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Old 06-19-12, 10:05 PM   #1
jnbrown
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Mounting water bottle cage on Calfee - FAIL

When I built up our Calfee a few ago I of course chose some nice CF bottle cages.
Both the front and rear cages have now broken.
On the front the tab on the bottom broke, on the rear the side arm broke I assume from forcing the bottle in from the side.
Went to the LBS and picked up a Specialized ZEE cage which is a side load cage to solve the fit problem on the rear.
Price was right and it seemed to work great. Also looked at an expensive Arundel but it seemed way too hard to get the bottle in and the guy at the shop agreed and said get the ZEE. All was well until I tried to mount it on the bike. Calfee in all their wisdom did it backwards from everybody else and has short studs sticking out of the frame instead of female threads to accept a screw of the proper length. Because virtually all plastic bottle cages are too thick relative to the length on the studs they cannot be used as there not enough threads to get the nut on. We LOVE our Calfee but I hate this feature.
Looking for suggestions on a left side mount cage that will work. Maybe XLAB Sidekick?
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Old 06-19-12, 10:43 PM   #2
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I'm wondering if something like tis would work. http://www.thread-rite.com/pop_nuts/index.htm
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Old 06-20-12, 04:28 AM   #3
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We are using the Arundel side load and other side load cages on our Calfee and they work perfectly. A bottle with water in it is easy to get in and out of the cage.
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Old 06-20-12, 05:19 AM   #4
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We too use the arundel side loads without issue- easy mount, load, unload.
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Old 06-20-12, 06:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
Calfee in all their wisdom did it backwards from everybody else and has short studs sticking out of the frame instead of female threads to accept a screw of the proper length.
No, they did it exactly the way they needed to for the way they design their composite frames. Inserting a threaded sleeve into the composite tube isn't always the best approach for long-term durability as those sleeves could become magnets for galvanic corrosion unless something like a titanium sleeve was used. Moreover, given how "soft" composites are, it's likely those threaded sleeves would become loose over time and/or get stripped / pulled out by an over-zealous mechanic.

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Because virtually all plastic bottle cages are too thick relative to the length on the studs they cannot be used as there not enough threads to get the nut on.
At which point you must then think outside of the box. You have a couple of options, including the use of sleeve nuts... which are similar to what are used to attach caliper brakes and your chain rings, but on a smaller scale. Specialty hardware section at a good ACE hardware store would likely have them in the right size... or close enough. You might need to shorted the sleeve to get a snug fit.



I created my own problem when I second-guessed Calfee's water bottle boss placement based on my initial plan to use stainless steel cages. Calfee designed their boss placement around newer designs for composite water bottle cages which put the mounting holes higher on the cage. When I eventually switched over to our awesome Profile KK2 KarbonLite cages I had to make adapters out of aluminum stock to eliminate the interference issue I created in the front triangle with my design intervention. They work just fine and unless I point them out, no one would ever know the difference.



Adapters above attach to threaded bosses, and then the cages are bolted to the adapters.

Below, the two cages on the front have the adapters, whereas the ones on the back don't. Again, you'd have to look hard to see them, particularly when the water bottles are in the cages. No impact on function and only a minor hit on weight for those who obsess about weight, i.e., the carbon cage + adapter is still lighter than the stainless steel cage it replaced.

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Last edited by TandemGeek; 06-20-12 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 06-20-12, 09:16 AM   #6
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We too use the arundel side loads without issue- easy mount, load, unload.
+1. Essential for the stoker and really easy for the captain to quickly snatch and replace.
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Old 06-20-12, 04:41 PM   #7
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Stoker Kay has no issues. We utilize a custom handlebar mount (facing toward her) on center of her stoker stem.
Then insert a plastic tube (flexible) available in most hardware stores for easy on the bike sipping without removing bottle.
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Old 06-20-12, 06:01 PM   #8
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Do the Arundel side-loaders work with the modern insulated waterbottles, like from Camelbak? Those water bottles seem to be a bit larger OD.

Also, do the Profile KK2 Karbonlite cages allow bottles to go out and in at angles for tight frame areas, working in place of side-loaders?
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Old 06-21-12, 11:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
No, they did it exactly the way they needed to for the way they design their composite frames. Inserting a threaded sleeve into the composite tube isn't always the best approach for long-term durability as those sleeves could become magnets for galvanic corrosion unless something like a titanium sleeve was used. Moreover, given how "soft" composites are, it's likely those threaded sleeves would become loose over time and/or get stripped / pulled out by an over-zealous mechanic.



At which point you must then think outside of the box. You have a couple of options, including the use of sleeve nuts... which are similar to what are used to attach caliper brakes and your chain rings, but on a smaller scale. Specialty hardware section at a good ACE hardware store would likely have them in the right size... or close enough. You might need to shorted the sleeve to get a snug fit.


My wife has arthritis in her hand and the ZEE cage seems the easiest to use so I would like to give it a try.
Do you know the thread size on the Calfee studs? Is it metric?
The smallest sleeve nut I have been able to find is 6-32 and no metric sizes.
I could use a male-female standoff which are easier to find but then the bottle would be spaced further off the frame.
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Old 06-21-12, 12:01 PM   #10
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Arundel has two design so that you can withdraw the bottles from the RH side. They are extremely easy to add and remove. We have gotten to the point of not even looking to remove and replace them.
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Old 06-21-12, 12:06 PM   #11
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Do you know the thread size on the Calfee studs? Is it metric?
Off hand, no and I'm not at home where I could check.

However, you could certainly call Calfee to find out width and thread pitch.

While you have them on the phone you might ask if they have some type of sleeve fastener they could send you or some other type of solution.... although my guess is that they'll suggest getting a cage that is compatible, e.g., an Arundel.
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Old 06-21-12, 12:31 PM   #12
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Do the Arundel side-loaders work with the modern insulated waterbottles, like from Camelbak?
Beloved stoker uses Camelbak Podium bottles with her Arundel side-loaders on her single.
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Old 06-21-12, 03:34 PM   #13
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Off hand, no and I'm not at home where I could check.

However, you could certainly call Calfee to find out width and thread pitch.

While you have them on the phone you might ask if they have some type of sleeve fastener they could send you or some other type of solution.... although my guess is that they'll suggest getting a cage that is compatible, e.g., an Arundel.
Mike at Calfee is the one who recommended the Arindel cages. I had some Bontrager CF cages so I used them but because of our small frame size we had trouble getting the bottles in and out of them, thus the Arundel cages.
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Old 06-22-12, 03:58 PM   #14
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Couldn't locate the exotic hardware needed to mount the ZEE cage, so we returned it and got the Arundel based on the recommendations here. Went for a ride today and my wife it was OK so we will go with it. End of story.
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Old 06-24-12, 04:03 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=TandemGeek;14380705]


At which point you must then think outside of the box. You have a couple of options, including the use of sleeve nuts... which are similar to what are used to attach caliper brakes and your chain rings, but on a smaller scale. Specialty hardware section at a good ACE hardware store would likely have them in the right size... or close enough. You might need to shorted the sleeve to get a snug fit.



Ah, sleeve nuts, thanks for the suggestion. I had been looking for a solution to mount a mini-pump bracket for a while. I had previously shaved down a bracket, but it eventually failed. I thought about buying a lezyne cage with their built-in pump bracket, but did not want to buy 4 to match.
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Old 06-25-12, 01:25 AM   #16
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I am using the camelback insulated without issue. Additionally the left and right arundel's are critical as the 'sidedness' is different on the downtube than the seatube (they face different directions (of course) so you need to order a left and a right (whether you are left or right handed- that only influences which you put where.)
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Old 06-28-12, 02:20 PM   #17
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fyi, from my experience, www.trisports.com seems to have the best prices and delivery of Arundel sideloaders. We have a half dozen of them now @ < $40ea.

The Polar insulated bottles we use have a very slippery exterior. In spite of that, no issues with premature bottle ejection

One remaining issue is my stoker's comfort level in grabbing the front bottle while my feet are flailing around. She hasn't asked me to stop pedaling, so who knows what is going on back there

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Old 06-28-12, 06:10 PM   #18
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fyi, from my experience, www.trisports.com seems to have the best prices and delivery of Arundel sideloaders. We have a half dozen of them now @ < $40ea.

The Polar insulated bottles we use have a very slippery exterior. In spite of that, no issues with premature bottle ejection

One remaining issue is my stoker's comfort level in grabbing the front bottle while my feet are flailing around. She hasn't asked me to stop pedaling, so who knows what is going on back there
That is where we bought our cages. We always coast together and drink at the same time. We drink every 15 minutes and take a butt break at the same time.
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Old 06-28-12, 06:19 PM   #19
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fyi, from my experience, www.trisports.com seems to have the best prices and delivery of Arundel sideloaders. We have a half dozen of them now @ < $40ea.

The Polar insulated bottles we use have a very slippery exterior. In spite of that, no issues with premature bottle ejection

One remaining issue is my stoker's comfort level in grabbing the front bottle while my feet are flailing around. She hasn't asked me to stop pedaling, so who knows what is going on back there
The Polar insulated bottles are terrible. Try the Camelback ones. They insulate as well if not better - easy to grip and the valve up top is self opening or can be closed shut so it won't leak in transit.
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Old 06-29-12, 06:13 AM   #20
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We're using the side load Specialized cages and have not had a problem with mounting as the studs are long enough for the self locking nut to fit flush with the end of the stud. And no issues with the camelback bottles coming loose or being ejected on rough roads. Nice secure fit...
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Old 06-29-12, 10:56 AM   #21
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fyi, from my experience, www.trisports.com seems to have the best prices and delivery of Arundel sideloaders. We have a half dozen of them now @ < $40ea.

The Polar insulated bottles we use have a very slippery exterior. In spite of that, no issues with premature bottle ejection

One remaining issue is my stoker's comfort level in grabbing the front bottle while my feet are flailing around. She hasn't asked me to stop pedaling, so who knows what is going on back there

Looks good, thanks for the link. Although, before ordering, I'll double-check the side-loader vs. other-side-loader. The Trisports description and pics are all messed up.
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Old 06-29-12, 01:37 PM   #22
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Looks good, thanks for the link. Although, before ordering, I'll double-check the side-loader vs. other-side-loader. The Trisports description and pics are all messed up.
FYI, I suggest ignoring any mention of "Out of stock" (if present) as they have delivered twice in about a week regardless of that status. Also, use discount Code = 'BT-W'
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Old 07-07-12, 10:08 PM   #23
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I created my own problem when I second-guessed Calfee's water bottle boss placement based on my initial plan to use stainless steel cages. Calfee designed their boss placement around newer designs for composite water bottle cages which put the mounting holes higher on the cage. When I eventually switched over to our awesome Profile KK2 KarbonLite cages I had to make adapters out of aluminum stock to eliminate the interference issue I created in the front triangle with my design intervention. They work just fine and unless I point them out, no one would ever know the difference.



Adapters above attach to threaded bosses, and then the cages are bolted to the adapters.

Below, the two cages on the front have the adapters, whereas the ones on the back don't. Again, you'd have to look hard to see them, particularly when the water bottles are in the cages. No impact on function and only a minor hit on weight for those who obsess about weight, i.e., the carbon cage + adapter is still lighter than the stainless steel cage it replaced.

Mark, I like your adapters. If you catalog these for sale, PM me, because I'd like 2

Otherwise, this is the same idea at $20ea...
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/pr...&mr:adType=pla

One problem we are having with this new no-lateral tube frame is that the stoker is complaining about really having to stretch to reach the front bottle and that she has a hard time avoiding my (captain) feet flailing around. We have the Arundel Sideloaders mounted front and back. Any solution to make the front bottle more accessible?

Last edited by twocicle; 07-07-12 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 07-07-12, 10:24 PM   #24
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I like your adapters. If you catalog these for sale, PM me, because I'd like 2
Thanks, but these were one-offs that I fabricated from aluminum stock. Didn't realize there might be a market for 'em.

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Any solution to make the front bottle more accessible?
We rotate the bottles so that Debbie always has the one she's working on on her seat tube. In other words, when the one on her seat tube is empty I'll usually pull the full one from the back of my seat tube (her 2nd bottle) so that she can put her empty into that cage, then hand her the full bottle that she then puts in the cage on her seat tube.
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Old 07-14-12, 12:51 AM   #25
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I think we're going to swap out the Arundel Sideloader cage on the back of the captain's seatube to a design like the Mandible with a straight-in/out. The Sideloader in this one position is not holding the stoker's front double-size bottle all that securely due to the backward slope of the mount - which is not the typical install these cages are designed for. We have already lost a bottle once and had a couple other times where it was starting to work it's way out (only when bottles are full). Part of the issue may be the slippery Polar (new style) exteriors, though I was a little skeptical about this cage from the start and real usage proved that right.

Our current setup is pretty typical as seen here:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post14467249

Last edited by twocicle; 07-14-12 at 12:56 AM.
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