Verdict: 
An easy, robust way to shift bottle positions on your bike's frame, only let down by silly screw provision
Weight: 
49g

The Topeak Alt-Position Cage Mounts are a light, easy way to optimise your bottle cage positions. Just be aware you may need shorter screws for your own cages.

  • Pros: A simple idea, well executed
  • Cons: Provided screws are for Topeak's own cages, you may need to find/buy shorter ones

There are various reasons you may wish to shift your bottle cages up or down by the 32mm on offer here – you may be running the Topeak Ninja Cage as Shaun reviewed, or you may have a very small frame that needs to fit a larger bottle, or you may be into bikepacking and need to fit a frame bag that requires a bottle to sit lower. Or you may find reaching far down to grab a bottle to be uncomfortable. Whatever the reason, Topeak's Alt-Position Cage Mount has you covered.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy these online here

The premise is very simple: provide an offset set of threads to use for your cage, either 32mm up or 32mm down. That's it. The overall weight added is approximately equivalent to a mouthful of water, so weight weenies, fear not.

Being a simple bit of alloy with four holes in it, naturally Topeak doesn't have a monopoly on this sort of thing, and the likes of Wolf Tooth Components, Shimano and Mount Skidmore do similar for varying increased prices, some with multiple positions, some with infinite variability within a given range.

Topeak has gone for a +/- 32mm as a should-fit-most scenario. I found on several medium-and-larger sized frame bikes I could drop both bottles down without fouling on each other, thereby lowering the centre of gravity of potentially 1.5kg of fluid that much more. Now you could say 'big deal' for normal road cruising, but if you are using multiple large bottles, say for cycle touring, lowering everything will add up to handling performance benefits – incremental gains and all that.

topeak_alt-position_cage_mounts_3.jpg

My long arms mean it didn't affect my ability to reach for a bottle and, as you'd expect, everything stayed tightly put even over very rough, rocky 4x4 tracks, so that's the gravel-touring box ticked.

Topeak provides tapered-head M5x12 3mm hex screws that protrude 8.5mm beyond the back of the adapter, to fix the adapter to your bike. As they are tapered, you'll need to be using these – so if you also plan to fit something between the adapter and the frame, say a pump bracket, you may be struggling to find an exact match of tapered screw in a longer thread. Of course you could always put your extra pump/whatever mount between the adapter and the cage.

> Read more road.cc reviews of bottle cages here

Topeak also provides each adapter with a pair of apparently 'M5x12' 4mm hex screws, to fix your cage to the adapter. These actually measured nearly 17mm long, meaning when screwed into the adapter using a standard metal bottle cage, they protruded 3mm past the back of the adapter and would have gone into the frame had I fully tightened them. The instructions state that this second set of 4mm screws are 'M5x12', but they show the 12mm as measured differently to the 3mm tapered screw, measuring just thread length and not the whole screw including head.

topeak_alt-position_cage_mounts_2.jpg

As it was, I had to do some rummaging in the parts bin to find shorter screws to fit – the screws my bike's frame came with were all far too long at over 18mm total. Some bikes with more-protruding bottle bosses might be OK, but caveat emptor: check your screws don't hit your frame. You might get away with adding washers to the screw to lift it out a bit, but that will depend on your cage design and it's a faff you shouldn't have to suffer for Topeak to add in screws with a more-sensible overall 12mm length. As the adapter has a meaty 8.5mm-worth of thread block to use, going with a shorter screw that couldn't possibly damage the frame would be a good thing.

Screw-related shenanigans aside, the Alt-Position Cage Mount is a good buy at £9.99 for the pair. You get several options, very little weight penalty and the engineering is solid.

Verdict

An easy, robust way to shift bottle positions on your bike's frame, only let down by silly screw provision

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Topeak Alt-Position Cage Mounts

Size tested: One

Tell us what the product is for

They are for people needing to shift bottles higher or lower in a bike frame, or a seat-mount for triathlons.

Topeak says: "Alt-Position Cage Mounts provide an alternative way to raise or lower your water bottle cages when they are assembled on rear hydration devices for you to comfortably mount or dismount your bike. They also provide mounting location options for Topeak Ninja Bottle Cages and allow use of different Ninja bottle cage series combinations on smaller frames and tighter spaces."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

SIZE 10.8 x 1.2 x 9 cm / 4.3' x 0.5' x 3.5'

WEIGHT 25 g / 0.88 oz (1 pc w/ 4 bolts)

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Nicely machined and anodised.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

They lowered my bottles and stayed put – can't complain.

Rate the product for durability:
 
10/10

They'll probably outlast you and your bike.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10

Light as, for the functionality they deliver.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

£10 for two is a deal, but Topeak could have thrown in some extra/shorter bolts.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Can't fault it.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Does what it says on the tin, solidly.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The silly-long Topeak-specific screws.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but with advice to check screw lengths.

Use this box to explain your overall score

They do the job very well, but you'll probably need to source your own screws to mount your bottle cages – the only let-down really.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling.

9 comments

Avatar
Disfunctional_T... [335 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Length designations of screws/bolts do not include the height of the head. The length denotes the length of the threaded portion plus the length of the shank if there one.

Avatar
Toast [60 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
Disfunctional_Threshold wrote:

Length designations of screws/bolts do not include the height of the head. The length denotes the length of the threaded portion plus the length of the shank if there one.

+1.
And when you say "tapered", do you mean "countersunk"? That would explain the different measuring convention, as the head is designed to sit flush to the material. Standard bottle cage screws can be longer as they go into the hollow of the downtube, but shorter ones would be cheap to source on eBay (or pay silly money from Halfords or B&Q). Pity Topeak don't provide a range, though, since they'd cost pennies at their end.

Avatar
Grahamd [982 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

If the screws are a bit long it doesn’t take much DIY skills to but them down to size. 

 

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [2397 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Grahamd wrote:

If the screws are a bit long it doesn’t take much DIY skills to but them down to size. 

IF you have the tools, cutting through stainless steel bolts isn't easy at all, alu alloyed bolts isn't too bad but still really needs a clamp/vice of some sort, a decent cutting tool and you need to be really careful where you make the cut.

There are better solutions to this problem that have been around for a while.

Avatar
KiwiMike [1374 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Thanks to the screw-measurement pedants for setting me straight  1 - yes countersunk was the word I was after, but the differring measurement is squarely on Topeak, as is the failure to provide adequately-short versions.

...and chopping down screws is one answer, albeit one requiring specialist tools to obtain a clean thread out the other side.

 

Avatar
KiwiMike [1374 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Thanks to the screw-measurement pedants for setting me straight  1 - yes countersunk was the word I was after, but the differring measurement is squarely on Topeak, as is the failure to provide adequately-short versions.

...and chopping down screws is one answer, albeit one requiring specialist tools to obtain a clean thread out the other side.

 

Avatar
mike the bike [1109 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes
KiwiMike wrote:

 ...and chopping down screws is one answer, albeit one requiring specialist tools to obtain a clean thread out the other side.  

 

If you think your hacksaw skills will result in a burred thread, simply screw on a matching nut before cutting.  When you unscrew it the nut will clean up the bolt thread beautifully.  Never fails.

Avatar
Mybike [2 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

 I make something like this out of black  cnc machined nylon for half the price and weight  i can be reached at cerullos1 [at] gmail.com if intressted also have the proper screws.

Avatar
Redvee [410 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I've ordered a pair of these to go with my WOHO bar.

 

http://woho.bigcartel.com/product/xtouring-bikepacking-anti-sway-basic-p...

 

You can mount a bottle cage on either side but even with standard 500ml bottles my toned butt is sitting on the bottle tops so hopefully this will lower the cages down enough.