Bottle cage mounts blocked or absent? Thirsty? The Granite Aux Carbon Bottle Cage with Strap Kit is a well thought-out and effective solution, if perhaps a little pricey.
The Aux is carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic, weighs a claimed 23g and proves a smart looking piece. More importantly, the shape does a fine job of holding onto a variety of bottle sizes. It feels sturdy and reassuringly fights back a little when you’re trying to grab your drink.
While the Aux fits regular mounts just fine, we tested it with Granite's Strap Kit. It's simple to fit and works with tube diameters from 27.2mm to 70mm. The straps are silicone-backed for grip and plenty long enough – you'll probably want to trim them down once fitted.
You also get a rubber pad that protects your frame from the cage and stops it rattling. The overall quality of is excellent, with a neat design and looks that are as subtle as a strap-on bottle cage can get.
To give it a proper testing, we strapped it to an enduro bike and sent it down some chunky trails. With the bottle above the top tube the cage didn't slide fore or aft at all, though the bottle did seem to move to the left to right a little by the end of trail. I put this down to hitting it with my knee during cornering.
Re-positioned under the top tube, the Aux is a fuss-free affair, sticking securely right where I put it. Even lubricated by rain it stands firm. Okay, there's some flex you don't get from a bolted mount, but that's inevitable and doesn’t affect the bottle-holding capabilities.
At £28 for the whole kit (the cage is £21 on its own), the Granite Aux is on the expensive side. The SKS Anywhere Topcage is £15, for instance, though it adds extra height that may not be suitable for tight fitting frames.
The Granite Aux Carbon Bottle Cage with Strap Kit is a well designed, top-quality piece of kit, and great for riders who want to carry water even when their frame manufacturer said no. It secures the goods with minimal fuss, and it looks good – but you do pay quite a bit for the privilege.
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