Elite is a proudly Italian brand that has been making some of the best water bottles (or bidons for the road riders out there), bottle cages, turbo trainers, and smart trainers for over 40 years from its base in north-east Italy. The company has had a big presence in the road world for most of that time, but it is starting to offer more products aimed towards gravel and MTB.
The latest range of bottles and cages has an eco-friendly theme with innovative new procedures that use bio-based renewable products or recycled plastics from textile industries. The Prism cage uses the latter, with over 65 percent of the material being pre-consumer recycled plastic. This material is made up of plastic fiber scraps left over from textile production that are collected and reprocessed to then be used by Elite.
Design and specifications
The Prism cage is a side entry cage in left- or right-sided variants. A side entry cage is designed to have the bottle enter from the side, not the top as usual. This works especially well in full-suspension, smaller frames, or gravel bikes with frame bags where access to your bottle can sometimes be tight. As I'm right-handed, I opted for the right-hand side version, but both versions are readily available. I used the cage on various mountain bikes on the downtube, but if you have space for two cages, it's worth remembering that the entry direction will change if mounted on the seat tube. (So a right-sided cage, when mounted on the seat tube, will, in fact, be left-handed.)
The Prism is designed for standard 74mm diameter bottles, but as it's predominately an MTB or gravel cage, it has a slightly tighter fit than a standard road bottle cage would. It has a reassuringly solid-looking construction, with plenty of material where it mounts to the frame and plenty of wraparound coverage to ensure your bottle stays put. The bottle cage comes in at 47g weightwise, has a gloss black finish with a matt green graphic, and fits using the standard mounts on your frame.
Fitting was straightforward, a case of simply unscrewing the M5 bolts on my frame and screwing the cage back in its place. These holes on your frame are meant to be 64mm apart but, should yours be slightly out of tolerance, the Prism has slotted mounted points which gives you a bit more margin for error and makes fitting easier. A top tip for fitting cages is to use a small ratchet like the Topeak Rocket Lite or Wera mini ratchet. The short handle and ratchet mechanism makes short work of tightening up the bolts in a restricted space.
On my Focus Jam test bike, space is limited for bottle access due to the location of the shock and linkage. There's plenty of room for the bottle when it's in the frame, but getting it in and out can be awkward as the linkage and shock get in the way, and this is where the Prism really excels – as the bottle goes in at an angle it's much easier to get to when riding. The plastic and fiberglass blend also gives the cage a degree of flexibility. I found this extra movement helped with getting the bottle back in place when I wasn't paying full attention.
The cage is robustly built and over the course of testing I never lost a bottle despite some serious tests on rocky trails in the wet and mud of winter, and dry, dusty summer trails. It has also worn very well. Often a plastic cage can start to get scuffed and look tired after a bit of use but this still has a strong gloss finish on all the surfaces that touch the bottle. This is presumably a benefit of the tighter-than-usual fit and, although snug, it never felt too tight.
I was very impressed with the Prism. It was easy to fit, and it quietly got on with the task of keeping my bottle on the bike. The fact that it is made from 65 percent recycled plastic and yet only costs $/£1 more than the standard version is a real bonus as eco products can carry cost more, but there's no such drawbacks here.
Tech specs: Elite Prism bottle cage
- Price: $TBC / £17.99 / €19.20
- Diameter: Designed for 74mm bottles
- Height: 144mm
- Weight: 47g
- Colors: Gloss Black with green graphics
- Materials: 65% plastic scrap, 35% fiberglass