A man of many travels. Fresh after his mini adventure in the Yorkshire Dales, NYC’s Dan jets off to sunny Mallorca for a few days!! Lucky sod. Check out his thoughts and experiences of his new Bike Box Alan erm….. bike box!! Lucky sod (again).
1) It’s solid as anything. The anti-crush pole in its centre and special plastic construction (backed up by several real life tests on their web site) give us total confidence that the bike will arrive perfectly undamaged at its destination. The solidly riveted hinges and catches are likewise bomb proof.
2) The myriad internal velcro straps are as tough as you like – once strapped down in to place your steed isn’t going anywhere.
3) The wheels lock nicely in to place in the lid of the box.
4) Your rear derailleur stays on during transport. Ever spent a day hanging around outside a bike shop in Lanzarote waiting for the mechanic to work through a line of rental customers and mates before he grudgingly gets round to helping you because your previous mallet-fisted attempts at mech reassembly have left the rear hangar threaded? We have and it sucks. Not having to mess with the mech on a trip is a layer of stress we’re happy to lose.
5) There’s plenty of room in the box to squeeze in other kit for your trip so you really only need that plus hand luggage for a week away
6) Customer service and support is excellent – the box comes with a seven year guarantee and it’s made in Britain. If you do manage to trash the hinge or break a catch then help is right at hand – no mucking around with shops, distributors etc etc.
7) And it comes in loads of colour and sticker variations.
8) Anybody who’s anybody on a bike in Britain seems to have one (Froome, Browlees, Laura Trott, Jo Rowsell etc etc). Team Sky’s Ben Swift was popping in for a cuppa at the Rotherham HQ when we went to collect ours.
9) Packing is really simple and quick so long as you remember to make sure you can get your pedals off in plenty of time rather than leaving it until the last minute and realising your necessary hex key is rounded off (not that we’d ever do that. Not us, never…)
10) Our mate had a similar (actually pricier) plastic case on a recent trip abroad. On arrival at resort he discovered the top tube on his several grand super bike was smashed. He’s now getting rid of his other case and buying a Bike Box Allan.
So is it perfection? Almost. The catches can be a faff to line up so there’s a little room for improvement, but that aside there’s nothing else out there we’d rather use. At a starting price of £415 they’re not cheap, but given the years of use you’ll get from one and the confidence of knowing you’ve done all you can to protect your bike and possibly save your trip? They’re great value. Hiring is also an option – to find out more go to bikeboxalan.co.uk