A Waterproof Cover For Bicycle Basket

basket cover doing it's job in the rain and snow

basket cover doing it’s job in the rain and snow

I took up cycle commuting to work last September and usually plonk my handbag in the basket up front, when it rained I’d shove it in a plastic carrier bag. I do use pannier bags, I have a pair of Ortlieb front roller bags but only use one for work in which I keep my waterproofs, extra gloves and shoes to wear in the office.

basket cover with reflective piping

basket cover with reflective piping

So I needed a simple waterproof cover for the basket. Here’s one you can buy from Georgia in Dublin. This fits like a shower cap. I didn’t think this would work for me as my basket is secured to the handle bars with straps at the top edge.

I found a great on-line site for buying just the fabric I needed. Pennine Outdoor. You can buy everything you need to make your own outdoor gear including all accessories like zippers, reflective trims, elastic shock cord, toggles etc.

waterproof fabric and cord from Pennine Outdoor

waterproof fabric and cord from Pennine Outdoor

I bought this PU coated nylon at £5.75 per metre, along with some reflective piping. I also bought elastic shockcord, a toggle and some 1″ wide elastic, as at this point I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to secure the cover.

I started by taking a pattern for the top shape of the basket. I stitched the reflective piping around the sides and front. I then added a strip to form the side panel. I had to start and finish where the handle bar straps were then I added a small section between these points.

the reflective piping needed to be snipped to get it to sit round the curve nicely

the reflective piping needed to be snipped to get it to sit round the curve nicely

The top of cover fitted great but the sides stood away from the sides as the basket sloped inwards slightly. I had originally thought I would secure the cover to the basket with two loops of elastic which would secure underneath.  I thought about adding narrow elastic to the hem to pull it in slightly and then I went for the shock cord. I had originally bought this and the toggle to make a seat cover. I wasted a bit of time trying to thread the cord though the hem I’d sewn in the panel. It wasn’t going to work but I had enough depth to cut off the hem and do this properly. This took some thinking about 🙂 (don’t try to unpick waterproof fabric, you’ll be left with a load of needle holes).

If I wanted the toggle at the front I’d need to thread it on to the cord first and make a buttonhole for it to exit from.

setting the cord and toggle in position before sewing it in

setting the cord and toggle in position before sewing it in

To secure the ends of the cord to the cover I added a piece of self fabric to each end (I only broke one needle doing this) then secured the self fabric into the hem and stitched the hem with the cord in position.

sewing self fabric to the ends of the cord and then securing the fabric to the hem

sewing self fabric to the ends of the cord and then securing the fabric to the hem

I added some squares of stick on Velcro to the areas just by the handlebar straps but these lasted one journey but actually the cover is secure enough without these.

The cover has been put to the test a few times so far and it’s standing up to the job.

Hopefully this picture shows the reflective piping at work in the dark

Hopefully this picture shows the reflective piping at work in the dark

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23 thoughts on “A Waterproof Cover For Bicycle Basket

  1. Cool! I can’t imagine you saved any money making it yourself but you’d never have found anything that gutted so well.
    I’ve checked out Pennines website, will be pinning it – I’m tempted to attempt making some waterproof trousers for golf! 😃💦😃

    • It didn’t cost that much, I bought a metre of fabric so have quite a bit left over for something else. The website is great. There are obviously people out there making themselves some serious waterproof stuff!

    • I really enjoy cycling to and from work, it’s only 4 miles and reasonably flat. I found the snow more enjoyable that the rain! But I had a new mascara on that day which wasn’t waterproof, after chatting to colleagues for a few minutes I went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea and caught sight of my face in the microwave glass and I looked like a panda. I couldn’t believe that nobody had told me!

  2. So satisfying to solve a problem by sewing up the perfect solution! It will be the envy of your fellow cyclists, I’m sure. The reflective piping is a lovely touch.

    • I sometimes bump into a cyclist at the lights and the first time I saw her I commented on her using tights over the top of her basket – she’d had problems with things jumping out when bumping around. Next time I saw her she said ‘haven’t sorted a cover out yet?’ I haven’t bumped into her since I’ve made my super duper cover!

  3. This is awesome! If only I had a basket on the front of my bike … (actually, I cannot because my bike rack at work is a hanging type one so a basket would interfere with that. sigh.)

    • Thanks, I find the basket very handy, I don’t mind that it maybe a bit ‘old lady’. I loved the trousers you made for your other half, I noticed that pattern only last week and it got me thinking. But I need to tackle jeans for myself first.

  4. Very nice. Thank you for the info too – I keep meaning to do some research on waterproof fabrics, I have visions of making a raincoat. Only visions thus far, I haven’t done anything about it. 🙂

    Does this mean you can now make your own waterproof pants?

    • Yes, I should be able to make my own waterproofs now! But there is the seam sealing to add. Pennine Outdoor sell the seam tape which can ironed on. Maybe one day I’ll give I a go.

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