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How to Make Bike Buckets

This article was originally written on Flickr by a friend of mine Joey Emanuel from Charlotte, NC.

Bike Buckets from the Rear

These deep buckets are perfect for grocery getting or any utility type errands you might want to handle with your bicycle.

For a size reference, the buckets will hold two 4 1/2 gallon cartons of soy milk in each! THIS REFERENCE IS FOR VOLUME COMPARISON ONLY! *If you were to put 4 1/2 gallon cartons of soy milk in your bucket, you may exceed the strength limitations of the bucket and the rack would end up with a sad and delicious mess.

* I’ve also fit a big frozen pizza diagonally in one during a moment of weakness for cheese.
Bike Bucket Before
Bike Bucket Before

You Need One or Two Buckets

The buckets can be any size you want, pick the right one for your load and your bike rack.
These are 9 & 1/4 x 9 & 1/4 x 13 inches deep. Pretty honkin’ big. When fully loaded, just one can exceed the weight capacity for my rack, but sometimes I prefer to push the limits of bicycle carrying capacity rather than using my car. A bucket with a handle helps out a lot.

Other Tools You May Need

Tools for the Buckets
Tools for the Buckets
  • 4 Machine bolts and 4 nuts per bucket.
  • 9-10 matching flat washers per bucket.
  • An adjustable rubber strap to tension the bucket to the bottom of the rack stays.
  • 2 hooks per bucket.
  • 1 miscellaneous bolt and nut to secure the rubber strap. (I think mine were spare fender bolts.)
  • A utility knife
  • A screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • A power drill with bits that will accommodate each size of bolt.

Not pictured

  • A pencil or marking device
  • Reflective 3m Tape


Step One:

Step One
Step One
  • Being careful not to choose a side of the bucket where the wire handle is connected, pick a side to mount the hooks on.
  • Make a mark on either side of the trapezoidal bulge; a straight line where the hooks will go.

Step Two

Step Two
Step Two
  • Mark the width of the hook on both the flanges that protrude from the side of the bucket. You’re going to cut through these with a utility knife. Once these flanges are notched, you can bolt the hook to the side of the bucket and the hook will be flush. (Really, I don’t get the opportunity to say ‘flush’ enough.)

Step Three

Step Three
Step Three
  • Cut the flanges where you marked them.

Step Four

Step Four
Step Four
  • Score the flanges between each cut. Doesn’t have to be too deep, just enough to fold the notch you’ve made until it pops off.

Step Five

Step Five
Step Five
  • Now you can place your hook where you want it to go. Some people bolt their hooks so that the top of the bucket is flush with their rack. This is helpful if you have something large to attach to the wide platform of bucket and rack, like a frozen pizza, family-size 36-roll package of toilet paper, case of beer, etc. Mark where you will drill your holes in the next step.

Step Six

Step Six
Step Six
  • Drill your bolt holes!

Step Seven

Step Seven
Step Seven
  • Using washers, put those bolts through the hooks and the bucket. Make sure to put washers on the inside too, underneath the nuts!

Step Eight

Step Eight
Step Eight
  • I cut my rubber strap to six inches long, but this depends on your rack, how tight you want the strap, and the type of bucket you use. If you’re using one of these adjustable straps, try to cut between two of the holes.

Step Nine

Step Nine
Step Nine
  • Because I hang my buckets as far back on the rack as they’ll go (to avoid heel strike) I choose a spot just forward of the middle of the bucket’s side to anchor the rubber strap. If you’re making a bucket for the right of the bike, the anchor would be on the left of center, if it’s a bucket for the left, anchor on the right of center. This way, when mounted, the strap hangs just above the place
    where it hooks to the rack.
  • Drill the hole through both the trapezoidal bulge and the inside wall of the bucket.

Step Ten

Step Ten
Step Ten
  • Slide the cut end of the strap underneath the trapezoidal bulge.
  • Now grab that spare fender bolt and poke it through the trapezoidal bulge, the strap and the inner wall of the bucket. Make sure you get the bolt through the hole in the strap, sandwiching it between the layers of plastic bucket.
  • Give it a tug to make sure it’s caught.
  • Inside the bucket, screw a nut on the end of the anchor bolt. You can put a washer on first if you want, if your bolt is long enough.

Step Eleven

Step Eleven
Step Eleven
  • Crimp the “S” hook around the strap slightly so that when mounted on your rack the pointy bugger won’t poke and scratch a hole in your bucket. This helps your bucket hang upright when on the rack.

All Done!

Bike Buckets All Done
Bike Buckets All Done, now paint and add reflective tape.

Mounting the Buckets

Installing the Bike Buckets
Installing the Bike Buckets
Installing the bike buckets
Installing the bike buckets
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This Week in Commuting News

My goal in these weekly round ups are not only to highlight what was talked about here, on Commute By Bike, but across the newswire, blogosphere and maybe even in my shop.  As long as it is about commuting, it may find its way here.

  • Elly Blue of BikePortland.org hits upon staying dry and warm this winter, on a budget.
  • There is the first bike box, or green box in Columbus.  Bike Columbus isn’t sold on the idea it seems.
  • One of my favorite component manufactures, and all around good guys to work with, Velo Orange, recently took a trip to Tiawan to visit the factories that make their fine goods.  Read up on Chris and his stories.
  • EcoVelo has an amazing contest going on right now tagged “The Endless Summer Photo Contest.” With great prizes up to win there are some beautiful and inspiring photographs coming in everyday.
  • Did you know that Americans spend 90% of their times indoors? So says RJ.
  • Manpris are stylish and functional for cyclist, but one guy has his manhood questioned due to wearing this capri styled pants.  Read more at OregonLive.com.
  • People are encouraged to “Bike the Strike” during the transportation strike in Philadelphia. If you live in Philly, let us know how it is going there.
  • The SunTimes in Chicago has a great Pro’s & Con’s list for year round bike commuting.
  • BikeCarson is following our lead on Flickr.  Join CommuteByBike on Flickr, as well as the new Bike Carson Flickr group.

Right here on Commute By Bike there were many things talked about :

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Zero Per Gallon Under New Ownership

The very catching “Zero Per Gallon” company and blog was recently taken over by Kit Kohler from the founder Jonny Waldman.

From Kit about the new Zero Per Gallon :

53 Miles Per BurritoI am massively excited to take things over. Expect to hear more from ZPG soon, including a new site, tales from the Tour de Fat, and some updates on the blog. In the meantime I’ve unleashed a three-pronged social media attack:

http://www.twitter.com/zeropergallon
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zero-Per-Gallon/127366043929
http://www.flickr.com/groups/zeropergallon/

Friend, follow, fan, and otherwise drop to your knees at the altar of ZPG. Because there’s a reckoning a’comin’.

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Yahoo's purple bikes

Yahoo created a small fleet of purple bicycles equipped with a camera, GPS receiver, cell phone and (solar) power for this gear and deployed the bikes around the world to chronicle their journeys. The cameras take a photo every 60 seconds and post them automatically with geo tags to Flickr, where you can see the photos overlayed on maps, such as this one from the FlickrHQ bike in San Francisco.

 

Much more on Yahoo’s Purple Pedals at the obnoxiously Flash heavy Start Wearing Purple site.