A bottle cage has one simple job to do, and strangely enough we found that this Cannondale Evo Carbon Cage wasn't really up to it.
A well designed cage will permit easy insertion of the bottle, hold it firmly in place when riding and prevent the bottle ejecting over rough ground. And then allow easy removal when you need a drink.
A simple task then, but one that Cannondale's Evo doesn't quite manage. I just didn't get on with this cage. As nice and sleek as it looks, it's flawed in several ways.
First, the tolerances between the cage and bottle (and we tried several brands of bottle) are just too tight. A fair degree of force is required to push the bottle into the cage. In trying to fix the problem I removed the two small serrated rubber bumpers that surround the bolt holes – there to support the bottle – but this didn't help at all.
As you might imagine, the removal of the bottle is just as hard as it is to insert. A good tug is needed to break it free. When you're riding, and especially if you're racing, the last thing you want to worry about is how hard it is to grab a water bottle, and to replace it after you've taken a drink.
The other big problem is how flexy and wobbly on the mounts the cage is. It's far from reassuring - it feels fragile and doesn't give you much confidence. It's a very light cage at 20g and nicely made from carbon we'll grant you, but a few more layers of carbon to give the cage extra beef and eradicate the flimsiness wouldn't go amiss.
Which is all a shame because it's a very nice looking bike with a sharp design and fetching white decals that paired nicely with the bike I tested it on. It is very light though which might be enough for some, but I personally prefer one that's easier to use and isn't quite so flimsy.
A nice looking cage and fine if you don't use it to carry bottles, but it fails at its only job.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Cannondale Evo Carbon Cage
Size tested: One
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?
Full carbon construction for long-lasting durability
Optimized shape firmly secures bottle
It's well constructed resulting in a light cage but the tolerances are just too tight which makes inserting and removing bottles nearly impossible.
I don't ask much from a bottle cage but the Evo just failed to inspire confidence.
I didn't keep it on the bike for very long.
It's as light as cages go, and in this respect it ticks a box.
It's a lot of money for a water bottle cage, especially one that doesn't work.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It didn't perform when used for its intended purpose.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It looks great, but its looks alone aren't enough.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How flimsy it is and how difficult it is to remove and insert water bottles.
Did you enjoy using the product? No.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.