Gear Water Bottle Sagas

Dual Water Bottle Cage for a Brompton Bicycle

Just before a recent event — 34 hilly miles (54.7 km) in summer heat — I impulsively bought a double water bottle cage and had it installed on Basil’s saddle rails.

This is a Profile Design system; one of its selling points is that having the bottles in back is supposed to be aero-dynamic. This is not a consideration for the pace at which I normally ride; however, having three water bottles on hand for long rides is excellent.

(Also, another cyclist told me that my metal water bottles look like rockets when they’re riding in these cages. That may be justification enough.)

I don’t notice the cages or the water bottles while riding, and the bottles remained well-seated on the test run, which covered 34 miles of hilly terrain and speeds of up to 31.2 mph/50.2 kmph (gulp).  An elastic “wire” around each holder grips the bottles so that they are unlikely to pop out while the bike vibrates down the road.

I can’t vouch for how easy (or difficult) it is to remove and replace the bottles while actually cycling; I’ve just barely mastered drinking from the bottle in front of me. I swapped empty bottles for full ones at rest stops, and drank from my front cage while on the fly.

The cages extend Basil’s length a bit, but not enough to be an issue most of the time.  The angle is adjustable, so the bottles can be set whatever way is most convenient. Mine are quite upright, but the bottles could be tipped in toward the rider, if that makes the bottles easier to grab from the front.

The mount and bracket are metal and look well-designed. I expect them to prove quite durable.

The cages are completely out of the way when my Brompton is folded; they aren’t wide enough to rest on the supporting surface when Basil is folded and lying on his side, so there’s no obvious vulnerability there.  Because the mount is attached to the saddle rails, there’s no interference with the Brompton fold, either.

For easier access, I dropped Basil’s saddle bag a bit.  Although it’s not quite as easy to use the bag as it was before the installation,  it’s still no problem to get to the gear inside; I got used to the change quickly.

For travel to or in a place like New York City — anywhere space may be at a premium, and the need to carry so much water less essential — I will disconnect the cages, and leave them home.  Removing the double bolts (you can see the heads in profile, above) leaves just the nose of the mount, which curves above the saddle bag, and is surprisingly unobtrusive.

This was a terrific set-up for my first real summer weather ride; I’m eager to see how well it serves as the season continues.

Update 4 August 2013:  I installed this cage on the original Brompton saddle, which has narrow  rails; a commenter has noted that the version he purchased does not fit on his Brooks B17 saddle.  If considering this bottle cage, it might be worth contacting Profile Design to see if  the model you are buying will work with your saddle rails.

12 replies on “Dual Water Bottle Cage for a Brompton Bicycle”

Good setup, well done. I’ve read that bottle ejection may be an issue & perhaps the “wire” is an attempt to stop that. BTW, my favourite bottle is the Camelbak Podium Chill insulated bottle (the insulation really works & the nozzle is a good design that doesn’t need opening/closing each time). Of course, I’ve done no testing in freezing weather; just cool to hot conditions!
Just had visions of you “playing domestique” on a group ride, where you can share out bottles to other riders (like the TdF motorcycles on a hot day).

I wondered about bottle ejection, Ian, but there was no sign of it at all. At least for these bottles, the grip seems just right: It’s possible to remove them easily, but they’re still snug when the bicycle is moving.

Thanks for the recommendation of the Camelbak; I’ll check it out.

That “domestique” image is pretty funny — three water bottles sure can look like overkill — but not so much on a long, hot ride!

This bottle set-up can be a problem with mounting and dismounting, especially in urgent/emergency situation, if you dismount/mount by swinging your leg over the seat instead of over the top tube. This, of course, is not an issue with Basil.

I hadn’t thought about that, Saul — but, in this case, this is really a Brompton-specific solution. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of discussion among Brompton owners about how to solve the water bottle problem when we need to preserve the fold.

Now that you’ve pointed out the liabilities for other bikes, I’m surprised that I’ve seen so many of these cages on road bikes. Getting snared in them could be really nasty!

Liking this dual bottle rocket installation ;) Can you take off the whole bottle cage without need tools?

A 5mm allen wrench (allen key? hex key? — not sure what it’s called in the UK) does the trick, Andy. I just keep one in my saddle bag (so I always know where it is!). (Mine has an angled end, on the advice of the bike mechanic, so I don’t have to fuss with using the wrench/key straight out.) It’s an easy on and off with the wrench/key.

Hi, KM. This model attaches to the saddle rails — the listing you linked is “compatible with standard 7mm saddle rails”, and yes, I think the link you provided is the model I have. However, I can’t be certain, since I don’t know the exact model number of mine. I think this is the only black matte dual mount and cage that Profile Designs sells, though. (It comes in white, too, I think.)

The last two pictures in this post shows the relationship of the mount and holsters to my saddle bag. Whether or not it blocks your bag would depend on what bag you use, and your tolerance for reaching under the cages.

(As a side note, I notice that the two poor Amazon reviews have little to do with the product itself, and more to do with the buyers not knowing exactly what they were purchasing.)

Hi again, I found the dual bottle cage from the local bike shop the other day. As I am not a handy person, I am still trying to figure out how to install it on to the rail so the bottles can be held upwards and not side ways (horizontal to the ground). -_-” Is it possible to share a photo on how the cage is mounted to the saddle rail? Thanks a lot!

Hi, KM — I’ll try to get a picture, but can’t promise that it will be quick. But maybe I can help — the horizontal alignment isn’t done at the seat rails.

There are two bolts (they may technically be screws, with bolt-like heads) attaching the holders to the arm that comes out from the seat rails. That’s where you make the horizontal adjustment — loosen those bolts a bit, and you can move the holders up and down to find the right horizontal angle, and then tighten them when you find it.

You can see these bolts clearly in the side view in the last picture on this post.

You’d use these bolts to remove the cages if you wanted to leave the support in place — by removing them completely, taking the cages off, and just leaving the support stem in place.

Let me know if this doesn’t help, and I’ll try to get a picture for you that shows this more clearly.

Hi again. It has been awhile to get in touch. Seems that you have a little accident? Hope you have a speedy recovery and ride again!

I check again and decide to attach a few pictures. You can see that in this picture the saddle rail (Brooks B17) is too wide for me to attach the dual bottle cage.

And the part that is narrow enough would make the bottle cage looks like jet/rocket.

Seems that it might be we have a different saddle model?

Hello, KM — yes, you are right about the saddle. Mine is the original Brompton saddle, and the rails are just narrow enough on it to fit the holder.

It might be worth emailing Profile Design to see what they say. I didn’t realize that saddle rails varied so much, but Profile Designs may have noticed; it may be that the cage is sold with differing attachment widths, and they may be willing to swap yours out.

If that fails, another option might be to go to a hardware store or machine shop and see if you can work out a way to extend the effective width of the attachment bars.

Thanks very much for your good wishes — I’m on the mend! And good luck with the bottle cage; I hope one of these solutions works out for you.

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