I just use a cheap plastic generic Profile cage from Performance Bike. I think it was on sale for $7 or $8. It's a side load making it easy to get a bottle in and out of the tight rear triangle (Whyte T-130). To be honest, it's the best (as in hasn't bent or broken, and easiest to get a bottle in and out of) cage I can remember having. And I've a lot of 'em since the 70's, all that cost more, many costing a lot more...
A few months ago I picked up a couple of new Bontrager side loader cages. I think they came out this year. I was looking for something with really good retention that would work in the frames of my bikes. They fit the bill. They're strong and have really good retention. There's pretty much no chance of losing a bottle.
Specialized Zee II cage with integrated tool on both trail bikes. Holds my bear spray or beverage beautifully. Ease of side entry works perfectly on tight frames and I have yet to have anything even come close to releasing when slamming through the gnar. An integral part of my “riding packless” setup.
sick! Thanks for the heads up guys! I've only ever used hydration packs when riding dh stuff and cages on road or gravel bike stuff... Last thing I want is to lose a bottle on the new trail bike. Will head to the LBS and see what they have. Hopefully they'll have some of the ones you guys have mentioned... Thanks!
Specialized Zee cage here as well.
Came standard on my Specialized bike (without tool).
I purchased the Zee Cage with tool for my next bike. I opt for right side entry but it is available in either left or right configurations.
I use them all the time. I wear a hydration pack on longer rider, and/or in summer. If summer rides will be long I use the hydration pack as well as a bottle cage to carry sports drink. I ride pretty hard at time and the bottle hasn't been ejected.
Seth gave it pretty high raves on one of his videos too.
I have been running a King Cage on my Kona Unit for the last couple years. I built up a new HT this past year and went cheap with something from a LBS that looked very similar to a King Cage. First ride out, I kept hearing something pinging on my bike over rough sections. Took several times before I realized it was my full water bottle and in short order, replaced that cage with a Wolf Tooth x King Cage Morse Cage. I am sure there are other cages that function just as good, but I love the minimalist stainless steel construction and it is a quality "Made in the USA" product.
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