Zox 20 Tailbox #3 (fiberglass NovoSport Sport Mini)
Why a tailbox ?
- Storage space (minimal: tools, waterproof, food and space for spare clothes).
- Mudguard: the wheel on a lowracer is right behind your head so good rain
protection is desirable.
- Aerodynamics: probably not much advantage at the speed I ride at (!!) except on downhills/headwinds.
Third try to sort out a tailbox
Zox do not make/supply a specific tailbox for the Zox 20, and AFAIK
there is no tailbox specifically design for the Flux made wooden seat.
Researching off-the-shelf tailboxes available in Germany I found
range, designed to fit onto their own fiberglass seats (possibly
supplied to various bike makers, etc HP Velotechnik, Zox etc) and
giving a compatibility chart that included the Zox 20 Z (but would not
necessarily mean that it would fit the Flux wooden seat).
On their stand at SPEZI 2005 I saw a Sport Mini URL going cheap I
decided to buy it (???Eur) and hope that I could fit it. It was a
little chipped underneath (hence the lower price) but apart from that
it looked fine.
The box is supplied "blank" and it is up to you to drill the required
holes on the tailbox and your (possibly) seat back. The material is easy to
drill, but of course you have to be pretty careful in the planning as
you (ideally) only want to drill one set of holes.
You need to be sure about the symmetry of the mounting (i.e. on the
center line and not leaning off vertical (as seen from the rear)), it
should not interfere with your seating position (esp. head and arms)
or the rear wheel (also allowing for movement due to the suspension
and the seat: see below). And it should be in a reasonably aerodynamic
- to get the correct tyre clearance I loosened the rear suspension
to simulate the worst case (suspension bottoming out)
- also as the seat flexes when you sit in it, and when you pedal,
you need to also allow extra clearance
- use double sided tape to prototype the mounting position, sit on
the bike and push back with you shoulders to flex the seat and check
it does not touch the tyre
- check that the box opens OK !
- as the Flux wooden seat shape does not match the tailbox shape I
used 2 rubber stoppers as spacers (see photos).
(All photos with seat mat removed)
Note the high mounting, the black mudguard and the 2 light grey rubber door stopped spaces.
Note the 4 silver bolt-heads: 2 at the top and 2 halfway down on the
outside that secure the tailbox (the center 2 support the seat).
Additional Water Protection
To complete the water protection I fitted a standard *front* clip-on
mudguard (black) zip-tied on. Then higher up I zip-tied some camping
mat foam (mid-grey on the photos) (can also been seen on the front
view above, through the seat holes).
(Not yet tested in the rain !!)
(I also use the matching clip-on *rear* mudguard at the front
(after cutting away some of the plastic to get it to fit)
but I keep it in the tailbox when it is not needed.)
Weight / Volume Comparison
Reference weights and volumes:
NovoSport Sport Mini tailbox weights and volumes:
- 25 litre Ortlieb Front-Roller Classic panniers = 1.6 kg (i.e. same volume as my tailbox)
- Blackburn rear rack = 1.1 kg
I.e. on an upright bike you have a rack and panniers with a combined
weight of 2.7 kg to carry 25 litres whereas this tailbox is 1.6 kg to
carry the same.
- Volume = 25 litres
- Weight = 1.6 kg
In addition I assume the tailbox is 100% waterproof, whereas the
panniers may not be. And also the tailbox should help with
aerodynamics, whereas panniers usually make it worse !!
Conclusions (August 2008)
- Only a slight rumbling. (Dominant noise on the Zox 20 is the front chain noise.)
- Very convenient with the flip top lid, but you need to take a little care in packing keys etc to avoid rattles !!
- Performance: hard to measure (weight vs. aerodynamics)
- Maybe one day I will build my own lighter tailbox (lower volume and weight would be fine for my day-rides)
- Aesthetics: decide for yourself !
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