The 10 Best Bike Water Bottle Holders for Any Ride, According to Cycling Experts

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collage of the best bike water bottle holders of 2021 on a teal background
Planet Bike Aluminum Water Bottle Cage
Topeak Modula Cage II
Elite Custom Race Cage
Topeak Modula Java Cage
Portland Design Works Very Good Dog Cage
Fidlock TWIST 590 Bottle + Bike Base
Specialized S-Works Carbon Rib Cage III
Profile Design Aero HC System
SKS-Germany Anywhere Bicycle Mount and Cage Adapter
XLAB Delta 400
The best bike water bottle holders come in a variety of mount types and sizes.
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com

Bike water bottle holders, also known as cages, are the key to keeping your H2O safe and close at hand. And they appear to be pretty straightforward: Simply attach the holder to your bike's built-in cage mount, slip in your bike water bottle. Then you're good to go, right? That's what I thought when I first went to buy a holder for my ride.

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In reality, there are a lot of features to consider when selecting a bottle cage. The best bike water bottle holder for you depends on what kind of cycling you do, what type of bottle you use, how you want your bike to look, where you want your bottle to be positioned and more.

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We spoke with competitive cyclists, coaches and industry experts to find our the 10 best bike water bottle cages of 2021.

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1. Best Basic: Planet Bike Aluminum Water Bottle Cage

  • Mount:​ frame
  • Material:​ aluminum
  • Colors:​ 7

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Ellen Spann, a cycling industry professional at Kozy's Cyclery in Chicago, says the best bike water bottle holder for most casual riders is a simple one — just like this aluminum holder from Planet Bike.

"Most bikes are standardized to fit cages like this one," she says, "so you really can't go wrong with a low-cost metal cage." This pick is reliable and easy to mount on most bike frames.

Buy it:REI.com; ​Price:​ $5

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2. Best Adjustable Size: Topeak Modula Cage II

  • Mount:​ frame
  • Material:​ aluminum and engineering-grade polymer
  • Colors:​ 2

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If your water bottle is not specifically designed for cycling, you might have trouble fitting it in a standard water bike bottle holder. The Topeak Modula solves this problem by letting you adjust its size.

It fits a wide variety of bottle sizes, and Spann says this is the best bike water bottle holder for cyclists who use large reusable water bottles.

Buy it:Amazon.com; ​Price:​ $12

3. Best for Competition: Elite Custom Race Cage

  • Mount:​ frame
  • Material:​ fibre-reinforced plastic
  • Colors:​ 4

Elite's Custom Race Cage is a lightweight bottle holder for competitive cyclists. It's designed for easy bottle retrieval — so you don't need to slow down to stay hydrated during exercise. It also adjusts to hold different sized beverages.

It's eye-catching design is also not to be missed. "This is the perfect cage if you want a sportier look for your bike," says Spann.

Buy it:CompetitiveCyclist.com; ​Price:​ $21

4. Best for Hot Drinks: Topeak Modula Java Cage

  • Mount:​ frame
  • Material:​ engineering-grade polymer and rubber
  • Colors:​ 1

Topeak's Modula Java is designed to securely store warm beverages. Spann says this makes it the best bike water bottle cage for commuters who like to bring coffee with them on their ride to work.

Unlike most holders, this one uses a top strap to help you lock in your bottle or container so it doesn't bounce around while you ride. As a bike commuter who's had my fair share of spilled coffees over the years, I can vouch for the importance of secure storage.

The pick is adjustable, and you can also use its top strap to secure a Bluetooth speaker — in case you want to also bring some tunes along for your ride.

Buy it:Amazon.com; ​Price:​ $16

5. Best for Animal Lovers: Portland Design Works Very Good Dog Cage

  • Mount:​ frame
  • Material:​ aluminum
  • Colors:​ 2 (and 4 animal shapes)

Portland Design Works makes animal-inspired bicycle gear, and we can't get enough of it. You can buy PDW bike water bottle holders that look like dogs, cats, birds and even otters. The brand also sells matching animal print bike water bottles if you want to complete the look.

In my opinion, these are the best bike water bottle cages for cyclists who want to stand out on the road or trail. I use the PDW Very Good Dog on my bright red bike and I love how it looks. It's the perfect buy if you like to rock a loud, unique or quirky style.

Buy it:RidePDW.com; ​Price:​ $25

6. Best for Security: Fidlock TWIST 590 Bottle + Bike Base

  • Mount:​ frame
  • Material:​ polyamide compound
  • Colors:​ 3

Not all holders keep your bottles securely locked in place when riding on bumpy roads and trails. I've lost a few water bottles mid-ride during my own commutes and it's never fun to go back and conduct a search.

Jen Kates, CPT, owner of Shift Human Performance, a health and performance coach for mountain bikers and other cyclists, says urban commuters, gravel bikers and mountain bikers need to make sure their water bottle isn't going to fly off their bikes.

Kates recommends the Fidlock system as the one of the best water bottle cage for mountain bikes because it uses a magnetic snap case to lock your water bottle into place and prevent it from getting knocked off your bike.

To use this system, you'll need to purchase both the TWIST bottle and the magnetic base which attaches to your bike frame. Don't worry. You can get them together for a perfect fit.

Buy it:Amazon.com; ​Price:​ $44.99

7. Best Lightweight: Specialized S-Works Carbon Rib Cage III

  • Mount:​ frame
  • Material:​ carbon fiber
  • Colors:​ 3

Most cyclists don't need to worry about the weight of gear on their bikes. However, top-level competitors may want a holder that's as light as possible.

"Saving ounces where you can, while also keeping with aerodynamic placements, is definitely an advantage at the elite level," says Michelle Stratton, CSCS, owner and head coach for sTrive Human Performance.

That's exactly why the S-Works Carbon Rib Cage III earns a spot as one of best water bottle cage for road bikes.

Made from carbon fiber, it's nice and light. Plus, this product keeps your bottle low on the frame so you can keep an aerodynamic position during races, Stratton says.

Buy it:JensonUSA.com; ​Price:​ $70

8. Best Aero Mount: Profile Design Aero HC System

  • Mount:​ aero
  • Material:​ injected nylon and glass fiber
  • Colors:​ 1

Most bike water bottles cages are mounted to your bike frame. However, if you're a competitive triathlete (or road racer) riding with attached aero bars to help you stay low and reduce drag, a frame-mounted bottle will be difficult to grab.

So, for you, Stratton recommends an aero-mounted bottle. The Profile Design Aero HC System is one of her top picks because "it allows riders to stay low in aero position while simply sipping through a straw that can be set to an adjustable height."

The Profile Design Aero HC System comes with a both a cage and bottle. This pairing is more affordable than other aero mounts, without sacrificing quality.

Buy it:ProBikeKit.com; ​Price:​ $75

9. Best Seat-Post Mount: XLAB Delta 400

  • Mount:​ seat post
  • Material:​ stainless steel and carbon fiber
  • Colors:​ 3

If you're looking to bring extra water on your rides, you can use a seat-post mounted cage to store an additional water bottle.

"Seat-post mounts are fantastic for those needing to carry multiple bottles of fluids [like on particularly hot and humid days or long rides]," Stratton says. The XLAX Delta 400 is her top pick for best water bottle holder for riders who need additional fluids.

It attaches just behind your seat. Its aerodynamic placement in line with your body is perfect for competitive riders who want to reduce drag.

You won't need to worry about your bottle flying off your bike because the included XLAB Gorilla Cage tightly grips your bottle to keep it secure.

Buy it:ProBikeKit,com; ​Price:​ $88.49

10. Best for Mountless Bikes: SKS-Germany Anywhere Bicycle Mount and Cage Adapter

  • Mount:​ adjustable
  • Material:​ plastic
  • Colors: 1

Most bike frames contain built-in bolts known as bottle cage mounts that make it easy to install your water bottle holder. However, if your bike doesn't have these, you're not out of luck. Spann recommends grabbing an SKS-Germany adapter. It'll allow you to securely attach a holder anywhere on your bike.

We love this option from Anywhere Attachment because it includes a bottle holder along with an adapter. If you prefer another holder on this list, you can also purchase the adapter by itself.

Buy it:Amazon.com; ​Price:​ $20

4 Things to Consider When Shopping for Your Bike Water Bottle Holders

1. Mount Type

Frame:​ The majority of bike water bottle cages mount to the downtube of your bike frame. This is the long diagonal tube that runs from your handlebars to your pedals.

Most bikes come with a bottle cage mount in this location. To install your bike water cage holder on your frame, unscrew the bottle cage mounts, or bolts, position the holder on your frame so the openings match the holes on your bike, and then screw the bolts back into your frame.

Seat Post:​ Some bikes also provide the option of mounting a second bottle cage on the seat tube, below your saddle and facing the main triangle.

Seat post holders are ideal for when you want to bring multiple bottles on your ride. Depending on which seat post mount cage you buy, you can store one or two additional bottles on the back of your bike.

Adjustable:​ If your bike doesn't come with built-in screws to mount a bottle cage, or if you want to install yours in some other location, you'll need an adjustable-mount water bottle.

These typically use straps to wrap around your frame to secure the holder in place.

Aero:​ If you're a competitive triathlete or road racer, it's possible that you're riding with aerobars, a special type of handlebars that let you stay low to your bike. If that's you, you'll need to purchase an aero mount holder.

These attach directly to the aeros so you can stay low and drink through a straw without taking your arms off the bars.

2. How You Ride

Despite their similarities, different types of water bottle cages work best for different types of cycling. For example, my needs as a bike commuter are different than those of a competitive cyclist or mountain biker.

Commuter:​ Commuters can purchase any bike water bottle holder that mounts to their bike frame. If you plan to travel with a hot beverage, stainless steel water bottle or any container that's not designed for cycling, you should purchase a holder that can adjust to fit different sized bottles.

Competitive:​ Competitive cyclists who ride with aero bars will need an aero mount water bottle cage. If you race with drop bars, you can use a frame mounted product. Consider purchasing a lightweight carbon fiber cage if you're concerned about excess weight on your bike.

Mountain:​ Security and ease of access are key for people who ride on bumpy mountain bike trails. Consider a frame-mounted bike water bottle holder that also has top marks for keeping bottles locked in place.

Road:​ Road bikers can also use any bike water bottle that mounts to their bike frame. If you plan to ride for long distances, you may also want to use a seat-post mount bottle holder to bring along extra water.

3. Water Bottle Size

Here's the good news: if you already own a bike water bottle, it should fit in just about any frame-mounted water bottle holder.

Bike water bottles are standardized to have the same diameter; bigger bottles are taller, but not any wider across. Water bottle holder are designed with bike bottles in mind, which means you can select a cage based on other factors without needing to worry if it will hold your drink

You're not out of luck if you want to use a different water bottle. However, it's important to purchase an adjustable-size product. Large stainless steel water bottles, blender bottles or recyclable plastic water bottles will not fit in standard bike water bottle holders.

4. Holder Material

Bike water cages are made from a variety of materials including aluminum, plastic, carbon fiber and specially engineered materials.

Aluminum:​ Many standard holders are metal, making them nice and durable.

Plastic:​ You'll find some of the most creative designs from plastic, but not as much durability as with other options.

Carbon Fiber:​ If you're specifically looking for an ultra-lightweight product, this is your go-to.

Engineered:​ These materials, like injected nylon and glass fiber, open you up to some cool shapes and features while keeping things relatively light and seriously sturdy.

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