Just like with bike frames, carbon fibre bottle cages are almost invariably lighter and more costly than their aluminium or steel brethren. This carbon cage from GT is reasonably lightweight and competitively priced for carbon, and – more importantly – does a good job of hanging onto your bottle.
For something which fulfils a relatively simple function, I've always thought it surprising that there are so many different designs for the humble bottle cage. After all, we've mostly all been riding bikes whose frames are the same fundamental shape for more than a hundred years now. Designers of cages, though, appear to have no such consensus.
I've been testing an 'adventure road' bike which just begs to be steered off the tarmac and pointed down the most un-road-like trails, only previously visited on a mountain bike, and this is as stern a test of a bottle cage as the Roubaix cobbles. The GT cage uses a pair of wings to wrap around the bottle and keep it secure, with each wing subtly flared outward at the top to make it easier to get the bottle in and out. It feels well-made and kept a firm grip on a variety of different bottles during testing.
Weighing in at 31 grams, this is not the lightest carbon cage out there – Elite and Bontrager have superlight models weighing in the mid-teens. As with most things at the very lightest end of the spectrum, bottle cages weighing this little are likely to be more fragile. At the other end of the weight range, basic £5 aluminium cages can weigh as much as 80g.
Our Stu tested a smart aluminium cage from GT a while back which weighed only 47g and cost a measly £11. For a third of the price, I'd be willing to carry another 16g, but if you're lucky enough to have one of GT's spanky new carbon Grade bikes, this may be the one that you want to go with it.
Aesthetically, cages aren't generally that exciting, but you want something that doesn't look too out of place on the bike. This cage is a plain black – there's no carbon weave visible – with the GT logo slapped rather clumsily on one of the wings. Take a look at this similar cage from 3T to see how some Italian style can improve things.
Hasty branding aside, this is a decent cage which does a great job of keeping your bottle secure without making it unduly difficult to get it out; you can buy lighter, but not by an amount that you'd ever be able to discern on the bike, and in terms of pricing it's towards the lower end of the scale for a carbon cage.
Effective and competitively-priced carbon bottle cage
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Make and model: GT Carbon Bottle Cage
Size tested: carbon
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Full carbon construction. Holes are slotted.
Towards the lower end of the price range for carbon cages. Wiggle's in house brand Lifeline have one at £20, and various posh ones are available for £50 or more.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed, hard to fault.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Held the bottle firmly, but access was straightforward. Doesn't yield under bolt heads, unlike plastic cages.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Branding is a bit slapdash.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 190cm Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Boardman CX team for the daily commute My best bike is: Rose Xeon CRS
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.