Syncros Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 Bottle Cage – Review

Nov 15, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  
Syncros Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 Bottle Cage


Syncros can help you move a few items from your back to your bike with this sturdy, glass-reinforced Nylon bottle cage that incorporates a slim, slide-out drawer containing a folding wrench and a chain breaker. Alongside the cage, a high-volume mini-pump is securely attached with a pair of C-clips and an elastic rubber closure. Anticipating the additional 13 millimeters of height that the tool compartment adds may create clearance issues, Syncros designed the cage to allow side-entry for the bottle and made it available in either right or left-hand options. It’s called the MatchBox Tailor HV1.5 and it can be had for around $69 USD.


Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 Details:
• Material: glass fiber reinforced Nylon
• Integrated multi-tool storage drawer
• 14 tools: chain breaker; 2 spoke wrenches; magnetic quick-link holder; T10 and T25 Torx keys; Phillips and flat screwdrivers; and 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 8mm Allen keys
• Multiple mounting positions, fits most frames
• Side-entry cage: left or right-hand options
• High-volume pump with retractable hose
• Weight: 340 grams
• MSRP: Around $69 USD
• Contact: Syncros
Syncros Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 Bottle Cage


Features and Function

Bottle cages with adjoining carriers for inflation devices have been around for decades. The addition of an integrated tool box, however, is a more recent development, one that came to fruition after enduro riders abandoned hydration packs and embraced the 1980's retro racing style, swigging from water bottles and binding essential tools and spares to their frame tubes with black electrical tape.

Syncros Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 Bottle Cage
The secret drawer latches in place when stowed.
Syncros Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 Bottle Cage
The contents normally remain on the cassette when not in use.

The MatchBox Tailor HV1.5 replaces much of that electrical tape with a slim, two-compartment sliding drawer below the water bottle cage that also incorporates a high-volume mini-pump. Slide the tray out and all of your essential tools are organized and at the ready. One drawer houses a well-made folding tool with the basic Allens, Torx and screwdriver bits. The other tool is a chain-breaker with two built-in spoke keys (splined and standard), an 8 mm Allen adapter, and a magnetic quick-link holder. When working on the bike, the tools you don't need stay on the tray - not strewn in the dirt or lost in a pack pocket next to a sticky, half-empty gel shot.

The pump has a retractable hose with a lever-type inflation head, and it addresses two nagging problems that plague tubeless tire owners in the field. Unless you are careful, it's easy to break or loosen Presta valve stems where they enter the rim using a pump with a fixed head; and screw-on inflation fittings often unscrew the valve core while the head is being removed. In use, the HV1.5 pump delivers a healthy measure of air with each compression, so you can quickly air up a flat tire without looking like a hopeful, pre-pubescent male.

Syncros Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 Bottle Cage
Two magnets retain a quick link on the chain tool.
Syncros Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 Bottle Cage
With a retractable hose, pumping requires less effort.

A number of mounting holes are provided to help position the cage where its contents will be most accessible, and they are elongated perpendicular to the downtube, so the cage can be offset to the right or left as needed. The offset comes in handy, either to minimize the overhang of the pump or to enhance access to the side-entry bottle cage. As mentioned, MatchBox Tailor bottle cages can be purchased with right or left-hand exits.

Syncros Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 Bottle Cage
Offset holes let users position the cage to optimize access.
Syncros Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 Bottle Cage
The side-entry cage grips the bottle tenaciously.

Concerns

Hanging a mini-pump alongside your water-bottle cage exposes that slim aluminum tube to take a bashing. In practice, however, I have never damaged a cage-mounted pump to the point where it was not serviceable. If it can happen, eventually it will, but Syncros offers the HV1.5 pump a-la-carte for around $30 USD should you need a replacement.

Missing from the otherwise comprehensive tool kit is the six millimeter Allen key, which is often required to remove non-quick-release through axles. Another concern is that some frame designs will not tolerate the additional 13 millimeter (0.5 inches) stack height that the tool cassette imposes on the cage. The side-entry bottle design mitigates this to a large degree, but it wouldn't hurt to measure what's overhead of your existing bottle cage before dropping 70 bucks on the Syncros upgrade.
Syncros Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 Bottle Cage
An 8 mm hex adapter is included to attend to loose crank bolts and pedals, but Syncros does not include the 6 mm Allen key needed to remove many through axles.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesLike most riders, I already own a mini pump, a folding tool, and a bottle cage, so duplicating those purchases seems extravagant. That noted, the Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 turns out to be a better way to both access and stash those essentials. I appreciated that the entire contents were in one cassette, so I could lay it on the ground and have everything handy in one place and in plain sight.

The chain breaker functions at about the same level as other quality multi-tools, and I especially liked the fit and finish of the folding kit. I was already sold on hose-style mini-pumps for tubeless, and prefer the HV1.5's lever-style inflation head. The entire system weighed a respectable, 340 grams and it's built tough. If you have $70 USD to burn and you want to clean up the look and function of your kit, the Matchbox Tailor HV1.5 is worth considering.
RC







64 Comments

  • + 91
 Ah, Pinkbike in November. Holiday gift guides and bottle cage reviews.
  • + 12
 Hey, I have the one up EDC - I cannot comment on how the syncros tools works but my favorite thing about the EDC is that it is completely sealed off from the outside with a bottom plug and o-ring top. I would suggest that water and mud on the worst days will get into this tool and well as the specialized SWAT stuff (which I have used) and muck up the tool and rust out the quick links.
  • + 2
 Get this and carry your EDC pump on it.
  • + 0
 I'd love watching you tightening back your headset after a crash, with popcorn tho.
  • + 4
 @qreative-bicycle: Well this is no issue. The tool to tighten the headset is included in the EDC tool.
  • + 1
 @sren: ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb15023743/p5pb15023743.jpg
very hard to spot since it doesn't have a classic cassette tool shape, but got it thx
  • + 4
 @qreative-bicycle: On further comment I have about the EDC - is I actually used this tool to mostly build up a bike. I did this because I wanted to see how it works -when you are going to the middle of nowhere you have to have confidence in your tools. You would be surprised how many people buy a multi tool and are not even familiar with it when stuff hits the fan. It seems way nicer that the specialized tool. The chain link toll is a little goofy and the headset tool (aka a cassette tool) works well for the headset. I think it would not try to use this tool with an actual cassette.
  • + 13
 Drinking from a water bottle is 1980's retro? Thanks once again PB for reminding me how f*cking old I am. I'll be off on my way with my Scott AT4 bars and saddlebag now....
  • + 8
 Two questions:

Has anyone used this and the oneup edc and could give a comparison? This seems much cheaper.

How high PSI can that pump go? Can it do dual duty on my road bike?
  • + 5
 Good questions cheezman
  • + 8
 They make a road version as well - called the Tailor Cage HP.

I've had the EDC pump kit for about a month, one of my buddies has had this cage kit for a while. The EDC tool seems extremely well-made, and the CO2 functionality (both an inflator and the possibility of stashing a cartridge is really clever. The tools work great, the pump moves a ton of air (I use it on a tubeless gravel bike, so it only has to inflate a 700x40 tire to about 30PSI), however....it's a giant pain in the ass to reassemble. It all has to be lined up perfectly to go back in there. It's a really really tight fit to pull the tools out in the first place, but honestly that seems like more of a positive than a negative to me. All in all I would definitely buy the EDC kit again.

The Syncros tools my buddy has had clip in and out really quickly, and thus far they've held up for him. There's not as many functions, but the stuff that's there works great. The Syncros pump using a hose is definitely a big plus as well.
  • + 1
 @crs-one: Thanks! I'm leaning towards this Syncros one since its cheaper, but do you know if its pump can get to 100 psi?
  • + 2
 I've got the EDC head tube kit and it is pretty nice. Haven't had to use the chain tool yet but everything else works great. It does rattle a bit. I don't have a cage mount (besides the "they say we need one, so..." lower down tube giardia location) on my bike though so the EDC was a relatively obvious choice. I do run a micro pump (Blackburn AirStik 2, highly recommended--can seat a tubeless tire if you really need to) on the cage bolts.
  • + 1
 @qreative-bicycle: Great thanks! I just ordered the road bike one; if/when I lose my current mtb pump I'll probably get this system
  • + 9
 Just a quick note...I've never seen a random camelback on the side of the trail...anyone else?
  • + 17
 I have once. It's now my wife's camelback.
  • + 5
 I've used a similar 8mm adapter on a park tool that looked more robust than that. Anything with an 8mm, like pedals, needs something more robust to turn it.

I think I may be the only person who kinda likes having a backpack with me when I ride. No stopping for water, can stick a jacket/snacks in there, etc. I also like the feeling of my bike being light. I had a road bike with panniers and hated how it felt.
  • + 1
 Well, there have been three times in the last few years when the Camel on my back has definitely saved my back. So I don't mind it at all. In fact these days I feel a bit vulnerable without it when riding. But its a big heavy thing when full of water, so I got myself one of the skinny Leatt ones with the back protector built in - works a charm for 1 hour rides when walking back with a flat tyre or broken chain isn't the end of the world. Twice the price of this little gadget, but then none of my bikes have bottle cage mounts in places I would be happy to drink from. And there isn't any back protection with this thing either. I would probably pass it on to someone else if it was given to me.
  • + 4
 While I don't own this specific tool setup, I will say that moving the tools from a backpack/pocket to the bike is a great start, but for those of us using saddle bags, this is a very very worthy upgrade. Going from a tube + tools swinging around in a saddlebag to being securely attached to the downtube made a massive difference in how the bike handles on the trail. My bag setup weighed about a pound all told (about 5% of the bike's weight), relocating it from the absolute highest point on the bike to a low and central point is a big deal.

Products like this are way underrated IMO.
  • + 1
 Also if you have a dropper, a saddlebag just limits your dropper travel and smashes into the seals. I moved to a top tube bag and love it, it's way bigger than a saddlebag and stuff is a lot more accessible too.
  • + 1
 @mnorris122: I have a Vaude sadle bag and it only attaches to the sadle rails, no issue with my dropper
  • + 3
 This is slick for sure, but not having a 6mm is a miss. I've got the Topeak Ninja TC Mountain and it is awesome. It's not nearly as sleek but it's super practicaland it has a real deal multi tool with every tool you could possibly need including a 10mm hex.
  • + 3
 I have the HV+ version of this and have been using it for about a year. The only difference is that it has the smaller volume pump.

It allowed me to go backpack free and is a quality piece of kit. Has the required hex/allen key to remove the thru axle of my 20mm Fox 36.
  • + 1
 @BT180 Do you carry a tube seperate on the bike or is there enough space in the HV to carry tubeless plugs?
  • + 4
 I have this version on a genius LT 710 plus and I huck that bike just like my DH bike. Never once has the pump slid out or the cage came loose. Super nice and ultra compact.
  • + 1
 Identical bike also rocking this with great success. Don't have to think about things when I'm in rush, just grab the helmet and go ride.
  • + 2
 Side access eliminates those unfortunate riders with bikes that have bottle holders on the downtube not inside the front triangle.

How about a bottle with a separate stash compartment built into the base? I looked a a stash bottle the other day and thought I’d never use one since I’d be carring a hydration backpack which would also carry my tools and such.
  • + 2
 Check out Topeak's Ninja tools - sounds roughly like what you're after.

I will say that I've got a Syncros side-access cage on my bike as well as a normal Syncros cage on there (both the same generation as this Matchbox Tailor Cage), and I can pull the bottle out forward with no problems at all.
  • + 2
 @crs-one: I use the ninja tool. Its great. The toolbox is sealed, never got any rust on the tools. Super handy when you just want to do a quick fix.
  • + 5
 Put your tools in a ziploc and drop the bag into a widemouth bottle!
  • + 1
 @crs-one: I have a Kona Process; bottle cage is on the underside of the downtube. I think a side access holder will not hold a bottle well when things get rough...
  • + 1
 @Staktup: Ahh, I see what you're saying now. I actually intentionally put my side-access cage down there - reason being, it's only about an inch from my front wheel, so if it ejects I want it to eject to the side rather than forward (and risk jamming the front wheel). That being said you are correct. I've lost the bottle a few times and I doubt I would have otherwise.
  • + 2
 This is one of those things which you really want to try before you buy. But when you've properly tried it, you have effectively bought it. As if it doesn't work for you, it probably shows (cracks, scrubs etc.) so you can't return it anymore. So for those who have tried it:

- How does it lock into place? Doesn't the tray ever slide out unintentionally?
- Not really aware of where my feet are relative to the frame when leaning the bike etc., do your feet ever hit the pump (and as such, stress the drawer too)?



I'm surprised to read tool boxes integrated in bottle cages is a recent Enduro (which is a race format, not a riding style) thing. I recall they've been around for much longer, more typically for XC. Now having the tool inside the bottom bracket is more recent (headtube was already done too). If anything, body armor with hydration bladders or hydration packs with integrated armor are probably most typically enduro.


Either way, nice review. Good for potential buyers to know what additional stack height they need to be able to fit the product before they buy Smile .
  • + 5
 I own this tool and bottle cage and the tool holder never slipped out unintentionally. Btw the levers that lock it to the bottle cage can be used as tire levers - I think I didn't read that in the review.

On the bike I used it (Scott Spark Plus) the whole thing never even came close to my feet. It's probably not really visible on the pictures but the pump doesnt really stand out on the side, so no worries here, too.
  • + 4
 I own the version of this tool that does not include the pump, and the tray will never slide out unintentionally. It is secured with 2 clips that are pretty strong and give a nice audible click when engaged. I love mine.
  • + 1
 @ArminWurmser @dtownVT : Thanks for clearing that up. Yeah with Syncros you can usually expect them to have things sorted out. Good to hear they didn't disappoint.
  • + 1
 One advantage of a hardtail is gaving 2 bottle mounts. Ive got one stuffed full of tools with a tube attached to it. At least this way uts outta the mud
  • + 2
 a) I am old due to the fact that I come from the Pre-Camelback Era and know everyone riding with a bottle cage at the time

b) It looked stupid then, it looks stupid now

c) Currently being in the "Camelback" Era: Does really anyone still ride with a bottlecage except for the leightweight XC guys?
  • + 1
 How rust resistant is it? I scored a free multi tool to store in my bottom bracket. it was so easy and small i just left it in there. after about a month, all of the bits were completely rusted but the rest of the tool was fine. When I use a bag, its sealed an away in a good old zip lock bag. Does this take into account that people are just going to leave these on their bikes, and have some sort of rust resistant material?
  • + 1
 Put vaseline or grease on the bits and they will not rust that much
  • + 1
 No 6mm!? That's a shame... will not work for me. Really misses the mark, Syncros (aka, Scott Sports Global Limited Liability Corporation International Sporting Goods Conglomerate house brand).
  • + 1
 Not compatible with frames that have a wide downtube. Pump interferes. Also the fit-finish of this product is rough. The way the tool inserts and releases, the tool itself, the moulding quality. I own one of these.
  • + 4
 No 6mm allen, no sale
  • + 2
 pink bike when can we see a review of the Scott pictured? I have one on back order
  • + 3
 Anyone else read "Glass fiber reinforced nylon" in AvE's voice?
  • + 1
 More skookum more better.
  • + 2
 No 6mm is dumb. The worst is finding out that clunk was a loose suspension pivot in the middle of a ride.
  • + 1
 I like my EVOC pack - there’s a party in there and some minor back protection, too. Remember watching Friday Fails yesterday?
  • + 1
 Anyone else remember when Syncros was a company that made cool products and wasn't the OEM suplier for Scott? Good old times...
  • + 1
 'member... yeah I 'member... used to have one of their stem with the special Syncros sloping top cap. That thing was awemome.
  • + 2
 So it's not a $70 bottle cage, it's a $70 tool that comes with a handy dandy cage mount?
  • + 0
 A bottle cage that doesn't have a one-piece band round the top - mmmm, I doubt it will hold on to a full bottle of water through rowdy riding
  • + 2
 Where is the tyre levers??
  • + 3
 No Six.. no dice
  • + 1
 Does it come with remote lockouts, because those are deal breakers...
  • + 1
 What's that (Scott) bike?
  • + 1
 Looks like the Genius 920.
  • + 1
 Any way to set this up without the Pump and just do CO2?
  • + 1
 Where's the review of the bike (Genius 920) this tool is attached to?
  • + 1
 Kona Combo Cage 2.0 Designed by Joe Murray
  • + 1
 One word: RUST
  • + 2
 One answer : NONE
Every steel part is stainless with a high quality finish, I own one for a while and never had such thing.
  • + 1
 @qreative-bicycle: agreed and I live and ride next to the coast line. No dramas at all with it.

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