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Old 09-26-07, 09:57 AM   #1
squeakywheel
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third water bottle cage

I'm the proud owner of a new Specialized Tricross. This is the first bike I've had which has braze-ons below the downtube for a third water bottle cage. I'm looking for advice and recommendations for a cage to mount under the downtube. Any special requirements for a cage down there? Maybe a side loading one is better?
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Old 09-26-07, 11:34 AM   #2
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I've never planned on trying to grab the lower bottle while riding so side access isn't an issue for me. My main concern is something that will take a potential beating and holds a bottle tight. I've used the cage for water or a Sig bottle with stove fuel on a tour.
For short rides I usually replace the cage with my pump bracket and clip the pump on.
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Old 09-26-07, 11:43 AM   #3
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I use a standard cage. I can't put large bottles there or it rubs on the fender so I usually put a small Gatorade bottle.
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Old 09-26-07, 12:00 PM   #4
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I use a wide-mouth screw-top RubberMaid bottle down there. In a standard cage, it clears the fender nicely and is quite sturdy against the flying sticks and stones. It holds a bit more than a short water bottle--about 18 oz. if memory serves.
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Old 09-26-07, 03:39 PM   #5
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I've heard of riders carrying a small screw-top bottle loaded with tools in that third cage.By the way, I like your panniers. Can you mention the make? They look like older models that may not be available.
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Old 09-26-07, 04:15 PM   #6
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My third will have a stronger mixture of what ever in it, I'll then just give my other bottles a shot & mix with water. Many times I've ridden with honey in it, sometimes really potent homemade Gatorade.
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Old 09-26-07, 04:36 PM   #7
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Rich B. - I assume it was my panniers you were referring to. They're Cannondales that I bought with matching handlebar bag in 1992. I don't think they supply them anymore.
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Old 09-26-07, 04:56 PM   #8
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Be aware that mud/water spray, front wheel overlap and losing a bottle can be an issue with the bottom cage.

I can only fit a 500ml bottle in mine, which I do for long rides, but panniers/rack bag are more convenient if I'm carrying luggage anyway.

I think I will move to using it for a tool container, secured with a velcro strap in case of bouncing.
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Old 09-26-07, 06:25 PM   #9
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I use the third bottle mount for additional water. In rain or mud, this bottle will get quite dirty so if I need it, I'll stop, unscrew the top and pour the water into one of my empty bottles. I've had to use a shorter bottle in this cage but it gives me about the same capacity as a regular water bottle.
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Old 09-26-07, 06:45 PM   #10
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I quite often use a plastic cage for the underside mount on my expedition bike. If I am riding empty and it catches on something it will tear or crush and then spring back. As far as what to carry in it? Typically my fuel bottle for my stove.

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Old 09-27-07, 08:26 AM   #11
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I only drink from the water bottle on the downtube. When it's empty I stop and switch it with one of the others. I'm never in such a hurry that this is a problem. I'm enjoying having a third water bottle cage. For me it's easy to plan my water needs. On shorter rides I only fill one or two. But on longer rides away from easy water access it's really nice to have a third bottle. I used mine yesterday!

Incidentally, last summer I was on tour in eastern Washington. I had four water bottles - two on my old bike and two on my Bob trailer. There were days when I had to go easy on the water, even with 4 bottles, to keep from running out.
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Old 09-27-07, 09:13 AM   #12
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Cuissi cages, with the additional side buttons for greater security, or any of the various knockoffs available from REI or etc that have the side buttons on the cages for better retention of bottle.

side loading below the downtube? no thanks, the bottle would be more likely to fall or get knocked out.

If you need to grab the bottom bottle, stop and grab it. you're not racing on tour, for gosh sakes.

Often my fuel bottle resides in the bottom cage, versus water. I've got bottle cages attached to each side of the front rack on my heavy tourer.

I usually roll with four bottles, and fuel in the fifth cage under the downtube.
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Old 09-27-07, 01:55 PM   #13
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I looked through a few hundred pictures of the PBP Randoneur event. I didn't see one bottle cage under the downtube. I wonder why.
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