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
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BY Suzana Mijatovic / LAST UPDATED 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
- 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.