Home
Verdict: 
Novel idea, but needs to fit a CO2 canister and attach to an aero post to find its true target market
Weight: 
224g
Contact: 
www.steblesbikes.com
Stebles Bikes Aero Box
5 10

The Stebles Bikes Aero Box is a good shape and holds stuff securely, but it doesn't hold enough stuff, and the way it attaches to your seatpost with zip-ties isn't very user-friendly, or reusable.

Stebles was founded in the UK by Mark Stebles in 2012 with a mission to 'revolutionise bike design', and one of its first bikes to go into production has mudguards integrated into the frame. As well as bikes, Stebles has began designing 3D printed accessories. This saddle box, which houses a puncture repair kit, is the latest.

>Buy Stebles Bikes Aero Box

Designed to replace a traditional fabric seat bag, the 224g Aero Box ties onto a seatpost or seat tube and is smoothed into a curve shape. Inside, Stebles supplies a Schwalbe inner tube, plus Park Tool patches and tyre levers for the £29.95 asking price. It sounds ideal, and when I put in on my bike I was happy with how streamlined and clean it looked, suspended handsomely on the back of the seatpost.

To open it, you just slide it downwards from its pivot point. While on the bike, the box didn't move in the slightest, even over some very rough roads.

It does seem that Stebles is forgetting one key ingredient that's needed to fix a flat, though: air. The box has no room for a CO2 canister or mini pump, so you'll have to find space for this in another pack or jersey pocket. I'm no expert on 3D printing and maybe the design wouldn't have worked if an extra compartment was added, but surely it would be better to have everything in one place to save space?

I also think the best application for this, because of the time-saving advantage offered by simply sliding the box open, would be triathlons or long time trials when you get a flat mid-race and need to do a rapid repair. The time saving isn't as significant if you have to fumble elsewhere on the bike to locate your inflation tool.

Another big problem I had was when it came to removing the cable ties so I could attached it to a different bike: it's very difficult to cut them off without nearly slicing into your seat tube. This, plus the fact that if you move it between bikes regularly you'll need new cable ties every time, makes the system a bit of an annoyance. I'd like to see bigger slots cut in for Velcro straps instead.

I spoke to Stebles and gave some feedback, and it's aware of my tips for improvement. I'm told a dedicated version for triathlon and time trialling may be on the cards to fit an aero seatpost. But even so, the box should also have space for a CO2 canister inside so you don't have to house that or a mini pump elsewhere on the bike – it defeats the object of the space-saving and aero design.

Overall the Aero Box is an interesting concept, but it's not refined enough for my full recommendation just yet. I hope there's a mark two soon.

Verdict

Novel idea, but needs to fit a CO2 canister and attach to an aero post to find its true target market

road.cc test report

Make and model: Stebles Bikes Aero Box

Size tested: n/a

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?

The Stebles Bikes Aero Box is for those looking for very speculative time savings, a talking point for the club ride, or just anyone who is naturally curious.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Stebles says:

3D printed for a standardised shape and close fit of accessories with no rattling

Weight: 224g

Schwalbe 700c inner tube, park tool tyre levers and patches included

Designed for standard 31.6mm road seat posts, but can fit smaller with no issues

Can be fitted to the seat post or seat tube with cable ties

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
5/10

It's well cut and nothing moves inside, but I'd prefer Velcro straps to cable ties to secure it to the bike.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

It didn't move at all and housed the accessories without anything moving around.

Rate the product for durability:
 
5/10

The cable ties aren't durable long-term, because they need replacing.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

It's not a great deal more than a canvas saddle bag, which is impressive considering it's a hard case.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
10/10

n/a

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

There's not really any compass, but by volume it's expensive.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Fine, but you'll need to pull out your pump or CO2 from elsewhere on the bike to finish repairing your flat.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Easy to open, the 3D print gives a nice clean cut and it looks pretty cool. It also doesn't move at all when you take a pothole or rough bit of road.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It doesn't fit everything in that you need to repair a flat, and you can damage your seat tube trying to get the cable ties off.

Did you enjoy using the product? I was indifferent, and got some strange looks!

Would you consider buying the product? Not yet.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Perhaps

Use this box to explain your score

If I had a friend who had an intrepid taste I'd mention it to them, but I wouldn't recommend it over a trusty saddle wedge pack for most cyclists.

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 179cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride: Road bike (currently Specialized Tarmac)  My best bike is: Ridley Chronus TT bike

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Triathlon races

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

12 comments

Avatar
handlebarcam [1125 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

At last, a solution for those of us who want to carry something a bit more substantial than gels and bananas for our on-the-bike food...

//www.cornishpastyassociation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/pasty.jpg)

Avatar
HalfWheeler [673 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

30 quid for a plastic box?

Avatar
ChrisB200SX [769 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

It's not even aero... And it's £30.

Maybe I should try to put my own ideas into production via Kickstarter, everything else I see seems to rather fall short of the mark.

Avatar
Grahamd [956 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
handlebarcam wrote:

At last, a solution for those of us who want to carry something a bit more substantial than gels and bananas for our on-the-bike food...

//www.cornishpastyassociation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/pasty.jpg)

Would be even better if it was heated.

Avatar
Velomark [26 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

If I leave it on long enough will my seatpost give birth to a baby seatpost?

Avatar
notonthis [8 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Looks to be 3D printed, so not really a production product, hence why it is £30...

Its more like a prototype, not really something you should sell. 

Avatar
Toast [60 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Looks fugly, unfinished, and I have trouble believing it's any more aero than a small bag wedged right up in the saddle rails. It looks like the curvature is on the wrong axis to be aero, surely something like a foil extending from the post would make more sense? Levers in the thinnest section at the back, then stuff a tube on them to stop them rattling, CO2 on top of that, then clip it onto a bracket on the post (something like battery compartment rails, moulded into a grippy-backed bracket/lid held in place with silicone O-rings).

But I'd still rather not.

Avatar
Toast [60 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Also: does 224g include contents?

Avatar
DrJDog [472 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I'd like to see numbers for the drag of that compared to a bag tight under your saddle.

Avatar
reliablemeatloaf [108 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

"it's not aero".

Probably makes a difference to 0.01% of the readers of this site. Not like it's going to take two minutes off any of your rides, or mine.

Avatar
Vejnemojnen [285 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

i JUSTa throw in a spare tube-2 plastic levers-a minitool into an old half-pair of socks and put it into a jersey pocket.

 

I'm doing it wrong.

Avatar
Toast [60 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
reliablemeatloaf wrote:

"it's not aero".

Probably makes a difference to 0.01% of the readers of this site. Not like it's going to take two minutes off any of your rides, or mine.

Granted it's not what I'd base my choice on, but it's what they're selling it as so it's a relevant thing to question - they're marketing it to that 0.01%.