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Bottle Cages... A zit on the Mona Lisa

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Bottle Cages... A zit on the Mona Lisa

Old 08-23-18, 01:30 AM
  #1  
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Bottle Cages... A zit on the Mona Lisa

Ok, So their purpose is necessary, but I have to say, I hate them with a burning passion. They almost never contribute to a C&V bike design. If I am not actively riding a C&V, they come off for display... I have aggressively tossed many a cheap POS into the trash when the bikes are purchased.... Maybe I have some undiagnosed OCD, but I think their utilitarian-only sensibilities suck from an aesthetic flow perspective. Am I the only one?
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Old 08-23-18, 01:50 AM
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Some are a big nasty, whitehead. Others are a little black head. Others look like they belong, particularly with a nice period water bottle.
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Old 08-23-18, 02:44 AM
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Well for those of us that actually ride our bikes significantly they are necessary. I also think they enhance the look of the bike myself.


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Old 08-23-18, 04:01 AM
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I don't view them that way at all. I don't like the plastic or carbon cages. But I do like the silver/stainless "blackburn" style cages the best, followed by the "Iris" style cages. I think they provide a nice contrast on the frame- @jamesdak's frame is a great example of nice contrast.
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Old 08-23-18, 04:47 AM
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I partially agree - many of the current cages look too weird for me. Fat tubing, odd colors, strange designs, big box store stuff. I'm fine with the traditional thin tuned TA style and have been able to find what em as needed - both steel and alumninum work fine. I also like the thin stainless steel cages, particularly the Ciussi Inox cages. I have 3 of those now and they complement the C&V bikes they are on.
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Old 08-23-18, 06:34 AM
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I'm fine with all non-plastic bottle cages. and most mounting systems, for bikes without enough brazeons.
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Old 08-23-18, 06:34 AM
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Vintage cages don't bother me. Like the Cussi Inox as well.

I'm guessing the OP is citing the current crop of plastic, sculptural cages. There's a time and place for everything.
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Old 08-23-18, 07:41 AM
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The look with cages don't bother me as long as they are metal. I will admit to taking my water bottle off when taking a picture (usually to post here) on a ride. They stick out like a big sore thumb.
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Old 08-23-18, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
Vintage cages don't bother me. Like the Cussi Inox as well.

I'm guessing the OP is citing the current crop of plastic, sculptural cages. There's a time and place for everything.
Yeah, probably. If that is so I agree.

I always thought the old TA cages added something. That's pretty much the only cage people used until Blackburn cages came out in the mid 80s. American Classic had a pretty nice cage around the same time. Though the early Blackburns were fine and looked good, within a short period of time the explosion of tasteless colored cages began.

Currently I like the Nitto cages and King cages, and there's a few other nice choices. No reason to affix a zit you your bike.
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Old 08-23-18, 07:50 AM
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Love hate for me. Some don't have. Others needed if a rider. I aways use period (or period look) cages and bottles.

Like a pump, some enhance certain bikes. And then there is the issue that the bike looks incomplete/missing with holes in the frame.
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Old 08-23-18, 08:04 AM
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1976 Kabuki diamond Formula
I only have one bike with braze on fittings for the cage. That is this one . I don't like them much but this one has been on there since I bought the bike new in 1976. The rest of my bikes I ride with a bottle in the back pocket of my jersey. I would consider a handlebar mount if it were period correct. Joe
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Old 08-23-18, 08:10 AM
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I like those handlebar cages with the aluminum bottles with corks. Other than those I don't like the look of cages, but use them out of necessity. I thought about using a Camelback, but don't want the weight on my back on long rides.
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Old 08-23-18, 08:12 AM
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I really like the Nitto brazed water bottler cages, both Type R and Type T. I have a set of Type Ts on a dual Minora handlebar mount for my 1970s Nishiki Professional and they really look right and work well. Though I also agree on the Cuzzi Elite bottle cages, especially the vintage ones where the round medallion is metal and not the plastic of the modern version of this bottle cage, very light too.

As far as use, having once not drunk enough water on a upper 80s three hour ride with trip to the ER when the room started moving after my shower, its a water bottle an hour. And it's really true as you age you don't feel thirsty, you really don't. Was stunned at the ER to see I had lost 5lbs. So whether I feel thirsty or not, its a water bottle an hour.

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Old 08-23-18, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by letenn View Post
I like those handlebar cages with the aluminum bottles with corks. Other than those I don't like the look of cages, but use them out of necessity. I thought about using a Camelback, but don't want the weight on my back on long rides.
I wonder something. If people are using 50s aluminum bottles with corks, or for that matter modern stainless bottles, how do they drink? I guess they stop first? Can you get the cork off with one hand? I guess I don't need to anymore, but I strongly prefer to be able to drink while pedaling. There's a reason plastic squeezable water bottles took over immediately when they came out.

Frankly, the modern big mouth water bottles bug me more than the cages, for both aesthetics and function. For me, the water's going to be warm an hour into the ride no matter what, so I don't care about ice. If you want it cold sticking the bottle in the freezer works better. Also, with big mouth bottles you can never get the swig of water out without taking the top off.
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Old 08-23-18, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by letenn View Post
I like those handlebar cages with the aluminum bottles with corks. Other than those I don't like the look of cages, but use them out of necessity. I thought about using a Camelback, but don't want the weight on my back on long rides.
I'm going to try a Camelback, as many of my bikes have zero or one braze-ons, and I'm not in to messing up the paint. Tried tri-style off the seatpost/saddle, wasn't fond of that look on the old bikes. So I've mostly been mostly a jersey-pocket carrier.

You mentioned the weight on long rides. Oddly enough, the first local fast guys (not the rec riders like me) I've seen adopt the Camelback style are the longest distance riders, including one that finished RAAM solo twice (top ten both times). He uses it now on every ride (except maybe crit style races).
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Old 08-23-18, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12 View Post


1976 Kabuki diamond Formula
I only have one bike with braze on fittings for the cage. That is this one . I don't like them much but this one has been on there since I bought the bike new in 1976. The rest of my bikes I ride with a bottle in the back pocket of my jersey. I would consider a handlebar mount if it were period correct. Joe
Joe! Dude! Where have you been hiding that gorgeous thing? I'd love to see it in person.
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Old 08-23-18, 09:03 AM
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Water bottles are so necessary that I don't worry much about it. The key is proper color coordination.

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Old 08-23-18, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
Joe! Dude! Where have you been hiding that gorgeous thing? I'd love to see it in person.
Rich, Great to hear from you.I hope you're getting saddle time in.I have been riding a lot this year since I recovered. That bike is the one that I rode in 2016 at Eroica. The same bike that I rode with you and Matt on our pre Eroica ride. Thanks for the compliment on my Kabuki , it is more of a sentimental attachment to this bike than anything else. I went from a Schwinn Varsity to the Diamond Formula and I never looked back! I got it from a guy who had a bike shop in Oxnard that raced and built bikes in the seventies named Stan Johnson. We became pretty good friends and his frames are beautiful , if you ever happen on to one. Take care and hope to meet someday , Halfway? Joe
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Old 08-23-18, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
I wonder something. If people are using 50s aluminum bottles with corks, or for that matter modern stainless bottles, how do they drink? I guess they stop first? Can you get the cork off with one hand? I guess I don't need to anymore, but I strongly prefer to be able to drink while pedaling. There's a reason plastic squeezable water bottles took over immediately when they came out.

Frankly, the modern big mouth water bottles bug me more than the cages, for both aesthetics and function. For me, the water's going to be warm an hour into the ride no matter what, so I don't care about ice. If you want it cold sticking the bottle in the freezer works better. Also, with big mouth bottles you can never get the swig of water out without taking the top off.
Modern Kleen Kanteens with the 'bike' cap can be sucked on (have a reed valve in the top). They absolutely leak when closed/on their side, though. Be warned.

Otherwise, same way I take off my jacket/gloves, etc. I usually prefer to stop, though.
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Old 08-23-18, 09:58 AM
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Necessary evil for me. Especially on older frames that use clamps for everything. Best I found for use with clamps is the Zefal with a leather friction piece for the bottle.

For bikes with mount holes, Ciussi Inox are great. Have several in Stainless + 1 in fatter aluminum that still looks better than other aluminum ones. Don't like painted cages except for a couple white ones sold by Specialized that I put on my Expedition Touring. They look good with the white decals. Don
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Old 08-23-18, 10:15 AM
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On a bike that has brazed on mounts specifically for water bottle cages, I don't see the problem. Obviously some cages are more attractive than others, but that's a separate issue.

On a frame that doesn't have those mounts, I tend to agree with OP --though even there, there are some attractive (or at least cool) vintage options.

Alternately, there are other ways to hydrate. Here's my Armstrong Moth as ridden last Saturday (95 miles, mildly hilly):



Closeup of the saddle:


The thing you see attached behind the saddle is a https://www.showerspass.com/products...dration-system. Disregard the cable lock. The hydration tube is strapped to the top tube and the brake cables, so I can drink while riding. It's a pretty cool system, though too complicated.
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Old 08-23-18, 10:16 AM
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Don't forget that frames with water bottle bosses either need to have cages installed, or something to cover up the holes, or they can let in rain or dust.
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Old 08-23-18, 11:21 AM
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To much? Yeah, I know, pretty awful. It was a slow day, what can I say? I went to flea market and they had every color bottle, so I thought to myself, \"what if I"...💡😲
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Old 08-23-18, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Water bottles are so necessary that I don't worry much about it. The key is proper color coordination.

Looking at that picture, I think I may have misunderstood the meaning of "water".

Do you use a special diet to get that exact color?
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Old 08-23-18, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by La Brea Bike View Post
Ok, So their purpose is necessary, but I have to say, I hate them with a burning passion. They almost never contribute to a C&V bike design. If I am not actively riding a C&V, they come off for display... I have aggressively tossed many a cheap POS into the trash when the bikes are purchased.... Maybe I have some undiagnosed OCD, but I think their utilitarian-only sensibilities suck from an aesthetic flow perspective. Am I the only one?
I'm the opposite. To me, the main triangle on diamond-frame bikes often looks like it's missing something without them, it becomes this big empty space. Cages are not "utilitarian-only." There's aesthetic sensibility to them if you're selecting them with aesthetics in mind.

Most bikes look best if the cages match a major secondary color, like the lettering on the frameset or the silver of the components. The best shape of the cage - especially the question of spindly metal versus fat modern polymer - can depend on the diameter of the tubing you're mounting the cage to, and sometimes the shape of the things it matches with; I've found instances where modern cages look very nice on old lugged frames, but it's not the norm, and old-school metal cages nearly always look awful on modern wide-tubing bikes.

Cages don't exist by themselves, they hold bottles. The cage frames the bottle, the bottle prevents the cage from looking dejected, and a the pair of cage and bottle complements the rest of the bicycle. Bottle selection (and beverage selection for clear bottles) is just as important and useful as cage selection.


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