Water bottles ejecting from saddle-mounted cages

What am I doing wrong? Last year I bought a Profile Design RML saddle-mount rack that holds 2 water bottles. On a ride earlier this summer, one of my Profile Design bottles popped straight out of its cage going through a busy intersection… maybe it was just a big bump, I thought. Then it happened again. On my August long ride, my bottles were repeatedly ejecting and I eventually gave up and stowed them in my backpack. I wondered if the cages would work better with short bottles than with the long ones that I favor, but somewhere between mile 15 and mile 25 of my century this past Saturday, both short bottles took leave of their cages and set out on a new adventure of their own.

At this point I really can’t continue using the RML unless I can figure out how to make bottles stay in it. I don’t like the littering I’m unwittingly doing when I don’t notice the bottles going overboard, I can’t afford to keep replacing my bottles, and this past Saturday it seriously messed up my hydration strategy. Has anybody had similar experiences/know of a good solution?

Xlab Gorilla cages - they are bit expensive but you will never lose another bottle - grips like a gorilla

Oh and this happens alot - go to an tri and watch from near any railroad tracks or speedbumps - collect all kinds of new gear ejected from the back of bikes

there are other DIY hacks, but just get the Xlab cages - putting ties around your bottles while riding is a crash waiting to happen

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Hah! Thanks for the Xlab recommendation! I’ll definitely check it out!

I’m running an Xlab turbo with profile Design cages and have never had an ejection. Here’s some good old fashioned anecdotal evidence but from what I found having the bottles at a more steep angle works better than having them up and down vertically. My hypothesis on this is that some of the forces transferred into the side of the bottle rather than directly up and out. I just use standard specialized purist bottles. Here’s a photo of my setup for example.

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Skateboard grip tape on the inside of the cage… or use a heat shrink wrap around it if it’s just for spares and rarely gets used.

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XLab Gorilla cages for sure. That’s what I put behind my saddle on my TT bike and I’ve kept one of them for over a decade and I’ve still never lost a bottle despite it now being my bottle cage on my XC/DC bike that gets a fair amount more bouncing than my TT bike ever did.

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This is your answer. Angle the bottles so they aren’t vertical. If they are vertical, they are almost guaranteed to eject.

Specialized Rib Cages are also excellent cage options and much cheaper than the X-Lab cages.


Everyone is talking about the cages - that might not be your problem. Just a thought, but if I squeeze my bottle to drink and do not let the air back in so it returns to normal size, and then push the nozzle back in to seal it, the bottle is not its normal wide shape and so will easily slip into the cage… … or there is air in the bottle and it is not under pressure to hold itself in… so it is more likely to fall out. I make a point of letting the bottle return to normal size, and then pushing the nozzle back in to seal it and then returning it.

The other simple thing I have done is to put an elastic band around the outside middle of the cage to tighten it. I also make sure it is fully seated. I do that especially when carrying my tool bidon. I do find I can easily think I have replaced a bottle fully, but it is still 1/2" up and so not tight.

That said, I was 22 miles into a 100m TT the other week, reached behind and my whole bottle cage with two full 750cc bottles and my tubeless repair kit had disappeared? The (probably) 25 year old mount had broken. Manage to complete race in a PB on only 750cc and the gels and energy bars I was also carrying.

(Guess what I am after for Christmas).

PS Note the cut off ISM saddle so it would accomodate the OTB (off the back) system. (The elastic bands once held the tubeless repair kit to the OTB system.)

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Same cages, basically the same setup in terms of the angle… I lost a bottle my last 70.3. When I get back to it, I’ll get some Gorilla cages as mentioned here. I also think our (triathletes) tendency to run the longer bottles leads to some of this since more of the weight is out of the cage with a higher COG.


For me, the problem is when I have an empty bottle. While they are full, I have never lost a bottle.
When I am done with them… 100% of the time is a lost bottle.


Take a rubber band and make a Prusik loop (rock climbing, look it up), then hook that around the bottle. a little practice and it’s very easy to reach back, unhook, drink and rehook

I have had this issue as well. My saddle mount doesn’t allow for the cages to be angled in the way suggested by here by others. Tighter cages will to the job though. I haven’t used the Xlab Gorilla cages recommended. These Lezyne cages have worked for me though and they are much more affordable.

These hold the bottle so securely that I don’t like using them on the bike for regular usage. For the saddle mount they are perfect though.

In my tri bike I use TriRig’s Kappa Bottle cages. Ejecting bottles is not a problem anymore - but getting the bottles out of the iron grip of the cages while trying to stay aero is a new one. At least the initial issue was solved :expressionless:

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