Arundel’s first product was a bottle cage designed on a notepad on a flight back from the Milan bike show in 2000. The Dave-O cage is still in its nine-cage range but if you’re after the best MTB bottle cage for maximum holding power for MTB, CX or gravel then you need the Mandible.
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There are a lot of carbon fiber bottle cages about and most of them go for super light minimalism to justify their high cost. That’s fine as long as you’re not riding hard-hitting rough trails but there are few things as annoying as having to turn round and go back for a bottle halfway down a descent or looking down and realizing that your bottle left the bike a while ago.
Pushing a bottle into the Mandible, it’s pretty clear that it’ll take a serious heave to get it back out again (Arundel says it needs 40 per cent more force than normal). That’s because while it’s very light at 28g (without bolts) thanks to a foam core construction, the butterfly design uses 3D profiling to stiffen the wings. Add a solid neck lip and base tab and once you’ve clunked the bottle into place we’ve not managed to shake it out however silly or seismic things have got. You can still get it out when you need to though, with a firm but consistent release straight up or at a slightly sideways angle, and the open mouth makes it easy to relocate your bidon. Arundel also does side-release cages if you’ve got tight frame clearances to work with.
Twin slot and hole mounts on the cage also give you two different positions to cope with different frame arrangements and make sure double bottle setups play nicely together. Unlike some max grip cages, it doesn’t sit high over the bolts either. There’s a choice of two different cosmetic 3K carbon finishes and multiple color swatch options on the glossy UD carbon versions.
Arundel’s Mandible cage costs a fortune but there’s a reason it’s a regular non-sponsored kit choice of pro riders. It’s definitely the best cage we’ve used if you’re sick of losing bottles but don’t want to add excessive weight and the fact it looks gorgeous makes the cost easier to swallow, too.
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Tech Specs: Arundel Mandible Carbon bottle cage
- Price: $78.95 / £69.00
- Weight: 28g
- Colors: 3k Matte (tested), 3k gloss, naked UD matte or gloss and gloss with blue, green, orange, red, blue or white flashing