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The VeloVault is a versatile and secure travel companion for your bike, whatever your bike may be. It's well-designed and strong enough to cope with the rigours of international travel.
Bikebox Online, who have designed the VeloVault, offer it either for sale or for hire, if you don't need a box that often. You can pick one up from one of their 14 hubs across the UK, or have it delivered. At £449 it's comfortably mid-table in terms of pricing for a hard case, but it offers very good performance.
The VeloVault is fully manufactured and assembled in the UK. It's a two-piece hard plastic shell with a full-length piano hinge at the base, and it rolls on four sturdy castors, two fixed and two floating. Inside there's room for pretty much anything; Bikebox Online say a large 29er mountain bike will fit and certainly we had plenty of room once a large road bike was tucked up inside. The wheel mouldings have space for disc rotors, so you won't need to take those off when you travel. Wheels can be held with velcro but there's also the option to use a skewer through the case. That's a better option but the case doesn't come with skewers so you'll need to buy some; using your own quick releases isn't recommended as it's possible for them to get bent.
The frame and components sit on a decent layer of foam padding and are held in place with velcro straps. You'll need to remove your seatpost, handlebars and pedals, and taking off your rear mech is advisable too, but there's plenty of room for everything. Once everything's in you can close the case, making sure that the two halves of the aluminium central strut engage. This strut prevents the box from being crushed which could damage your bike.
The clasps and the hinge on the VeloVault are top-quality. They feel sturdy and keep the box tightly shut, and there's holes drilled for a padlock so you can lock up your pride and joy in transit. Wheeling the box about once it's loaded is fairly easy. The wheels are goos but the handle isn't the most comfortable; it'd be handy if the box came with a strap for pulling it along. With a road bike and minimal kit inside the VeloVault sneaks under 20kg; most airlines will let you have up to 30kg for your bike, and there's plenty of room inside for kit.
We've been very impressed with the performance of the VeloVault overall. One of our testers was sufficiently taken with the box that he's bought it and continues to use it. It's a good quality box that's well worth the money if you plane to do a lot of travelling with your bike.
Versatile and secure travel box for your bike, with plenty of room and good quality construction
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Make and model: Bikebox Online VeloVault bike box
Size tested: One size
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
BikeBox Online says:
The Velovault is our own in house designed box. Utilising 5 years of bikebox rental experience and Sam Gardner's experience of competing as an international triathlete for 10 years, we gained a pretty good idea of which boxes on the market were up to the job and how we thought we could improve on existing designs in various ways.
We are very proud to say that our box is British made and we mean proper British made! The Plastic shells are produced near Birmingham, as are the Protex™ catches and the piano Hinge, the webbing and foam are made either side of the Peak district, even the weight saving aluminium washers are made in England. Assembly is also carried out in the UK.
Universal wheel fixings and larger wheel moulding – Velovault is fitted for all conventional wheel sizes, including the new 650b and 29er mountain bike wheels. No need to fully deflate your 29er tyres just to fit in the bike box.
Innovative wheel mount design – two mounting holes mean your big 29er wheels can now fit without the cassette from one wheel rubbing against the 2nd wheel.
Disk Brake rotor recesses – We have also built in protection for disc brake rotors so you no longer have to remove them when travelling.
December 2014Interlocking Large Diameter central support struts – Designed specifically for the purpose. One strut has a pointed 'Male' end which locates into an opposing 'Female' cone on the other strut providing great crush resistance so an adult can stand on the centre of the box. Best of all, as the struts are integrated into the box, they'll always be in place even if customs open up your box.
Extra length – Our box is 50mm longer than our competitors which accommodates the longer wheel bases now found on modern 29ers and downhill bikes. To keep our overall dimensions (Length + Height + Width) the same as our competitors we have lost a few mm of width and height.
Quality fixings – A Bikebox is only as strong as its weakest point. Why spend £400+ on a box to protect your £10,000 bike and accept cheap Chinese catches which don't even have a Strength rating, or a box using cheap Piano hinge. We only use UK made Protex™ Catchbolts with a strength rating of 400kg per catch. If they're good enough for Formula 1 teams they're good enough for us.
Sensible handle position – By not having our main handle in-line with the seat post and saddle, we can accommodate the full chain-ring to saddle measurement. Put another way, many other boxes position a handle where the saddle would go, adding to the overall dimensions of the box but also reducing the internal space at the most important point.
Dimensions. Length 116cm, Height tallest 91cm, Width 30cm
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Sturdy, room for any kind of bike.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of supplied skewers, handle is a bit small.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Use this box to explain your score
A very good box for the money.
Age: 43 Height: 189cm Weight: 92kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.