It is a wonderful time to be an “everyday” cyclist. The options for bikes, and accessories to make the ride even more enjoyable are endless. A great example of this is the Buca Boot, a carrying system that mounts to your rear rack.
Meet the Buca Boot
The system is really a box, but they have called it a boot. It’s a gorgeous combination of plastic, fabric and hardwood overlays. Over the month of using the Boot I hauled various things, from event marketing material, my laptop and work gear, extra shoes and clothes, and even tested it with a wine bottle around the neighborhood. The box, err, boot was asked about often typically by stylish looking folks.
Key Highlights of the Buca Boot
Colors: Tomato, Navy, Steel
Weight: 7lbs (Buca Boot claims 5lbs on their website)
Misc: Lockable, “weather proof”, and mounts to your rear rack
Installing the Buca Boot is pretty straight forward. It mounts directly to an existing rack. If you don’t have a rear rack you’ll need to buy one. Small parts include 6 screws and 2 metal braces. It comes with two different lengths of screws. When installing on both my Linus stock rear rack, and Surly rear rack I only used the 4 short screws. The screws go through the plastic box and into the metal brace/struts.
I’m rather unimpressed with the installation, and would recommend additional washers under the screws where it contacts the plastic box as I fear the screw heads would crack the box under heavy load, or by hitting a pot hole. Additionally, I recommend using locktight on the screws if you are going to be leaving the box on longterm. As I mentioned, I was unimpressed with the installation and I do believe they could add more metal to an otherwise fragile design.
Security of the Buca Boot
One of the key highlights of the Buca Boot is that you can lock it! I often left my helmet and riding gloves in the locked box when locking my bike up. It felt freeing not having to carry my gear around! The only downside of this system is that the box is as secure as the rear rack. Typically a rear rack is attached to a bike with 4 allen head screws and it wouldn’t take someone very long to unbolt the rack and box. I also wouldn’t be surprised if you couldn’t simply rip off the box from the rack by breaking the bottom plastic.
Saying all this – I felt comfortable running in and out of places with the Buca Boot but would never leave it outside locked up for an entire day.
Using the Buca Boot
This system is a great alternative to panniers, or basic baskets. I enjoyed it on the two different bikes I tested it with and had a much more pleasant riding experience with the boot weighed down when I was on a stiff commuter bike compared to the noodle of a Linus neighborhood bike. The weight being so high up on the bike felt funny on the Linus since it isn’t too stiff, and it ended up tipping over my bike from it’s kickstand several times.
The box hung a bit too far off the back of my rack, this was a combination of seat tube angle, size of seat, length of rack, and size of the Buca Boot. If I was personally buying one of these I would try it out with different racks in hopes I could find a longer rack to keep the Boot from hanging off the back.
Things I Would Change
If I was the product designer on the Buca Boot here are the updates I would make:
- Add a clip for a rear light, or integrate a rear light into the box
- Use a metal bracket and slide inside to secure the box to a rack
- Add more straps on the interior sides of the box to provide various carrying options
- Have a non-wood fancipants model to bring down the price
- Sell a rear rack to create a system
The Buca Boot is gorgeous. I love the direction the Buca Boot is taking simple, functional, bicycle accessories. There will be a target market for this product and I picture it being someone that owns a Gazelle, or Dutch style bike that they ride often. In my humble opinion, the $225 price tag is steep for someone that perhaps bought a Public on closeout for $200. Personally, I prefer a front basket and tote bag for daily use but if I ever save up for that Rivendell commuter rig this will be the perfect touch to add on the back!
Check out the Buca Boot online