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Best Water Bottle Cages for Mountain Bike

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

best water bottle cage for mountain bike

Have you tried grabbing your water bottle only to find out that there’s nothing there? Well, this situation is common as bottles tend to slip out on our bikes, making us dehydrated and uncomfortable on a long ride. Bottle cages were invented to come to the rescue by securing our water bottles in place.

However, we cannot choose the best water bottle cage for mountain bike if we don’t know crucial features to consider. So, I listed down three of them below.

  • Lightweight: While we are looking for something that can hold up our water bottles, we must also ensure that it will not hold down our speed by adding unnecessary weight. Hence, we should choose a bottle cage that’s not too light or too heavy around 50 – 100 g), so the rider can keep biking at top speeds and maintain peak performance.
  • Durability: Weight and durability should not conflict with each other. Some products guarantee optimum durability without being too heavy or dragging to the biker. A durable cage should withstand all blows that the harsh environment provides so that the water bottle stays intact throughout the ride.
  • It is important to have a bottle cage that can last for years, saving our money big time. Besides, it’s great to have a biking companion for a long time because we tend to get used to its positioning on our bicycles.
  • Adjustability: Nobody wants a bottle cage that’s hard to adjust. Having storage that guarantees easy adjustment will make work quicker and gives the rider more time to hit the road, rather than wasting time making minor adjustments from time to time.

Although these three features are pretty specific, they are not enough to filter out the best ones out there, so be sure to check out the “Buying Guide” after the product review. The contents there will ensure that every rider will get their ideal bike bottle cage in no time.


Top 1
USHAKE Water Bottle Cages

  • Lightweight
  • Heat-treated construction
  • Has fully adjustable arms

Top 2
PRO BIKE TOOL Water Bottle Holder

  • Lightweight
  • Strong retention system
  • Powder-coated overall structure

Top 3
Suruid Bicycle Water Bottle Cages

  • Easy to install
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Guarantees sturdy

Top 10 Water Bottle Cage for MTB Reviews

1. USHAKE FBA_UShake BWC-0001 Water Bottle Cages

People who go jogging, biking, and swimming can now have a mountain bike bottle cage that oozes simple style and convenience.

This stylish water bottle holder for mountain bike delivers a minimalist look that I intended to find for my bike. Its solid construction is from heat-treated Aluminum Alloy that undergoes high-quality manufacturing standards. Thus, the piece offers a firm grip while promising a lightweight and comfortable bottle holder.

Since the product is lightweight, I never have to worry about dragging my speed, common among hefty bottle cages.

It’s also compatible with most water bottle sizes. I don’t have to recheck about specific bottle sizes anymore. I have a 26-oz. water bottle that fits perfectly in this storage. It stayed smooth and intact even when I went through bumpy and rocky roads throughout my trip.

The holder easily attaches to my bike frame with pre-drilled holes and a 4mm hex key, allowing me to spend less time on the installation and more time for adventures. The adjustable water bottle cage comes with adjustable arms that fully wrap around the bottle for extra security.

 Heads-up:  One downside of this bottle cage is its tendency to scratch on the surface of an Aluminum water bottle. So, I just insert plastic ones in there.

 What We Liked: 
  • Delivers a stylish and minimalist look
  • Heat-treated Aluminum Alloy construction with high-quality standards
  • Lightweight and comfortable, it never hinders bike speed
  • Bottle holder is compatible with most water bottle sizes
  • Easily attaches to the bike frame with pre-drilled holes and a hex key
  • Has fully adjustable arms that wrap around the bottle for security
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • Tends to scratch on water bottles with Aluminum surfaces
 Bottom Line:  Overall, I am delighted with the product because it never hinders my ability to go through top speeds.

2. PRO BIKE TOOL Bike Water Bottle Holder

We must stay hydrated during a long trip, so installing this excellent MTB water bottle cage is a good idea. It keeps our water storage safe and convenient while delivering a stunning look on the road.

Pro Bike Tool is famous for its line of durable cycling products. This one is made with a CNC-machined Aluminum alloy that guarantees optimum sturdiness. Even when I’m out on the road doing my daily outdoor bike on bumpy roads, this mountain bike water bottle holder remains strong with its retention system.

Since the product’s construction is from Aluminum alloy, I already expected it to be lightweight. It really is, at 48 g, which adds no burden to my ride.

Also, the piece is quick and easy to mount on my bike frame, thanks to the oval mounting holes and two stainless steel bolts that guarantee secure fine-tuning in no time.

The overall structure is powder-coated and has a highly tumbled polish that goes well with my glossy black bike frame. This feature also makes it easy to clean by wiping off unwanted dirt.

I also love how this holder accommodates the most common sizes for a water bottle. Thanks to this feature, I can alternate between my various plastic bottles and insulated bottles every day.

 Heads-up:  One thing to be wary of is that this bottle cage for MTB may scratch the bottle if they’re in there tightly.

 What We Liked: 
  • CNC-machined Aluminum Alloy for optimum sturdiness
  • Keeps water bottle in place with a strong retention system
  • Lightweight water bottle at 48g
  • Holes and bolts make it easy to mount on the bike frame
  • Powder-coated overall structure with tumbled polish for a glossy look
  • Easy to clean and accommodates most standard bottle sizes
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • May scratch water bottles when installed too tightly.
 Bottom Line:  Another quality product from Pro Bike Tool that I can use for years of biking, I don’t have to worry about storing my bottle anymore.

3. Suruid Bicycle Water Bottle Cages

One of the most favorite water bottle cages that’s lightweight and has worked well for years is the Suruid Bike Water Bottle Cage.

This product is made of lightweight and high-quality Alloy Aluminum. That’s why it’s a highly durable bicycle water bottle cage. Another thing that I like is that it would not attrit my bike frame. What an excellent enclosure for different bike types, indeed. My brother and I love to take turns using it.

It guarantees a secure hold that will never shake my water bottle even when I ride fast or cycle through bumpy trails. Plus, the cage’s frosted surface gives off a smooth edge that will not scratch my favorite water bottle. Besides that, it can accommodate most bottle sizes, so there are no compatibility issues.

Everything is easy to install, from knowing the necessary mounting fittings to tightening the bolts. This is possible due to the standard-sized screws and oval pre-drilled holes with washers for constricted fixing.

 Heads-up:  Lastly, it features an entirely functional and minimalistic design that goes well with my bicycle. However, I do not recommend using this product when you have a full-liter water bottle because it comes with a less sturdy single catch for the bottle’s bottom.

 What We Liked: 
  • Made of high-quality Alloy Aluminum -lightweight and durable
  • Does not attrit bike frame and is an excellent cage for various bike types
  • Guarantees sturdy and secure hold with no shaking
  • Frosted surface gives off a smooth edge that will never scratch bottles
  • Accommodate most bottle sizes and is easy to install
  • Features a functional and minimalistic design
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • Less sturdy catch for the bottom part of the bottle cage
 Bottom Line:  This well-made bottle cage is the top-quality travel companion I’ve ever had in years of biking due to its large capacity.

4. LX LERMX LX-03-14-01 Bike Water Bottle Cages

This bottle with sleek finishing appeals to bikers seeking a stylish design. And, I’m thrilled to find and try this one-of-a-kind product from LX LERMX.

The bike cage’s smooth finish never scratched my water bottle, no matter how many times I used it. As an outdoor cyclist, I’ve been using several bottle cages to keep up with my active lifestyle and my rough uphill riding hobby. LX LERMX bottle cage is the only one that kept up with the shaking and kept my water bottle intact.

Its high-quality heat treatment material is designed to withstand even extreme weather conditions. Such a production technology also makes the water bottle cage lightweight and highly durable. Ugly scratches are not a problem with our bottles when we have this smooth design installed in place.

Another thing that I love about this item is its multifunctionality. It doesn’t only fit water bottles, but anything that comes at a similar size can be stored too, like a Bluetooth speaker. In fact, this product is not just compatible with one bike type and can even fit in touring, electric, and road bikes.

 Heads-up:  One setback I experienced when using this bottle holder is that the pointy areas of the holder rarely catch on my pants. However, this minor inconvenience is overpowered by the excellent quality of this water bottle holder.

 What We Liked: 
  • Smooth finish that never scratches the surface of any water bottle
  • Keeps up with rough shaking, especially on uphill bike trips
  • Made of high-quality heat treatment material that withstands extreme weather
  • Lightweight and highly durable water bottle holder
  • Multifunctional and can accommodate other things than a water bottle
  • Can be assembled in different bike types
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • Pointy areas of the bike cage may catch on the rider’s pants
 Bottom Line:  This water bottle cage is a good buy for the price point. It helped me stay within my budget while enjoying such a nice addition, style-wise, to my bike.

5. 50 Strong 2-Pack Bicycle Water Bottle Holder

The 50 Strong 2-Pack Bicycle Water Bottle Holder couldn’t be a better fit for bargain buyers. It’s one of the more affordable choices while being a 2-pack option. In fact, I got two cages for the price I’d typically spend on one.

Of course, this bargain-level price wouldn’t mean much without quality performance. But this cage doesn’t have any trouble yielding excellent results. For instance, this product’s lightweight and flexible design is commendable. It allows for a much smoother riding experience while being versatile enough to fit various bikes.

Cyclists can also expect this bottle cage to fit almost any standard bike bottle. I even tested several water flasks around my home to see whether they fit. So far, I haven’t found any that doesn’t go with this option from 50 Strong.

In addition, I never have to worry about my bottle falling out or this flask holder getting damaged. Its well-built construction made from reliable plastic removes any worry. As a result, I can ride over any bump or beat-up trail without anxiety or consequences.

This cage is more stylish than traditional water bottle cage side load options, as well. It’s available in five striking colors to ensure each biker can select their favorite shade, be it lime green, black, white, silver, or red. In my case, I couldn’t pass up on the lime green option that’s perfect for my bike.

 Heads-up:  However, I was disappointed that this product arrived with no screws. It makes the installation process a bit less convenient than I’d like for a top-tier bottle cage.

 What We Liked: 
  • Affordable 2-pack option
  • Suitable for various bike types with lightweight, flexible design
  • Can fit most standard water bottles for bikes
  • Reliable, high-quality plastic construction for durability
  • Available in five stylish colors: black, green, red, silver, white
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • No screws for attachment provided
 Bottom Line:  Overall, the slightly inconvenient installation didn’t hamper my experience with this bottle cage. I could still enjoy all its incredible benefits, from its flexibility to the affordable price. I even gave the second one to my niece, who desperately needed a bottle holder.

6. Blackburn Outpost Cargo Water Bottle Cage

Another brand that takes bike gear seriously is Blackburn. That’s why I included this highly durable mountain bike bottle holder from them.

Coming at an average price that guarantees reliability, these synthetic water bottle holders for mountain bikes are welded using 6mm alloy tube construction that ensures I have the mightiest cage for all my challenging bike rides. The item is also reinforced with durable polycarbonate that guarantees high impact resistance.

The three mounting hole sets that fit different size frames can also carry bulky items aside from my water bottle. With this, I will never have to worry about where I should put my extra accessories because this cage can accommodate all of them.

Another thing that I love about this product is that it comes with straps that securely fasten anything, including my odd-sized water bottle, clothing, and other gears that go with it. I have been using this bottle cage for a while, and I am glad it kept them intact throughout the trip.

 Heads-up:  This lightweight bike cage at 164 g is ideal for both left-handed and right-handed people. However, the product’s color was a bit different from the one that I ordered. The black showcase turned out to be a light brown or beige color.

 What We Liked: 
  • Highly durable bottle holder with synthetic materials and alloy
  • Reinforced with durable polycarbonate that guarantees high impact resistance
  • Can carry bulky items thanks to the three-hole sets
  • Straps that securely fasten anything.
  • Lightweight bike cage (164 g with added straps)
  • Ideal for both the left-handed and right-handed
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • Actual and advertised colors may be somewhat different.
 Bottom Line:  All in all, this product is worth five stars, given its durability and lightweight features that kept me comfortable throughout the trip.

7. LEZYNE Side Load Bicycle Bottle Cage

The LEZYNE bottle cage is made with a composite matrix that makes this item last for years.

Composite material gives excellent durability due to its high-strength fiber, a reinforced material famous for making mold-injected components like this bottle cage. The structure makes it viable for different purposes and can even accommodate various tools. That’s why cyclists recommend this brand when I look for pro-level biking products.

The product itself is also lightweight, giving a solid balance between weight savings and durability. If people wonder how light this product is, the bike cage only weighs 48 grams in total, so we can rest easy when going through top speeds because it will never weigh us down.

It also comes with oval mounting holes for easy fine-tuning, allowing me to adjust the bike cage to my preference. Besides that, the two-color artwork adds to the total stylish and sleek look of this product.

 Heads-up:  One downside of this mountain bike water bottle mount is the single-hand orientation. The side load access must be done using my right hand. My left-handed friend borrowed this bottle cage before, and she had trouble reaching for her water bottle due to the said single orientation.

 What We Liked: 
  • Excellent durability due to high-strength fiber
  • Viable for various purposes and can accommodate different tools
  • Lightweight bottle cage with a balance between weight savings and durability
  • Oval mounting holes for easy fine-tuning and excellent adjustability
  • Two-color artwork adds to the total stylish and sleek look
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • Single hand orientation that’s ideal only for right-handed people
 Bottom Line:  I can attest that this product works fine because it effectively stores my water bottle, making it a good mountain bike water bottle cage.

8. SAVADECK Lightweight Bike Water Bottle Cage

This SAVADECK model separates itself from other mountain bike water bottle cages with its impressive aluminum alloy frame. This material strikes the perfect balance between being highly durable and lightweight, which allows the product to remain in top condition even after several turbulent biking adventures.

I can’t help but marvel at the bottle cage’s flexible design. SAVADECK did an excellent job of ensuring that their product can easily fit on standard bikes. Bikes can adjust the frame to be 0.2 inch larger or smaller to house bulky water bottles.

The package comes with attachment screws that simplify the installation process. In short, I didn’t have to search my toolbox for usable screws. Instead, I only needed to follow the instructions to mount the bottle cage onto my bike within a few minutes.

I love how stable the cage feels – it provides an exceptional grip that ensures my bottle never falls out during rides. I really appreciate this feature, as it’s not very common in other products, as evident with my previous side-entry water bottle cage.

The last attribute worth highlighting is the cage’s powder-coated matt finish. After all, it makes maintaining and cleaning the device more manageable than most options. I only need to wipe it down with a wet cloth to remove all grime/dirt buildup after each ride.

 Heads-up:  But this water bottle cage MTB model isn’t a perfect option. For instance, it does have a reputation for scratching metal and other expensive water bottles. So bikers who are cautious about their bottle’s appearance may need to look elsewhere.

 What We Liked: 
  • Durable, lightweight construction made from aluminum alloy
  • Fits most bikes and standard water bottles with a flexible design
  • Easy to install with attachment screws included
  • Top-tier stability via built-in bottle retention system
  • Powder coated finish promotes an effortless cleaning process
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • May leave scratch marks on bottles
 Bottom Line:  Ultimately, I’m not concerned with my water bottle’s appearance. This cage can leave behind visible lines without me giving it a second thought. Therefore, I was delighted with how this option served my needs and fit onto my bike.

9. EC90 Carbon Fiber Bicycle Water Bottle Holder

The first-ever carbon fiber water bottle holder I included in this review will take your ride to a whole new level.

Carbon Fiber 3k material which is heat-treated, makes this product extremely lightweight and robust. This feature makes the product take the lead due to its super toughness that no matter how strong a particular impact is, it would not damage or deform the cage. I am thankful because it makes my travel safe and convenient.

As a racer, I love to go on top speeds during my trip. So, I was constantly looking for a bottle holder that could firmly put my water bottle in place no matter how fast I go and how bumpy the road goes. This function is made possible with the built-in screw design that bolts them in place without affecting shifting.

The item fits most bike types, allowing my brother to use it on his electric bike whenever he takes a leisure stroll around the city park. Besides that, the product has a classy structure that perfectly blends in my bike.

 Heads-up:  It guarantees easy assembly. When I mounted it on my bicycle, it did not take more than a minute. Due to this feature, I can hit the road quicker as the installation doesn’t get in my way. Expect a bit of rattling sound when loading it with a fully-loaded water bottle.

 What We Liked: 
  • Carbon fiber water bottle that is lightweight and strong
  • Can withstand significant impacts without any signs of deformations
  • Keeps travel safe and convenient.
  • Built-in screw design for a secure installation that won’t affect shifting
  • Fits most bikes and has a classy structure that blends with the bike
  • Easy assembly that won’t take more than a minute
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • A bit of rattling sound when carrying a full water bottle
 Bottom Line:  Overall, it’s a well-constructed bottle cage for my mountain bike. It takes a short while to install; such a convenient design wins me over.

10. Water Buffalo Bike Water Bottle Holder

I added a bike water holder with a broader base and flexible nylon arm for a snug fit that keeps our belongings secure.

There’s no need to worry about water bottles falling out of the cage because this product features a broad base and flexible nylon arm that come with tight grippers to hold our water bottles in place firmly.

Every part of this product oozes durability due to the high-grade aluminum structure. And unlike breakable and flimsy plastic cages, this one can withstand top speeds and harsh conditions to maintain its sleek and cool look.

The design is considered slightly tougher than carbon, which I can attest to because I used this product, which stands up to years of use.

It features a 23-degree outward curve that allows me to slip out my bottle easily without giving my favorite water bottle unwanted scratches. Also, the product is easy and quick to install because all tools needed for installation are provided.

 Heads-up:  The only setback of this bike bottle cage is that it cannot accommodate 24-oz water bottles and other beverages as they can become a tight fit for large liquid storage. Other than that, this product is suitable for all my biking adventures.

 What We Liked: 
  • Broad base and flexible nylon arm with tight grippers for a firm hold
  • Oozes with durability due to the Aluminum material
  • Can withstand top speeds and harsh conditions and can last for years
  • 23-degree outward curve for easy bottle slippage without scratching bottles
  • Easy and quick to install because all tools are available
  • Suitable for all biking adventures
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • Cannot accommodate 24 oz. water bottles
 Bottom Line:  Water Buffalo’s bike water bottle cage continues to be one of the top-rated I bought and even accommodated my drinks very well.

MARQUE Dual Bike Bottle Cage (Outdated)

Reaching through my water bottle is never a hassle, with this bottle cage featuring dual side load access.

I do not have to worry about switching my hands when using this bottle because my drinks are accessible on both sides. Aside from the convenient structure, it also comes in a black matte minimalist design that gives off a sleek look. The sleek piece goes along well with my black mountain bike.

It can accommodate 750 ml or 75 mm-sized bike water bottles and other beverages that keep me hydrated. The installation is also easy. All we have to do is to mount the bike cage onto our mountain or road bike frames using two stainless steel bolts.

For those who are particular about material, this product is made of flexible thermoplastic, an excellent glass fiber composite material that is very lightweight. Bikers even recognize this material as an excellent alternative to expensive carbon water bottle cages.

 Heads-up:  The tip area of the bottle cage is slightly slanted at a specific angle that ensures good bottle retention. I tried using this cage on rocky and uneven terrains, and it never ejected my water bottle. However, the product is too tight for bottles larger than 750 mL and may cause some scratching.

 What We Liked: 
  • Convenient structure that features dual side load access
  • Black matte minimalist design for a sleek look that goes well with MTB
  • Accommodates 750mL/75mm water bottles
  • Guarantees easy installation thanks to the two stainless steel bolts
  • Made of flexible thermoplastic that’s exceptionally lightweight
  • Angled to ensure good bottle retention, even on rocky terrains
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • Too tight for bottles larger than 750mL
  • May cause scratching
 Bottom Line:  A good company for outdoor biking trips – that’s all I can say about the top-rated water bottle cage for mountain bike from MARQUE.

CORKI Bike Water Bottle Holder (Outdated)

Durability is one of my crucial characteristics when looking for the best water bottle cage for mountain bike. Luckily, this reinforced holder guarantees optimum durability.

Featuring a highly resilient polycarbonate material reinforced with glass fiber, this specialized water bottle cage is extraordinarily sturdy and reliable. Plus, it comes with a composite structure that makes this product easy to use as it minimizes any form of scratches on the water bottle’s surface.

Aside from being easy to use, the product itself takes little effort to assemble as it comes with two screws per bottle cage that guarantees a firm grip against the threaded holes on my bike frame. I appreciate the side-loading design for easy access to the water bottle.

Versatility is a strong point of this item, as it fits well around most bottle sizes. The cage wraps around the water carrier so that it does not slip out quickly, no matter how fast or bumpy the road gets. In fact, it can accommodate different water bottle sizes from 20 to 33 ounces (or 500mL to 950mL).

 Heads-up:  The colors on this MTB water bottle holder are delightful. It gives my bike a whole new look without looking off from the overall structure of my mountain bike. However, bike frames that require spacers might have a little bit of trouble holding the short screws.

 What We Liked: 
  • Durable polycarbonate structure and glass-fiber reinforcement
  • Composite structure for easy usage and minimized water bottle scratches
  • Easy to assemble with two screws to give a firm grip against threaded holes
  • Fits most standard and big-sized bottles with a firm wrap
  • Side-loading design for easy bottle access
  • Comes in multiple great colors
 What We Didn’t Like: 
  • Frames that need spacers might have trouble holding short screws.
 Bottom Line:  This mountain bike water bottle cage definitely comes at a great value, and it holds up my bottle for a long time.

What to Look for When Buying Water Bottle Cage for Mountain Bike


Like gravel bottle cages, water bottle cages are typically positioned above the seat tube and/or on the down tubing. However, some frame structures (particularly the full-suspension mountain bikes) feature mounting below the down tubing.

Threaded pits in the tubing are used to install the bottle cage, held by two screws included with the enclosure. Most bottle cage designs will have extended holes in the mounting dish to permit modest differences in hole spacing and let bikers change the bottle spot, perfectly meeting every biker’s frame size reference.

Riders who have to bring a large drink onboard may start considering a hydration pack or a bracket that allows the bottle cages to be installed behind the bike frame.

Here are some things that a biker should think about when choosing their water bottle cage to know more about it.

  • Materials

Water bottle cages are commonly composed of stainless steel, plastics, or carbon fiber. The most basic variants are made out of a single formed ring of tube alloy, while others provide metal cages or variants compressed and molded from one sheet of aluminum.

Aluminum cages are easy to use and secure, although they are heftier than plastic (polyesters) or carbon fiber. Furthermore, manufacturers of the latter frequently construct high-tech cage bodies that claim improved retention capacities, but, in truth, many people prefer them solely for their streamlined, ‘rustic’ style.

  • Bottle retention

Because the cage’s primary role is to keep the water container, it should firmly grip the container all around the collar or the bottle’s body.

Wraparound constructions and the inbuilt-spring material are for some carbon or plastic cages to hold the water container rather than the collar. However, anyone cycling on bumpy roadways or off-road might enjoy the secure grip of a traditional-style safety cage.

Several models also include silicone inlays or collars to add grip on the drink’s exterior and absorb road shocks that could rattle the cage loose.

  • Accessibility

Bikers should be capable of reaching below and effortlessly removing the old drink while cycling at high speeds, so the grip shouldn’t be too tight. There is a delicate balance in security and accessibility, and perusing some bike cage reviews help bikers judge how to achieve this well.

Many race-bred enclosures prioritize accessibility over safety and vice versa. Meanwhile, some variants are constructed to take and change the drink from above and on both sides. This should be considered if the biker has a tiny frame that bottles and cages have a snug fit.

  • Weight

‘Mass weenies’ love high-end carbon fiber enclosures because they allow them to trim even more precious grams. But, on the enormous scale of things, a 20g mass savings must be evaluated against the reality that a whole 750ml container is a substantial burden, so any weight savings is minimal altogether.

Furthermore, minimalistic cages, as previously said, may prioritize lightweight design and accessibility over protection, so some structures are most suited to riders who exclusively ride on flat roads.

  • Size

Many water bike bottle enclosures are standardized to fit either big and medium jugs. Do note that their collars will generally be in that place, no matter their capacity. However, others have flexible container stoppers to fine-tune their fit and grip.

One benefit of alloy cages is that bikers can bend it back to its original form if they lose their remaining hold over time. This can usually occur when there are highway shocks and full drinks combined.

  • Beverages/Water Bottles

Although cageless structures are attractive and alleviate several of the bike clearance concerns linked with full-suspension bicycles, they frequently need the use of customized containers.

When talking about bottles, everyone has their own preferences, but there’s something to be said about the near-universal flexibility a standardized cage offers.

Which Is Better: Top-loading or Side-loading?


Besides knowing crucial features to consider for your water bottle cage, it is also essential to see if you prefer a top-loading or side-loading design. Know the difference between the two here.

Top-load and side-load bicycle cages are available, and knowing which is ideal for you depends on the bike frame. A top-load enclosure will do if there’s enough area in the bike’s front triangles.

On the other hand, side-load cages make cans, water bottles, and other beverages more reachable, but the biker may only cycle to reach through one end, as most full-suspension bikes have a narrow clearance.

However, the majority of water bottle cages are top-loading. Left or right loading enclosures are handy for tiny bike frame diameters, where pulling the bottles out sometimes becomes problematic due to the top tubing being too close. This can be seen on either little touring bike frames or some MTB frame designs.

At the end of the day, it’s all up to the biker which type of loading style he prefers. There are bikers that like the former more than the latter and vice versa. What’s essential is the rider’s comfort. The bottle cage should not interfere when the rider pedals during the trip.

Common Types

Now that the reader has finished reading about the top-rated features to look at when choosing their water bottle cage for their next ride, it would not hurt to know the common types of water bottle cages.

  • Conventional Aluminum Cages – A basic tube Aluminum loop. Although it is heftier than more space-age enclosures, they are safe, inexpensive, and could be twisted back into form.
  • Carbon or Rubber ‘Panoramic’ Cages – This is the biker’s pick due to its low weight and elegant appearance, although top-end models come at a hefty price.
  • Back Mounting Cages – Mounting hooks are provided that allow these cages to be mounted behind the bike seat, improving aerodynamics for TT or tri cyclists. It also adds more capacity to tiny frames.
  • Bar Mounting Systems – Aerobar installation plates enable cages and beverages near the cyclist’s face. This allows racers and triathletes to sip (using a straw) while remaining in the aerodynamic tucking posture.

Where Should I Put My Water Bottle Cage on My Mountain Bike?

We believe that each bicycle should have bottle cages installed on the bottom of the steerer tube or down tube. This area is known for its tight clearance. Besides that, there would be no location for storing water because the gravity center is kept to a minimum, and there’s rarely a topographical or barrier hindrance. It’s best to purchase a mountain bike water bottle cage with multi tool that helps with a swift installation in the right position.

What Size Water Bottle Fits in Mountain Bike Cage?

Mountain bike cages have excellent compatibility with most water bottles, so there should be no issue regarding what sizes fit this bike enclosure. But to be precise, water bottles with measurements of 2.5 inches to 3.3 inches can perfectly fit an MTB cage. In terms of oz., some can also accommodate sizes from 26 to 27 oz water bottles.

Are All Cages Compatible With All Bottle Sizes?

Bikers often can expect a cage to be compatible with all standard water bottle sizes. These options are identified by having a deep ring groove in their design, which give the bottle holders enough flexibility to suit standard sizes or even bigger.

However, some manufacturers like to be a little different with their designs. For example, they may use an adjustable strap rather than a ring groove construction. And if the strap is not long enough, it’ll have difficulty holding large bottles.

But any issues are easily avoidable by reading each option’s product description. Every manufacturer will make it clear what sizes their specific bottle cage holds. If they don’t, it’s top-tier to move on to another choice.

Are Carbon Fiber Bottle Cages Worth It?

Carbon fiber bottle cages can be worth their expensive costs for some bikers. For instance, anyone looking for a lightweight option without sacrificing durability would benefit from one. As a result, it’s easy to see why many mountain bikers would choose a water bottle cage carbon made.

Another area where carbon fiber holders outpace the others is their stylish appearance. In most cases, these models provide bikes with increased elegance. So bikers who are concerned with how their rides look love these cages.

Do All Bottle Cages Fit All Bikes?

Bikers shouldn’t expect every bottle cage to be compatible with their bicycles. However, it’s essential not to become overly worried about finding an adequately sized option. Most manufacturers will clarify what bikes are suitable for their bottle cage.

Furthermore, these products are often broken down into types. So it becomes easier to find MTB bottle cages, road bike bottle cages, or even cages made solely for hybrid bikes. In some cases, they may provide specific bike models that the cage fits to ensure a perfect match.

How Much Water Should You Carry for Mountain Biking?

Selecting the proper amount of water for mountain biking requires some thought. To be specific, it’s important to think about how long you’ll be biking.

My recommendation would be to pack one 20-oz bottle per hour spent riding. So if a biker plans on riding for two hours, they should fill two 20 oz bottles or one 40 oz flask. This guideline has saved me several times from becoming dehydrated on long trips.

How to Put a Water Bottle Cage on a Mountain Bike?

A biker only needs four things to install a water bottle cage, these are:

  • Water bottle
  • Water bottle cage
  • 4mm Allen wrench
  • Braze-on screws

Start by removing the bolts of the cage in the frame and decide if you want to attach the bottle and focus more on the two bolts of that tubing. Then, we will use our hands or an Allen key to turn them counter-clockwise until they push out.

Place the bottle enclosure against the braze-ons. Keep the bike cage in place, manually twist the screws. Once the biker is content and happy with the result, tighten the screws down with the wrench.

One might have trouble putting their y-wrench into the upper nut, but an L-shaped Allen wrench will make quick work of it! A y-wrench can also do magic. Fold the bottle enclosure backward calmly but firmly till there’s enough space to get the wrench in. Then, secure the bolt.

Because the bottle cage is made of metal, I do not recommend bending it at all times because it wears out, but it makes the assembly more convenient and is a helpful technique for picking up a fresh bottle with slightly different dimensions.


With all the tips in this article to keep bikers guided on the right product, I’m sure that you will have the best water bottle cage for mountain bike in no time. Never forget all essential things to consider. Some of them are weight, size, adjustability, and the material used to make the bike cage.

Accessibility should also be prioritized because everyone has the right to access their water bottles in an instant, especially when they’re cycling. Durability is another given because we all want something that can carry our water bottles for years to come. You should also choose your ideal cage type, which was tackled in this article.

So, what are you waiting for? Browse through the list of products above and determine the most suitable for you.

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