When travelling by air, packing your bike safely into a bike box is essential. Even when travelling by train or ferry, you won’t always be permitted to carry on your bike as it is and may be required to pack it into a box.
Whether you’re a globetrotting cyclist or simply need a dependable bike box for domestic travel, the Bonza Bike Box 2.0 is an excellent option for the price tag.
First and foremost, bike boxes need to be strong and durable. Luggage attendants aren’t exactly famed for their careful hand and bikes, though generally durable, are still vulnerable to impact damage.
Secondly, bike boxes need to be easy to use and convenient to travel with. Packing your bike in should be relatively simple and the case ought not to be too heavy, keeping the size and weight of the whole package down.
With those two factors in mind, let’s take a look at one of the best bike boxes on the market, the Bonza Bike Box 2.0.
The Bonzo Bike Box 2.0
- Fits all bikes frames up to 63cm and wheels up to 29”
- Super-strong high-impact plastic construction with support struts
- Foam wadding included
- Velcro straps for secure fastening
- 4 easy-glide casters for effortless transportation on the flat
- Heavy-duty quick-release catches
- Enough room for accessories, e.g. bike pumps
Format and Sizes
This is a plastic flight-case style bike box with wheel slots. It’s large enough to accommodate massive frames up to 63cm and wheels up to 29”, so long as the tyres are deflated. The very biggest bikes might need their rear mechs removed if they rub on the edge of the box. Still, this bike box is easily compatible with all average-sized bikes.
The wheel holder’s holes are compatible only with skewer axles (5mm thickness). These are the most common axles on quick-release wheels. Thru-axles (12mm thickness) will have to be removed from the wheel before packing and replaced temporarily with a thinner axle if you want them to fit into the holes. This case is not ideal for thru-axle users.
Most typically sized road bikes can be stored in the Bonzo Bike Box 2.0 with the fork still attached but larger mountain bikes will need their forks to be removed. As expected, the handlebars, wheels, seat and cranks will also have to be removed, but that’s it.
There should be plenty of interior space for other items and accessories such as bike pumps.
The exterior dimensions are 124 x 94 x 34 cm, well within the limits for most airlines’ max size for sporting goods.
The weight of the case alone is 12kg, which is fairly heavy but still sits towards the lighter end of bike hard cases. The case features 4 easy-glide wheels or casters which aids transportation on the flat. It’s pretty cumbersome but you can really avoid it and it’s about as size-efficient as it gets for a widely compatible hard plastic bike box.
The Bonzo Bike Box 2.0 sports an HDPE anti-impact plastic exterior. It’s not the thickest plastic going but Bonza claims its malleability makes it less brittle and stronger overall. Thicker plastics have less give or flexibility – this can result in worse impacts.
The case has been designed with two support struts to prevent the risk of crushing. This means the case can be safely stored amongst other heavy luggage.
This flexible yet strong plastic case doesn’t just provide superior impact and crush results compared to most ABS plastics, but it also keeps its total weight down.
Inside, the Bonzo Bike Box 2.0 contains high-impact dense foam. It also features numerous velcro straps that can be used to secure every component of your bike.
Finally, the extra-heavy-duty catches don’t give any hint that they’ll somehow fling open during transit. There are no locks but for air travel at least, baggage handlers and customs reserve the right to check the insides of luggage, even if they have to forcibly break locks to get in, so this isn’t a major issue.
The whole structure is designed to carry a max weight of 32kg, which is obviously ample for bikes of all varieties and below the max luggage weight limit for most or all airlines.
Medium-sized bikes will pack into the Bonza Bike Box 2.0 with ease. You’ll just need to remove the handlebars, cranks, seats and wheels, and forks on some larger wheelbase bikes.
Most wheels should slot easily into the wheel holders in a matter of seconds. Road bike tyres or other thin tyres won’t need to be deflated but this is best practice for air travel due to pressure changes in the hold. Thicker mountain bike tyres will always need to be deflated.
Once disassembled, the bike can be packed and strapped into place using the provided velcro ties. There is plenty of foam wadding available to make absolutely sure that nothing can move or rattle around. Once fully packed, the entire box should feel very solid with no give, rattling or movement on the inside.
Packing is likely to take just 15 to 20 minutes depending on whether you’ll need to remove forks.
One slight gripe with packing is that the case will need to be lined up perfectly before you can close it. This might be tricky if you’ve stuffed the life out of the box with extra wadding, bubble wrap, etc. Trust the box!
Finally, some bikes with longer rear mechs may be a tight fit, and the mech might need to be padded to prevent it from scraping against the edge of the box. The mech can be removed if there is any real concern.
- A large, strong case for serious travel
- Fits even large bikes with big wheels
- Lots of foam wadding for added protection
- Easy to transport on the flat with its 4 easy-glide casters
- Not too heavy, around 20 to 25kg when fully packed with an average weight bike
- Thru-axles will need to be removed from wheels
- Can be tricky to close when fully packed
- Some mechs may rub against the side of the case
This large widely compatible hard plastic bike box is a very competitive option for cyclists looking for a serious means to safely transport their bike. The anti-crush, anti-impact claims of Bonza seem credible and it certainly feels like this bike box should withstand even the clumsiest baggage handlers.