Best Crates for the Tern GSD and HSD Shortbed Tray and Transporteur Rack
Tern's GSD and HSD cargo bikes are amazing cargo haulers.
Every load on a cargo bike is different from the next. The irony of a hauler, be it Tern's HSD or a pickup truck, heavier things are often easier to handle than lighter things. An example, 180 pounds of concrete (just three bags of Quikrete) were much easier to bring home on a Tern HSD from my local Home Depot than 30 pounds of groceries in a bunch of flimsy grocery bags.
Sometimes it helps to have things on the things to hold your other things.
How about a hauling hack for a whole bunch of groceries?
The GSD and HSD are perfect grocery-store haulers, a great way to dip your toe into car-free living. Unlike many cargo-bike companies, Tern offers lots of very smartly designed hauling accessories. For an ideal grocery-store haul, start with the Shortbed Tray and the Transporteur Rack, both of which are compatible on the GSD and HSD bikes.
Alone, those racks are capable of carrying a good number of grocery bags. With a little add-on, those same racks can be used to carry two or three times as many floppy-when-full grocery bags. The difference between handling a quick visit to the grocery store vs a regular weekly trip for a family of four.
Any cardboard box will work, but I wanted something that included some must-have parameters:
1. Real sturdy. Rain, sleet, snow would have no impact on my perfect boxes. They also needed to be strong enough to get bonked around without smooshing, cracking, or breaking. I want perfect boxes, and I only want to buy them once.
2. Perfect fit. I wanted something that maximized the footprints of the Shortbed Tray and Transporteur Rack. No boxes rattling around, no boxes hanging over the raised edges.
3. Price. Please, they're boxes, not too expensive!
One such option that met all of my parameters, an open-topped rigid plastic box called a 'Eurocrate.' As the name suggests, very popular in Europe. They're incredibly stout. They don't cost much. My two boxes, including tax, were a total of $63.89.
Eurocrates come in many different sizes. But which Eurocrates are the right ones for my Tern racks? The Tern website makes that easy, just find the 600 mm wide by 400 mm long crate for the Shortbed Tray and the 400 mm by 300 mm crate for the Transporteur Rack. Voila!
Unfortunately, Jimmy Carter's attempt at nudging the U.S. into the Metric System didn't take.
Finding that same Eurocrate here in the States is easy, but a little more tricky as they're measured in inches. Adding to the confusion, those Imperial-standard dimensions are often rounded to make more sense to us Americans. As an example, the Tern Transporteur Rack will accept a Eurocrate up to 300 mm wide. Akro Mills makes very nice looking, affordable crates. The one that looked best had a width of 11 3/4". Google says 300 mm is equal to 11.811 inches. A tiny bit bigger than 11 3/4".
Will that perfect-looking crate fit into the Shortbed Tray, or will it be a little bit too big and not quite work?
After rolling the dice and purchasing that Akro Mills crate through Grainger, I'm happy to report it fits. PERFECTLY! If you've got a local Grainger store, avoid the shipping fee and arrange for pick-up.
The Grainger part number for the crate that works with the Shortbed Tray is 39T741. A link to the same tray is available here.
What about a matching crate for the front Transporteur Rack?
After futzing around with the same inches-vs-millimeters dilemma and taking the same gamble, another perfect fit. The ideal crate for the Transporteur Rack, in the same color and also manufactured by Akro Mills (Grainger part number 5YN07 ) can be found here.
Grainger was great. I ordered my Eurocrates on Thursday and picked them up on Friday.
While Ashburn Bicycle Repair doesn't sell Eurocrates, we do offer a variety of Tern bikes and accessories. Feel free to reach-out should you have any Tern-related questions. If we can help, we will.
Enjoy taking this first step into car-free living!