After making the mistake of paying way too much for a pair of Speedplay carbon water bottle cages (and having them promptly toss my water out into the road and subsequently break) I started looking around for other options.
A few months of casual surveying revealed that many (if not most) who owned a carbon cage of some sort had a problem hanging onto water bottles on rough roads. It was uncertain whether or not it was the common c-clamp style or if, in an effort to be as light as possible, the manufacturers weren’t endowing their arms with enough grip.
Whatever the case, I decided that I would ignore the siren call of carbon and set my sights on metal; as a rider who burns through water I would not lose another bottle to a road anomaly anomaly-at least not without a fight.
I’m not sure how I came to find King Cage, but once I did I was immediately intrigued by his “Iris” model. It used the same “inverted” bottle cage design found in carbon cages which gives you a little wider angle at the top to get your bottle in and out of. It is also hand-made in the USA from US-sourced (often scrap) materials. It is also surprisingly inexpensive for something made locally.
While King Cage does make incredibly light titanium cages, this material is not yet available for the Iris. The Iris is Stainless Steel which is twice as heavy. Of course all that extra weight (20grams) adds up to a whopping 0.04 lbs so it’s a non-issue.
One thing that is nice about Stainless’ is that unlike alloys, which are soft and literally rub off onto bottles when they get wet and sandy (you’ll recognize this by the black color that you get on your bottles that you can’t scrub off in the sink), these do not shed. Your bottles may have their decals rub off from sand and dirt but they will not blacken. Nice.
After surviving the rough roads of spring and still going strong without a single lost bottle I’m sold. Those with titanium (or silver colored) bikes will also appreciate how well these fit with their overall aesthetic.
Bottom Line: 4.5 Stars
Despite the open-top design these things hang onto a filled-to-the-brim full sized bottle at speed and in the rough. They are well constructed and look great. If a little more time were taken to make the welds a little more artistic, or if these were offered in titanium that would be icing on the cake, but then we’d also probably have to pay more. King Cage