Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rainy Day Hydration Review

I'm supposed to be riding tonight, but that streak of rainbow radar hues across the state has me feeling timid. So, with moisture on the brain, I thought I'd crank out a review of something I recently purchased for the test fleet here at The Cycle:

That's a TwoFish Quick Cage gracing the rear admiral's command center on our tandem (and a Super Grover keeping an eye on things down in the engine room). Carla got used to extremely handy hydration on our old Bike Friday tandem since its cages lived on top of the top tube, but the C'dale's cages are a little tougher to reach. You can see the "convenient" (scare quotes intentional) one down there where her ankles would be, and the awkward one is down almost as far AND too far forward to even smile for this picture.

We had a Generation 1 Quick Cage before, which functioned but left the captain/head mechanic barely whelmed by its construction. G1 had a plastic cage that liked to eject bottles at the least opportune moment (I had to rig an old metal cage in its place) and a bizarre "sandwich of plastic bits" installation that eventually failed. I gave it a resounding "meh."

G2, on the other hand, uses a simpler all-rubber-block mounting arrangement. The Velcro strap may eventually fail from UV exposure (our G1 suffered that fate as well) but the rest of the attachment is simple and solid. And the cage itself is stainless steel -- not the lightest or most elegantly welded stainless steel I've ever lifted or laid eyes upon, but it holds a bottle like nobody's business.

(On the subject of bottles, my Amazon linkage doesn't show a "with bottle" version, but ours -- from local shop Barr Bike & Fitness -- included a nice TwoFish-labeled Specialized bottle for just a couple bucks more than the Amazon price. G1 had a nice-but-not-Specialized bottle, so it was a double bonus to see G2 upgraded to the only plastic water bottle worth diddly squat.)

Carla's review? "It works!"

'Nuff said.


Steve Fuller said...

I'd be interested in how well it works when mounted vertically. Would be a handy thing to mount on the La Cruz for endurance races rather than carrying 100 oz of water in a Camelback

Jason T. Nunemaker said...

Steve -- my guess is that in normal use, it would do fine vertically. In an endurance race or gravel grinder, I'll bet it would creep down the tube. I'd probably put some grip tape on the frame and attach the cage over that just to be on the safe side.

Or, you can always go "redneck but effective" and put a cage on with hose clamps. I did that for a while on the Raleigh International (horror! sacrilege!) and it worked. I wouldn't do it on Al or crabon, but on a steel frame like your Cruz, no worries.