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It’s time to pop to the shops to stock up on groceries but rather than jumping in the car or using public transport, why not give pedal power a go?
With the right set up, you can carry a lot more than you think on a bike. Whether it’s your weekly shop, doing the school run or even moving furniture, it is possible to get through all your errands on two wheels (although the below method is perhaps not feasible or advisable for everyone!).
To help you to figure out what would work for you, we’ll be exploring the most practical bike setups for grocery shopping.
Bike for Groceries
Carrying Stuff on a Bike
From pizzas to parcels, there are many different options to enable you to transport things on a bike. If it is a small item and you only have one or a few of them, simple straps like these ones we reviewed or basic bungee cords will come in handy to fix things to your bike. For larger, heavier or bulkier things, we’ll look into how you can still cycle with them on board.
Cargo bikes have increased significantly in popularity with leading logistics companies like Amazon and DHL now using them to transport and deliver goods across towns and cities. They enable you to easily carry a lot of cargo in a streamlined and efficient way.
You can find front loading options, or long tail cargo bikes. Electric cargo bikes go one step further and provide that additional boost to make your journey easier. This is especially helpful if you’ve got a heavy load, or you’ve got a hilly ride.
|Specifically designed to carry cargo||Costly investment|
|Much greater carrying capacity||Need more storage space|
|Option of electric assistance models||Depending on design (e.g front loading) they can get stuck in barriers or narrow cycle lanes|
|Can also be used for other purposes (e.g to transport children)|
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Best Electric Cargo Bike for Shopping: Radwagon 4
This bike will definitely make your grocery shopping seamless, and you’ll even be able to take along passengers if needs be!
With a powerful 750 watt motor that will last for up to 70km per charge, it can carry 150kg which should be more than enough for even those big weekly shops. It can also be customised to fit riders of different shapes and sizes thanks to a telescopic seat post and adjustable handlebars.
Its low centre of gravity and integrated rear rack makes it reliable and easy to manoeuvre and carry cargo. If you need even more storage, you can add on pannier bags, platforms or baskets.
Bikes with Pannier Racks and Baskets
Adding carrying capacity to your bike using pannier racks, bags and baskets is a quick, accessible and affordable option. A simple pannier rack will immediately offer the opportunity to attach and transport your groceries or other things either by strapping them directly onto the rack, or by using pannier bags.
Similarly a basket either on the pannier rack, or on the front of your bike using your handlebars, will provide additional storage space. It also means you’ve got easy access if you fancy a post shop snack, as well as additional height to accommodate your more peculiar shaped or precious cargo.
If you’re thinking a basket might be worth investing in, be sure to look at our comprehensive breakdown of options to make the right choice.
|Easy to add to bike||Affects weight distribution on bike|
|Affordable||Makes bike bulkier and heavier|
|Simple and quick to use|
Best Bike Panniers for Groceries: Banjo Brothers Grocery Bag Pannier
The Banjo Brothers pride themselves on making functional and affordable pannier bags. In fact, they even describe them on their website as “killer grocery bag panniers” so they are the perfect option for adding to your bike to cycle to the shops.
With a wide range of material and options, they cater for different needs and capacities including a specific grocery pannier.
What is even better is that they offer replacement parts for your pannier bags such as hooks, waterproof liners, straps and buckles so you can keep your new shopping bags going for even longer. A true supermarket ‘Bag for Life’!
Bicycle with a Trailer
Trailers are handy for increasing your carrying capacity, particularly if you’re looking to keep your bike as it is but still want to be able to transport things. Essentially they attach to your bike and sit behind you when you ride. They vary in size, shape and how they fit onto your bike.
If you’re unsure about whether to opt for a trailer or a cargo bike, check out our detailed comparison of the two transport options.
|No need to adapt/add kit to bike||Weight concentrated in one location|
|Increases carrying capacity||Can get stuck in barriers/narrow cycle lanes|
|Can be used for other purposes|
Best Bike Trailer for Groceries: Retrospec Hauler
Collapsible, portable and weather resistant, this compact trailer allows you to transport up to 36kg of cargo so would be a great addition for your ride to the shops.
It is compatible with most adult bikes that have 20-29 inch wheels and has an easy attachment that only takes a few minutes to hitch, although it isn’t recommended for bikes with thru-axles so make sure to check.
With a flat bed design and internal 4 point D rings, it will keep your groceries secure and stable for your journey. You’ll also be kept safe thanks to its safety flag and reflectors so you stay visible to others when you cycle. On top of that you can even choose the colour of your trailer so you can be practical, and stylish!
I’ve always done my grocery shopping by bike and depending on what I need to carry, I have used an electric cargo bike, panniers, my trailer or a combination. Explore what works for you and I hope you enjoy whizzing home from your weekly shop as much as I do.