LAST UPDATED: October 20, 2019
Best Mountain Bike Water Bottle Cages: Keep Liquids Nearby During Your Ride
These water bottle cages will keep your liquids in place when mountain biking
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON October 20, 2019
Mountain bikers need water for hydration. During this type of physically demanding activity, the body needs enough water to supplement an extensive burn of calories. It’s critical to have a water bottle within reach to keep your body healthy and ready to perform. Luckily, there's a little gadget that's specially designed to securely attach a water bottle to your bike called a water bottle cage, and we have the top products in our buying guide below.
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Benefits of Mountain Bike Water Bottle Cages
- Stay hydrated. No matter what kind of riding you do, you need access to fluids, particularly if you're taking a long-distance ride in the woods. Dehydration can cause your muscles to cramp and can affect your concentration, both of which are potentially hazardous.
- Easy to install. The best water bottle cages for mountain bikes are typically secured to the frame of your bike with either screws or straps. This makes the bottle easy to access when you're riding.
- Securely grips your bottle. Mountain bike bottle cages are usually made of aluminum alloy or carbon fiber, which makes them very lightweight yet strong. They keep your bottle from dislodging, even on rough terrain.
- Affordable. MTB bottle cages are not very expensive, and some come with two in a package, so you can put two on your bike or share one with a friend or family member.
Types of Mountain Bike Water Bottle Cages
Aluminum or Carbon Fiber
The best mountain bike bottle cages are made of lightweight aluminum alloy or carbon fiber. When you go mountain biking, the last thing you want is extra gear on your bike that makes it heavier. A lightweight bike water bottle holder will ensure that you stay hydrated and won’t add too much extra weight to your ride.
Some water bottle cages and holders are made of plastic. The upside is that they are less likely to scratch your water bottle. However, they may not secure the bottle as tightly as their metal counterparts. Plastic bicycle water bottle cages may also be less expensive than carbon bottle cages or those made of aluminum.
Blackburn was started by Jim Blackburn in 1975 and is based in Santa Cruz, California. In addition to water bottle cages, the company produces lights, pumps, mirrors, bags, and more. One top product is the Blackburn Camber UD Carbon Cage.
Popular cycling company Schwinn got its start in Chicago, Illinois, in 1895. In addition to manufacturing bikes for men, women, and children for more than a century, Schwinn also sells cycling gear, including the Schwinn Bike Waterbottle Holder.
Pro Bike Tool is a relatively new company. The manufacturer is based in Horton Heath, Hampshire, England, and was born out of one man's passion for cycling. The company produces a wide variety of top-quality cycling accessories, including the Pro Bike Tool Bike Water Bottle Holder.
Mountain Bike Water Bottle Cage Pricing
- $10-$50: You can find many good-quality mountain bike bottle cages within this price range. They usually fit both standard-sized and oversized water bottles. They are often lightweight and can be used off-road.
- $50 and up: Top-end bike bottle holders are often adjustable, easy to install, and are compatible with a variety of different-sized bottles. Some brands are designed for bikes that have no holders or cannot accommodate a frame holder.
If possible, choose the lightest cage mount possible. However, you should also ensure that it is strong and durable. The best products are usually either aluminum alloy or carbon fiber because they don't weigh very much but are very reliable and long-lasting. Most brands list the weight of the product, which will help you make an informed buying decision.
The best mountain bike bottle cages work with a wide range of bottle sizes. If the cage/holder is too loose, your bottle may become dislodged during a ride. If the holder is too tight, it can be challenging to remove the bottle when you need a drink. Some brands even come with bottles included, which ensures a perfect fit.
Most standard water bottle cages feature two mounting holes that are 2.5 inches apart. This matches the threaded holes that are included in the frame of your bike. Users install these cages using screws, which may or may not be included with the product. Other MTB bottle cages feature straps, which you can adjust for non-standard-sized bottles.
- Style: Mountain bike water bottle cages come in a variety of shapes and colors. You can choose to make your MTB bottle cage blend in with the aesthetics of your bike, or you can choose a bright color that makes the accessory stand out. Some brands have limited color options (i.e. black and white), while others allow you to get more creative.
- Wear and Tear: It's not uncommon for the paint on metal water bottle cages to wear off over time. This can make the holder unsightly and can also stain the bottles. Be on the lookout for products that may leave marks on the bottle, your hands, and/or your clothing.
Best Mountain Bike Water Bottle Cage Reviews & Recommendations 2021
Two aluminum bottle cages are included in this package, and they are lightweight at just 1.5 ounces each. The cages fit most standard-sized water bottles with diameters of three inches and come with screws. The cages are oval, so it's easy to access your beverages when you're riding. These cages are easy to install and look good. They hold your bottles nice and tight, and because they open to the sides, they hold oversized bottles without any issues. The holes on the cages perfectly match the standard bottle holder bolts on bikes. Overall, they're very light and more sturdy than many plastic counterparts. However, your bike must have threaded holes to accommodate these cages. Also, the cages may scrape the plastic or paint on your water bottle, and if your bottle is too small it won't be as secure and may be too loose on bumpy roads. The cages are also very stiff and don't really give when putting bottles in or taking them out.
This 50 Strong Bicycle Water Bottle Cage is manufactured by a family-owned American business and is made of lightweight, durable plastic. It easily mounts to the frame using a bike's existing screws. The package includes two bike cages, which come in a variety of colors, including black and pink. The cage fits most standard-sized water bottles, and since it's plastic, it isn't prone to scratching like some other options. The cage is flexible and holds bottles securely. The holes line up nicely with the screw holes, and it's compatible with road, mountain, hybrid, touring, triathlon, and electric bicycles. One drawback with this product is that it doesn't come with the hardware (screws) required to install it on the bike; however, that's not uncommon with this type of product. Also, bottles may become dislodged if you're riding on bumpy terrain. These cages are also not as sturdy as some metal counterparts.
The Blackburn Outpost deserves a spot on our list for its versatility. It comes with a 6-millimeter (0.2-inch) alloy tube with three sets of mounting holes, and the positions can be tuned to accommodate bikes with different frames. The cage is lightweight, strong, and easy to install even with standard mounting screws. To prevent rust, it’s coated with a metallic sand paint job that makes the cage look professional and clean. Synthetic adjustable straps are fitted around the cage to ensure that you not only get to secure an oversized water bottle but can also fasten your gear and other accessories. The straps have a rubber backing for a secure grip as you tighten them. Unfortunately, the cage doesn’t include mounting screws, so you have to buy them separately. The cage is also somewhat expensive in comparison to many rival brands. In addition, having straps means that you constantly have to stop to readjust them every time you need to put back the water bottle.
Elite's self-adjusting water bottle cage holds your bottle in place even on extremely rough terrain. It's made of lightweight fiber-reinforced polyamide for durability and has elastomer rubber that allows it to expand and absorb vibration. It's available in a variety of colors, including black, black/blue, black/white, and red. The best thing about this cage is that it's easy to put your water bottle in and take it out. It catches and stays put and doesn't fight you when you remove the bottle. The cage is relatively lightweight, and you can adjust the position to go up or down on your seat or down tube. It's a great option if you're looking for a cage that's secure, affordable, and stylish. One downside is that it's a little heavy compared to some other options. Also, steel or aluminum bottles may slide out if they're not secured properly. There have also been some complaints that the cage is a little too tight, and it does not come with the mounting hardware.
This water bottle cage is unique because it comes in left or right side configurations and is easy to access even if it's installed on a compact road or mountain bike frame. It's made of high-strength, fiber-reinforced material and weighs 48 grams. The cage has oval mounting holes, so you can customize its position on your bike. While this side-loading cage may feel strange to use initially, it is very effective. It's easy to mount, looks good, and holds bottles well, even on bumpy roads. It can contain various brands of bottles, even insulated ones, and is great if you do a lot of serious mountain biking. Overall, it's tough, good-quality, relatively lightweight, and reasonably priced. One problem is that smaller bottles may fit loosely, and overly large bottles may fit extremely tight or not at all. Also, there may not be enough clearance if you have a clamp-on front derailleur. You also need to determine where you want to mount the cage (on the down tube or seat tube) to make sure you order the right one.
The Topeak Modula EX is an adjustable water bottle cage that fits a variety of different sized bottles. It's made of engineering-grade plastic and has a bottom-mounted adjuster dial. It weighs 52 grams and is available in black. The mounting screws are not included. The cage is easy to install, and the yellow adjustment knob on the bottom is easy to use. It is very convenient to adjust it to the size of the bottle for a tight fit. It's strong, flexible, and great for standard sport bottles as well as store-bought water bottles (which it won't crush). The cage holds bottles securely in place, and there are no rattling noises even when you travel over rough terrain. The biggest complaint about this product is that it's not designed to hold extra-large bottles. And while the adjustable dial is a nice feature, it has its limitations when it comes to the bottle's size. Another problem is the cage can scratch the finish on a Hydro Flask and some other types of bottles.
Planet Bike's water bottle cage is made of aluminum and bolts to the standard mounts on your bike. It comes in flat black, gloss black, silver, red, blue, white, yellow, celeste green, red anodized, and blue anodized and weighs 63 grams. The cage is easy to install and lines up perfectly with the holes of a standard bicycle frame. You can adjust the tension a little bit by slightly bending the cage. It's lightweight yet sturdy and holds bottles well, even over some fairly hard bumps. It also provides a snug hold during rough landings. It's a strong and versatile product that's worth the price. However, it does not come with screws for installation, and it's slightly heavier than some competitor brands. There have also been some complaints that it can break if you put too much stress on it, and it may not fit oversized bottles.
The Tacx Deva bottle cage is made of carbon-reinforced nylon and weighs just 32 grams, which is helpful if you want to shave weight off your bike. It features a cylindrical shape for a better grip and is designed to hold your beverage tightly over rough roads and railroad tracks. The cage is available in a variety of colors, including pink, black, yellow, and red. It is well constructed and lightweight and provides easy access to a water bottle. When you slide a bottle into the cage, it almost clicks into place. It holds it really well over all types of terrain, which is important if you ride over potholes, speed bumps, and dirt and gravel. Also, the colors are nearly an exact match to a lot of different bikes. There aren't too many problems with this cage. However, some users think it's a little too tight, and it’s a little costly. Another downside is that it can take some concentration to remove and place a bottle back into the cage.
- Before making a purchase, check whether you have pre-drilled holes in your bike for attaching a water bottle cage. If you don't have them, you'll have to look for other mounting options. We recommend those that attach to the bike with Velcro loops.
- Consider the size of the water bottle when choosing a cage. The cage should tighten around the bottle enough to prevent rattling and fly outs. Still, it shouldn't be too tight because you won't be able to take the bottle out to take a sip during the ride.
- A cage should be lightweight, so you don't know that the bottle is there during a ride. Make sure to get one that doesn't burden your bike; however, don't compromise when it comes to sturdiness. A cage should be strong and durable enough to withstand heavy use.
- Pick a cage that will match the design of your water bottle and your mountain bike. Black is universal and classy, but you can also opt for other colors that will make your bike stand out from others.
Q: Why do I need a water bottle cage for mountain biking?
A: If you put a bottle on your bike, you'll have some free space in your backpack. You'll also relieve your back from the additional burden. Also, a bottle within hand's reach will encourage you to drink more water.
Q: How do I attach a bottle cage on my bike?
A: You can attach a bottle cage onto suspension forks or on a metal bike frame with hose clamps. It's the most common and easiest way to do it. Some cages even come with electrical tape and extra straps for a more secure fit. Another popular method is zip ties and tubes. Consider which one works best for you by taking into account the bike type and the size/weight of your bottle.
Q: Are all water bottle cages the same size?
A: Most cages are built to a standard size to accommodate different bottles. The best ones include adjustable stoppers for a better fit. Nevertheless, we recommend double-checking the size of the cage and whether it's adjustable before making a purchase.
We recommend Ibera Bicycle Lightweight Aluminum Water Bottle Cage for all bikers looking for a solid unit to secure their water bottle.
The 50 Strong Bicycle Water Bottle Cage 2 Pack is an inexpensive alternative. It’s secure and resists scratches.