There are good bottle cages and there are bad bottle cages. If your response to that is, “A bottle cage is a bottle cage,” then consider yourself lucky to have always had good bottle cages. If you read it and say, “Amen, brother,” then you need to keep reading and prepare to crack open your wallet (although not as far as you probably think).
I’d been rocking the PRO fiberglass cages that a buddy gave me when I first built up the bike. They were light and the somewhat unique shape made for an extremely good grip on the bottle, but I found that also translated into difficultly with removing and replacing the bottle and after a mildly groggy morning mishap putting a bottle back, I knew they had to go.
Enter the Arundel Mandible. Check it out after the jump…
I‘d previously had Arundel’s stainless steel cage on other bikes, and this time I bought myself a pair of the Oil Slick Mandibles to match the other UD carbon components on the bike. They retail for $65 a piece, and weigh in just under 30g, making them comparable to a lot of the other popular carbon cages on the market. There’s no doubt that they could probably be cheaper or lighter, but that would compromise security and lead to a sentence like this one found on a competitor’s site: “Recommended for use with small water bottles and on-road use only.”
Immediately on the ride home, I couldn’t believe how much easier they were to use. The bottles came out and went back in with ease, and I’ve never had to give it a second thought since (except to write this piece and tell all of you, of course). When the bottle is in, there’s no doubt that it’s not going anywhere, and I’ll never worry about that. These are the best accessories, the ones you can forget about. It’s clear they made the cage they set out to make, and I’m happy to have found them. So, if you’re in the market for new cages, check them out, you won’t be disappointed.