Over-sized bottle cages are something of a niche product and BBB’s aptly named fuel tank is probably the best I’ve come across for the money. However, all metal construction is both blessing and curse, offering a welcome vice like grip but unpersuadable when it came to accommodating two-litre bottles in the way designs using nylon closures will. In keeping with the breed, it consumes a lot of frame so is best on larger compact and traditional diamond designs.
Measuring a whopping 33cm long and made from durable T shaped aluminium, the Fuel Tank entertains most impulsive roadside drinks purchases up to 1.5 litres and even some Thermos flasks. The all metal construction feels reassuringly rigid and unlike rubbers and plastics which eventually perish, other than wanton abuse it should give years of dependable service. Aftermarket bottle screws and a lick of thread lock are essential if sharing space with mini pumps.
Fitting a cage of this size on my Univega rtb demanded positioning it on the down tube and removing the traditional cage on the seat tube bosses. I tried mounting it on the bosses beneath the down tube but that fouled the front tyre. This scenario probably wouldn’t arise on a 60cm touring frameset but should be a consideration-especially on smaller/compact road/audax bikes.
The satin black anodised finish looks classy, although wear was apparent after a few outings and it won’t retain its look nearly so well as more expensive, silver models. However, this is cosmetic and unlikely to affect the design’s structural integrity. Bottle entry/release couldn’t be simpler-even wearing thick winter gloves, simply open the adjustable hinged collar and slide the bottle in place. Tonic water and similar one litre receptacles required finer adjustment to counteract annoying vibration over lumpier lanes. However, spirited green laning hasn’t revealed any launching tendencies, nor left carbonated drinks unpalatably flat. Bottom line, costlier models with rubberised collars win by a nose if you’re a long haul, of the beaten track tourist or determined to carry two litre bottles back from the off-licence but with excellent design and build quality BBB are onto a winner.
Well- made giant cage ideal for lugging 1.5 litre bottles.
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Make and model: BBB Fuel Tank XL
Size tested: n/a
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?
The fuel tank is a extra large adjustable aluminium bottle cage designed to accept standard soft drinks bottles up to and including 1.5 litres and it performs admirably.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Aluminium all metal construction, anodized black 32cm long, secure, adjustable hinged clamp/collar offers excellent, secure purchase. 180g
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The fuel tank is remarkable value for money with performance on par with models costing twice the price. Reassuringly solid, it retains bottles firmly over all manner of surfaces without hint of ejection. The optimum sizes are 1.35 and 1.5 litres, although while smaller one litre bottles can prove a loose fit compared with others I've tested but build quality is arguably better thanks to all-metal construction.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Rigidity, reassuringly secure hinged clamp/collar and great value for money.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing in particular, although a silver option would go down a treat.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)