By James Bracey
The humble bottle cage is often overlooked in favour of more exciting ways to upgrade a bike, but it is without doubt one of the most fundamental accessories every cyclist should fit to their machine.
A bottle cage (sometimes referred to as a bike bottle holder) does exactly what it says on the tin, it holds a water bottle snugly on your bike. Now this might sound like a simple task but it has to hold it tightly enough to prevent accidental jettisoning over rougher surfaces whilst allowing easy access whenever you want to take a drink - not as easy a task as you might think.
To make things a little easier quite a few years back multiple bottle and bottle cage manufacturers came together and settled on a pretty standardised diameter for water bottles designed around cycling. Having to deal with a single diameter bottle then meant bottle cages could be optimised for use with this measurement.
Bicycle manufacturers also provided the other critical factor in the development of the bottle cage, thanks to in-built mounting eyelets or 'bottle cage bosses' found on the top side of the down tube and also on the seat tube. These threaded eyelets have a standardised distance between them that will fit almost every bike water bottle cage on the market. Some bike frames have more mounting points, some less, dependent upon the style of frame. And don't worry if your bike doesn't have any, there are ways to mount a bottle cage that we will cover later.
But that's not the end of the story. As with any component of a bicycle, bottle cages span the whole breadth of materials, construction methods and budgets. From simple plastic units costing a couple of pounds to ultra-lightweight carbon fibre cages that can cost triple figures - the choice is yours.
Our picks of the best bottle cages
Decathlon has a variety of bike water bottle cages/holders available to cyclists but this Triban 100 stands out for being one of the most budget friendly options. A metal cage helps to hold bottles in place and can be bent a little to accommodate smaller bottles whilst the plastic base keeps things light and doesn't damage bottles.
Elite Custom Race Plus
An update on one of the most popular bottle cages in the world featuring a shape that adapts to hold differing bottle diameters safely. Elite are renowned for making some of the most secure and good looking bottle cages and are used by multiple race teams. The Custom Race Plus is available in more colours than we can easily list here and as it is made from a fibre-reinforced material is lightweight, durable and a great price.
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Easily one of the most secure bottle cages Cycling Weekly has tested, Lezyne's Flow cage has a distinct X-Grip design. A light composite construction doesn't damage water bottles and keeps the price down.
Like the Elite cage above, the Tacx Deva is incredibly popular and for good reasons. It works and it comes in a huge variety of colours to match almost any paint scheme.
There are two versions: the £61.99 Deva Carbon or this, the regular Deva. This version is made of polyamide reinforced with carbon and glass fibre. The inner frame of the Deva is black, the outer frame is available in thirteen different colours.
Silca Sicuro Titanium
At the top end of the bottle cage market is Silca's elegant and timeless Sicuro Titanium cage. Aerospace quality tubular titanium is hand crafted into this classic bottle cage at Silca's US manufacturing facility, making it a cage to last a lifetime of use.
Fabric Cageless bottle system
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
A little different to the norm, Fabric's system works by using two shaped studs that screw into the bottle cage bosses of the bike and are then used to attach a specially shaped bottle. It provides a very 'clean' look to your bike with no noticeable bottle cages and of course is very lightweight. You are, however, stuck to using Fabric's own bottles.
Blackburn Outpost Cage
The Blackburn Outpost bottle cage equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife. A large platform and strap system allows it to carry a huge variety of bottles including big 2 litre+ supermarket bottles. It can also be used to carry other luggage when needed.
B'Twin Universal Bottle Cage Mount
Don't have any bottle cage mounts on your bike? Don't worry, you can use handle little gadgets like this B'Twin Universal adapter to add extra water carrying capacity for your ride. There are even versions that will mount your bottle cage to your handlebar if needed.
Effetto Mariposa releases its line of environmentally-friendly cleaning products
Best known for its torque wrenches, the Swiss-based brand seeks to lessen our collective environmental impact through its use of plant-based ingredients and replaceable parts
By Luke Friend •
Transport for London pauses new 'see their side' campaign after backlash against advert
TfL paused the campaign after facing a backlash on social media
By Tim Bonville-Ginn •