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The Tacx Deva bottle cage comes in a zodiac of colours to coordinate or contrast with your steed, and in two flavours - pure carbon or this enticing composite made from polyamide blended with 40% carbon and 30% glass fibre.
Given there's 47 quid separating them, I know where my money would go, though both will delight riders with bikes on strict calorie controlled diets. Our light blue cage with black detailing was the perfect match for my fixed gear winter/trainer, but there's also white, silver, grey, blue, pink, red, black and green.
The conical shape looks extremely alluring and is designed to hold bottles securely to prevent that incremental creep that can result in ejection over so-so road surfaces. Word on the street suggests it'll withstand clattering across Flemish cobbles at 25mph without any mortar tendencies. While I've not meandered to the Continent with it, charging along miles of winding rural backwaters characterised by washboard tarmac couldn't induce any annoying buzz, let alone launching tendencies.
Ported over to my 6061-framed pure bred cyclo-crosser, a further 20 miles of spirited trail blazing couldn't blot its copybook either. I've even run high power lighting on midnight meanders and rigidity proved comparable with metal versions. Better still, there's no risk of scratching insulated aluminium 'thermos' type bottles.
When fitting, the sculpted walls favour long-handled T-type Allen keys rather than those adorning multi-tools - my knuckles fouled every half turn or so, which is frustrating when you're in a hurry.
Tacx claim the cage's security doesn't hinder rapid release. I'm not completely sold on this. Regardless of bottle material, gunslinger-quick snatches require practice and a very definite shove/tug technique, which is very alien to the gentle slot 'n' slide motion I've come to expect from generic carbon/similar composites.
This positive action also proved far from ideal in conjunction with triathlon-style behind-the-saddle caddies. Owners of smaller semi/compact geometry framesets might find side-entry models more convenient too, since the Deva occupies more space than the photos suggest. Despite this, and all things considered, I've really enjoyed using this version of the Deva and would generally recommend it.
Pretty and dependable road cage, though bottle hold might be too firm for some
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Make and model: Tacx Deva Bottle Cage
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?
Tacx say: "The Deva distinguishes itself due to its optimal clamping. The cylindrical shape of the Deva considerably reduces the chance of the bottle working its way out of the cage and falling, preventing dangerous situations. In combination with the Shiva and Shanti bottles by Tacx, the Deva has optimal clamping, even on poor road surfaces. Yet the cage has also been constructed in such a way that placing the bottle into it is a simple and smooth action."
"Optimal clamping ensures safety"
"Easy and quick to use"
"Available in different colours."
Generally agree but split second snatches require a bit of practice initially and may not suit everyone.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"There are two versions: the Deva Carbon (21 grams) of 100% carbon and the regular Deva (29 grams) that is made of polyamide reinforced with carbon and glass fibre. The inner frame of the Deva is black, the outer frame is available in the colours white, silver grey, light blue, pink, green, blue, red and black".
Generally easy to live with but requires a definite tug, which may come as a culture shock coming from standard carbon composites.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, I've really enjoyed the Deva - it's lovely to look at and offers an excellent hold on most bottle types, including the aluminium 'thermos' type, over all surfaces, and I can well believe it's dependable over the cobbles. However, gunslinger quick draws required a definite tug technique that requires a little practice to perfect.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Aesthetics, materials and firm hold.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Split-second bottle release requires some initial practice to perfect and may alienate some.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but I'd encourage them to try before buying
Age: 41 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mountain bike 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, mountain biking
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)