How Do You Mount a Bottle Cage Mount?

Bottle cages are an essential part of bicycles, especially in mountain biking.

Not only does this serve as a place to store your water bottle that keeps you hydrated on your rides. But it also makes it easier for you to gain access to your bottle while biking.

You don’t have to stop your ride just to reach out to your bottle.

So, what is the best way to mount a bottle cage on a mountain bike? And what are the things and skills you need?

These are the things that we are going to discuss in this review in deep detail. We’ll also show you the right techniques to carefully install a bottle cage mount so you won’t damage your bike.

Things You Need

Allen wrench

An Allen wrench is a necessity for every mountain biker. You need one to install tools and parts on your bike. Although the bolt size of cage mounts and bike holes varies from brand to brand.

There is a good chance that these are sized 4 mm as this is the most common. Prepare a 4 mm Allen key.

There are many options out there, but the Crankbrothers M19 is one of the best choices out there. It’s made by a reliable brand that manufactures premium quality mountain bike components and tools.

Water bottle cage

Of course, you need a water bottle cage. This can either be made of plastic, steel, aluminum alloy, carbon, or titanium.

We don’t recommend you buying plastic cages even if they are the most affordable. They easily break, look bad, and can cause scratches on your bottle and even your bike frame.

Steel and aluminum alloy cages are ideal if you are budget conscious. But they are a bit heavy and can add some weight to your bike even if it means only a few grams.

They also won’t easily break and can take on a tough beating without being damaged. The Zefal bottle cage is a decent pick.

On the other hand, you can go for the carbon and titanium water bottle cages if you’ve got the cash. They are a must-have if you have a carbon bike so your water bottle cages and bike will match each other.

Bolts

Prepare the bolts. These are usually braze-on bolts that attach the water bottle cage to the holes of the frame tube.

Water bottle

There are many water bottle choices out there in the market. You can choose whether you like the 750 ml water bottles or the smaller but more portable 500 ml variants.

Go for the bigger one if you are into cross-country mountain biking. You can then go for smaller bottles if you’re into downhill rides or quick trail enduro rides. The Camelbak water bottle is a great choice.

Step-by-step Guide in Installing Bottle Cage Mount

Step 1

The first thing to do is to remove the cage bolts that are found on the frame. Use your Allen key to do this.

But first, make sure that the Allen key you’re using is the 4 mm one. Also, wipe it clean using a clean towel so there won’t be any debris that interferes with the rotation once you plug it in the hole.

Decide the place where you want to mount the bottle. Then focus on the two bolts that are connected to your down tube. 

Step 2

Slowly insert the Allen key using your fingers directly onto the holes. Then carefully turn it counterclockwise until the bolts pop out. You need to be very careful with this especially if you’re using an old Allen key because the shape can deform if you accidentally twist it too much.

Step 3

Place the removed bolts in one place. We recommend placing them on top of a clean white cloth or, much better, a small container so that they won’t slide off and fall.

This is very important because these usually bounce off and roll into hard-to-reach areas and you can easily lose them.

Step 4

The next thing to do is to position your bottle cage directly against the braze-on bolts. This is the area where you would like to mount your bottle cage.

Tighten the bolts using the Allen key. This holds the cage in place and secures its position. Double-check this so the cage won’t end up rattling later on.

Step 5

Chances are that you are having a hard time securing the top bolt using a Y-wrench. This is why you can also use an L-shaped Allen wrench instead. This works most of the time because it can easily adapt to the shape and size of the bolt. They also work like hose clamps on the seat tube.

Step 6

Gently bend the bottle cage into its original position, just enough to create a small clearance that will allow your wrench to enter the space. You can then tighten the bolt here. Double-check it so you don’t end up with loose bolts. Don’t do this if you have carbon cage bottle mounts or bottle bosses because this can break it.

Step 7

Check everything if they’re in place. Then try putting your bottle on the cage to see how it will fit. If the sizing isn’t on point and if it’s too tight or too loose, then you can simply bend the cage to your liking.

But this only applies if you have steel or aluminum alloy bottle mounts. You also don’t want to do this all the time on bottle mounts because it can deform bottle cages.

Step 9

Fill the bottle with your favorite drink and hit the trails! Hydration is not any more far from reach. You might also want to get an additional water bottle cage or extra bottle. It would also help if you bring zip ties in case something comes up next time.

Conclusion

The best thing about getting a bottle cage mount is that it is very convenient to use. You don’t need to stop your ride and stop pedaling just to reach out to your bottle and drink water from it, especially if you’re riding on full suspension mountain bikes.

You can simultaneously ride while drinking water because your bottle is just within reach. Having a bottle cage mount ensures that you stay hydrated all the time.

You can cover longer distances without exhaustion or thirst. Water is just a reach away. Simply follow the steps we’ve mentioned and you’ll have a better ride out in the open.

Related:

Are Carbon Water Bottle Cages Worth It?

Where Do You Mount a Water Bottle on a Mountain Bike

How Do You Put a Water Bottle Cage on a Bicycle Without Holes

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AUTHOR
Jomar Teves
A writer by day, a tech enthusiast by night, and a mountain biker at the weekends. After four years in business school and working for multinational clients, Jomar believes he can improve the world through his writings. Jomar has six years of experience as a writer and has a degree in entrepreneurial marketing. Some of his works have been published on Blokt, Clutch Points, and iTech.