If there is one development in the world of cycling that has been a positive it has to be the evolution of the sport away from the duality of road cyclist versus mountain biker. In the halcyon days of the 1990s this was the only distinction that mattered.
Fast forward to whatever we call these years and there is a proliferation of cycling “genres.” Sure, the traditional roadie still exists but that rider shares space with the bikepacker, gravel cyclist, fat biker, fondo enthusiast, and so on. These new or rediscovered styles of riding suit a lot more people and a lot more fun than spending your afternoons in a group ride staring at someone’s lycra clad rear end.
My preferred riding style falls into the big day ride camp. I do not bike camp—yet—but I may spend an entire day in the saddle over mixed terrain pretty far from home. As such, there is a decent amount of stuff I want to carry with me including enough water to complete the ride or at least make it between widely spaced trusted sources.
The problem that I have discovered is that my new bike’s frame triangle was quite small. There were two bottle locations in the main triangle, but the one mounted on the seat tube did not allow for the insertion of a Zefal 164 water bottle. These bottles are a favorite of long distance riders here in eastern Iowa because each one holds 33 ounces of water. Two of these give you more than a half-gallon of water for any given ride.
Enter Wolf Tooth Components. Probably best known as one of the original aftermarket specialists making narrow wide chainrings. The geniuses at this Minnesota company have branched out into all sorts of solutions for those of us looking to tweak our rides into some semblance of personal perfection. In my case it was the combination of a B-RAD 2 and Morse Cage.
The B-RAD “system” is a series of mounts and accessories to maximize your on bike storage. What the B-RAD 2 allowed me to do was shift the mounting holes for my seat tube bottle cage down a few inches.
I also paired this with the most excellent Morse Cage. Made by Durango, Colorado based King Cage for Wolf Tooth the Morse Cage features holes and slots for the perfect positioning of a water bottle cage. Witness:
Made of bent hollow stainless steel tubing—titanium is available for you crazies out there—these cages are a thing of beauty. Okay, I geek out a little about small things like cages. Just wait until you hear me opine about the cable housing that I have eyed up. Bike bling is a real thing.
The end result is a main triangle that looks like this:
This setup give me two bottles within arm’s reach when in the saddle. It also puts the spigots up higher than if I used the underside of the downtube. I cannot imagine how much limestone dust would be caked on the spigot after ten miles off of pavement. It all seems like small ball stuff until you realize that after spending hours in the saddle on a ride the last thing you want to be dealing with is a water bottle that is strangely out of your reach.
Note: I bought both the B-RAD 2 and Morse Cages with my own funds. I receive no compensation from Wolf Tooth Components for my endorsement of their products. I just happen to really like the stuff these guys make.