When you think about upgrading your bike, the humble bottle cage may likely be overlooked, and yet it is one of the most essential accessories that every cyclist needs. It may not be all singing and all dancing, and it may just do one simple job - holding your bottle of water - but if you choose a cage that can’t even get that right, you’re in for some trouble on the road.
No one enjoys having to climb back up that lovely descent because they lost their bottle about halfway down. A bottle cage needs to hold your drink firmly in place, while still allowing you easy access while riding.
What to look for in a water bottle cage
Thankfully there’s not a huge amount of considerations to take into account, and it doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. Manufacturers of bottles and bottle cages generally work to one standard diameter, meaning cross-compatibility isn’t something you need to worry about. The same goes for affixing them to the frame: everyone is designing them for the same dual-eyelet mounting system.
You may want to give thought to materials, however. If you’ve got a very lightweight carbon road bike, the last thing you want to attach are heavy steel cages when there are ultra-lightweight carbon cages to match.
So to make it as simple as possible, here’s our list of the best bottle cages you can buy right now.
A hugely popular bottle cage that adapts to different diameters
The Custom Race Plus bottle cage from Elite Cycling is arguably one of the most popular in the world, thanks to its shape that cleverly adapts to hold different bottle diameters. The brand is known for producing some of the best looking and most secure bottle cages available, and they’re often a favourite among various race teams.
Thanks to its fibre-reinforced construction, it’s lightweight, durable, and very reasonably priced. What’s more, it’s available in a variety of colors, so you can choose the best one to match your bike.
A distinct design for a firm grip
Lezyne’s Flow cage features a distinctive X-Grip design that makes it one of the most secure bottle cages on the market. It also has a large opening which makes it extra easy to access your bottle while on the go.
It’s constructed from lightweight composite materials, which keeps the price down while also doing zero damage to water bottles.
Match it to your bike’s paint scheme
The Tacx Deva is another incredibly popular bottle cage, and it deserves its reputation. It simply works, plus it comes in a huge number of colors so you can match it to your paint scheme. Its cylindrical shape helps to hold your bottle firmly in place, so you can blast over rough terrain without fear of the dreaded bottle ejection. Insertion and removal is smooth and easy, making it a trusted favourite of many pro teams.
For when you really want to splash out on your bike
It may be a shock at first that it could be possible to produce a bottle cage at this price point, but there’s a good reason for it. Silca is known for its premium quality products, and its timeless and elegant titanium bottle cage is no exception.
Tubular titanium of aerospace quality is hand-crafted into this elegant bottle cage, right here in the US. It’s truly a cage that will last you a lifetime, and a very decadent treat for your beloved bike. Finally, with its titanium construction it should come at no surprise that this Silca bottle cage weighs barely over an ounce, making it the ultimate accessory for weight weenies.
The anti-hero of our bottle cage story
We would be remiss in a list of best bottle cages to not include at least one recommendation where a cage isn’t needed at all. This cageless system from Fabric consists of two studs which are screwed into the bottle cage mounts in the frame, and a specially-designed water bottle with two divots that clamp around those studs.
What results is a very ‘clean’ look, perfect for minimalists and cyclists who like to go against the norm. It’s also a great option for saving weight, since there’s no bottle cage to attach to the bike!
The only downside is that you are limited to just using Fabric’s bottles, and your beloved collection of bidons will no longer have a use.
The side-load makes it super easy to access your bottle while riding
The Side Load bottle cages from Lezyne feature dedicated left- and right-side offset configurations, allowing riders to reach down and pull their bottle out from the side of the cage (in an arm movement that feels much more natural) rather than pulling up and out.
These would be a great option if you struggle to drink on the go. Conveniently they’re sold as a pair (one for the left and one for the right), and they’re constructed from a high-strength composite material with reinforced fiber for extreme durability.
The ultimate in weight savings
If you’ve come down with a spot of weight weenie syndrome, the Elite Rocko Carbon bottle cage is likely to be the cure. Its Italian-made cage, with its wide mouth design and injection-molded carbon construction, weighs a miniscule 0.95oz.
It’s extremely strong, with impressively secure bottle retention. Employing extra long bolt slots makes fitting a breeze, while its minimal structure allows any bottle to be inserted from various angles, before centring and snapping into place quickly. Perfect if you’re in a hurry, or have limited internal space on your frame.
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Mildred is a Reviews Writer for Cyclingnews who loves all forms of cycling from long-distance audax to daily errand-running by bike. She does almost everything on two wheels, including moving house, and started out her cycling career working in a bike shop. For the past five years she's volunteered at The Bristol Bike Project as a mechanic and session coordinator, and now sits on its board of directors. Since then she's gone on to write for a multitude of cycling publications, including Bikeradar, Cycling Plus, Singletrack, Red Bull, Cycling UK and Total Women's Cycling. She's dedicated to providing more coverage of women's specific cycling tech, elevating under-represented voices in the sport, and making cycling more accessible overall.
Height: 156cm (5'2")
Rides: Liv Devote, Genesis Equilibrium Disc 20, Triban RC520 Women's Disc, Genesis Flyer, Whyte Victoria, Cotic BFe 26, Clandestine custom bike
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