Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: Wald 137 Basket

wald 137 basket

For carrying cargo on a bike, a Wald basket is about as basic as it gets, and I consider that to be a good thing for urban transportation. The Wald 137 is sturdy, has classic looks, and can be had for under $20. It's the smallest basket that Wald offers, so it's not meant for serious hauling, but it's very handy for carrying a few necessities on a crosstown trip.

I find the basket to be very convenient since its placement puts it right in front of me, so accessing it from a riding position is no problem. However, one must be considerate of the cargo that gets piled in there. Anything smaller than the basket holes will fall through, so you'll need a bag or small backpack to keep such things corralled. Even so, you must be wary of straps slipping through the basket holes and getting tangled in the front wheel. Also, due to its shallow 5 inch depth, a bungee cord or bungee net is advisable for keeping your stuff intact. If you load a significant amount of weight in there, it will begin to affect the bike's steering and handling. It also makes the bike a bit unwieldy when you are walking it around since the weight on the bars tends to snap them to one side or the other. Of course, the amount of weight you carry is somewhat limited by the small size of this basket, so it's sort of a self-regulating process.

Attaching the basket to your bike is generally pretty easy. However, I've seen some variations in the stays which might make it more difficult to mount on certain bikes. Some stays have several holes at the bottom for adjusting the height, but the stays that came with my basket have only one hole. Fortunately, the handlebar-to-hub distance on my bike happens to make it a decent fit. Those who have a shorter distance between these two points might have trouble leveling out their basket. You are supposed to be able to compensate by raising the handlebar brackets so they are more level with the ground. However, stays this long still don't work well on some bikes. Plus, it's generally better to have a lower center of gravity when adding cargo weight to your bike. But with the right tools and a DIY attitude, a hack-to-fit modification shouldn't be too hard. The metal is rather pliable, and I believe the stays can be shortened by cutting them with a hacksaw, filing down the sharp edges, and drilling new holes. (Update 10/07/14: I have now done this. See my Wald Hacks post for details.) Wald recommends that the stays be attached to bolt-on hubs or to fender mounting points at the end of the fork. They do not recommend attaching the stays to a quick-release hub skewer, although I have seen people mount them this way.

As long as the basket is compatible with your bike, and as long as you are aware of its limitations, you really can't go wrong for the price.

wald 137 basket

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