If you’re heading abroad with a bike over the next few weeks, check out the Buxum Box Tourmalet that has arrived for review here at road.cc. It’s different from other bike boxes and cases that we’ve used in that it’s made from aluminium.
The Buxum Box (buxum is the Latin word for boxwood) is the invention of Ed Morris, a Brit expat who has been living in Hong Kong for the past few years.
“I needed a bike box for a trip to the Pyrenees with a bunch of Hong Kong riders,” says Ed. “In short, we couldn't find anything available on the market in Asia with a specification or quality commensurate with the bikes we were riding. The good soft cases were just too soft whilst the hard-shelled boxes were either too bulky, too heavy or just a bit flimsy on the hardware side.
“Aluminium seemed to be the obvious material to use – strong, light, durable and 100% recyclable. Initially as a bit of fun, I developed a couple of prototype boxes and, taking advantage of the fact I have to fly two or three times a week in my corporate life, put the prototypes through their paces by slinging one on the plane when traveling for business.”
Buxum make three boxes, the Tourmalet, priced at £680, being the most popular.
The walls are made from 0.5mm thick aluminium sheets with thicker aluminium used for the edges and corner caps to provide extra strength. The walls are thin enough to flex when you push on them and Ed says that they’ll dent and scratch slightly in use but without having an impact on the box’s overall strength. He reckons that makes it look better with age.
The Tourmalet is an unusual design in that it comes in two completely separable parts: a base section and a lid, effectively.
To fit your bike inside, you need to remove both its wheels, the pedals and the seat post, and take the handlebar out of the stem. You fix the rear dropouts to a lengthways-adjustable mount and clamp the fork to another mount so the frame is solidly fixed in place.
The wheels slot in alongside in their own bags, along with the seatpost and pedals, leaving plenty of room for additional baggage in the box.
An important part of the design is a rod that slots in place from one side of the box to the other to stop it getting squashed if it’s put at the bottom of a pile.
All the little details appear to be well done. The sealed bearing wheels are recessed so they’re unlikely to get knocked off, the latches are strong and you can use a cable lock to keep them closed, and the handles look built to last.
The Buxum Box Tourmalet measures 1129mm x 781mm x 305mm and our one weighed 13.3kg on the road.cc Scales of Truth (Buxum Box claim a weight of 12.5kg).
We’ve not been able to fly with this box yet so we’re not ready to write a full review. We have packed a road bike inside, though, just to see how it’s done, and it was a simple 10-minute job without any cursing. That’s a good start.
We’ll be back with a review as soon as one of us gets the chance to use the Buxum Box in anger.
For more details go to www.buxumbox.com
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.