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When did the aluminum water bottle cage come into being?

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When did the aluminum water bottle cage come into being?

Old 06-25-22, 12:20 PM
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When did the aluminum water bottle cage come into being?

Anyone here remember the day they first saw an aluminum water bottle cage in use, you know, in the mere human bicyclist circles, not in the sense of exotic racer parts? I'm trying to decide, in a 'vintage correct' sense, whether on a 1980 vintage bicycle build, whether an aluminum cage is in keeping with the spirit of the times? Thanks in advance for your comments.

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Old 06-25-22, 12:58 PM
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Not an expert but I seem to remember brands like REG, Avocet maybe, the Blackburn, TA offering various types of alloy cages by 1980. There was another brand I forgot that made cages as well...Zefal? Minoura?
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Old 06-25-22, 01:04 PM
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I bought a Blackburn aluminum cage in the very early 80’s. I decided it wasn’t light enough, and drilled a row of holes in the base. Still going strong today!

Maybe saved a gram or two? A haircut would have been a more worthwhile weight saving approach! Also a very sad example due to the poor hole placement and alignment (this was done with a hand drill in the backyard). Though it does say something about the enthusiasm and optimism of youth!

Note the band clamp. Required, due to stainless downtube and lack of bottle bosses.


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Old 06-25-22, 01:14 PM
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my copy of the 1975 Bikecology catalog shows some aluminum cages.




Steve in Peoria
(I'm afraid to look and see what those TA bottle cages used to sell for!)
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Old 06-25-22, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
my copy of the 1975 Bikecology catalog shows some aluminum cages.




Steve in Peoria
(I'm afraid to look and see what those TA bottle cages used to sell for!)
Does the one Hi-E cage show a standard "muffler" clamp as the attaching hardware! It's official... that's a thing we C&V'ers can do now! It's like catalog legal!
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Old 06-25-22, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
Does the one Hi-E cage show a standard "muffler" clamp as the attaching hardware! It's official... that's a thing we C&V'ers can do now! It's like catalog legal!
the hose clamp was standard for the Hi-E cage, mostly because Harlan Meyer didn't mind using standard industrial parts.

I did think that the clamp bands that came with TA bottles tended to be awkward to work with, and usually worked better if you used longer bolts to get things into place, and then put the proper TA bolts on after everything was settled into place.

The TA handlebar cage clamps were the worst offender for me, and I've been known to use hose clamps for it. Works great, but the aesthetics are lacking a bit. Haven't had anyone threaten to haul me off to C&V jail just yet.



Steve in Peoria
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Old 06-25-22, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
... Haven't had anyone threaten to haul me off to C&V jail just yet.

Steve in Peoria
Well, if it's good on a Hetchins, it'd be alright on my more pedestrian efforts.
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Old 06-25-22, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Not an expert but I seem to remember brands like REG, Avocet maybe, the Blackburn, TA offering various types of alloy cages by 1980. There was another brand I forgot that made cages as well...Zefal? Minoura?
I used a TA welded aluminum cage in 1975
came black with a gold fleck plastic retainer
and silver anodized with a black bottle retainer.
the black anodizing was more durable.

terrific not for the weight savings but the lack of rust.
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Old 06-25-22, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
Does the one Hi-E cage show a standard "muffler" clamp as the attaching hardware! It's official... that's a thing we C&V'ers can do now! It's like catalog legal!
hose clamp but not standard.
nearest available today would be as packaged with some garden hose fittings for scale, not length of band.
you want Marine, all stainless steel
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Old 06-25-22, 03:15 PM
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I remember my brand new Liotto in 1975 had an aluminum water bottle cage. It was considered a new style and a trick must have item. I remember Giovani Jr with a cigarette hanging on his lower lip saying... "this cage make you go faster, even though its from Milan..." It was marked UNIVERSAL...
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Old 06-25-22, 03:41 PM
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Coloral alloy cages go back to the '40s I think. They were anodized in colors too, like gold, blue, green and red. Thus the name, Color-Al. British made I think.

I first saw TA alloy cages maybe about '75, not at all sure of that. Certainly by '77-78 when I first bought some. They eventually became popular and spawned lots of imitators. Came in black or silver ano. The black ones with their gold plastic clip at the top proclaimed to the whole world that you had spent the extra $$ to save a little weight. Silver was a bit more discreet. The band clamps and even the bolts holding the clamps shut were alloy. Nice exotic bolts that were unfortunately not very useful since (eventually) most better frames had braze-ons. I still have a little pile of those alloy bolts, can't figure out what to use them for.

True of any Al alloy cage that I know of: The ano wears off the cage rapidly, and then that blackish oxidized aluminum stains all your light colored bottles, and doesn't wash off. I know bike bidons are meant to be expendable, but some have sentimental attachment like my '70s TA with the cartoon character, Red Zinger or other race bottles, early Fat Tire Bike Week etc. I eventually went back to chrome-plated steel TA cages on some bikes just to avoid the alloy stain. Stainless steel (or titanium) is a no-brainer, but no one made them BITD, that I can recall, alas. Plastic or CFRP get the job done but I'd rather die than put one on a vintage bike!

Mark B
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Old 06-25-22, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
.... The black ones with their gold plastic clip at the top proclaimed to the whole world that you had spent the extra $$ to save a little weight.
My Hetchins has one on the down tube!! I like to think that it compensates for the hose clamp holding the TA bar cage on.

Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
.... I know bike bidons are meant to be expendable, but some have sentimental attachment like my '70s TA with the cartoon character....
Mark B
Some folks like the TA bottle mascot enough to use him (named Fifi, for some reason) as their avatar.
TA made great bottles and cages, and their Cyclo-touriste crank was incredibly adaptable and useful. It's hard to not get a little sentimental about a company that has made our lives better.

Steve in Peoria
(since Fifi is small enough to fit in a bottle, does that mean he's some sort of genie or elf or something?)
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Old 06-25-22, 05:44 PM
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You guys keep your silly bottle cages, I want that AM Bike radio (with battery, lol). 😍 And don't laugh, it's also catalog legal, obviously. 😁

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Old 06-25-22, 06:11 PM
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You can get vintage-appropriate aluminum cages from Minoura (made from real Duraluminum, no less!). Nitto works pretty much exclusively in steel for wire parts. The prices (and finish) are eye-watering. Both brands are appropriate shapes for bottle cages from the time (depending when that time was...)

Velo-orange has options that are cheaper, with slightly cheaper looking finishing. Choose accordingly!
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Old 06-25-22, 07:13 PM
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(don't be hating on this guy just because he's oh so much more rad than you)
Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
You guys keep your silly bottle cages, I want that AM Bike radio (with battery, lol). 😍 And don't laugh, it's also catalog legal, obviously. 😁
I worked at The Shack (radio shack) in the 70's and 80's and we sold a surprisingly large quantity of our signature Archer AM Bike radio... now it seems sorta weird that there was never a Radio Shack Cycling Team Signature AM Bike Radio... I think Corporate missed a golden op there.

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Old 06-25-22, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Not an expert but I seem to remember brands like REG, Avocet maybe, the Blackburn, TA offering various types of alloy cages by 1980. There was another brand I forgot that made cages as well...Zefal? Minoura?

-----

the mention of Rampinelli here might be a good lead to explore

the company in its three product lines could be quite innovative at times

under the ROTO imprimatur they were the first to offer production investment cast lugs in 1973

of course it is unlikely we are going to find many makers to predate Coloral!


-----
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Old 06-25-22, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post

(don't be hating on this guy just because he's oh so much more rad than you)

I worked at The Shack (radio shack) in the 70's and 80's and we sold a surprisingly large quantity of our signature Archer AM Bike radio... now it seems sorta weird that there was never a Radio Shack Cycling Team Signature AM Bike Radio... I think Corporate missed a golden op there.
You win, yours has a built-in horn, AND reflector. 😁
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Old 06-25-22, 08:59 PM
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Remember when Velcro was the answer for everything??!
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Old 06-25-22, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
the hose clamp was standard for the Hi-E cage, mostly because Harlan Meyer didn't mind using standard industrial parts.

I did think that the clamp bands that came with TA bottles tended to be awkward to work with, and usually worked better if you used longer bolts to get things into place, and then put the proper TA bolts on after everything was settled into place.

The TA handlebar cage clamps were the worst offender for me, and I've been known to use hose clamps for it. Works great, but the aesthetics are lacking a bit. Haven't had anyone threaten to haul me off to C&V jail just yet.



Steve in Peoria
I put my Hi-E cage on the handlebar of my ‘75 Super Course back in 1976. I used the supplied “muffler clamp” band. It’s been there ever since……
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Old 06-26-22, 06:37 AM
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Which company was ATT?

Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
my copy of the 1975 Bikecology catalog shows some aluminum cages.




Steve in Peoria
(I'm afraid to look and see what those TA bottle cages used to sell for!)
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Old 06-26-22, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post

Remember when Velcro was the answer for everything??!
Velcro is only the answer when you can’t find the duct tape.
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Old 06-26-22, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
my copy of the 1975 Bikecology catalog shows some aluminum cages.

Steve in Peoria
(I'm afraid to look and see what those TA bottle cages used to sell for!)
Thank you for posting the catalog pages, Steve. I worked there on weekends and during university vacations from spring 1972 through spring 1974 and watched Big Al put together the company's first few mail order catalogues.
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Old 06-26-22, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni View Post
Velcro is only the answer when you can’t find the duct tape.
🤣😁🙃 I can't help but think of the Red Green tv show. That's been a few years ago now, I guess. 🤔
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Old 06-26-22, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
🤣😁🙃 I can't help but think of the Red Green tv show. That's been a few years ago now, I guess. 🤔
-----



only ever caught three or four

shall forever remember the one where he "invents" a device to defeat law enforcement speed radar

it was a kind of conveyor belt Rube Goldberg thing with big aluminum paddles - hilarious


-----
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Old 06-26-22, 05:34 PM
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-----

bulgie mentioned Coloral going back to the 1940's

we are going to have a hard time remembering anything earlier, if such existed, since a person would need to be a nonagerian

here is a Coloral advert dated 1950 -

​​​​​​

and one from 1956 -

​​​​​​

-----
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