight out of your backpack.

Mountain bike baskets are functional and can hold essential items for your outdoor adventures. I put this guide together to help you choose the best basket for your mountain bike, so you don’t leave any of the adventure at home.

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Front Basket On Mountain Bike

Having a basket on your mountain bike is a great way to bring things with you.

Baskets for the front of the bike will typically be lighter than those you can mount on the back. They will also hold less weight otherwise steering and handling can be negatively impacted.

Front baskets on mountain bikes can be fixed or removable, depending on what you need. Having a front basket means you can easily access the items you may need more frequently such as water bottles.

Fixed Front Bike Basket

Baskets for mountain bikes will typically be made from metal and are not decorative like those you can use for road bikes.

Baskets can be fixed to the front of the mountain bike using a specialized mounting system.

There are several types of mounting systems, so you need to find one that supports the dimensions and weight of the basket.

Pricing for fixed front baskets can range between $30 and $70. You will pay more, but the basket will be held in place no matter where your mountain bike goes.

Attaching a front basket is relatively simple. You will need a 5mm Allan wrench as well as a standard wrench for tightening bolts.

You will attach the mounting bracket to the basket first. If there is a release button, make sure it is pointing downwards.

Next, you attach the handlebar system. The mounting kit will include the rings and shims for this.

The basket can then be attached to the bracket on the handlebar. Use the included cables to secure the basket into place.

Removable Front Bike Basket

Some baskets for mountain bikes can be removable. They will have similar mounting systems to a fixed basket but will also come with a quick release. This will allow you to remove the basket from the mount.

There are also removable baskets that simply hang over the handlebars at the front of your mountain bike.

While these are easy to remove, they are not very secure. Riding along rough terrain could knock it free.

Pricing for removable front baskets will be around $20. While these are more affordable, you need to remember that they are not as securely attached to the bike.

Front Bike Basket Capacity

One of the most important features of a front bike basket is the weight it can hold and its dimensions or capacity. Having a basket that is too big can interfere with steering.

The table below gives you an idea of the average capacities for the top front bike baskets for mountain bikes.

Basket ModelDimensionsSuggested Load Limit
Topeak Front Bicycle Basket13.8” x 9.8” x 10.2”10 pounds
Retrospec Detachable Apollo Bike Basket14” x 10” x 9.5”15 pounds
Schwinn Wire Basket14” x 10.6” x 10.5”9 pounds
Ohuhu Front Handlebar Basket14.2″ x 10.83″ x 10.24″14 pounds

Rear Bike Basket On Mountain Bike

You can also have a basket at the rear of your mountain bike. Typically, these are attached to a rack that sits above the rear tire and is anchored to the back of the seat stem.

A rear basket is a great idea for bringing additional outdoor items such as blankets, or hiking gear. After all, only so much stuff can fit in your backpack.

Fixed Rear Bike Basket

The trouble with a rear basket is that it is out of sight. You need to make sure it is securely attached before you head out on bumpy roads.

A fixed rear basket is therefore the better option. Pricing for fixed rear baskets can range between $25 and $65.

Rear baskets look slightly different and require a different mounting system. This is because they attach differently to the bike than front baskets do.

Using a Phillips screwdriver, you can attach the quick-connect system to the bottom of the basket. There will also be a release to connect to the front of the basket.

This release will attach to the rack sitting over your wheel. If you do not have a rack on the back of your bike, you will need to install one.

You cannot have a rear basket on your mountain bike without this.

Removable Rear Bike Basket

Having a removable basket on the back of a mountain bike is not the best idea. You can get rear baskets that will be mounted to a rack over the back tire. They will often have a quick-release feature.

However, rear baskets are less secure and with the amount of activity mountain bikes take part in, rear baskets can easily become detached.

In my experience, baskets for mountain bikes are better when they are securely attached and fixed in place.

Rear Bike Basket Capacity

Because the rear basket will attach to a bike rack, it is more stable and can hold more weight. The back of a bike can also withstand greater loads as it does not impact steering directly the way a front basket does.

The table below shows some of the best rear baskets for mountain bikes and their average capacities.

Basket ModelDimensionsSuggested Load Limit
MTX Rear Bicycle Basket15.9” x 13.2” x 9.5”20 pounds
Axiom Market LX Rear Basket18” x 12.5” x 10.5”20-25 pounds
Hoobbii Rear Bike Basket14” x 12” x 10”30 pounds
Wald 520 Rear Medium Twin Basket13.5” x 10” x 9.5”20 pounds

Best Baskets For Mountain Bikes

Baskets for mountain bikes need to be tough. You can find some that are made of durable plastics, but metal baskets stand up to the challenges of mountain biking much better.

When it comes to baskets for mountain bikes, Topeak offers the best.

The Topeak Front Bicycle Basket is made from durable wire and can hold a little over 3 lbs. It fits securely and comes with a handle for easy carrying once detached.

The wiring can get dented if hit too hard, but so long as the mounting system is intact, the basket will be secure.

Even when full, the basket sits centered and does not interfere with shifting gears on steering.

Key Features Include:

  • Used by both professional and amateur riders alike
  • Tested to ensure quality and durability
  • 6.88 l / 1030 ci Capacity
  • Carry Handle
  • Attaches with Basket Adapter & Fixer 3

For a reliable rear basket for your mountain bike, the MTX Rear Bicycle Basket is my top recommendation.

This basket is also made from durable welded wire and is reported to support 16.5 lbs.

It easily attaches your bike rack using the MTX system (Fixer 6) and comes with a carrying handle for when detached.

The handle can fall off when loads in the basket are over 10 pounds, so I do not advise carrying heavy loads in this basket.

As for transport, it will hold close to 20lbs safely on the back of your bike.

Key Features Include:

  • Made using high quality materials and components
  • Tested to ensure quality and durability
  • Max Load – 7.5 kg / 16.5 lbs
  • 23.44 l / 1430 ci Capacity

For any basket on your mountain bike, front or rear, you will want to keep the items secure.

I rely on bungee cords to help keep items secure when hitting open roads. You can get some affordable yet reliable bungee cords from Amazon just in case you pile some stuff over the top of the basket.

Helpful Tips To Know If Mountain Bikes Can Have Baskets

It is great news to know you can get baskets for your mountain bike. But, before you run out and grab one, there are a few helpful tips to remember.

  • Make sure you have a bike rack if you are looking for a rear basket
  • Confirm your bike can support the additional weight
  • Remember that front baskets need to fit around gear cables
  • If you have lights on your bike, make sure the baskets do not block them

Final Thoughts

A basket on a bike used to be for holding newspapers or maybe even some groceries.

Girls’ bikes often have decorative baskets made from wicker. These are not the baskets you want for a mountain bike.

Can mountain bikes have baskets? Yes, and baskets for mountain bikes are more popular than you may think.

Attached to either the front or back, a basket on your mountain bike can carry all the stuff that doesn’t fit in your backpack.

Brian Smith

Brian is the founder of Bicycles In Motion and an avid cyclist for 17 years. On the weekends, he enjoys exploring new bike trails and countryside roads to enjoy the outdoors.

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