Manufactured in the UK, the Alan Wheel Box is moulded from a tried and tested impact resistant plastic. The two halves of the box are held together by ﬁve steel clasps riveted to the casing at the four corners with an additional catch on the base. There’s also a moulded-in handle which makes for easy carrying.
Loading up the wheel box only took three minutes after a trial run, with both wheels held tight against the lid of the box using the quick-release nuts. There’s even a special recess for the cassette to ensure a snug ﬁt. Lining up the two halves of the box wasn’t easy though, even with a bit of practice, and we noticed sizeable gaps between the two halves so it deﬁnitely isn’t waterproof.
Once loaded, our best efforts at bending and twisting the box were easily shrugged off, which is impressive considering we were standing on top of it while meting out this punishment. On the other hand, we were disappointed to see that while the wheel won’t be bent thanks to the overall rigidity of the box, it’s all too easy for the spokes or rims to be affected as the plastic skin ﬂexes easily under point loads.
Standard road wheels with rims up to around 60mm are accommodated, though time-triallists will need to make other travel arrangements for their kit as ultra- deep-section and disc wheels won’t ﬁt.
The trouble is, wheel bags are less bulky and more convenient for use in the car, which leaves the wheel box as something you’d only really need for air travel to races or rides where spare wheels are essential. Nearly £200, including £8.50 for name and graphics, is a lot of money for something that only serious sportive riders or those racing abroad regularly will make use of.