Salsa’s Nick Less is an undoubtedly elegant stainless steel cage with excellent detailing and secure purchase of most trade type bottles. While arguably a tasty accompaniment to classic steel framesets and those fussy about keeping their bottles blemish-free, objectively £17 buys two nice aluminium examples and bikes on calorie-controlled diets can have two carbon varients for the same weight.
So called because it leaves bottles free of unsightly blemishes (and allegedly in homage to actor Nicholas Cage) construction and attention to detail are to Salsa’s usual high standards with sturdy rods, smooth welds all superbly finished. This latter attribute makes it an equally good proposition for classier winter and audax bikes.
Bottle retention is excellent passing my bridle path test with flying colours and lends itself well to carrying the sort of bottle batteries commonly used to power performance lighting systems. By the same token, this precludes quick draws of the sort demanded in the heat of competition, requiring a firm grip-especially with the nick-less positioned on the seat-tube or behind the saddle as in the Holdsworth’s case, so not overly practical for middle distance time trialists. Salsa claim the design unique but aside from beefier rods, it shares remarkable similarity with the dainty Nitto nestling beside it in the photo.
In a style contest, there’s no question the Nick Less wins hands down without involuntarily ejecting bottles when riding over the roughest roads and trails. However, racers and the cost conscious are better served by carbon and aluminium types respectively.
Sturdy and extremely elegant cage for your best bike
road.cc test report
Make and model: Salsa Bottle Cage
Size tested: Std
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Salsa's Nick Less is a stainless steel bottle cage aimed at those who are fussy about keeping their bottles clean. Certainly stylish, it is practical too, holding heavy lead acid bottle batteries without flinching while adding the finishing touch to a traditional steel road frame.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
52g stainless steel.
To Salsa's usual high standards.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Nick Less is very stylish and particularly given to winter duties thanks to stainless finish and the sort of rigidity demanded of lead acid type bottle batteries. However, bottle release isn't on a par with carbon and budget aluminium offerings do the job just fine in a strictly functional sense.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great stle and detailing.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pricey and bottle release could frustrate in a race context.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes but not for racing.
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)