*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Bottle cages: stainless steel, King Iris

I have had the worst trouble with bottle cages, and spent a small fortune in trial and error.  Let me save you some trouble: use King Iris Stainless cages.

If you drink from plastic bottles, you can use just about anything, but even if you do not worry about petrochemicals in your water, water kept in them tastes like hell.  I use stainless water bottles, and unless I have the right cage the rattling is annoying, or the cage breaks.

Aluminum cages break eventually, as do plastic (and carbon-fiber I should imagine): the latter especially in the cold.

Titanium cages should not easily break, but are as likely to rattle as stainless.  I wouldn't know, because I'll never spend near a C-note for a bottle cage.

I have had poor luck with this shape: noisy.

I can't imagine it would be any good for frame-paint to use an open-backed cage.

I have had decent luck with Arundel Stainless; Salsa Nickless cages would be similar; Nitto cages should work as well, but cost a small fortune.  I got a Japanese knock off of the Nitto, but they are poorly sized.

I have had the best luck with the King Iris Stainless cage, and am almost as happy with Velo Orange Retro Cages (without tabs).  I imagined, wrongly, that the 'tabs' extension is needed to keep the bottles off the frame, but it isn't so: my frame doesn't get marked up using King Iris Stainless or Velo Orange Retro cages.

What puts the King Iris ahead is that even when your bottles are not precisely the same diameter, or the bottom of a bottle is poorly rounded, it will work: other much less so.  The similar VO Moderniste may work as well, but I bet the thinner wire doesn't hold as well, or last as long.  Also, the bottom support is not on the side the bottle will first come to rest at, but the Iris' is.

Another thing: use low-profile cage bolts.

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