The best bottle cages for cycling 2023
The best bottle cages in 2023, as tested by our team of experts
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By Simon Withers
Published: April 7, 2023 at 1:00 pm
Bottle cages aren't usually the most exciting component on your bike.
Unless you’re looking for something exotic to complement a boutique build (and you’ve got a huge wad of cash burning a hole in your wallet), most people just want something that does its job of securely holding on to one of the best cycling water bottles without too much fuss. If it can also complement the look of your bike, though, that's even better.
Sounds simple, right? Well, it really ought to be, but as a component that's relatively cheap and easy to produce, practically every manufacturer involved in cycling has had a go at it, and most experienced cyclists will have found some bike bottle holders are simply better than others.
Like any other component, bottle cages also come in a variety of different materials – from plastic and aluminium, which tend to be the cheapest, to carbon and titanium, which are inevitably more expensive.
Performance often depends more on the style and construction of the cage, rather than the material it's made of though, so don't assume a carbon bottle cage is better just because it costs more.
While some people swear by innovative solutions involving various types of magnets or studs, most people just want something simple that works with standard cycling bottles, and holds on to them securely over even the roughest terrain.
We’ve put together a list of our favourite bike bottle holders on the market in 2023, and included a variety of different styles and price points, so everyone should be able to find something to suit their budget.
Arundel's 22g Mandible DTR stands for ‘down tube right’: its recommended position and access side. However, left-handed riders can switch the position with its seat-tube mounted STR sibling.
Made by wrapping carbon fibre over a foam core, the svelte design is far tougher than it looks, and both mounting options pair one round and one slotted hole for limited adjustment.
Bottle insertion is fast and smooth from the side, and the cage grips the bottle well.
Elite's 27g Italian-made Rocko is a modern version of the popular Cannibal cage, retaining its wide-mouth design and injection-moulded carbon construction that's far stronger and lighter than fibreglass-infused resin.
Extra-long bolt slots ensure simple fitting, and with such a minimal structure, any bottle can be inserted from multiple angles, quickly centring and snapping into place.
Bottle retention is impressively secure, and it's a great option for frames with limited internal space and riders in a hurry.
The Ciro's carbon shell and glass-fibre core keep the weight down on this minimalist, decently priced cage.
This cage worked well with all the bottles we tried, Tacx and otherwise. It comes in 20 two-tone, black-and-colour designs and in gloss or matt finishes.
Elegant, effective, tough, light and good value – that's a lot to like.
Birzman's tough 41g Uncage has an unfussy yet attractive design that's formed from a high-polymer material.
Generous bolt slots ensure easy fitting, and the cage has great rigidity while also boasting enough flex to shrug off daily riding abuse.
Chamfered, angled edges guide all bottles in smoothly, with a solid click signalling complete engagement and two internal ridges keeping a reassuringly firm hold.
A supplied Velcro strap can be used to attach a spare tube and there are levers to a slot beneath the cage, too.
Angular shapes, and a matt finish makes this cage at home on carbon frames.
It holds a 500ml bottle well, but is a little shaky with a heavier 750ml bottle when compared to other cages.
The slotted back offers 15mm of adjustability, enabling you to find space on your frame for two cages.
The Vico Carbon offers a distinct looks and carbon construction that's not overpriced.
Fabric's durable, fibre-reinforced nylon Gripper cage comes in four colours. Generous bolt slots ease fitting and the cage has great strength, while weighing only 38g.
The design's retaining arms wrap around the bottle high up and continue separately until joining in a Y-shape at the base.
This permits flex that helps easy bottle insertion while providing security. The cage's engagement lip works best with Fabric and Specialized bottles, but holds everything well.
An X-Grip design works well on bumpy roads, holding onto bottles with a tenacious grip, though the design means bottles must be pushed directly down into the cage.
The bolt holes have 10mm of adjustability, allowing the cage to be manoeuvred around frame bags.
The cage features a smooth, slick finish, as is expected on cages at this price point.
Wiggle's cycling bits-and-bobs brand LifeLine has come up with this elegant, bright design.
The Essential is made from tough polycarbonate plastic and comes in four glossy colours: black, blue, red and white.
It does what you need it to, keeping your bottle secure even over rough and cobbled roads, and represents very good value.
Topeak's Ninja Master+ X1 features two tyre levers that lock into the cage. Though small, they are ample for clincher tyres, but meet their match on tubeless tyres.
The cage is also compatible with Topeak multi-tools.
The retention lip at the bottom of the cage is quite small, with large bottles sometimes breaking past with enough force.
The following bottle cages scored fewer than four stars in our test but are still worth considering.
The Cinch is very light, tight and available in four colours, including this fluoro yellow.
A pair of these skinny cages could trim 60g (over two ounces) compared with a pair of heavier models, so it represents a reasonable mass versus money trade-off for the weight-conscious rider.
In spite of that, we found it just as secure as heavier cages over bumps.
If a bottle cage can ever be environmentally friendly, this simple-looking 50g cage could be it.
Made from nylon pellets created from recycled fishing nets collected in the coastal communities of Chile, the Bat Cage remains one of Bontrager's oldest products.
With pairs of round and slotted mounting holes, it’ll fit any bike and the high, wrap-around arms and pronounced upper lip provide immense bottle security. However, this means it takes longer to insert and remove a bottle.
Lezyne's Road Drive Alloy is a little bit heavier than most, but it does include a Velcro strap and mounts for the Road Drive Mini pump (and works just as well with other, circa 17mm-diameter, mini-pumps).
Bottles are held firmly, but are easy to grab and replace, and the pump fitting is very useful. It also comes in six different colours.
Available in only two colours, Topeak's Dualside isn't that light, but it does have a couple of very neat tricks up its sleeve.
The name refers to the fact that the entry to the cage is slightly ‘offset’, thanks to a flippable frame.
This makes it easier if you always use the same hand to reach for your bottle, and is a real boon for smaller frames, where vertical clearance can be too tight for standard bottle cages.
Simon Withers is a freelance cycling writer and bike tester. He has been cycling for as long as he can remember, and more seriously since his time at university in the 1980s. Simon has ridden and raced almost every type of bike over the years and has toured extensively in Asia and Australasia, including riding solo 2,900km from Cairns to Melbourne. He's been testing bikes and working for BikeRadar and Cycling Plus in various capacities for two decades. Simon has ridden and reviewed countless bikes and products, and specialises in affordable road bikes, gravel bikes and cycling kit, helping riders understand what's really worth their hard-earned money.
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