So, the vast majority of our reviews are for high-end bikes and the latest & greatest tech. That’s where most of the cycling industry’s development power & investment goes these days, so it’s often what we review to help readers make informed purchases. But it’s also nice to just stumble upon small, low-cost products that actually do the job just as well as more expensive options. These cheap, reinforced plastic Decathlon Triban bottle cages are just that…
Low-cost, lightweight & secure Decathlon Triban bottle cage
As mixed-surface all-road & gravel biking has become all the rage, we’ve needed to find more bottle cages that can securely hold a water bottle over varied terrain. Remember most gravel bikes now have at least three cage mounts, so buying $70 titanium Silca Sicuro or 80€ carbon Alpitude Superleggero cages just isn’t going to be in most people’s budget after dropping a lot of coin on a fancy new gravel bike in the first place.
So enter the $8 / £4 / 6€ Decathlon Triban plastic bottle cage. (There’s a ton of exchange rate variance in there, but at this price point, so what?) Sure, this is a department store plastic bottle cage that is surely made in China. Some might even discount it as disposable. But when you need an extra cage in a pinch, and don’t want to spend a lot more cash, this thing delivers a lot of value, and holds your bottle securely.
OK, real quick… this simple looped injection-molded plastic cage is made from 90% polyamide with 10% fiberglass mixed in for stiffness & overall strength. Decathlon claims it weighs 28g, exactly what each of my two cages weigh. That’s it – light, simple, cheap.
Riding review with the Triban cages
So the reason I ended up using the Triban cages in the first place is a story as old as time. Borrowing a bike to ride with friends far away from home (shoutout to my homies at Rapha & the RCC), we realized my loaner Canyon Endurace was missing cages. Not wanting to spend a bunch of money when we all have plenty of fancy cages at home (and with local bike shops closed for the evening, anyway), a quick trip to the local big box store returned with two cages for a total of 12€. To my surprise, they ended up being about the most secure cage I’ve ever used, paired with RCC Camelbak Podium bottles.
Four days and over twelve hours of actual riding away from home over a mix of smooth tarmac, rain-soaked & sandy roads, slick dirt trails, even brutally rough gravel left over by the Spanish army, and never once did a bottle move in the cages. In fact, once they got a bit of wet sandy grit from riding in the rain, it became difficult to actually extract the bottle while riding. (On mostly dry rides, they were completely easy-to-use, but still with a secure feel.)
The majority of my riding on this trip was on good roads, but let’s just say I get ‘creative’ with my line choice some times. Now that I’m back home, I brought the new cages with me, and they are going on my jack-of-all-trades Bombtrack Audax to ferry bottles for me over road & trail.
Final thoughts on department store cages
I would never have thought to go to Decathlon at home to buy a couple of cheap cages. But having circumstances push me to riding with them, it’s hard to overestimate undersell?) the value they present. Really only the absolute most premium cages are going to be lighter. (That Superleggero is lighter but won’t hold your bottle over cobbles, the Sicuro is heavier and only almost as secure. Plus, only 1 of 5 “awesome carbon fiber water bottle cages” we shared a few years ago was measurably lighter.)
So, if you break a more expensive cage, or just need one or two extra for a second bike, these Tribans are really hard to argue with based on how affordable & secure they are! Discuss…