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Verdict: 
A simple, secure bottle cage that will find some fans and won't offend the weight-conscious
Weight: 
28g
Vel T5 SL Alloy Cage
7 10

I don't ask much of my bottle cages, only that they let me get my bottle in and out without any fuss; and that they hold on securely to the bottle whilst I ride. Provided it's not actually fashioned from a ship's anchor, the weight is not a primary concern. The Vel T5 SL Cage passes the test.

Given this is all these accessories need to do, it's surprising how many fail. You may have a bottle cage that saves you 20g, but that's not going to get you to the finish line any quicker, especially if you see your bottle bouncing down the tarmac as soon as you hit the first pothole.

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If you are the kind of rider for whom the weight of your bottle cage means the difference between success and failure, well good luck at this year's Giro. Otherwise, you could leave out two sips of water from your bottle and save the same weight.

The Vel is stamped and formed from polished aluminium and I would imagine it would look best on a raw titanium or aluminium frame, or perhaps on your old school steel singlespeed (what do you mean, you haven't got an old school steel singlespeed? Get outta here...). It also comes in black.

Vel T5 SL cage - side.jpg

Vel T5 SL cage - side.jpg

The look is unusual, not altogether my taste, but performance was good. I used it in conjunction with a number of different shapes of bottles and rattled over some rough tracks and trails and it held on firmly to my precious fluids.

Vel T5 SL cage - from top.jpg

Vel T5 SL cage - from top.jpg

The grip is not so firm, however, that you struggle to get your bottle out when you need it, nor was it difficult to locate when putting the bottle back while keeping eyes forward.

> Check out more bottle cage reviews on road.cc here

I'm not sure why Vel was so anxious to produce a bottle cage 'without the use of carbon', especially as there are thousands already out there, but it's done what it set out to do. If you like the looks, then go for it.

Verdict

A simple, secure bottle cage that will find some fans and won't offend the weight-conscious

road.cc test report

Make and model: Vel T5 SL Alloy Cage

Size tested: Polished

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?

Vel says: "The T5 SL cage is VEL's lightweight alloy open style bottle cage weighing only 28g.

"This cage is the product of our desire to create a lightweight cage without the use of carbon. Produced from T5 tempered 6061 aluminium, this cage has low weight and high strength characteristics. The T5 is light enough for a race use and durable enough to last."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

6061-T5 aluminium

Polished silver finish with laser etched VEL logos

One piece construction.

Includes 2 mounting bolts.

Also available in black.

28g

Includes shallow mounting bolts

Designed to fit all bikes with a standard seat or down tube mounting.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

It seems well made and is very simple.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

It gripped a range of bottles firmly and it was easy to get drinks in and out.

Rate the product for durability:
 
10/10

One-piece construction should make this well-nigh indestructible.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

At 28g it's not the lightest bottle cage, but within a few grams of most carbon offerings (35g including the bolts).

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

About mid-range for a cage, why pay more?

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Secure and easy to use, that's all I really need in a bottle cage. The design means it should fit into most frames with room to get your bottle in and out.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Holds on firmly to your bottle. Easy to remove and re-sit your bottle.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It looks like someone's school metalwork project.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly

Use this box to explain your score

It works fine, it's reasonably light, not hugely expensive and the looks, though not to my taste, may appeal to some.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 6'2  Weight: 73kg and rising

I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking

1 comments

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [498 posts] 1 year ago
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I've had a few cages like that and I can tell you, after 10,000 miles or so, the bottom part (that rests against the bottom of the bottle) will wear through enough to render it useless.