The humble bottle cage. Who in their right mind would place such importance upon a bicycle part so trivial? It’s sole job in life to securely hold a water bottle, or bidon, if you prefer, while remaining attached to the bicycle frame.
Do these bottle cages always do their job?
If you rock up at your average gravel grinder, ultra cx, mega cx, endurance cx, or whatever you’d like to call it event, you seldom pay attention to competitor’s cages, or the bottles they are holding. That is until the race is on, and you’re descending a silly steep, rutted out gradient, littered with ejected water bottles. Or, your own bottles are unceremoniously ejected. Either way, these situations / hazards are best avoided.
What to do?
Being a reformed weight weenie, I have previously experimented with bottle cages made from plastic, carbon fiber (fibre), recycled milk containers and various metals. Every carbon cage I have played with has ejected bottles, or the cage itself broke. Ditto for the plastic cages. The milk container cages were light, but they too ejected bottles, and served better as a trebuchet.
Cages made from Aluminum (Aluminium) or Titanium have always proven to be the best, simply because they offer a secure grip, and can be cold-set (bending gently) to increase their hold.
Best of the Best
King Cage Titanium Water Bottle Cages are the best bottle cage I have used, hands down. I have been using these cages since 2007. During this time, not once have I ejected a bottle. And these aren’t road miles I’m counting here. These miles include pounding on the relentless washboard limerock surfaces that sometimes exist around Gainesville, Florida, to washed out, knackered descents at the Southern Cross race in Dahlonega, Georgia and beyond.
Bonuses to using these cages include:
- Low weight, anywhere from 31 – 35 grams – they are hand made, so weights can vary.
- Made in the USA – Durango, Colorado! Company owner Ron is a really cool guy.
- Constructed from 3-2.5 Titanium tubing, about 6mm in width. Everyone loves Ti.
- Cages are easily cold set, to provide a firmer grip.
- They look really nice on most frames, even carbon.
- Do not mark up your bottles (I hate that).
MSRP on these cages is around $60. They’re not cheap, but losing a bottle in a race stinks. King Cage also offers a cheaper alternative in Stainless Steel, if you’re on a budget.
Note: We at GravelCyclist.com are not being bribed, or paid for this review. The cages in these photos weren’t freebies, JOM paid for them from his own pocket.
|King Titanium Bottle Cage|
|Click the image to BUY from Amazon.|