June 21, 2013
Bottle cages don't seem to get a lot of attention, but lately they've been making some noise. There has been a flurry of activity around utility bottle cages. Salsa led the charge with their Anything Cage, with King Cage following up with some sneak peaks of their Manything cage.
Next on tap looks to be the Growler Cage. Designed specifically for 64 ounce growlers, this is a cool way to safely bike your growler to and from your favorite local brewery. The cage is made from a super sturdy steel construction, and is covered by a neoprene liner to help protect your glass growler, and reduce any noise from rattling.
Using my Blackfoot River Brewing growler, I found that the fit is super snug with no issues over bumpy brick or potholed roads. Unfortunately, I'm not one to pound a growler in a matter of days, and I was anxious to put this cage through the paces.
This past weekend, I was able to escape for a three day bike overnight trip on some forest roads in the nearby Bitterroot mountains. I loaded up my panniers, and tossed the Growler Cage on my bike with a growler filled with some good ol' fashion H2O. Riding a 29er hardtail with a rigid fork on rocky roads with plenty of long fast descents, I was surprised to not only see that the growler stayed firmly in place, but also that the bottle cage maintained its form, and I never had to tighten up the bolts holding it to the frame. Since we were camping up at a fire lookout, and away from streams, it was nice to have a lot of water on hand.
All and all, this seems like a rock solid cage. For craft beer lovers, you'll love it for beer runs. For touring cyclists, it opens up some doors for hauling large quantities of water on your bike. The largest plastic container I was able to load in the cage was a gallon jug of water. You could even toss a stuff sack in there and strap it down with some webbing.
The Growler Cage retails for $55, and you have 10 color options for your neoprene cover. If the cover wears out over time, or your color preferences change, you can purchase a replacement for $7.
Photo by Josh Tack
TOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh's "Fine Tuned" column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.