Announced way back at the 2021 Sea Otter Classic, Old Man Mountain’s Basket ($80 – made in Taiwan) is a stamped aluminum, rugged basket meant to take the place of the almighty Wald 137. John got his grubby little mitts on one of these along with an Elkhorn Rack ($168 – made in Taiwan) and offered up some thoughts below…
At a Glance:
The Basket is Old Man Mountain’s answer to the problem you didn’t know you had: wire-framed baskets bend, break, and rattle with heavy use, particularly on longer tours and singletrack riding.
- Stamped and welded aluminum construction is corrosion-proof and designed to last.
- Molle compatible: Customize your basket with accessories designed for the Molle mounting pattern.
- Compatible with basket bags designed for “137” baskets.
- Bolts directly to OMM Divide, Divide Fat, Elkhorn, and Pizza Rack for a reliable and rattle-free connection.
- Does not match the Divide MUSA which has a bigger deck and hole pattern.
- Hardware included for bolting directly to all current OMM racks.
- Durable black powder-coated finish.
- Weight: 499 grams, 17.6 oz
- Dimensions: Depth 13cm Bottom: 33 x 20cm Top: 38cm x 26cm
- Made in Taiwan
- Backed by Old Man Mountain’s Lifetime warranty
I’ve been using Wald baskets for over a decade and one of my biggest qualms with them is how you’ll buy a brand new basket from your local shop and if you’re not paying attention closely, you’ll end up buying one with a busted weld. Usually, these broken welds are where the side members attach to the top rim of the basket. Or you’ll bump it into a sign post or tree and the rack’s welds will break.
From then on, it’s nothing but rattles. Well, that ain’t happenin’ over here. The Old Man Mountain Basket is super strong. I didn’t stand on it because it’s not a SRAM Transmission derailleur, but you probably could! The stamped and folded design is welded in a clean seam at the corners, promising years of use and abuse.
The beauty of the Basket is if you’re using an Old Man Mountain Rack, it bolts right in without a hiccup. There are four holes and four bolts with nylock nuts supplied with each order to make installation a cinch.
This might seem like not a big deal but having a basket that doesn’t shift or rattle is a welcomed change when compared to my normal Nitto rack and Wald basket attachment method on my touring or commuter bikes. This securement method is super solid and didn’t rattle loose at all after a long day on singletrack here in Santa Fe.
About the Elkhorn
Erik Hillard reviewed the Elkhorn in detail on a suspension fork. You should read that if you’re looking for more information about mounting it to a hardtail or full-suspension bike…
There’s a lot to love about the Elkhorn ($168 – made in Taiwan) rack from Old Man Mountain. For starters, it’s a universal rack, with countless means of attaching itself to just about any bike. That’s right. Got an old 1980s Stumpjumper? The Elkhorn will attach to it thanks to OMM’s quick-release rack mount kit. What about a carbon gravel bike with thru-axles? Yep, that too. Any bike with standard rack mounts can easily run the Elkhorn as well. The fit kits are optional in those cases–like how I installed it here on my Sklar tourer–I could have simply installed it to the fork’s rack mounts at the dropout.
Through Old Man Mountain’s integration with Robert Axle Project, just about any thru-axle thread pitch and width is covered. All I had to do was figure out which pitch the Paragon Machine Works fork ends use (M15 x 1.5″ boost) and the rack bolted right into the axle ends. The Elkhorn has a 25-lb weight capacity.
The Elkhorn comes in two heights:
- The Short fits tires up to 27.5 x 2.8″ or 700c x 50mm
- The Tall is for maximum mud clearance and fits tires up to 29 x 3.25″
Then I used the supplied brace, which has a nice, simple curve, and attached it to the three-pack mounts on the fork. Since the Elkhorn has three-pack rack mounts on it as well, I don’t mind losing that single bolt. :-) I kept the hardware loose to line it up perfectly before tightening it all down. Also, as a habit, I always use blue Loctite on all rack hardware.
I’m still messing around with the Nitto light attachment for my Sinewave Beacon lamp as I prefer to have the beam slightly turned outward, into the shoulder of the road, rather than directly out in front of the bike. This is because when I ride singletrack, I rely on a headlamp for a more stable beam, so this is primarily used for pavement or dirt road rides when visibility is important.
One thing to be mindful of is “cold setting” the rack legs. Since these racks are designed to fit on the front or the rear of the bike, you’ll have to carefully spread the legs to fit a super boost rear end. The same can be said for a boost front end, which will then need to be slightly squished inward. I found it best to soft-tighten the rack legs and crank down on either side, turn by turn.
I’m not much of a Molle guy. I dunno why. I just don’t do “tactical” and “bike,” yet plenty of people love Molle bags. That said, it’s super smart for OMM to utilize a standardized pattern on the Basket. Got a Molle bear spray holster? Check. Molle first aid kit? Check. Molle slingshot rack? Check. All that stuff will attach directly to the Molle pattern. Or you can just run ski straps through your favorite chair or z-rest sleeping pad.
Honestly, I’m very intrigued at how this would integrate with the Swift Industries Sugar Loaf bag!
The Basket is the bike thing I didn’t think I needed. It attaches cleanly to the Old Man Mountain racks, is rattle-free, and looks to be able to withstand lots of use (and some abuse.) It, along with the Elkhorn provides yet another configuration for my dedicated touring bike and honestly, it might be the cleanest solution to carrying light and airy camping items yet.
And the price is right for a bomber piece of hardware, backed by a lifetime warranty. With endless possibilities for what you can carry, the Basket and Elkhorn will prove to be noble allies on my next long tour.
Check out my Pros and Cons for the Basket…
- Durable, stamped aluminum construction
- Works with 137-designed bags or cargo nets
- Molle compatible
- Lightweight at 499 grams (compared to a Wald 137 that weighs 525 grams)
- Rattle-free construction, bolts right into Old Man Mountain racks
- Lifetime warranty
- Currently on backorder
- $80 is roughly over two times the cost of a Wald 137
- Made in Taiwan, whereas the Wald 137 is made in the USA.