A water bottle cage is a device that is used to affix a water bottle to a mountain bike. It is made up of materials such as stainless steel, titanium, plastic, or carbon fiber. Water bottle cages are typically affixed to the main frame of a bike, the handlebars, behind the seat (saddle), and sometimes, the fork.
Most modern bikes come with braze-ons. These are specially-drilled holes in the frame, created during the bike frame’s manufacturing process. They provide you with an option to screw on a bottle cage. Sometimes, the braze-on is not a hole but some form of clamp or device that is welded, molded or riveted into the bike frame.
What is a Water Bottle Cage Used for, And What Are Its Benefits?
- A water bottle cage is essential as the most under-appreciated component on a bike.
It helps in holding your water bottle no matter the terrain or application. As part of its attributes, it is light, durable, and offers easy side and vertical entry.
- It aids in bottle retention
Cages are typically made from alloys of stainless steel, plastic, or carbon fiber. The simplest type consists of a single shaped loop of tubular alloy. This is heavier in comparison to plastic or carbon fiber cages.
- Ease of access
Water bottle cages provide easy access to hydration while you are on the go. You would also be able to secure bottled drinks that you purchase while out riding.
- Most of it serves as a standard size that is used to fit both large and small bottles
Most water bottle cages have a collar in the same position, regardless of the volume, but some feature adjustable bottle stoppers to fine-tune fit and retention.
Traditional Water Bottle Cages Require Holes on the Bike Frame to Screw Them On
Many bike models don’t have the necessary eyelets required to attach bottle cages, cargo cages, or bags to the fork under the down tube. As such, you may need to add mounts or attach bottle cages to your bike using unconventional methods. You might also need to move the cage mounts ever so slightly to accommodate other gear.
Nowadays, there are plenty of commercially-available options and DIY solutions so that you could still secure a water bottle while mountain biking.
How to Install Water Bottle Cage on Bikes Without Holes – No Braze-Ons
Bike riding and water bottles go together like salt and pepper, bacon and eggs, and Saturday nights and awful TV entertainment. Therefore, it is not that easy to comprehend why bike manufacturers continue to produce bikes that don’t come with options for fixing water bottle cages. Here are some things you could do if your bike is not equipped for them.
Drill bottle cage holes (not recommended)
We do not recommend drilling holes in the frame, as it would take tremendous skill and practice to drill a hole at the precise location and size. If you are not careful, you could cause irreversible damage to your bike’s frame.
There are plenty of different places where one can reach down to the bottle without it getting in the way. The other methods of securing a water bottle cage are all feasible, depending on your preference and size of bottles that you need to carry.
The cheapest way of fitting a bottle cage to a bike is by using trusty zip ties. They are readily available. They can be used to fasten your bottle cage to the bike frame quite securely. The only issue is that they could become loose over time. Thankfully, they’re easy to cut and replace.
Some water bottle cages are designed to be mounted to your handlebars.
Water bottle cages with tabs
You could purchase water bottle cages that have small ‘tabs’ poking out at the top and bottom. Use electrical tape to wrap a few rounds around the frame and the cages’ tabs. “RJ the Bike Guy” on YouTube demonstrates it in this video:
Seat post cage mounts
As the name suggests, these help you to add a bottle cage below your seat.
We hope you’ve got a better picture of ways to install your water bottle cage without holes in your frame. Don’t forget to check out other important accessories that you might need for your ride!