I am finishing up a Tarmac build and need to add bottle cages. Was probably going to go with the rib cage but don’t really want to pay the premium for the carbon. Does anyone have any other recommendations? Looking for something reasonably priced, lightweight and that actually holds bottles.
These are cheap light and durable:
Bontrager Elite are solid and affordable.
If you want something that most other folks don’t have try Portland Design Works. The bird and owl cages hold bottles over rough terrain + bumpy corners exceptionally well. The “wings” can be bent if necessary. They’re what I use and over the past 3-4 years I haven’t ejected a bottle yet.
My experience with the Elite cages isn’t so great: I’ve ejected bottles on the beach path here (road vibration). Happened 3x before I tossed them. Maybe I had a bad set of cages.
Bontrager RL get a +1 for me. Also check out Lezyne alloy cage.
I’d go with the rib cages, but I wouldn’t bother with the carbon ones. Matt black rib cages are perfect for that bike. I’m a bit bike OCD, so couldn’t put Bontrager cages on a Specialized🙈
I hear you. They are good cages though. I have them on a Kona and a Cannondale.
I don’t have them on my Bianchi. I couldn’t do it. I bought Supacaz cages because they came in celeste but I dont like them that much.
Tacx Deva Carbon is a good option. The full carbon version weights only 21 grams, but is still good enough for pro tour teams. It holds the bottles very securely and it is not as flimsy as many low weight cages.
The regular price is high, but sometimes you can find these cages much cheaper.
Tacx Ciro is hard to beat. Skip the carbon and it’s very reasonably priced. Basically the same as the Tacx Deva with additional ribbing for strength.
You’ll see a lot of WT teams run these for the classics and for good reason. They hold very tight. Rounder bottles like the Camelbak Podiums are a tight squeeze until you wear the cage in.
I was having ejection problems with several brands of cages and 24oz Podium Chill. On the recommendation of a triathlete friend, picked up the Xlab Gorilla XT for dual rear seat hydration as I needed 4 bottles for adventure rides in the mountains. Don’t normally need 2 bottles hanging off the seat so they are mounted on bike. Not cheap, however I’ve been on rough roads at speed where multiple riders had bottles eject and not a problem with my setup. Never had a bottle ejection since upgrading to Gorilla XT.
Thanks. These look pretty nice and priced competitively.
+1 For the Elite cages–they have different colours available to match your bike, which of course is super important . I found them cheap on one of the UK online sites (Pro Bike Kit or Wiggle or the like) a few years back.
I just have the regular Gorilla Cage on my Delta 200 setup on my tri bike and that thing definitely grips–can’t imagine needing more grip than that, but maybe on a mountain bike. I find it tough to reach behind and take it out/put it back while riding, but it’s better than it ejecting .
Unrelated (kinda)to your original question but about to start a Tarmac SL6 disc build. Would love to hear your experience and see the results.
Saying that I have shortlisted tacx cages for my tarmac build as they look good on my wife’s lapierre and never had any issues with bottles coming out or scratching bottles as bad as my carbon Planet X cages on my canyon
I think the supacaz fly cages look, um, fly.
I went with a rim brake version. The main drivers for this were the fact that I planned to move Etap and rim brake wheels over and didn’t really see the need for disc brakes. I got a Pro frame and then put Dura Ace direct mount breaks on it. I ordered the Aerofly bar which just showed up this weekend. Ill get some pics up once the bar is mounted and the steer tube cut.
The bike is awesome. I came from a Felt AR and this bike just feels better. I haven’t had it outside a lot but it just rides better. The Felt had a more hollow feel, this feels more buttery. The saying is cliche but it is stiff in the right spots.
Happy to answer questions. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
I’ve had a bunch of cages over the years including the Rib Cage. I like it, but depending on the bottle it could be a little tight. I eventually settled on the Elite Cannibal cages and run them on both by bikes now and have for the past several years.
I have the sworks cages and I’ve lost multiple water bottles. So frustrating and a safety issue. Any advice or should I just get new cages?
Concur…light, durable, relatively cheap and I have never lost a bottle from one.
I use these and I have never lost a bottle (off road as well). I use them with Camelback Podium bottles.
I use the Bontrager Elite cages with my Camebak Podium Chill & Ice bottles. 38g. These previous gen. Podium bottles I use are slightly larger than most bottles and I ran into a lot of problems finding a cage they would fit in without a death grip on the bottle. Finally stopped by the local Trek dealer and tried these. Riding on bunch of rough, bouncy roads I have never lost a bottle but they go in and come out of the cages without a problem.