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Best bottle cage (yes, sorry, but..)

neebneeb Posts: 4,467
edited June 2014 in Road buying advice
I did try the search facility and got a "general error" :wink:

I'm looking for something that will not under any reasonable circumstances drop a bottle, even going over cobbled speed bumps downhill as I was yesterday..

At the same time the bottle needs to go in with a casual shove in the approximate direction of the bottle holder, and not require a great deal of force to insert and remove.

If it could be light too that would be a bonus and I wouldn't mind paying for it (within reason), but not if it's at the expense of functionality.

I was about to order some Elite Custom Race as they seem to have a great pedigree, but they have been around a while now, are some of the more recent Elite cages just as good or better?

I've also heard good things about the Arundel Mandible.
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  • Iḿ quite happy with the Planet X carbon ones.
  • xdoc wrote:
    Iḿ quite happy with the Planet X carbon ones.

    +1
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • DiscoBoyDiscoBoy Posts: 905
    neeb wrote:

    I was about to order some Elite Custom Race as they seem to have a great pedigree, but they have been around a while now

    They're incredibly popular for a reason. Pick a colour and get some, you won't be disappointed.
    Red bikes are the fastest.
  • maddog 2maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    cheap Elite Custom Race in matt black

    ££ mandibles yum yum
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,467
    xdoc wrote:
    Iḿ quite happy with the Planet X carbon ones.

    +1
    I've seen quite a few recommendations for those as it happens.
  • evs78evs78 Posts: 133
    Got the Mandibles on my supersix evo hi-mod; they look the business and do the job asked of them - can't ask much more from a bottle cage!
    All the gear and no idea...
  • Evs78 wrote:
    Got the Mandibles on my supersix evo hi-mod; they look the business and do the job asked of them - can't ask much more from a bottle cage!

    Bit heavy though :P

    28grams :shock:
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,467
    DiscoBoy wrote:
    neeb wrote:

    I was about to order some Elite Custom Race as they seem to have a great pedigree, but they have been around a while now

    They're incredibly popular for a reason. Pick a colour and get some, you won't be disappointed.
    There's a colour that would work extraordinarily well as it happens. Black gloss / green on a 2013 Foil Team Issue. That might just win out over weight savings.. :wink:
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,790
    I've never had a problem with Taxc Tao cages over any surfaced the UK has to offer. They're strong, very light and they' look smart on any frame.
  • Omar LittleOmar Little Posts: 2,010
    +1 for elite custom race, cheap and do the job
  • BordersroadieBordersroadie Posts: 1,052
    xdoc wrote:
    Iḿ quite happy with the Planet X carbon ones.

    +1

    +1
  • upperoilcanupperoilcan Posts: 1,180
    +1 for elite custom race, cheap and do the job

    + 1 have used them for a while now,worth every penny and more.
    Cervelo S5 Ultegra Di2.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Not wildly impressed with the Elite Custom. Main problem is that once the inner surface starts getting scratched they make an instant mess of any bottle you put in them. Not a problem that seems to apply to the Blackburn stainless steel cages I replaced them with. Didn't cost that much more either. And I have lost a bottle with the Elites (though, to be fair, that was on a fast descent of Wrynose....)
    Faster than a tent.......
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 12,015
    neeb wrote:
    I was about to order some Elite Custom Race as they seem to have a great pedigree, but they have been around a while now, are some of the more recent Elite cages just as good or better?

    Not sure what you mean by 'better' - they all hold bottles perfectly well, if that's what you mean. The Custom Race has been around for a while for good reason.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,467
    Imposter wrote:
    neeb wrote:
    I was about to order some Elite Custom Race as they seem to have a great pedigree, but they have been around a while now, are some of the more recent Elite cages just as good or better?

    Not sure what you mean by 'better' - they all hold bottles perfectly well, if that's what you mean. The Custom Race has been around for a while for good reason.
    I suppose "better" might be something that did the same job as the Custom Race but was also lighter, or something of the same weight that was even better in use. I notice that Elite do a vast range of cages, some of which are more recent designs: http://www.elite-it.com/bottle-cages/ Some of these seem to be used by pro teams so must do the job OK.
  • TjgoodhewTjgoodhew Posts: 628
    Just fitted a pair of Elite custom race - look good and seem to grip the bottles well enough.

    Cant complain for the price I paid
    Cannondale Caad8
    Canyon Aeroad 8.0

    http://www.strava.com/athletes/goodhewt
  • woolwichwoolwich Posts: 298
    If you want a cage that is cobble proof you are going to need a metal cage. Pick anyone you like and then "tune it" to make it "better" for you. Squeeze the frame for more grip, or bend it out to relax it.
    Elite customs are great, I have no complaints from mine for the price but they can get a bit baggy after a while. However they are certainly not cobble proof as you ask for.
    Mud to Mudguards. The Art of framebuilding.
    http://locksidebikes.co.uk/
  • jezzpalmerjezzpalmer Posts: 389
    I've got a couple of Arundel Mandibles, they are great.
    Easy to locate a bottle when replacing a bottle.
    They are renowned for being pretty grippy, which they are, but does mean a bit of effort is require to get he bottle in and out. That said I'd be amazed if you could lose a bottle without a crash being involved.
  • mechanismmechanism Posts: 891
    I don't know if its the right approach but I chose bottle cages that would look best on the bike. Its a stealth black frame so black Tacx Taos match well whilst still being cheap and light, plus they work fine.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,467
    I think I'm going to go for the Elite Custom Races. They will look great and hold a lot better than my current carbon cages. They are also known to be a good bottle cage, so if I drop a bottle in a race I won't get abuse for using censored w. weenie cages.. ;-)
  • I've never had a problem with Taxc Tao cages over any surfaced the UK has to offer. They're strong, very light and they' look smart on any frame.

    I noticed quite a few riders opting for these at Roubaix this year....
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,790
    I've never had a problem with Taxc Tao cages over any surfaced the UK has to offer. They're strong, very light and they' look smart on any frame.

    I noticed quite a few riders opting for these at Roubaix this year....

    OPQ, Europcar, Belkin and Astana have been using them for many years. I'm sure it's won a design award as well (although I may have dreamt that).

    Never fancied those Elite cages - they just look too flimsy.
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
  • fishywebfishyweb Posts: 173
    neeb wrote:
    I think I'm going to go for the Elite Custom Races. They will look great and hold a lot better than my current carbon cages. They are also known to be a good bottle cage, so if I drop a bottle in a race I won't get abuse for using censored w. weenie cages.. ;-)
    Good choice methinks. I've been very happy with the pair I fitted a few months ago.
    http://app.strava.com/athletes/287459
    Member of http://www.UKnetrunner.co.UK - the greatest online affiliated running club
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    woolwich wrote:
    If you want a cage that is cobble proof you are going to need a metal cage. Pick anyone you like and then "tune it" to make it "better" for you. Squeeze the frame for more grip, or bend it out to relax it.
    Elite customs are great, I have no complaints from mine for the price but they can get a bit baggy after a while. However they are certainly not cobble proof as you ask for.

    In my experience the opposite is true. Even if you've 'tuned' it, once you hit the cobbles with a half a kg bottle in there, it'll soon bend it out of shape and no longer hold it properly.

    The Elite Customs have a great reputation, but I use the Specialized Rib Cages and I don't think you could ask for more from a cage really. Cheap(ish), light, does the job brilliantly, even on the cobbles!
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    Prefer the Bontrager Race Lite to the Elite cages myself: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/bon ... e-ec044504

    Look nicer and hold it more securely in my opinion.

    Bought a Tacx Tao and found that it had loads of sharp metal edges so scratched the bottles badly and just seemed poorly made.
  • pirniepirnie Posts: 242
    I've never had a problem with Taxc Tao cages over any surfaced the UK has to offer. They're strong, very light and they' look smart on any frame.

    I noticed quite a few riders opting for these at Roubaix this year....

    OPQ, Europcar, Belkin and Astana have been using them for many years. I'm sure it's won a design award as well (although I may have dreamt that).

    Never fancied those Elite cages - they just look too flimsy.


    Aye the Tacx Tao are great cages, I've been using them for ages now. They aren't that strong is their only flaw. I've had a fair few develop cracks in the plastic, or the little tab at the bottom that holds the base of the bottle break off. Mind you, they can be had for £10-15 each so they don't cost much to replace.
  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,734
    Had some lovely looking carbon jobbies unfortunately they couldn't hold a bottle going over even the smallest speed humps, so replaced them with Tacx Taos not lost a bottle since, however get the ali ones the plastic ones break!
  • Father FaffFather Faff Posts: 1,176
    I've just bought some PZ Racing carbon cages (with butterfly wings) for about £30 each which so far haven't lost me any bottles on the virtually-cobbled North Yorks roads and seem easier to use than my old Elite plastic cage. But they haven't been tested on proper cobbles yet....or for very long yet....
    Commencal Meta 5.5.1
    Scott CR1
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,467
    My butterfly wing-like carbon cages have been fine nearly all of the time too, and of course it's all relative. Every cage is going to have a level of jolt that will potentially dislodge a bottle. It seems that the Elite custom race has three features that my current carbon ones don't - the "wings" are closed at the top, there is a rubber bit there to provide more friction, and there is a ridge at the lower top end that engages the recessed dimple that traditional bottles have near the top.

    I was playing with one in a shop today, and it clearly requires more force to both insert and remove the bottle than my current cages. I also tried the Elite Sior Mio Race - that was also apparently more secure that my current cages, although not as secure as the Custom Race. It has a little metal tension ring that makes it quite a lot easier to insert the bottle, but also a little easier to remove it too. It also lacks the rubber bit. I guess it's a very good cage and well designed, but not quite as secure as the custom race.

    It's really only when racing that I feel the need for the extra security - you can't slow down for bumps and if you lose a bottle it's a danger to others and you can't stop to retrieve it. It's really off-putting having to worry about it. At the same time, you don't want something that is too hard to insert and retrieve the bottle from as it's difficult enough doing that safely and without missing an acceleration in the pace.
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