Today’s question is about finding a good carbon water bottle cage that holds the bottle well and isn’t too flimsy…

Do you have any suggestions for carbon water bottle holders for road bikes? I have seen many between 35-40 grams and some around 20 grams. If you read the reviews that people give that are using the very light ones, they tend to be very flimsy and do not hold the water bottles well. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Bottled Up

Hi Bottled Up,

I’ve read the carbon bottle cage reviews, too. I’m not impressed one bit. That’s why I stick with stainless steel bottle cages.

Stainless steel cages are still fairly light while also being super strong and providing a sturdy grip on just about any size or shape of water bottle.

Personally I like the King stainless steel cage which weighs 48 grams and only costs $15. It’s beautiful. It’s quite possibly the best value in water bottle cages.

If you want to go lighter, get the titanium version King cage for $60 – it weighs in at only 28 grams. Both cages are virtually indestructible.

Compare that to a carbon cage that is usually flimsy and not much lighter. The carbon cage is usually as expensive or more expensive than a King titanium cage.

blackburn camber carbon bottle cage

I’d only buy a carbon cage if your main concern is having carbon accessories that all match. And, yes, that is a valid concern.

I did some looking around and found that some cages did in fact get good reviews. For example, there’s the Blackburn Camber carbon bottle cage (pictured left). It looks good and comes with a lifetime warranty!

It’s only about $40 at Amazon.com, so the price isn’t that bad. I haven’t used it, but if I was going to buy a carbon cage, that would be the first one I’d consider.

Here are the best options for carbon water bottle cages:

Arundel Mandible

If you’re looking for a trustworthy brand name, check out the Arundel Mandible. Their bottle cages are well known and respected.

Even this carbon version is said to be super strong, and it provides a tight grip on bottles. Available in matte and glossy color options.

Claimed Weight: 28 grams

Price: $60 at www.amazon.com


Blackburn Camber

Mentioned earlier, the Blackburn Camber also comes from a well-known bicycle component manufacturer and has been getting rave reviews. Its moderate price and variety of color options have made it a popular choice. It is said to offer just the right amount of grip for most riding conditions.

Claimed Weight: 30 grams

Price: $40 at www.amazon.com


Laguna 17G

The Laguna 17G is highly engineered to be the lightest and best performing bottle cage on the market. Available in an unpainted, raw carbon finish (to reduce weight), it is simple yet beautiful.

Claimed Weight: 17 grams

Price: $50 at www.lagunabicycles.com

Generic eBay special

If you really want carbon bottle cages, but you don’t want to spend more than usual, you can go to eBay and get a pair of carbon fiber bottle cages for about $22. That’s half what you’d pay for a single carbon cage if you go with a name brand offering.

They’re cheap knockoffs, but it’s not a structural piece of your bike, so it’s not particularly worrisome. (Though I would still worry a little bit about my water bottles being ejected.)

Claimed Weight: 23 grams

Price: $22 on eBay (but similarly priced on Amazon.com if you’d rather get Prime shipping)


If anyone else has any feedback on these carbon fiber bottle cages, or you think you’ve found the best carbon bottle cage, please post in the comments below!

 

[This “Ask Levi” column was originally published on December 19, 2010. It was updated and revised on April 14, 2018 to account for new products in the marketplace.]
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Levi Bloom is an experienced endurance athlete who has been training and competing for over 17 years. A former Cat 1 road and mountain bike racer (professional class on the regional circuit), he is now a cycling coach (USA Cycling Level 3 Certified) and sports nutrition coach (Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified).

2 Comments
  1. The Blackburn is a good choice. I’m running them going on two years now.

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