Where to mount a headlight if the handlebar is obscured by a basket

Bicycles Asked on December 24, 2021

I have a permanently mounted basket in front of the handlebars (because I have a child seat on the rack in the back). I also have a headlight on the handlebars (this one, if anyone cares). If the basket is empty, it is somewhat visible, through the mesh that basket is made of. However, if I put anything in the basket, the headlight is useless.

I should mention that I also have a dynamo powered headlight below the basket, but I turn it on only when it’s really dark, as the bottle dynamo noticeably slows down the bike.

Any ideas where to move the headlight from the handlebars? To the fork perhaps? That can be a problem as it would point a bit upwards then, and also would be partially obscured by the wheel itself.

11 Answers

Not sure what the legal requirements are for a light for you, but if its a be-seen light (as opposed to a see-the-road light) then Electroluminescent wire is great at showing where you are. Also known as "EL Wire" this stuff is like a light plastic rope, that can be woven or flexed.

Connect it to a suitable power source, and it will glow in whatever colour you chose. Some are 3V, some USB/5V, and some are 12V. I've run a 12V one on 18V and it worked fine, but no idea how that would impact longevity.


Not the best photo, but you can see the blue line around the front of the basket. EL wire can be held on the outside with a series of white cableties / slip ties which won't block the light. And the battery can be put inside the basket. Additionally, little of the light will be visible to the rider and so won't reduce night-vision.


  • This does not illuminate your surroundings more than perhaps half a metre, and only in a general way. There is minimal "throw" so if you want to light up the road, you're back to square one
  • Some people can hear these things - they use a high frequency AC waveform to excite the wire, and it sounds like a mosquito repellent. Which might also be an advantage.

You can get many different colours, and they're generally waterproof enough. The power connector would be the weakest point, into a USB battery bank/power bank.

Answered by Criggie on December 24, 2021

There is still no solution.

[1] The KLICKfix accessories do not work. They look good, but the lamp vibrates as you ride, causing stress where the KLICKfix meets the basket and eventually the vibration causes it to cut through your wire basket. I've had two wire baskets damaged like this.

[2] The Electra LED lights are too feeble.

[3] Attaching a pipe with PVC is a pretty clunky solution.

What's needed is a mount which could attach to the bottom of the basket, either above the bottom, or under it. The problem is that each lamp manufacturer's mount is different, so if Smart (e.g.) designed a mount to attach to the base of wire baskets, it would only fit Smart lights. So it would be uneconomic to manufacture.

I don't know what the answer is.

Answered by Matthew Pollock on December 24, 2021

enter image description here


Answered by Karma on December 24, 2021

Attach a pipe or pole to the basket and hey presto! Another "handlebar"!

Photos from Bike Hacks contributors:

PVC pipe

wooden dowel

metal pipe

Answered by Hugo on December 24, 2021

Something like this accessory is what you need:

Rixen & Kaul Light-Clip. For Front Basket

Rixen & Kaul Light-Clip. For Front Basket

Can be fitted onto wired or meshed bicycle baskets. This specific model is made by the "Rixen & Kaul" and can be found in many online shops. E.g. Amazon - Rixen & Kaul Light-Clip Basket Fitting - Black.

Answered by John Assymptoth on December 24, 2021

Zip tie the light to the side of your basket. May take several tries to get the angle right and will not work on all baskets. This has allowed me to still be able to reach the light while riding.

Answered by user17356 on December 24, 2021

Lucky's solution can be done with any sort of short, black tubular thing. E.g. an old film canister, or a stub of wood or dowel. Use some cheap wire snips to open up the mesh to accommodate the light-mount's adjustable strap about 1/2 inch below the top-front edge, and wrap the strap around the black object and the basket (through hole and over the edge). Cinch it tight and you'd have as much rattling as you would have from attaching to the handlebars in the first place. You could even use some rubber from a used tube or other bike-reflector/light clamps and put it between the block and the basket.

               [Basket below]

                       =====<    [light, on "O" tube]
                |     ||O|
[Bike here,     |     --/
 forward        |      |
 is to the      |      |
 right]         |      |

Another idea is to get a small (3-4 inch) piece of flat metal bar, e.g. a metal bracket with holes (pref. aluminum, plastic). At the bottom of your basket, either on side near front or even straight forward, use wire snips to make a little horizontal slit for the bar to go through, but so it can stay flat with the bottom of the basket. Now you lay the bar there with half in, half out, tied to the bottom with black zip ties or a nut and bolt. You could zip tie the light to the bar itself or maybe screw a piece of wood dowel or pipe to the end and attach the light to that.

               [Basket below]

                |      |
[Bike here,     |      |
 forward        |      |           [light, at end of bar, maybe with a tube.]
 is to the      |      |  =====<
 right]         |    ______O

Depending on how you can recharge the light, and on whether you mind reaching in to press the power button, you could even snip a big enough hole in the front of the basket so the light would simply lie flat (adjusted for angle) on the bottom of the basket, inside, with only the lens up against the outside. This could use black zip ties and be very discrete.

               [Basket below]

                |      |
[Bike here,     |      |
 forward        |      |
 is to the      |      |           [light, strapped inside]
 right]         | =====<

Answered by PositiveK on December 24, 2021

As a rather quick solution and possible permanent fix if the look suits you, you could get a piece of plastic PVC pipe just long enough and the approximate diameter of your handlebars, and just affix the plastic PVC pipe to the front of the basket, and mount the light on the PVC tube. If the basket is the wire type, you could slot the bottom of the pipe an it would slip right over the top of the basket and then the clamp for the light could run through the wire and around the light to secure it. This same thing could likely be accomplished with other types of baskets as long as there was a good support at the top of the basket. Just a thought for a quick and cheap possibility using the same light.

Answered by user4975 on December 24, 2021

There are various extension mounts you can buy or build to reposition lights and other handlebar-mount items. I have a purchased unit that can be adjusted maybe 2" higher than the bar, and which can mount on either the bar or the stem. You can also craft something with a short piece of plastic pipe, a few screws and brackets, and some cleverness.

Answered by Daniel R Hicks on December 24, 2021

The obvious places are on the basket, on the fork crown, or on the fork itself, although they may require mounting hardware or a different light altogether. Reading this may get you some ideas. Looking at the Reelight line-up may also spark your imagination.

Or you could also go with unconventional solutions like Revolights.

Answered by Jaime on December 24, 2021

Helmet lights are good. Usually in addition to one on the handlebars.

The pro of the helmet light is that you can light up things that are not directly infront of you. The pro of having an additional light is that it increases the chance of being seen and adds extra illumination for you.

The con is that if you are looking to the side and a car is coming from the front they will not see the light shining at them, so you should not have a helmet light as your only light.

Answered by robthewolf on December 24, 2021

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