DIY stem mounted water bottle…

4 04 2013
Water bottle on stem...

Water bottle on stem…

Last year I tried water bottle cages mounted to my bike’s fork for added hydration capacity while bikepacking. It worked, but I didn’t love it. They were always in the way when I would lean my bike up against something, they got splattered with mud/horse shit off the road/trail and I couldn’t access them while riding. So I thought I would try a stem mounted bottle and see what I thought.

Cage hose clamped to stem...

Cage hose clamped to stem…

I just grabbed a plain old aluminum bottle cage and attached it to the stem with a hose clamp. I used some electrical tape and a bit of old inner tube to avoid damaging the stem. The whole install took 5 mins.

The hose clamp is key...

The hose clamp is key…

I like DIY projects that I can source all the parts from my garage in a few minutes. This one was particularly easy.

Bottle in action...

Bottle in action…

So the important question is how did it work?

  • it was 100% secure….no movement or issues even with a lot of high speed dirt road pounding
  • having a bottle so close at hand was awesome….I drank on the move a lot
  • I’ll definitely use this setup again
Easy on - easy off...

Easy on – easy off…

Since I’m not bikepacking every weekend I like the fact this cage is very easy to remove when not needed. I pulled it off and threw everything into a ziplock bag for next time.

For the most recent trip I carried another water bottle in my framebag and a 2L water bag in my backpack that I left empty until I figured I needed a bunch of extra water [say before making camp]. That worked well.

I can always add water bottles to my fork legs if needed on a particularly dry trip as well as carrying more water in my backpack. Coastal BC riding isn’t particularly dry.


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13 responses

4 04 2013
Erik

Or you could buy the non-DIY version at kingcage.com. Search for the “top cap cage mount”. ;-)

4 04 2013
thelazyrando

@Erik – tried to buy one and couldn’t get it in stock when I was placing an order for a bunch of other stuff.

This version is free and I’d wager more secure. Not to mention a lot of people could walk into their garage and come out 5 mins later with a stem mounted bottle cage.

I may get a King Cage mount to try, but given the hassles of shipping to Canada it’s gotta be bundled in with a larger order.

The production solution does look nicer.

4 04 2013
thelazyrando

I should also note the DIY bottle is positioned further forward than the King Cage stem cap mount. I think that’s an improvement, but I’d have to test out both options to be sure.

4 04 2013
Vic303
4 04 2013
thelazyrando

@Vic303 – velcro doesn’t seem strong an attachment method vs. a hose clamp. Have you tried the Two Fish Cage on rough dirt roads?

I don’t want to spend $$ on a solution that’s inferior to a free DIY option.

4 04 2013
perthcyclist

Looks like a great solution, I might do this with my fattie :)

5 04 2013
Vic303

I have a twofish strap on cage. It gets used on the recumbents, but some of our roads in TX are dismal boulder-seal…the velcro is quite strong and requires no tools to attach. The block is rubber and conforms to a variety of tube sizes. It holds tightly for me with a 25oz bottle full, and mounted vertically on the bent’s riser.

5 04 2013
Steve Jones

Velcro is more than strong enough Vic. I’ve got bottle cages on my Surly attached with it and even saddlebags secured with it. It’s quite a job for me to rip it off with my hands and it doesn’t come loose if you pull it tight when fitting it ( Yes, even when mountain biking).
Your solution works of course but Velcro is a lot neater, lighter, doesn’t scratch and comes in fun colors.

5 04 2013
thelazyrando

@steve – I’m not concerned the Velcro will come undone. I’m concerned that if the Velcro can’t be tightened sufficiently the bottle and cage will rotate sideways and not stay firmly in place on top of the stem.

To achieve this I has to really tighten the hose clamp down.

7 04 2013
Ivo.M

Hi Vik,

maybe you should check out an exhaust shop, there are beautiful stainless clamps out there that might make your “found in the garage” solution a little more elegant and stylish?

http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Auspuffschellen-Schlauchschellen-Edelstahl-39-45-mm-/12/!B0G6fZQBWk~$%28KGrHqF,!iUEw5jcrqRWBMY41%28Cdb!~~_35.JPG

7 04 2013
thelazyrando

Thanks Ivo. The hose clamp doesn’t offend me at all. When it’s on the bike I’m in the middle of an adventure and my attention is elsewhere. When I am home it’s not on the bike so I don’t have to look at it.

If I run into some of those fancy clamps though I’ll buy a few and throw them in my parts bin. I’m sure they would come in handy… :)

10 05 2013
thelazyrando

Note – problems with Twofish cages as suspected:

http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,5570.0.html

11 05 2013
dexey

I’ve had one unvelcro as a came down a steep Welsh mynd and it went under my back wheel. On 20″ wheels it was like riding over a large log; lots of wobbling, bucking and sideways. Beside the cage being bent out of shape anyway, I vowed never to use it again!
:0)

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