The Lezyne Flow is a bottle cage done a bit different. Lezyne have made a name for themselves by taking old, boring bicycle bits and bobs, giving them a bit of a zhush, making them work better, be more shiny and somehow muchly desirable... and that's exactly what they've done here. Except it's not that shiny.
Made from a durable, fibre-reinforced Composite Matrix material that looks a lot like plastic, the Flow cage is all, er, flowy with its X-Grip architecture swooping up and around a bottle to cradle it securely, with big twin tabs at the bottom holding it in and smaller ones at the top making sure it doesn't bounce out.
Bolting the Flow to a bike is easy because both mounting holes are over 12mm long. That means there's plenty of wiggle room for any slightly sub-standard bottle-boss spacing in the frame or subtle cage jiggling to clear pumps, other bottles and frame tubes.
Removing a bottle from the cage requires a reassuringly firm tug as the reinforced Composite Matrix flexes to release its cargo. Returning a bottle to the Flow is a little less instinctive. It has to be inserted at quite an angle compared to more traditional bottle-cages in order to clear the pair of small retaining tabs at the top that do such a good job of holding onto a bidon.
A bottle needs to be offered up at about 45 degrees to the cage, give or take, and then curved into the cage via the wide mouth. It's not difficult, it just requires a bit of fumbly relearning and soon becomes second nature, though this might be a problem if you ride a small or compact frame, or have a high bottle-cage position.
Once in, the Flow the bottle isn't going to move. This particular Lezyne cage has been across a whole mountain range on the road and on numerous bumpy excursions on a cyclo-cross bike and the water bottle hasn't budged an inch. There hasn't even been a rattle. Lovely.
At 49g it could almost be considered a heavyweight in bottle cage terms, but it does cost less than a tenner, so light weight isn't its prime selling point. Similarly, its fluid plastic construction suits flowy plasticy and swoopy hydroformed alloy bikes better. Owners of more traditionally tubed bikes might be better served by one of Lezyne's more tubular bottle-cages if that aesthetic sort of thing bothers you.
Finally, and best of all, the Flow hasn't marked any of the bottles that it's had in its charge. No scratched logos, no scored bodies, no new bottles looking scruffy and dirty in a couple of rides. Smart. Literally.
As an aside, the Flow bottle cage is remarkably similar to the Flow Cage HP. Actually, it's exactly the same but for the addition of two bits of sponge stuck each side of the body to support a Lezyne mini-pump and a strap threaded through the cage to hold it there. So if you want this cage but with mini-pump holding capability, go for that one. It weighs 3g more, thanks to the strap, and costs £4 extra.
A good-value plastic cage that is a tenacious bottle holder
road.cc test report
Make and model: Lezyne Flow Bottle Cage
Size tested: Black, white, grey
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?
Lezyne say the Flow is a high-strength, low-weight great value bottle-cage and I'd agree with that. Although it's not particularly svelte in the bottle-cage league table, its weight-to-cost ratio makes it well worth a look.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Lezyne flow bottle-cage is constructed of durable, fiber reinforced Composite Matrix material with X-Grip architecture.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
There's not much a bottle-cage has to do and it did most of them well. It held onto the bottle securely and it's easy to get a bottle out. It is a tiny bit more awkward than usual to get a bottle back in though.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The price, the bottle security, the lack of bottle marking.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing. Even the slightly cack-handed bottle entry became instinctive after one ride.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
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: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.