Syncros offers a comprehensive range of on-bike storage solutions for hydration and tools for trail side repairs, and in the case of the iS Tailor Cage reviewed here, both simultaneously. This one caught our attention because of its super compact design, a highlight feature if you’re looking to mount your tools and water to the front triangle of a bicycle where space is at a premium.
The cage itself is ambidextrous, meaning you can mount it for easy access on the right or left hand side. It includes a bracket to mount a 16g CO2 canister, or a hand pump. And it houses a 19 function multi-tool. The great appeal is that, with all of those essential items living on your bike, it’s impossible to go riding without them. I mounted the Syncros iS Tailor Cage to my small Revel Rail this Spring time; here is how it fared.
Review: Syncros iS Tailor Cage
Given the multi-tool lives on the Syncros iS Tailor Cage, it’s important to take it out and dry it off after every ride to prevent rust. Obviously, I neglected to do this on more than a few occasions, and the result is shabby-looking, but still perfectly functional multi-tool. Before we get into the detail of the tool’s functions, let’s take a look at the versatility of the cage itself.
The first thing I noted was that the cage is pretty flexible. That helps you stuff the bottle into the cage when you’re in a hurry, and it means the cage is less likely to snap in a crash. It holds a regular water bottle securely, and I am happy to report no runaway bottles over the last 4 months of riding.
It can be mounted in two possible ways; angled off to either side to suit the handedness of the rider. Another thing to consider when mounting the cage is clearance, with respect to the trajectory of the shock and any rotating links as the rear wheel is pushed through the entirety of its travel.
The CO2 bracket is designed to hold a 16g CO2 canister. For MTB, it would ideally hold a 25g canister, to ensure proper inflation of high volume 29″ tires. The 16g option was fine for my 27.5″ x 2.4″ WTB Judge. The inflator head is good. It allows you to control the flow of CO2 into the tire, so you don’t have to dump it all at once. It also features a sliding plastic cover that protects the portion that attaches to the valve, keeping it clear of dirt.
The iS Tailor Cage, with CO2 canister mounted, does take up a fair bit of space laterally. The canister juts out sideways, and I was initially concerned that I might catch it with my foot while pedaling or descending. There was no need to be worried; I haven’t knocked it even once in the last 4 months of riding. There is just under one centimeter of space between the canister and the inside face of my crank arm.
Still, I’d recommend you mount the CO2 bracket on the opposite side to your front descending foot. After all, it’s usually only while descending that we tend to get a bit out of shape.
The multi-tool comprises the following functions:
- Hex 2/2.5/3/4/5/6/8
- Flat Head Screw Driver
- Torx T10/20/25/30
- Chain Tool
- Disc pad wedge
- Spoke key 3.22/3.45/Mavic M7
- Chain link holder
- Tubeless valve core remover
The 8mm Hex is stored on the pin of the chain tool. It’s a tiny standalone bit that could be very easy to lose if you’re in a rush, but a careful owner will make sure it goes back into its rightful place. To use it, simply slip it onto the end of the 5mm Hex.
The multi-tool offers a secure mounting point for a quick-link, held in place by magnets recessed into the body of the tool.
I tested the tool’s chain breaker function on a 12-speed chain. I was able to drive the pin out of a link, but it wasn’t super easy. The small size of the chain tool means it offers little leverage. I pushed the tool against the ground as I turned the multi-tool, which seemed to work well.
The chain tool portion threads off entirely, leaving you with a brake pad spreader (again, not much leverage), 14G and 15G and Mavic spoke tools, and a valve core removal tool.
Overall, I thought the quality of the multi-tool to be fairly good. Over the last 4/5 months of use, I’ve only had to tighten the tool assembly once. It had loosened just enough to cause the tools to rattle a little while riding. Tightening them down with a 4mm Hex has them silent once more.
The composite that holds the assembly together is stiff and strong, and I was able to put quite a lot of force through the tool to tighten various bolts, including some of the frame’s pivots bolts. That contrasts to the 10-function multi-tool of Syncros’ BC Matchbox Coupe Cage. That also has a composite frame, but it’s quite flimsy; I snapped it fairly early on, rendering the tool almost useless. This one held strong, and i’m personally not too bothered about the rust.
The CO2 mounting bracket comes fitted with inserts for the 16g CO2 canister. These can be popped out, making the clamp diameter much wider to fit a hand pump. However, it doesn’t actually fit the Syncros HV1.0 Hand Pump we were sent and besides, it’s too long to fit my frame anyway. We think the clamp is designed to fit one of the chunkier hand pumps, but we’re waiting to hear back on which one that is.
Syncros iS Tailor Cage
- Holds tools and CO2 canister securely and quietly
- Good value for money
- Great way to ensure you have trail side repair tools at all time
- Vulnerable to rust
- Loose 8mm Hex could be easily lost
Priced at £59.99, the Syncros iS Tailor Cage could be considered a very, very expensive water bottle cage. However, when you consider it comes with a decent quality 19 function multitool, a 16g CO2 canister, inflator head and mounting bracket, I reckon it’s pretty good value on the whole. Especially when you consider its versatility, and overall usability.
I’ll continue to use the iS Tailor Cage on my personal bike, and am happy enough to recommend it to others.