The Arundel Dave-O carbon-fibre cage is fairly light and it holds onto your bottle securely without any road buzz.
Despite the castle featuring prominently in their logo, Arundel come not from the fortified yet sleepy Sussex town but from Fort Worth in Texas where they create a small range of cycle bits and bobs but mostly bottle cages, the Dave-O being one of the carbon offerings plucked from their quiver of eight models.
Named after one of Arundel's founders and made from compression moulded carbon fibre, the Dave-O was one of the very first carbon cages on the market, appearing about 10 years ago. Arundel say that despite looking simple they actually aren't that easy to make and cost a lot of money. The carbon is laid up by a delicate hand and then pressed into shape at 1,000 psi and 250 degrees, which might explain why they cost four times as much as your run-of-the-mill bottle-cage.
Fitting to a bike is as simple as fitting a cage can be, with the bottom mounting hole on the Dave-O being slightly ovalised to allow for a bit of wiggle room when fitting to not-quite-standard spaced bottle bosses. Its published weight is 30g but ours hit the scales at 35g so weight weenies might want to take their scales to the bike shop to find the lightest Dave-O on the shelves.
Whatever the weight, you definitely get plenty of security. On the road the Dave-O wraps its arms tightly round a bottle with none of that annoying buzz as a full bidon vibrates happily in the fey grip of an inadequate cage. Even over stuttery tarmac and along B-roads repeatedly ignored by the council there was no threat of bidon ejection, and when mounted on a cyclo-cross bike for extreme rattle-and-hump testing bottles stayed resolutely safe and sound. You can't want more than that.
Thankfully that tenacity doesn't mean it's impossible to remove a bottle when needed. The twin arm design of the cage leaves a large open hole at the top and, combined with a slight flex in those arms, slipping a bottle in and tugging one out is a simple fiddle-free affair, with the slight clunk of the top knuckle gripping the bottle's neck letting you know that your watery cargo is happily home.
As well as this White Out colour the Dave-O is also available in Oil Slick and Matt 3K to match your pride and joy.
As a bottle-cage the Dave-O ticks all the boxes... well, both the boxes: it holds onto a bottle no questions asked, and it's easy to get a bottle in and out, job done. It's more expensive than some carbon cages, it's cheaper than others, it's not as light as some carbon cages yet it's more secure than some and whether you think that's the kind of money to spend on a bottle-cage is your very own need vs want discussion. If you've ever lost a water bottle or two due to feeble cages then it's £40 well spent.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Arundel Dave-O Carbon Bottle Cage
Size tested: White
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?
Arundel say that the Dave-O cages weigh in at 30g, and so far have proven to be quite strong, given the fact that they are extremely lightweight. Some of their early test cages were in the 18-22g range but the bottles weren't always secure. Their main design parameter was to choose a design that was not only light and durable, but would prevent the bottles from ejecting out of the cage, since there is nothing more frustrating than losing contact with the bunch just to retrieve an errant water bottle.
Well that's all true, apart from the '30 grams' and 'extremely lightweight' bits which need editing to '35 grams' and 'fairly lightweight'.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Dave-O cages are made in a compression mold with layers of carbon placed in the mold by hand and then pressed at temperatures of 250 degrees and pressures of 1000 psi. That's it.
The Dave-O is well made but the finish is a bit gobby in places.
Held onto a bottle, always, and no road buzz.
It hasn't bent or gone baggy under the strain of a full bottle or snapped yet.
Light, although you can get bottle cages that are a few grams lighter.
It's still a lot of money for a bottle cage, no matter how good it is.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Dave-O kept a bottle secure whilst not being reluctant about letting it go when needed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Ease of use, lack of bottle propellant.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, kinda pricey though.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? No. It's nice but not £40 nice.
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 doesn’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.