Assembly of the basket:
- Insert the 4 faux leather straps into the 4 small holes around the top edge of the basket (two in front, two in back). If you do not plan to use the sunshade, these straps are optional.
- Before installing the sheepskin liner, locate the small metal ring fastened to the inside floor of the basket. This ring must pass through the small hole on the bottom panel of the liner. Attach the safety leash to this ring before proceeding. Now stretch the upper edge of the liner over the top edge of the basket leaving an overlap on the front of the basket of approximately 1½ inches. If using the straps (optional), pass these through the four holes near the top edge of the liner.
- OPTIONAL: Place the sunshade so the wire frame fits just inside the upper rim of the basket. Fasten the faux leather straps securely around the wire frame before riding (see image at right). By un-fastening either the two front or two back straps, it is easy to rotate the sunshade out of the way to access the interior of the basket. (This is the recommended method for placing pets in and out of the basket).
Assembly and installation of the mounting bracket:
A Phillips screwdriver is required to complete this assembly. The mounting system consists of one left and one right UPPER handlebar mount (marked L & R); two LOWER handlebar mount pieces, four long screws, four short screws (use only one set of screws depending on your handlebar size) and four nuts for fastening the handlebar mounts; one adjustable bottom strut with nut and bolt; and one wire bracket.
- The UPPER and LOWER handlebar mounts are fastened together in the package – begin by removing the nuts and bolts and separating the pieces.
- The UPPER handlebar mounts must be snapped on to the steel wire bracket. First, insert the bent section of the “L” side of the bracket into the short channel at the top of the “L” UPPER handlebar mount and slide into the hole at the end of the short channel. Rotate the mount down 90 degrees until the wire stem snaps into the channel on the side of the mount. You will hear and feel a definite “snap” when this connection is made to the steel bracket. Repeat for “R” UPPER handlebar mount.
- Attach the bottom strut piece to the wire bracket by positioning the rear clamp piece behind the wires, then pass the screw through this piece and into the main section; tighten with the provided nut.
- Hang this partially-assembled bracket on the handlebars, taking care to route the brake cables through and around the bracket to avoid unnecessarily bending or pinching your cables. This is important, as bending the cables reduces their effectiveness and longevity.
- Carefully align one of the LOWER handlebar mount pieces to the corresponding UPPER handlebar mount pieces and insert the screws down through both pieces. The kit contains four long and four short screws. Determine which length screws will pass completely through the LOWER mount piece. When fully tightened, the nuts should fit into the hexagonal cavities on the underside of the LOWER handlebar mount, but do not fully tighten the nuts at this time.
- Attach the empty basket to the handlebar mounting system by sliding the black plastic pocket on the back of the basket over the wire bracket.
- Adjust the height and length of the bottom strut (as explained below) so the semi-circle member rests firmly on the bicycle front tube, and the basket tilts up slightly at the front. The height of the bottom strut can be adjusted by locating it on any two adjacent wire cross-braces. The length of the strut can be adjusted by moving the nut & screw onto any of the four available holes. When you are happy with the basket position, tighten all five nuts and screws on the strut and mounts.
The basket can now be attached and removed from the bicycle quickly and easily (additional brackets are available from Solvit for mounting on a second bicycle).
Before riding, connect the two cinch safety straps between the basket and handlebar, as follows: Connect the small hook on each cinch strap to one of the rings on the upper rear edge of the basket. Pull the web strap under and around the handlebar and thread it back through the two cinch rings. Pull the straps snug, but not overly tight. Once installed, these cinch straps can be left on the handlebar for quick and easy use when attaching or removing the basket. NOTE: Never ride with a pet without fastening the safety straps to the handlebars.
Always attach the safety leash to your pet’s collar or harness immediately upon placing them in the basket. Make sure the safety leash is set short enough to prevent pets hopping over the side of the basket. Never leave pets unattended in basket.
Practice riding with the empty basket before riding with pets. We recommend short trips at first to allow pets to become comfortable riding in the basket. Use caution, obey all traffic laws and always wear a helmet when riding! The basket is not meant for use with extreme riding styles such as mountain biking. We hope you enjoy your Tagalong™ bicycle basket and the added companionship it provides for you and your pet.