Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Zip-Tie water bottle cage mounts

The bikes are pretty well sorted for the up coming tour of Iceland and the Camino De Santiago in Spain, save for places to keep our water.   

My initial inkling was to just keep bottles in the frame-bags and have a camel back set up with the MSR dromedary, but then I look to this guy for some inspiration in ingenuity. 

  Fork legs on a bike make a great spot for mounting additional supplies, when you run out of room elsewhere on a bike and helps to better to distribute weight; especially when you have a tendency to over pack. 

Many rigid bikes for snow, gravel, dirt, or touring are now coming equipped with fork brazons for front racks, water bottles, the aluminum Salsa's Everything Cage, or the new stainless steel Manything Cage from King Cage

Having broken two aluminum Everything Cages, over the past two winters,  I would highly recommend avoiding the Salsa product and putting your money into the stronger, lighter, and hand-made Manything Cage from Andrews.  

Great for large amounts of water, sleeping essentials, 

or beer. 

   Wanting to keep things light, and not needing large volume carrying capacity, standard sized water bottle cages will suffice for my purposes.  Upon inspection of my various cages at hand, the plastic  Velocity Bottle Trap looks perfect for a light-weight DIY fork mount.

The backside of the Bottle Trap is slightly concave perfectly suited for strapping snugly to a rounded fork leg, but the design of the Bottle Trap is to "hug" the water bottle from all sides effectively limiting options to  lace any straps or zip ties through the cage,  due to the close tolerance necessary to hold a water bottle in place. 

Fortunately there is a recessed area for the typical mounting hardware allowing an area for a zip ties to pass without interfering with the functional design of the Bottle Trap, but you have to drill the holes first.

Best to begin by Dremeling small holes,  which can then be elongated to accommodate the width of a  wide strong zip tie.

Took a total of 5 minutes to drill-out 4 cages. 

Weighing the options:
Specialized aluminum cage with bolts: 50 grams even.

King Cage Titanium with bolts: 34 grams

Velocity Bottle Trap with zip ties and pieces of a rubber tube: 44 grams.
(just the Trap weighs in at 32g, only 4 grams more than the King Ti Cage at 28 g)
A bargain at $7 vs $60 for the King

Testing durability of the plastic
Good product.  Passed the stomp test.
Now I know it won't break if a Viking kicks me as I ride by.

Now to mount it:
Wrap a length of old tube around the fork leg to prevent slippage.

Thread two zip ties through the holes, and secure the cage to the fork leg, wrapping the ties around the length of old tube.  
(this was just a mock up for placement, much stronger zip-ties should be used for actual riding)


Also important that your bottle cages match the color of your cable housing!
This color coordination is guaranteed to improve your riding skills and balance.


  1. Very nice. The bottle cages also perfectly match the white tubing!

  2. Very good post with useful information. I really appreciate the fact that you approach these topics from a stand point of knowledge and information. Please keep on posting.bicycle racks