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