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The Specialized S-Works Carbon Rib Cage III bottle cage is very light, very secure and very expensive. Bottom line – it holds bottles very securely.
Bottle cages. They're simple enough things. All most of us want them to do is hold our bottle securely until we want to have a drink and then allow us easy access to those bottles. In this sense, the S-Works Carbon Rib Cage is no different to most other cages.
Over rough ground, I was sceptical about the cage's ability to hold a full bottle, especially as I've become used to heading out with 750ml bottles on my weekend rides. But the Carbon Rib Cage worked well and quietly, holding the bottles just fine.
Weight is the main point with these cages, and while 24g for this one is impressive, you don't have to spend £70 per cage to get a stupidly light cage. The LifeLine version is £24.99 and has a claimed weight of just 18g. We haven't reviewed it so I can't comment on how well it actually holds bottles.
There's no doubting the S-Works Carbon Rib Cage III is expensive, but you can pay £90 for a cage from Lightweight. Though you do get a bottle with that one.
If you want the performance without the price and don't mind adding a whopping 10g per cage to your bike, Nick found the Rib Cage II (£17 each) to be perfectly secure.
If you're an S-Works owner and you want to match your cage to your bike, then the Carbon Rib Cage III does an impressive job of holding your bottles despite the lightweight design.
Very secure hold on the bottles, but not the lightest and incredibly expensive
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized S-Works Carbon Rib Cage III
Size tested: One size
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?
Specialized says, 'The S-Works Carbon Rib Cage III uses a split design to strike the perfect balance between bottle hold and ease of entry/exit. It also happens to look drop-dead sexy. The new S-Works Carbon Rib Cage III keeps the 100% FACT carbon fiber construction of yesteryear, but it ups bottle retention for super rough roads. The split design also provides pre-load to hold bottles securely, while making bottle entry as easy as possible."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Specialized lists these features:
FACT carbon construction creates a splendid fusion of strength, optimal bottle retention, and light overall weight.
Super-low bottle position improves the aerodynamic profile.
Tuned compression design provides secure bottle retention with easy in-and-out accessibility.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Holds bottles tightly with no sign of movement over rough ground.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The hold on the bottle is surprisingly excellent for such a lightweight cage.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price is a bit crazy.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's high. LifeLine does a lighter cage for £25. But Lightweight has a cage at a whopping £90.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? If I had the money, yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Holds bottles securely over very rough ground. That's a good thing, but the weight isn't as low as other far cheaper options.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 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, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.