It’s essential to stay hydrated on a ride.
Having enough water can make or break a long jaunt into the countryside on your bike, especially on a hot day. The sensible option for many riders is to fit a bottle cage on their bike.
Some mountain bikers prefer to wear backpacks or hydration packs to carry enough water for their rides. But other cyclists like to have their drinks within easy reach in their bike water bottle cage.
In this article, we’ll be covering:
- What To Look For In A Water Bottle Cage
- How To Fit A Bottle Cage To Your Bike In 4 Steps
- BikeTips Recommends: The 5 Best Bottle Cages
- How To To Fit A Water Bottle Cage To A Frame Without Holes
Ready for the lowdown on bike water bottle cages?
Let’s get started!
What To Look For In A Water Bottle Cage
A bike water bottle cage is a pretty simple item.
It holds your water bottle – also known in cycling as a bidon – to allow cyclists to complete their rides, whether they’re a beginner or a Tour de France pro.
Most bikes have at least one area on the frame where you can mount your water bottle cage. The main thing you need to look for in a bike water bottle cage is that it can hold your bottle securely.
If it doesn’t hold the bottle well enough, there’s a good chance that you’ll lose it, especially if you’re a mountain biker.
The water bottle cage also needs to give you easy access while you’re riding.
How To Fit A Water Bottle Cage To Your Bike in 4 steps
Step 1: Remove Bolts From The Frame
On most bikes, you’ll notice that the frame has some bolts sticking out of it. These pairs of bolts will be on the seat tube or the down tube.
Loosen the bolts with a 4 mm Allen key by turning them anticlockwise until they come out of the frame.
Make sure you put the bolts in a safe place, as they have a habit of dropping into hard-to-reach places!
Step 2: Line Up Your Water Bottle Cage
Hold your bike water bottle cage up to the holes in the frame. This will allow you to decide if it is in a suitable position before you bolt it to your bike.
Step 3: Tighten The Bolts
Screw the blots into the frame through the holes in the bottle cage. Use your fingers to get the bolts in as tight as you can before using your Allen key to finish the job.
Step 4: Fit Your Water Bottle
Once you’re happy that your water bottle cage is secure on your bike, make sure the bottle fits tightly into it. If it is too tight and you have a metal water bottle cage, you can gently bend it outwards to find the perfect fit that balances security with ease of access.
Don’t bend it too much, though, as you will make the cage too big for your bottle. After you’ve tweaked the fit for your bottle, you may need to retighten the bolts.
BikeTips Recommends: The 5 Best Bottle Cages
#1. Nukeproof Horizon Carbon SideLoad Bottle Cage
This carbon fiber water bottle cage is made for mountain bikes. It’s super strong and lightweight, so will withstand big crashes and won’t add too much weight to your bike.
You can fit this water bottle cage to pretty much any bike frame, as it has 40 mm of height adjustment. It’s super simple to load your bottle into the cage. You simply slot the bottle in from the right-hand side, thanks to the cage’s “SideLoad” design.
#2. Elite Custom Race Resin Stealth Bottle Cage
The Custom Race Resin Stealth Bottle Cage from Elite is a great water bottle cage with many rave reviews from cyclists.
It’s made from lightweight fiberglass, so if you’re concerned about weight, this cage is a good choice.
It also features a rubber tensioner that secures your water bottle firmly, even when you’re taking on technical terrain.
#3. Prime Rear Hydration Bike Bottle Cage
The Prime Rear Hydration Bike Bottle Cage is primarily designed for triathlon and time trial racing. Its aluminum body is adjustable and lightweight; therefore, it can take a range of water bottles without compromising performance.
It has an easy-to-mount design and can hold one or two water bottles. Additionally, it has a space for a CO2 canister for fast tire inflation.
You don’t have to be a racer to benefit from this excellent water bottle cage, as it’s suitable for performance-focused cyclists looking for ways to upgrade their bikes and stay hydrated.
#4. LifeLine Essential One-Piece Matte Bottle Cage
If you’re on a budget or don’t want anything too fancy, this bottle cage from LifeLine is an excellent choice.
It’s made from tough and lightweight polycarbonate and comes in four colors to choose from, so it can complement your bike. This water bottle cage accommodates most standard bottles and safely secures them with a contoured inner edge.
#5. Prime Aero Time Trial Bike Bottle Cage Kit
The Prime Aero Time Trial Bottle Cage Kit cuts through the air like a knife thanks to its slippery shape.
Therefore, you don’t ruin your bike’s aerodynamic design with a bulky bottle and cage. It’s also incredibly light, as Prime has built it from super-stiff carbon to compliment the lightness of your bike.
How To To Fit A Water Bottle Cage To A Bike Without Holes
Unfortunately, some bike manufacturers don’t put holes in the frame to mount your water bottle cage. This is frustrating, and means you’ll have to look for other ways to carry your drinks.
The good thing about not having holes for your water bottle cage is that you can decide where you want to put your water. Like most bike manufacturers, you can opt for the downtube or seat tube. But, you can also put it on the handlebars or top tube.
Luckily, there are some great alternatives to a traditional bike water bottle cage. Here are 5 of our favorites:
#1. Topeak Bottle Cage Mount
Topeak’s Cage Mount fits your bike’s handlebars or seat post.
It works on either mountain bikes or road bikes and allows you to mount a water bottle cage to a bike without holes drilled into the frame. It also works well as an additional water bottle cage for long rides on hot days.
#2. Topeak Versamount Bottle Cage Mounts
This is another great way of mounting a water bottle cage to your bike from Topeak.
Its flexible design allows you to mount a cage onto bike frame tubes, measuring 20 to 60mm. You can use it to carry an additional water bottle or any other accessory without having to drill holes in your bike.
Now You Know All About Bike Water Bottle Cages…
Staying hydrated while riding is vital.
While there are many hydration solutions available, a water bottle cage is an effective solution used by cyclists all over the world.
They are super easy to install on your bike – whether you have the appropriate mounting bolts or not!