[MTB] Bottle Cages for Rough Terrain

Ok so after 5 years of riding without bottle cages on my MTBs I thought I’d have another shot at running them. On goes my Fred-approved MUSA SS King Cage. First descent down a section of proper techy singletrack. Get to the bottom. No bottle. Damn, it was a nice Camelbak one too.

So my question to the FOA Brains Trust - what cages do people use that WILL NOT let a bottle be knocked out - either by big hits or flailing limbs? (If its a little tricky to get out thats ok, I can deal with that).

…so far I have tried generic alu and steel ones, Elite Ciussi and classic King Cages - none of which are up to the task.

Got a recommendation? I’m all ears.

Been running Stainless King Cages on my MTB’s for ~3years and they’re on my roady as well. Only lost a bottle out of them twice and I use Camelback bottles, happened on steep, rocky descents. Was easy enough to stop and go grab the bottles.

Do you need to bend them in a bit to get a tighter fit?

Have you tried bending the cage in so it clamps down on your bottle a bit more? - Geoff beat me to it!

I am now having to use a side mount cage because of the dual susp set up on the Camber. Haven’t had any issues with it yet. Before that I rocked the Elite Ciussi as well, just bent it in for a nice snug grip.

Elite resin/composite cages- cheap and reliable

yep, what they said, stainless ones and bend them, I’ve had good experiences with the arundel SS ones like below, bent it enough to hold a small water bottle (full of whiskey) on the underside of the downtube securely on some very rough tracks.

The solid backplate meant I could drill some new holes to mount them a little lower for better clearance of my frame bag.

Wear a hydration backpack. They’re made for mtbing for a reason!

X-Lab Gorrilla Cages.
Yes they’re crabon, and yes they’re exxy, but you won’t lose shit with them.
Alternatively the carbon specalized cages are reasonable too.

Even the plastic Specialized cages hold bottles extremely well. I used these on my CX for a Duael MTB 6hr. Super choppy course, bottle didn’t budge.
Also use one on my rigid 29er, no probs, no rattles.

After all, we had to hold the Koolaid somewhere…


Metatarsal button!

So good for the pronation of your longitudinal varus tilt hotspot bro!

next time you see dave cooper say “what’s the deal with 27.5”, i thought 29" was the way forward?..it’s like when they went to 24" cruisers from 26"" in your most sarcastic voice. Pretty sure my last text conversation with him nearly sent him over the edge.

SS King ‘Iris’ - I’ve almost crashed trying to remove an oversize bottle from these.

haha, I no longer see him now that I’m not at a Specialized dealer, it’s a shame really, top guy.

Bent in cages, yep, I have king ss on and its working. If you dont want to do that, or have bent as far as youre willing to and are still losing bottles, try the super old-school, classic black cateye cages… I love em, they flex a fair bit and so seem to slow bottles mommentum down rather than being super stiff and letting the bottle fly out. (would love some super slow mo video of cage swaying with bottle to confirm this)

echoing the ‘adjusted’ alloy cage approach (many PROtour teams still do this for the cobbled classics), plus i and many others have had surprising success with the netti side mount cages.

I’m going to put my 2c in with the plastic Velocity cages. I use them on the roadie and the mountainbike and they are really secure, cheap and, in my opinion, look good when matched to the colour of the frame.

Thanks very much for all the replies guys. I’ve already cranked down the my classic King cages about as far as I want to and am still not convinced. I think I’ll try some of your suggestions of the King Iris cage, Arundel or the Spesh Ribcage.

Cheers! =)

What’s your favourite bottle cage for off-road duties? I’m after something that holds the bottle well.

I’ve been using these aluminium ones made by Exustar. They are very light and very secure but the edges of the cage are quite sharp and they tend to gouge out my nice bottles, especially when a bit dirty.

On my roadie I’m using some cheap chinese carbon ones and they’re actually pretty decent. But I’d prefer non-carbon for off-road duties.

Other options seem to be the Tacx Tao, Lezyne Flow? I use Camelbak podium bottles, which may or may not make a difference. Thoughts?

Arundel Stainless are good

Can bend to grip bottles tighter, or to fit smaller bottles.

Never lost a bottle with them.

Other plus is cos it’s a solid back plate you can drill new holes to mount lower for frame bags or big bottles.

Elite ciussi have been my staple for GGs and CX rides for years. Like the arundels they are bendable for better bottle holding, cheap as too.

im using a cheap netti reversible side entry cage on my MTB and its been surprisingly excellent. came recommended from commuter staff.

tacx tao had an eraser-effect on my bottle graphics (and also didnt handle impacts when empty very well).