Tri’d And Tested: Bonza Bike Box (£475)

With the days being colder and darker – seeking out some winter sun is usually high up on a triathletes list. Finding a training camp in the winter months allows for better training and a top up of vitamin D; but whats the best way to get your bike there in one piece. Bonza bike box is a new company to the bike box world but have set out to provide the safest box for your travels.

Triathlete Europe are on hand to see how safe this box is and how easy it is to pack the bike and head to the check-in desk.

With an RRP of £475 the price is in line with other bike boxes on the market and the ability to hire the box from as little as £5 a day, there is an option available for everyones needs. With a weight of 12kg and the size ability to fit road, 26in MTB and 29er wheels; this is a box which can be used for every occasion, be it climbing El Teide or racing XTERRA. The Bonza bike box can accommodate all.

From the outside, the box has 4 lockable catches to keep your bike secure. Only one catch needs to be locked but if you deem it necessary to have more than one lock on then you can. It is also possible to zip tie it too for extra knowledge that no-one has been tampering with you treasured bike. Four wheels on the base, of which 2 are 360 degree pivoting and from my past experience; 2 fully rotatable wheels are better than 4. There is more control with only two rotating wheels which is a necessity when moving through an airport with unruly children running wild. The box is covered in a high gloss anti abrasion finish which will keep the box looking newer for long and the box has subtle styling with a few colours to chose from.

Inside the box comes two large wheel cavities that can fit up to 29er wheels and come with two specific allen key skewers which get tightened into the anti crush rods. These allen key skewers needed two attempted to ensure they were the correct way around, maybe this was user error.

There are two foam protective layers and a large amount of velcro straps to keep you bike in place with extra straps to accommodate a pump and your seat post which you will need to remove.

The box comes with instructions but there is also a video on youtube to show how to pack your bike securely into the box. Like any other box on the market pedals, wheels and handle bars are generally needed to come off to fit in (frame size dependent). Once the bike is ready, fit into the box and strap it in. As previously mentioned there is a large number of straps so accommodating the bike around the anti crush poles is easily achieved. Packing the bike into the box takes around 15 minutes.

Bonza bike box have released a video of their box being dropped from a first floor window (see video here) and the box comes off unscathed and the bike and wheels inside suffered no damage. A perfect example of what baggage handlers might do when dropping your bike from an airplane.

We tested out how safe the bike box was by putting my own TT bike into the bike box, strapping it in and throwing it off a single storey extension. We threw it so it wouldn’t land flat and it bounced similar to the box in the video. I was happy to see my loved TT bike and wheels come out in one piece without any damage. To further test the box I strapped on a pair of steel toe cap safety boots – similar to those which a baggage handler would wear and I decided to give the box a good kicking. Again the box did not get damaged and the bike was safe and sound.

So if you have an angry baggage handler who decided to give you box a good kicking or they drop it from the airplane storage compartment then you are in safe hands with a Bonza bike box.

Taking this bike on a budget airline flight is the best option for tests – we all know someone who has had a damaged bike on one of the budget airlines. The Bonza bike box was tested on a recent flight to Copenhagen and to Amsterdam. Two return flights later the box was not damaged and neither was the goods inside with minimal abrasions to the outside.

If you are wanting to take your bike away with you on your next training camp, either renting or buying the Bonza bike box is a sure way of making sure your bike gets there in one piece. With a weight of 12kg for the box and limits of 23kg for the majority of long haul and 32kg for short haul, there is plenty of weight for you bike, nutrition, helmet, shoes and wetsuit. With both printed and video instructions on how to pack the bike – you can’t go wrong – as long as you have a set of allen keys.

Performance 9/10

Value 10/10

Overall 10/10

By Triathlete Europe

View original article here: http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/11/28/trid-tested-bonza-bike-box-449