January 11, 2013
Riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike route this past summer gave me a whole new appreciation for bottle cages. I began the ride with three different bottle cage models, and by the time I hit the border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico, only one bottle cage survived.
The Specialized Mantacage was the sole survivor, which stood up against 2,754 miles of gravel and washboard dirt roads, not to mention a few thousand miles leading into the ride. Pretty impressive for an aluminum cage that tips the scales at a scant 45 grams. Specialized uses a unique Manta Ray-esque wing design to cradle the bottle, which provides quite a bit of surface area for making some secure welds between the base plate and the wings of the bottle cage.
Another cool feature of this bottle cage is that you can spread or contract the wings to accommodate bottles of different sizes. On many occasions I had to spread the wings out to grip a larger 1-liter bottle of Mountain Dew Code Red, while on fewer occasions I brought the wings back in to squeeze down on a smaller bottle of orange juice.
The cages are priced at $12, and can either be purchased through your local Specialized dealer, or direct from Specialized online.