The Topeak Ninja Master Roadbox is a handy little detachable box that turns your Topeak Ninja bottle cage into a something even more useful.
- Pros: Quite a convenient size for credit cards, keys, change or spare tubes; easy to attach and detach; decent waterproofing
- Cons: Having a mini-pack between your legs is a little disconcerting at first; requires a compatible Topeak Ninja bottle cage
The Roadbox is part of Topeak's Ninja Masters range and is compatible with Ninja bottle cages. (I tested it with the Ninja Cage X.) This means that it can be attached to the QuickClick mount found at the base of the cage via a little coupler on the Roadbox's top surface. It's a simple system: you just push it in and twist for security, then reverse the process and use a release button to remove.
While I initially thought there's probably only so much to be said about a small, 70mm x 110mm x 35mm box, the Roadbox does have a few extra things going for it. First of all, it's made from sturdy EVA foam, which offers good protection for anything inside. It's also decently waterproof, with a well-sealed zip that effectively circumnavigates more than three-quarters of the box. And despite its small size, it's big enough to hold some important essentials.
Inner tube holder
Topeak markets the Roadbox as being an ideal inner tube holder. It's true that a 700mm x 18mm or 25mm spare inner will fit a treat (there's a bigger Ninja Mountainbox that will carry up to 29in x 2.35 inners). So you could just fit a tube-laden Roadbox to your bike and forget about it until you suffer a puncture.
However, I think restricting the Roadbox to just this application misses a trick. It's about the right size to carry a small multi-tool, credit card, some change and a set of keys. Because the inside is mainly soft, things don't rattle around too much and you could easily pad them out. And because it's decently waterproof, any small paper-based items you need – such as shopping lists – will survive.
Safe and secure
In use, the Roadbox is always easily viewable so you can keep your eye on it rather than worrying about things falling out of pockets. Thanks to its easy attach and detachment, you can also happily remove it at coffee stops or shop visits without fear of your essentials being swiped; think of it as a dedicated cycling purse/wallet.
In many ways, I actually found it a superior option to the small Resolute Bay frame/shoulder bag I tested previously. True, the Resolute Bay holds more, but not enough to make a vast practical difference in terms of the kinds of things you might carry in it.
I mentioned the fact that the Roadbox is always easily viewable, and that is one slight drawback. Despite there being plenty of clearance between the Roadbox and the rider, you are initially conscious of having something unexpected between your legs, which, let's face it, is enough to put anyone off their stroke. You quickly get used to it, though (as the actress said to the bishop).
In terms of value, the Roadbox stacks up pretty well. It's more expensive than the similar 76 Projects Piggy Pouch, which also sits underneath a bottle cage, but I'd say the Roadbox is a superior product.
In fact, I'd say this is probably my favourite accessory in the current Topeak's Ninja Masters range. It's well made and easy to fit and remove from the bike. Despite its small size, it's also actually rather useful. Who'd have thought you could say so much about such a small box?
Fine little removable box that has some quite useful uses but it requires a compatible Topeak Ninja bottle cage
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Ninja Roadbox
Size tested: 700mm x 18mm or 25mm
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 Ninja Roadbox is a small box that attaches to compatible Ninja Masters bottle cages. Topeak says: "With a single twist to engage with Ninja Master series cage, this bag will hold a spare road tube up to 700 x 25C or other essentials for use when you need them."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
EVA foam box
Fits inner tube sizes - 700 x 18/25c (with valve stem up to 60mm)
Sturdy little hardshell box with well-sealed 3/4 circumference zip.
Very good. Locks into the Ninja QuickClick mount nice and securely. Can be a little sticky to detach, but no big deal.
Very impressive so far. EVA foam body seems tough.
Considering the mounting bracket and its sturdy construction, 39g is very fair.
Cheaper than some similar products, and arguably better.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Absolutely fine. It'll take a spare inner tube no problem, but I actually preferred using it to carry other essentials.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Small form factor is just the right size for your valuables.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Its placement between your legs can feel a bit unusual at first. An inner elastic or sleeve would be handy. And remember: it's part of the Ninja Masters system, so you need a compatible Topeak Ninja bottle cage.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Pouch is slightly more expensive than its nearest rival, the 76 Projects Piggy, but the Topeak is also a better developed product. The Resolute Bay frame/shoulder bag holds more but costs £60.
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 overall score
Despite its small form and limited capacity, the Ninja Roadbox has the potential to be a handy bit of kit, whether you use it as a spare tube carrier or a removable valuables holder.
About the tester
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking, leisure