Product Review: Iris Water Bottle Cages
By David Kurushima, Retail Manager
This month, rather than promoting the outstanding merits of a singular product manufactured by a particular company, I would rather recommend to you a type of product, which you may not have ever used – specifically a type of water bottle cage. This type of cage has no universal name, so we’ll just refer to it as an Iris cage, as that is the model name given by one notable manufacturer, King Cage.
The Iris style cage has a unique, minimalist design. At first, it may appear unreliable as a water bottle retaining devise, but after thousands of miles of use, I have not dropped a single bottle from these cages. Now, a bottle cage that does not drop bottles is not headline-worthy. What makes the Iris style cage so unique is its ability to hold bottles other than your standard plastic bike bottle.
If you look at most bicycle specific water bottles, you’ll find that each bottle has a lip or a circumscribing groove about 5 inches from the bottom of the bottle that allows it to rest snuggly on the protruding bottom lip on a traditional style water bottle cage. However, if you use metal water bottles, such as those made by Klean Kanteen, you’ll find that most lack that special circumscribing groove and thus sit uncomfortably loose in a traditional cage.
The Iris cage, on the other hand, does not use a bottom lip to retain the bottle and instead firmly squeezes the sides of the bottle, allowing one to use either a traditional plastic bottle or a metal one. Klean Kanteen makes a cage for their stainless steel bottles but it is made of plastic and does not hold the bottle nearly as securely as a metal Iris style cage. Stainless steel and titanium Iris style cages are also a lot less likely to scuff up your bottles compared to traditional style cages.
Like all cages, sometimes Iris cages can get bent out of shape or slowly cease to squeeze the sides of your bottle securely. Fortunately, if your Iris cage is made of a pliable metal like steel or titanium, you can simply bend the cage back into shape, like this:
Also worthy of note as we creep closer to Fall, you can even squeeze thermoses into these cages—such as those made by Klean Kanteen—because the cages are somewhat malleable.
There are many manufacturers of Iris style cages. Cages by Delta, Velo Orange and King Cage are all carried here at the Community Cycling Center along with various styles and colors of Klean Kanteen water bottles. Delta’s Iris style stainless steel cage is the most affordable at $15 while King Cage’s Iris cage is very well made, right here in the USofA.
Try one out for yourself!