In my never-ending search for a solution to the Brompton water bottle problem, I ordered a Monkii V cage and clip from CycleMiles, in the UK. CycleMiles, and Miles, in particular, were terrific — even following-up unexpectedly when the Internets failed, and I couldn’t complete the sale without additional help. The Monkii, sadly, didn’t work out quite so well.
It’s a very clever design, for which you need two relatively inexpensive parts: the cage itself, which comes with adapter buttons for using with existing cage bolts, and the clip, which wraps around a bicycle stem to hold the cage in place.
Together, installed, they look like this (nice and sleek!):
To use, the Monkii cage is placed around a water bottle of just about any size (a cool feature!). The bottle and cage are treated as one, and snap onto the clip on the bicycle stem.
The clip is quite unobtrusive on the stem, and I found that it holds very well; there was no slippage at all on Bssil’s stem. It was rock-solid once installed, and installation, thanks to padding, leaves no marks on the bicycle chassis.
For genteel riding, it’s not necessary to snap the cage fully in place, but for more rugged terrain — or jumping rough patches — it’s best to snap the cage fully in place to secure it most snugly. For whatever reason — and unique difficulties with my hands may be the reason — I couldn’t easily remove the water bottle assembly from the clip while riding.
That may be a personal coordination issue; it’s hard to know, but it made using the Monkii on the fly quite tricky for me. That may not be true for most users, and certainly the positive snap of the clip addresses any issues of the bottle flying out during use.
The other difficulty I had with the Monkii was that old Brompton bugaboo: placement. Where can the water bottle go without interfering with the fold? I placed the clip to the right side of Basil’s stem. That allowed virtually no interference with the cables when folding (though I did watch them carefully).
However, I could find no position for the kit that didn’t interfere, at least a little bit, with steering, once the water bottle was in place – and that’s about as thin a water bottle as anyone would use. The inhibition was minor, and at first I thought I could live with it, but in the end I felt that the advantage of having full control over the steering was more important.
So, unfortunately, the Monkii didn’t work for me, or for my Brompton. The clever and innovative Monkii is likely an excellent cage and clip for a variety of other situations — virtually any other bike, for example — but it wasn’t the answer for Basil and me.