Review: King Cage Titanium ($60)
If you have been to a trade show you may have seen a man jamming a solitary rod into a machine, manipulating the metal, jamming it into another machine and coming away with a full bottle cage. If that sounds familiar, the person most likely works for King Cage and is demonstrating just how simple their products are. You may be wondering if a titanium cage is right for your rig.
With the recent roll out of New Bike Day, there was a particular consideration for the water bottles. For over ten years, the road bike hanging in the office has been adorned with nylon cages for their ease of adding/ matching color to a bike. For a brief moment in time one bike was decorated with two carbon cages. They were abandoned directly after the first pothole ejected them like the missiles from triathlete saddle mounts. Sure nylon made it easy to match, and carbon was light, but the water bottle cage was a moment of settling for ‘good enough.’
Despite having a full carbon rig hanging in the office, the bike is festooned with two titanium King Cages. Chalk it up to pure luck that the raw titanium color matched the metallic stripe on the frame, but the cage essentially picked itself to carry the water bottle duties. On the first few maiden rides I wondered why I wasted time with plastic or carbon bottle holders at all. This wasn’t going to turn my bottles a streaky black like the standard painted metal cages. It wasn’t going to bend disfigure either, on the account of being made of one of the most impressive metals on Earth. At a combined 56 grams it is hardly adding any struggle to an already uphill challenged rider.
I imagine some employee of King Cage bending the titanium rods via their custom jig and chucking them into some absurd pile for tacking. Since King Cage makes their products presumably in Colorado and not on the floor of the many trade shows, it is a nice piece of attention to a bike that comes OEM designed for oneness. Bucking the trend in tiny corners is my way of saying I am still into the custom experience. Though the cage is a bit more expensive, it will remain true in shape ten years from now as the day it was pulled off the shop hook.
With the Fools Classic happening this Saturday, an event unfolded to a longer 100 miles of pavement and gravel roads, there are bound to be moments when the shock of the rear wheelset pounds a pothole and is absorbed by the water bottle. I won’t be worried that I could be one of the riders who give up the chase and circles back for the wayward bottle. This is the cage that says ‘I pay attention to detail,’ and it’s an accessory that will stick around for decades. Chains, cassettes, derailleurs, saddles, tires, these items get replaced over the life of bike frames. Scratch two accessories off the list of long-term items. You’ll be glad you did.