The Topeak Alt-Position Cage Mounts are a light, easy way to optimise your bottle cage positions. Just be aware you may need shorter screws for your own cages.
- Pros: A simple idea, well executed
- Cons: Provided screws are for Topeak's own cages, you may need to find/buy shorter ones
There are various reasons you may wish to shift your bottle cages up or down by the 32mm on offer here – you may be running the Topeak Ninja Cage as Shaun reviewed, or you may have a very small frame that needs to fit a larger bottle, or you may be into bikepacking and need to fit a frame bag that requires a bottle to sit lower. Or you may find reaching far down to grab a bottle to be uncomfortable. Whatever the reason, Topeak's Alt-Position Cage Mount has you covered.
The premise is very simple: provide an offset set of threads to use for your cage, either 32mm up or 32mm down. That's it. The overall weight added is approximately equivalent to a mouthful of water, so weight weenies, fear not.
Being a simple bit of alloy with four holes in it, naturally Topeak doesn't have a monopoly on this sort of thing, and the likes of Wolf Tooth Components, Shimano and Mount Skidmore do similar for varying increased prices, some with multiple positions, some with infinite variability within a given range.
Topeak has gone for a +/- 32mm as a should-fit-most scenario. I found on several medium-and-larger sized frame bikes I could drop both bottles down without fouling on each other, thereby lowering the centre of gravity of potentially 1.5kg of fluid that much more. Now you could say 'big deal' for normal road cruising, but if you are using multiple large bottles, say for cycle touring, lowering everything will add up to handling performance benefits – incremental gains and all that.
My long arms mean it didn't affect my ability to reach for a bottle and, as you'd expect, everything stayed tightly put even over very rough, rocky 4x4 tracks, so that's the gravel-touring box ticked.
Topeak provides tapered-head M5x12 3mm hex screws that protrude 8.5mm beyond the back of the adapter, to fix the adapter to your bike. As they are tapered, you'll need to be using these – so if you also plan to fit something between the adapter and the frame, say a pump bracket, you may be struggling to find an exact match of tapered screw in a longer thread. Of course you could always put your extra pump/whatever mount between the adapter and the cage.
Topeak also provides each adapter with a pair of apparently 'M5x12' 4mm hex screws, to fix your cage to the adapter. These actually measured nearly 17mm long, meaning when screwed into the adapter using a standard metal bottle cage, they protruded 3mm past the back of the adapter and would have gone into the frame had I fully tightened them. The instructions state that this second set of 4mm screws are 'M5x12', but they show the 12mm as measured differently to the 3mm tapered screw, measuring just thread length and not the whole screw including head.
As it was, I had to do some rummaging in the parts bin to find shorter screws to fit – the screws my bike's frame came with were all far too long at over 18mm total. Some bikes with more-protruding bottle bosses might be OK, but caveat emptor: check your screws don't hit your frame. You might get away with adding washers to the screw to lift it out a bit, but that will depend on your cage design and it's a faff you shouldn't have to suffer for Topeak to add in screws with a more-sensible overall 12mm length. As the adapter has a meaty 8.5mm-worth of thread block to use, going with a shorter screw that couldn't possibly damage the frame would be a good thing.
Screw-related shenanigans aside, the Alt-Position Cage Mount is a good buy at £9.99 for the pair. You get several options, very little weight penalty and the engineering is solid.
An easy, robust way to shift bottle positions on your bike's frame, only let down by silly screw provision
road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Alt-Position Cage Mounts
Size tested: One
Tell us what the product is for
They are for people needing to shift bottles higher or lower in a bike frame, or a seat-mount for triathlons.
Topeak says: "Alt-Position Cage Mounts provide an alternative way to raise or lower your water bottle cages when they are assembled on rear hydration devices for you to comfortably mount or dismount your bike. They also provide mounting location options for Topeak Ninja Bottle Cages and allow use of different Ninja bottle cage series combinations on smaller frames and tighter spaces."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
SIZE 10.8 x 1.2 x 9 cm / 4.3' x 0.5' x 3.5'
WEIGHT 25 g / 0.88 oz (1 pc w/ 4 bolts)
Nicely machined and anodised.
They lowered my bottles and stayed put – can't complain.
They'll probably outlast you and your bike.
Light as, for the functionality they deliver.
£10 for two is a deal, but Topeak could have thrown in some extra/shorter bolts.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Can't fault it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Does what it says on the tin, solidly.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The silly-long Topeak-specific screws.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but with advice to check screw lengths.
Use this box to explain your overall score
They do the job very well, but you'll probably need to source your own screws to mount your bottle cages – the only let-down really.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling.