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I am someone whom racks up a good number of commuting miles and I am constantly looking for new and innovative forms of bike luggage. For a rider who has carried everything from a laptop to papers and even a child's hobby horse, the Bikebin is an interesting luggage option.
The Bikebin has a robust casing made from 2.5mm thick polyethylene. This makes for a highly durable container: Polyethylene retains its strength down to -30°C. Capacity is 17 Litres with a waterproof lid and there's the bonus of a 100-key camlock for beter security. Bike mounting is via a Rixen & Kaul universal attachment system, suitable for all bicycle panniers with 6 - 12 mm diameter tubing. There's eyelets for bungee cords to strap stuff to the outside of the Bikebin, and carrying handle and black canvas shoulder strap for off the bike.
I wouldn't necessary go on a 2 week or more tour of the Alps with the Bike Box, not because of any specific performance issues, it just seems that the box is for town! On the Bikebins website they show multiple uses from MTB to commuting, so I thought I would give it a go with all the disciplines I could and I have to say the box is brilliant! It is light, durable, easily cleaned, secure, waterproof, retro, unusual and most importantly infinitely practical. I did find the box a little noisy on the rough stuff unless you pad out items with something like a jacket; perhaps the next generation should have individual compartments inside for tools, tubes, keys etc?Also, because it's a hard shell it's not possible to shove oversized items in, you have to live with the capacity. If you routinely do the weekly shop on two wheels, you'll probably need two.
Where the box did excel was around town. It almost made me feel like an old school delivery boy. On one particular journey I carried 6 bottles of wine and an assortment of barbecue meat, absolutely brilliant. If you have made a vow like me to make all journeys under 10 miles by bike rather than car, then the bike box is a great option. If you routinely carry things that are fragile or valuable then the hard case and lock will give you a little bit of extra peace of mind. Even with almost excessive weight the bike remained stable and handled well. I have mainly been testing on an MTB platform; it would be interesting to see the box in action on a lightweight road bike but I would suggest it is more appropriate for a tourer, hybrid or MTB, which is what you would expect.
Available in a small but unfussy selection of colours to suit most bikes the box is well constructed, durable and secure. The polyethylene body has not suffered any scuffing yet and looks built to last. Easy to install and remove, the case is great for dashing down to the shops and commuting to work with all the detritus you need.
This is something different: not necessarily better than the conventional soft pannier but certainly unique. If you want your luggage to stand out from the norm, and you value the rigidity and water-resistance of a solid box over a bag then this could be the option for you.
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Make and model: BikeBins box pannier
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 35 Height: 5' 10" Weight: 13 stone
I usually ride: Kona Paddy Wagon My best bike is: The one i am riding
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, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb