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steel or aluminum? help(18 posts)

steel or aluminum? helpfelix
Dec 26, 2001 4:52 PM
I'm a newbie and I am considering getting some new bottle cages. I've narrowed it down to 2 choices: King stainless steel and Elite Ciussi aluminum. I've always wanted a fine Italian cage, but will the aluminum be too harsh? I'm not sure about the flashy paintjobs either; I heard Italian paint doesn't last. Also, I've looked at them and I think the King has nicer welds (smoother and not double pass, either). I heard some people say steel is real. Please help.
Get carbonDave Hickey
Dec 26, 2001 5:47 PM
Forget both aluminum or steel, get French carbon cages. They're very forgiving. I have to warn you the early cages had a problem with pulling apart. If you buy the newer carbon cages, you won't have this problem. There has been alot of discussion about the proper fit of a carbon cage. Alot of people say they have a shorter effective bottle holder that either the King or the Elite. I've not experienced this problem.
Dec 26, 2001 6:15 PM
It has been said that these French cages are prone to cracking, especially in cold weather. This has not been my experience. I find that these cages are the best I've ever used.
naaah, CF bottle stays are all the rage this yearTig
Dec 27, 2001 8:10 AM
Steel is real, but it is much too heavy and rusts instantly due to water spillage. Aluminum or Ti cages are great, but for a more comfortable bottle ride make sure the mounting "stays" are carbon fiber. This dampens the vibrations that would be transmitted to your bottles, which is why the paint on painted cages rub off on them. As long as you have carbon stays, you can have painted, brushed, or polished cages with the secure knowlege that they will perform at the highest level and still be light. Carbon mixed with metal is sexy! Besides, everyone knows that full carbon bottle holders fatigue quickly and explode below the freezing point.
Thanks Dave, I love my 386Paul
Dec 27, 2001 11:29 AM
Recognized your name, I had asked a question about the Look 386, and you mentioned you had a 286 and have enjoyed it.
I've ridden my 386 several times, and have noticed how much better carbon rides compaed to my C-Dales. Th only thing I don't like and will have to get use to, is the smaller rake of the fork. My toes hit it on sharp turns. My C-dale is 4.3 cm (think the Look is 4.0. the shorted rake is more responsive thought. Overall, so far so good.

thanks again
Glad you like it. Ride safe (nm)Dave Hickey
Dec 27, 2001 6:13 PM
Hi Felix, Get Italian Steel, butDog Breath
Dec 26, 2001 7:04 PM
Italian steel cages, but don't bother unless they are chromed, painted, and pin-striped.

Forget about the American stuff, sadly it is all made by southern hillbillies using transient,sweatshop labour. Hell, most of those King cages were originally designed to carry moonshine between backwoods trailer parks anyway!
Is that what you want on your Pogliaghi?
check rivendell's stainless cagescory
Dec 26, 2001 7:33 PM
Personally, I wouldn't pay more than a few bucks--all the thing's gotta do is hold a water bottle. But if you want really nice workmanship on something you won't see on every bike that goes by, Rivendell has some beautiful stainless cages (made by Nitto, I think) for about $30. Check 'em at
aren't the rivendell cages cast iron? (nm)djg
Dec 27, 2001 8:38 AM
nope. traditional lugged and brazed cage technique.(nm)ohio
Dec 27, 2001 12:14 PM
My vote: Blackburn Chicane Stainless Cages.nigel
Dec 26, 2001 8:11 PM
They sell for about $12. They look great (brushed steel look--goes with anything). They're light (about 30-odd grams, I believe). They hold bottles tightly, but not TOO tightly. Maybe the best thing: they DON'T streak or mar water bottles; your bottles look like new for their entire life. Alloy cages, especially those with paint, make bottles look like hell after a ride or two.

I ride aluminum, but for cages steel is real. :)

You can never go wrong with...Leisure
Dec 27, 2001 12:33 AM
the unmistakably lively feel of Ti. Make sure it's 6/4, as it's quite a bit tougher than 3/2. Attaching some soft composite dampeners will help vibrational diffusion in the bottle cages. Try different masses of dampener at different points in the cage (don't forget trying it between the cage and frame itself) to create the exact harmonic feel you want. The vibrational dampening should also help subdue expediated thermal equilibration of whatever fluids you're carrying during the summer.
I've also found that using assorted organic-fiber based sheets between the composite and Ti helps the vibrations diffuse more smoothly, as placing two materials with excessively different hardnesses will cause vibrations to bounce backwards instead of progressing through the material. Also make sure that you never place a soft layer between two hard layers, as that can act as a vibrational capacitor, storing impact energy instead of dissipating it.
Along the same lines, have one of the cage bolts directly contact the cage (no composite in between) and screw it in very tightly, while having the other bolt looser with some composite in between. This isolates energy transfer from the frame to the cage and vice-versa into one mechanical ground point.
match your bikeDog
Dec 27, 2001 12:42 PM
I think you need to get whatever matches your bike. Of course, finding a Ti or alum main tube cage with carbon attachments might be difficult.

But, don't flaunt more of a cage than your ability entitles you. Only Poseurs would use a carbon cage if they can't timetrial at 30 mph.

Of course, fit is everything. Take your bottles to a custom cage builder for a proper fitting.

don't care, they're just water bottle cages.Bernie
Dec 27, 2001 3:27 PM
That's just wrong!Crankist
Dec 28, 2001 7:40 AM
Are you saying cages is cages?! For my money I admit that Ti cages may be accused of doing a lot of things poorly, but come on man! - they descend like a train!
What about Brita Filtered Water?SingleThreaded
Dec 29, 2001 8:28 AM
Should I be concerned about the extra weight of the minerals in normal tap water? I've been putting only Brita filtered water into my water bottle and I can notice a big difference climbing.

However, with the recent temps dropping below freezing I'm thinking the extra molarity of the mineral solution will keep me from freezing and help me on descents.
re: steel or aluminum? helpbluto
Dec 27, 2001 3:36 PM
I believe that on long rides I need all the water I can carry so I carry a 2 gallon cooler(with tap on btm)on my rear rack along with a dixie cup dispenser. Hope this helps.
re: steel or aluminum? help---
Jan 7, 2002 12:10 PM