How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
electr0n   1 kW

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How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by electr0n » May 13 2011 10:39am

Anyone out there hauling groceries with their ebike? How do you do it? My batteries are mounted on my rear rack and I've been putting my groceries in a backpack but backpacks aren't really meant to be stuffed with 20+ lbs of groceries. I'd really prefer to use some kind of removable basket or something. Any ideas how to get some storage capacity on an ebike?

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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by Dave Sloan » May 13 2011 10:48am

I would use an infant trailer for a bike - that way you will not break the eggs :)
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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by skeetab5780 » May 13 2011 10:55am

depending on the amount of groceries you buy, if you dont go with a trailer (which i myself would not do) you may need to go with more than one option. you can get one of those mesh baskets that hook over the front of your handlebars..probably fit 20lbs in there, and if you needed more than that you could possibly get some side mount panniers the would be on the left and right sides of your rear tire (this would avoid getting in the way of your battery) and you could fit 25lbs in each side of that pannier..but keep in mind this will make your already back heavy bike..a little more back heavy.

when i didnt have my rear side panniers, i used a backpack..but i was very limited on what i could buy( or fit rather) on my trip home, and found myself having to go the the grocery store 3 times a week!

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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by Harold in CR » May 13 2011 11:56am

One of my used Bikes, when I was a kid, came with a huge front Basket. It was a Market Delivery Bike, used by small merchants, to deliver goods in town. Among other things, I used to carry my smaller Brother or Sister in that basket. It;s not near as difficult as you may think. Of course, all I ever had was fat tired Road Bikes. Them skinny things were just coming around when I quit biking. :) :)

I would not be afraid to use one today. Google for photos. They were BIG. Mine was all metal.
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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by John in CR » May 13 2011 12:35pm

If you need more room just get a bigger backpack. Checkout counter to counter at home with nothing in between. Go to the market more often. It's a great excuse to get out for an ebike ride. I go every day at least once.

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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by Ypedal » May 13 2011 12:38pm

Hiking backpacks fit ALOT of stuff !! :wink:

But otherwise a strong rear rack with saddle bags are next, then a front basket ( I hate the look.. but you do what you gotta do right ? ) .. next is a trailer !! .. look into " Bob Trailer " .. single rear wheel trailer so it's not as wide.

A Trike hauls lots of stuff easily too..
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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by dodjob » May 13 2011 12:41pm

Here is my last investment. Exactly the right dimension for a "kastenbier" (it's for the front) :mrgreen:
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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by Gordo » May 13 2011 12:58pm

Harold in CR wrote:One of my used Bikes, when I was a kid, came with a huge front Basket. It was a Market Delivery Bike, used by small merchants, to deliver goods in town. Among other things, I used to carry my smaller Brother or Sister in that basket. It;s not near as difficult as you may think. Of course, all I ever had was fat tired Road Bikes. Them skinny things were just coming around when I quit biking. :) :)

I would not be afraid to use one today. Google for photos. They were BIG. Mine was all metal.
Harold;
If they were constructed of 1/8" X 3/4" flat steel, that was the standard issue "paper boy carrier" when I was a kid. On my first job as City Shipper, we had a fleet of bike boys in the downtown core doing deliveries, with these carriers. I think they are overkill for 20lbs of groceries. The best solution seems to be putting the batteries in the triangle and then 10lbs of groceries in each pannier would work perfect for balance.
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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by dogman dan » May 13 2011 3:51pm

At first I was limited to what would fit in my messenger bag. Easier to ride with than a backpack for some reason. Still no good for carrying bread for one thing. After upgrading to a much much stronger bike, now I have a battery on the rear rack, and two roomy panniers. Bread can just ride on the top of the produce or whatever. I can easily tote 30 more pounds in the panniers.

For trips to a closer to home vegetable market, or convenience store, I have a schwinn trike that can easily carry a half filled grocery cart of stuff.

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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by Ricky_nz » May 13 2011 4:03pm

I use panniers on the back and a backpack.
Bread hangs off the handle bars in supermarket bags to avoid being crushed.
I put the heavy stuff in the panniers to keep it off my back.

The weight in the panniers does affect the handling, especially with a dozen cans of beer + milk etc on one side and 5kg of spuds on the other +misc etc. All that weight at the back makes the bike start to become unstable near 38Kph. Surprisingly bags of bread off the handle bars helps settle it back down :lol:

My lipo is in the frame but I have carried it on the rear rack while getting groceries and the weight of 14s2p 5Ah lipo pack is insignificant compared to the load in the panniers
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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by MikeFairbanks » May 13 2011 4:49pm

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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by Joseph C. » May 13 2011 5:09pm

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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by amberwolf » May 14 2011 3:42am

I'm sure you've seen pics of my CrazyBike2 and DayGlo Avenger, which have metal boxes bolted to the side(s), easily made lockable when I install the hinged lid.

I've carried everything from the batteries for the bike to dogs to dog food to groceries to other whole bikes (well, disassembled) in those pods. :) I think about 160lbs is the most dog food I've had on CB2 at once, but I think I have had total about 200lbs of stuff on there, maybe a bit more, not including my own 150-160lbs (and the bike weighs about that, too). Rides horrible with that kind of load, but it does still work. :) Well, as long as I don't hit any potholes, or it will break teh rear wheel (at least a few spokes, maybe trash the rim).

Then there is the Kennel Trailer, and the old-desk/bike chariot-style trailer, each of which could haul quite a lot--more than 200lbs has been hauled in each one, for miles.

The Velcro Eclipse only has a rear rack, to which I would just tie a backpack.

DGA also has a rear rack, in addition to the side pod. There's lots of options for stacking stuff on there; tied-down boxes, carry bags, backpacks, etc.

I used to use side-baskets front and rear on DGA, until I got those boxes, which work MUCH better.


I don't know what the cargo capacity will be on the new bike in progress; hopefully even higher than CB2.


I also have a 2-kid trailer but haven't used it to haul anything yet, as it is going to have a pusher assist installed, as well as brakes, so it's still in pieces. Should be able to do 150-200lbs easy, maybe more.

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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by Rin » May 14 2011 5:10am

There are several types of baskets here on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... ts&x=0&y=0

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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by Solcar » May 14 2011 3:59pm

Around these parts we got the Amur honeysuckle bushes that have been crowding out the native plants. A local friend hates them but the wood sticks from them is what I use to build rear racks out of, held together with rebar tie wire. They can be strong and lightweight.

I like to use boxes to carry the food in and bungee cord them to the top of the rack. Sometimes the box can be turned sideways so that the weight is close to the rider and less cantilevered. I've put 50 pounds on the racks.
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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by amberwolf » May 15 2011 1:03am

I used to use a front handlebar-mounted rack on DGA (along with the front/rear side-baskets) to tie very light grocery bags to. It was made of the paper rack off an old Diablo dot-matrix printer, made for 11x17 fanfold paper; very heavy duty but very light, steel, and almost a basket in itself. Was kind of an L crosssection, with the long part nearly vertical wired to the bars with old aluminum wire from some fence being torn down, twisted with pliers, and the short part nearly horizontal out front of the bars. It also had two diagonal struts from the ends of each section to the other, on the very outer ends. Easy to just bungee or paracord-tie the bags to the rack. If really light, like ramen or something, I could just tie the handles of the bags to the rack and it'd stay in place well enough.


One likely cargo carrier on the new bike will be some big suitcase-sized softsided carriers originally meant to carry small computer towers plus keyboards and cords in, for the old on-site CompUSA training classes. I have two of them, and they should tie very nicely to some fold-down cargo carriers made of the frames from a couple of old aluminum folding cots. Easy to take in with me if I have to leave the bike outside somewhere. Also 1/2" padding on there, so insulated a little against the heat if carrying stuff taht needs to stay cold.

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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by ndk » May 15 2011 1:09am

[quote="electr0n"]My batteries are mounted on my rear rack and I've been putting my groceries in a backpack but backpacks aren't really meant to be stuffed with 20+ lbs of groceries.quote]

I've got a more European shopping style -- frequent grocery trips -- which my wife, who's from Japan, appreciates. But I also have a 4000cc daypack. Given my unseemly root beer addiction, I frequently carry back more than 20lbs without a hitch, if you'll forgive the pun.

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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by ebent » May 15 2011 5:21am

I have a topeak trunk. It has 2 panniers that roll out as needed. For small stuff it fits in the trunk. Each pannier can hold 10 lbs. easy.
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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by slacker » May 15 2011 9:02am

surly big dummy,just got back from a gas can run for the lawn mower,finally getting some nice weather in minnesota.

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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by stanz » May 15 2011 10:20am

I'll be using rear twin baskets on my bike since my chain weighs 14 pounds. Battery pack on one side, chain on the other.

It's ugly but I plan to use the bike for commuting and runs to the hardware store for work.

I used to have a trailer but gave it away, DOH! A trailer is the best way to carry heavy loads. I used to do PC repairs for folks in town and carried full towers in the trailer. Nothing fancy, it was a kids trailer I got for free at the dump, er, recycling center.
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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by tuxman » May 15 2011 9:40pm

Using a Burley flatbed to get all of my groceries.
Flatbed.jpg
Flatbed.jpg (42.35 KiB) Viewed 2001 times


Carries dogs too!
l_759d995114a929965cf1308d4005c0c5.jpg
l_759d995114a929965cf1308d4005c0c5.jpg (56.49 KiB) Viewed 1977 times
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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by lfairban » May 15 2011 10:45pm

I use large "paperboy" baskets since I have a triangle mount battery. The cloth trunk bag I have mounted on top is a good place to put bread or eggs. 40 lbs. is about the limit, otherwise when I hop off the seat at a stop, the handlebars start to rise on their own. :D
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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by V_Mark » May 16 2011 8:32am

There are rear grocery baskets that are designed specifically to fit paper grocery bags. I have two of them on the rear rack of my bike. They each can carry one paper bag full of groceries. They fold up flat against the bike when not in use. With these and my backpack I can easily carry 100 lbs. of food home from the market.

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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by amberwolf » Sep 20 2017 1:40am

Since this thread came up, I've built a couple of other bikes (trikes, actually), one of which (Delta Tripper) was cannabalized to build the other (SB Cruiser). Delta Tripper's thread can be found in a quick search if interested; SBC's is here:

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =2&t=67833

And it has a number of ways to carry groceries. Usually I just strap some coolers down in the cargo bed, but I can slide in a lockable dog crate, or hook up a trailer if I need to haul a lot (like a few hundred pounds of dog food, or furniture, or the second dog). It has a lot of lighting to be sure others see me, since I ride in traffic on the roads.


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Re: How do you carry groceries on your ebike?

Post by d8veh » Sep 20 2017 2:51am

I use a simpe bag with a shoulder strap, like a gym bag, but more general purpose and cheaper. It's quite big and strong, so can manage about 10 to 12 kg or one over-loaded supermarket shopping basket. When riding, it hangs just behind my hip, so it doesn't interfere with pedalling. The bike is a very convenient way of shopping, so I tend to make two or three trips a week instead of one big one.

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