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  1. #1
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    Water bottle cage recommendation for small (short) stoker seat tube

    Hello Tandem Forum Community,

    I have a tandem with a small stoker compartment and I am trying to decide what water bottle cage will work well on the stoker's seat tube. To be more specific, if I measure along the stoker's seat tube, the distance from the (center of the) top water bottle bolt to the under side of the stoker's top tube, this distance is only about 14 cm (or about 5.5 inches).
    I think if you measured this distance on most bikes, you would probably agree that this makes for a very tight area to run a conventional water bottle cage. You just can't get a water bottle out of the cage without slamming the bottle into the under side of the stoker's top tube. Getting a water bottle back into the cage can be equally challenging.

    I noticed that at least one member of this Tandem Forum is using the Arundel Sideloader cage. I am hoping that anybody using this cage might respond and let me know their thoughts about this cage. Does this cage work well; can you get a bottle in & out at a decent angle without much fussing around? Or, is the cage more of a disappointment?

    Does anybody care to recommend any other cages that might work well for such a tight area?

    Any feedback you can provide would be helpful.

    Thank You!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    We have 4 of the Arundel side load cages and are extremely happy with them. I have seen some other brands that are much less expensive but I do not know how they perform.

  3. #3
    Senior Member diabloridr's Avatar
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    Beloved stoker has Arundel sideloaders on her miniature (43cm) Calfee single. Work like a charm.

    Expensive, but highly recommended.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    +1 to the recommendations, above. They are also beneficial for the captain - I can very quickly snatch a WB when climbing at a low speed.
    Rick T
    --------
    Volagi - Triple"ized" and Tubeless
    daVinci Joint Venture

  5. #5
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    2011 Rodriguez Rohloff tandem
    2008 Rodriguez Rainier Lite sport/touring

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    You could use a Minoura handlebar mount for bottle cage and face it toward stoker. No need to remove the bottle to drink . . . remove the pop up valve on bottle and insert flexible plastic tube available in variousl diameters/length at your local hardware store.
    Been doing that for decades.
    You can also mount a bottle cage with a clamp on top of her toptube, easily within her reach.
    Or, TT type bottle cage (single/double) behind her saddle.
    Or, camelback.
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  7. #7
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    My stoker likes the TT style of bottle cages behind her saddle.

  8. #8
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Is there any extra space underneath a standard bottle cage when mounted on the bolts? On a couple of frames, I have moved the mounting point of the bottle cage down by a few cms by bolting a strip of all-purpose strapping (obtained from the hardware store, more commonly used for strapping pipes to walls) onto the current bottle mount holes, then mounting the cage to that a couple of cms lower down.

    Other solutions include the SKS Slidecage, a cheaper side-loading bottle cage; the Topeak X-15 adaptor, which allows a regular bottle holder to rotate out to the side when you want to get to the bottle, plus there are many other ways to attach bottles to bike frames, handlebars, seatposts and saddles where there are no mounting screws, see most of them here (warning that their are some racey photos in that link for no apparent reason).

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the quick responses to my posting.

    I do have a follow up question related mostly to the Arundel Sideloader cage.
    For anybody using this cage, how does it do with an insulated water bottle like the kind made by Camelbak?
    In other words, has anybody successfully used an insulated (Camelbak) waterbottle with the Arundel Sideloader cage?
    We do like to use these insulated water bottles in the warmer weather to keep the water colder longer.
    I do know that these bottles seem a little thicker than the regular non-insulated water bottles and thus can
    cause issues with water botttle cages that are not very forgiving.

    It is not a total deal breaker if the Arundel Sideloader can't handle the insulated bottle very well, but, I just wanted to see if there is any experiences out there with this combination.

    Thanks again for all the responses!

  10. #10
    Senior Member diabloridr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghoundz View Post
    I do have a follow up question related mostly to the Arundel Sideloader cage. For anybody using this cage, how does it do with an insulated water bottle like the kind made by Camelbak?
    The Camelbak Ice Podium will fit in the Arundel Sideloader, though it is a bit snug.

    Beloved stoker reports she has a bit of trouble getting enough grip to remove it, but it is workable.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    We are using the systemdescribed by Zonatandem. If the stoker area is too small for that then check out the bottle mounts that attach to the back of the saddle, TT style.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    We have 4 of the Arundel side load cages and are extremely happy with them. .
    Great cages as all of theirs are.
    4 sideloaders on the tandem and 2 Dave O's on my each of my other bikes.

  13. #13
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Living in the desert in Arizona stoker does appreciate cold water.
    Our system is simple; put ordinary water bottle in freezer, half full, overnight.
    That ice melts slower than using ice cubes.
    Spare bottles can be frozen 4/5ths full; as stoker needs more water, she pours cold water from spare bottle into her bottle she is using.
    We also put a sock over our water bottles to help keep 'em cooler.
    Just our input/experience.
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  14. #14
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    If considering the Arundel SideLoader, be sure to shop carefully, as they also offer the OtherSideLoader rather than make a flippable/changeable product. If stoker is using it, stoker should have final say in which side loads. Remember (and possibly remind her) that the timing chain has no derailleur, and can therefore slice off fingers.

    I think my wife/stoker has requested the OSL for both of her (forward-facing) positions on our daVinci. Alas, I have not purchased these yet.

  15. #15
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    We have a combination of all three Arundel's on our tandem. She likes reaching from the right, I reach with my left. Or as previously said, same reach to both front and back of frametube.
    Also the Sideloaders have two sets of bottle bolt holes which is nice.

  16. #16
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    Arundel side feed or Bontrager side feed. Make sure it 'snaps' into the bracket. You'll find some bottles just don't stay put. The insulated bottles are the worst at staying.

    I use two Bontrager x-light side feeds on my 36er mountain bike and don't have a bottle pop out problem, even on fast rocky/bumpy descents.

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