Review: Alden Designs Generic Bento Box
Innovator Glen Alden has been making some very cool and unique carbon aero products for several years now, and his stuff never fails to impress. That's why I asked him to send over his new 'Generic Bento Box' for review. Top tube direct-mount storage is still a relatively new product category, and there aren't an overwhelming number of options available yet. That means there's a lot of room for innovation, and in this area Alden delivers. His box can be purchased in one of two forms - a standard flavor with a typical closed front, or the version shown here with an open front. That slot at the front lets you tuck the box right up against the back of your stem, and also hides all your cables! This is something I've been doing for quite some time on my custom builds, but always had to use a dremel to carve out that slot in my TorHans boxes. Alden provides the slot standard, if you want it. Very nice!
As far as storage capacity, there's a LOT. I was able to stuff an entire can of Pittstop, plus about six gels into the thing! Part of what's providing the volume here is the length; the box is quite long. And part of it is the height; it's quite tall. We have some shots in the gallery comparing it to a TorHans AeroBento for a size reference. I'd love to see a slightly shorter version of the Alden box available; as is, this box is too tall to hide in the aero shadow of a slammed Sigma stem. Of course, for other stems (or if you have spacers involved) the height might be a non-issue. And in any event, the length is great, and very welcome. Manufacturers are generally keeping their top tube boxes somewhat short, but there's no reason they need to be. So it's good to see Alden take a flyer on this one and buck the trend.
I'm really glad to see anyone innovating in this space, and Glen Alden in particular. This little carbon box is a really great addition to any bike with top tube mounts. And for those bikes without the mounts, you can always add them yourself.