offers two versions of its TC bottle cage, one for mountain bikers and one for roadies. Both have sturdy, molded, reinforced Nylon cages with slotted, stainless steel washers to keep them secure on the bike, and both feature a sealed tool box on their butt ends with a high quality multi-tool stashed inside. The off-road TC cage has a larger compartment, housing a 23-function full-service tool, while the TC Road tested here, features a more compact compartment, housing an eight-function tool. In addition, the TC Road cage has a pair of tire levers that lock into place along the sides of the cage's frame mount, which could be quite handy for fixing fussy tubeless tires in the back country. If you can get past its designation, the TC Road is the better choice for a rider who wants to pare down to the least cumbersome kit without sacrificing too much back-country self-sufficiency.
The TC Road's compartment has an over-center locking lever that squeezes down on a gasket to keep the elements out. There is enough room alongside the folding tool to stash money, pills, or patches, and the compartment indexes vertically or horizontally for easy access. The tool includes 2/2.5/3/4/5/6mm Allen wrenches, a Phillips-head screw driver, and a T25 Torx wrench. As mentioned, its two slim tire levers lock into place alongside the cage (replacement levers are available). A nice feature is its stainless steel lined key-hole mounting slots that allow the cage to be installed without removing the screws completely. The TC Road cage sells for around $54 USD and is said to weigh 169 grams ready to rock. Contact: Topeak Cycling
|I ignored the TC Road cage for a long interval simply because of its non-mountain bike designation. It was when I couldn't find a water bottle cage in my arsenal that would fit the tight confines of all three of my current test bikes that I reached in desperation for the TC Road. With the tool compartment rotated horizontally it handily fit where three other conventional cages did not. The cage is mega secure, grasping full, extra-length bottles tightly enough to keep them from rattling over monster rock chatter, and could remove and replace a bottle with reasonable ease and accuracy while underway. The tools are all I need for trailside adjustments and the tire levers (which I thought I'd never use), actually work quite well.|
I prefer to use a hydration pack to keep my essential items handy and in the same location, but for shorter mid-week training and test rides, Topeak's TC Road cage has reduced my carry-on luggage to almost nothing: a smart phone, a Co2 and a Schwalbe Evo tube stashed in my short pockets. No pack, no cargo bibs - I can ride in a T shirt without looking like I am shoplifting fire extinguishers. - RC
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