Saturday, February 8, 2014

Buxum Bike Box: A New Sponsor

My Ventoux Buxum box waiting for me in Singapore
Lots of people ask me if I have sponsors to do this trip.  In the beginning I looked for a few sponsors for some of my gear and materials.  A lot of local companies pulled through from Barcelona to help me prepare my bike and get the correct gear, I even got the support for some special services. However, halfway through my tirp, I never thought that I would land a new sponsor.  Recently Buxum gave me a bike box to use for transporting my bike to complete the rest of my trip.  To remind you, my bike was delayed and hung out in Dubai for a week while I was in Hong Kong.  When it showed up, the box was completely tattered and the front fork slightly bent.

It just so happens that Ed Morris (the same Ed that accompanied me for a week in the Mekong Delta and Cambodia during the holidays and also witnessed the state of my bike’s arrival in Hong Kong) is starting up a bike box business called Buxum.  I will put his bike box to the test for the remaining flights on my trip, and so far, it help up well in the first Trans-Pacific flight from Singapore to New Zealand.  I can’t say I’m surprised; Buxum’s bike suitcases have been brilliantly engineered with the discerning athlete in mind and aimed at matching the highest expectations.

Here's Ed packing up his bike in the Galibier box.
Ed has over 25 years of cycling experience, traveled thousands of miles on planes with his own bike, and he’s an engineer.  He started Buxum after noticing a lack of bike boxes in the market to cater to the various needs of cyclists and different bike frames.  He had purchased a touring bike with couplers so that it could be disassembled and fit into a normal size suitcase.  However, those normal size suitcases on the market were poorly designed and manufactured, so he decided to design one of his own coming up with what he call the Galibier.  A bike box for those cyclists who own a bike with couplers that can be transported as normal checked luggage.  Shortly after the Galibier came the development of two other larger models, the Tourmalet and Ventoux.  The larger the bike box, the less disassembly required.  However, each box is made with aircraft grade aluminum that can be recycled, making it a green product choice.

How does something so big and clunky get in a box that small? Leave it to Buxum.

As you might expect, I have the Ventoux, because for me, it’s a headache to take apart my bike and reassemble.  I prefer minimal work!  My Ventoux bike box was waiting for me in Singapore.  The packing it up and unpacking the bike is suppose to take 5 minutes.  I would say this was wishful thinking for me, as my bike was fully loaded with a front and back rack, 2 mudguards, and a front and rear kickstand.  I also have to admit that I always have a bit of extra help from a friend or a shop at the time of packing up my bike.  So disassembling it to transport using Buxum, was a first-time solo event.  Once the racks and kickstands were removed, it took me about 20 minutes to removes wheels, the seat, and fit it into the box.  It was quite simple as the front and back fork fall into an axel mounting system similar to that of a bike.  The box has four steel twist latches for ultimate security, an anti-crush stacking protection, corners that can take a battering, and a back axel mount that fits varying wheelbases.

Ta Da! Just like that it's ready to travel

My Buxum bike box got quite a few compliments from people who helped in its transport.  The first compliments came from the taxi driver in Singapore who graciously put it in the trunk of his car (it stuck out but was bungee corded down). He admitted he’d transported a lot of suitcases to the airport, but never seen anything quite like this box.  The airline agent was apprehensive about transporting a big box, but he was fascinated by the design and in the end he caressed the box several times before putting it on the belt.  When I got to New Zealand, the customs officers who obviously see a lot of bike boxes also admitted they had never seen anything quite like a Buxum bike box and insisted to open it themselves and test it out.  Building the bike back up in New Zealand was surprisingly more easy than the breaking it down. I’m optimistic that the next time I pack it up, I will be even quicker!

Although the Ventoux model is the largest of the three, the size requirements are still within limits of the airlines.  I filled the box with extra gear and material so the weight went up to 30kg, which caused some problems when flying Etihad.  However, there are airlines out there that allow 32kg. for checked luggage and it is worth doing your research to know who they are to keep costs minimal when flying with a box.  The box and bike alone would have been just below 23kg, and next time I will refrain from filling the bag with all the extra gear.

We are ready to fly!

Nowadays airlines try to complicate flying with a bike, which makes no sense to me.  Cyclists are ideal tourists.  Regardless of the ridiculous charges we can incur flying with a bike, we continue to pack up our bikes and bring them with us around the world to participate in a triathlon, bike race, or tour.  We are passionate about our sport and with a bike box from Buxum, you can be assured that your bike with make it there safely!  Have a look at, I’m sure there is a box model that is suitable for you and your bike!

If there is anyone else out there that would like me to put their products to the test as I make my way home the loong way, I still have 15,000 kilometers plus to do so!  Please feel free to contact me!

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