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The Ninja Master+ Cage SK+ is a simple yet effective side-loading bottle cage for compact frames, with the added bonus of being able to accommodate various Topeak accessories. It's cheap and cheerful, if a little bit on the flexible side.
This Topeak cage is made from polymer, which allows it to flex a lot without being fragile. This means it can adapt to various size and shaped bottles while providing a very secure grip on both full and empty containers.
The downside of that flex is that it can be a little fiddly to get the bottle back in the cage while riding, and, to a lesser extent, removing it. The side-loading ability makes things a bit easier, though, and you soon develop the knack of lining the bottle up.
This particular model is known as the Lefty, as in you load it from the left; there is a reversible option that'll do left and right loading, or a right-handed option.
The design makes it ideal for compact frames or those that are full up with frame bags. I've taken to using side-loading cages on my gravel bike for this reason, and I found the Topeak to be a good solution, especially considering how firmly the cage holds bottles on very rough terrain. I never had to worry about it jettisoning my drink on fast, rocky descents.
The insert used to secure the bottom of the bottle can be swapped out for one that comes with one of Topeak's Ninja Master+ accessories, such as the Toolbox PT30 multi-tool (review to come), CO2 inflator kits or innertube holders, for instance.
It certainly brings plenty of versatility to the cage, meaning that you don't always have to carry your supplies or tools in your pockets.
There's a certain knack to getting the bottle in and out of this cage quickly, but it does hold bottles very securely. It's cheap, cheerful and rather effective.
Very secure bottle cage whatever the terrain, with added versatility for carrying accessories
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Ninja Master+ Cage SK+
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?
Topeak says, "An easy-to-grab, side access water bottle cage that firmly holds your bottle, even on the roughest terrain. It's also ideal for full suspension or smaller sized frames where bottle access can be challenging. Allows you to add tools, CO2 inflator kit or inner tube holder with interchangeable Cage Mount and is compatible with all Ninja Cage accessories for basic repair and maintenance."
It's not that easy to grab a bottle to start with, but you soon learn a way to do it smoothly.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
MATERIAL: Engineering grade polymer
OUTER DIAMETER: Fits standard water bottles
COMPATIBILITY: Ninja Master+ Cage accessories
SIZE: 14.8 x 8.4 x 8.1 cm / 5.8 x 3.3 x 3.2in
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Holds a bottle well on all types of terrain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Flex can make it tricky for fast bottle grabs.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's cheaper than most, like the two I mention in the review.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
At a penny under a tenner the Topeak is a good value quality item and will hold your bottle very securely. The ability to work with Topeak's accessories is a bonus.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!