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Topeak Ninja Master+ bottle cages and tools review

Topeak’s modular Ninja bottle cage and storage/tool combinations have been updated for better security and even more options

Topeak Ninja Master+ bottle cages and tools review
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

If you like shifting storage off yourself and onto your bike then the various combinations offered by the updated Topeak Ninja range should have the solution you need. The tools aren’t cheap though and be sure to check for potential clearance issues

For

  • - Standard, side mount and extra secure cages
  • - Twistable for easy access
  • - Stops strap rub
  • - Multiple multi-tool options
  • - CO2 and inner tube mounts

Against

  • - Tools are expensive
  • - Side mount cages aren’t ambidextrous

Bike Perfect Verdict

If you like shifting storage off yourself and onto your bike then the various combinations offered by the updated Topeak Ninja range should have the solution you need. The tools aren’t cheap though and be sure to check for potential clearance issues

Pros

  • +

    - Standard, side mount and extra secure cages

  • +

    - Twistable for easy access

  • +

    - Stops strap rub

  • +

    - Multiple multi-tool options

  • +

    - CO2 and inner tube mounts

Cons

  • -

    - Tools are expensive

  • -

    - Side mount cages aren’t ambidextrous

Topeak's Ninja system is among the best MTB bottle cages around for riders looking to mount items to the bike and lighten their pockets. The Ninja cage isn’t new but the updated version offers more options and a more secure brass-based fixing for the accessories.

Topeak Ninja Master+ bottle cages and tools review

The Ninja Master+ SK cage offers a little more security (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

 Ninja Master+ Cages 

There are four main designs of Ninja Master+ cages all made from engineering grade polymer, for a tough, flexible format. The lightest is the $10.00 / £7.99 Cage Z at 39g using two upswept wings for a conventional, reasonably secure grasp. The 43g ‘Cage X’ (also £7.99) uses a lower center hug grip that’s easier to pull the bottle up and out of. 

The SK cages are 43g too, but use a wrap-over center design for side loading in confined frame spaces. They cost $12.99 / £9.99 and come in fixed left or right exit options rather than being reversible like some designs. The SK+ designs are also side-loading with specific left and right options but the ‘Z’ shape wrap is extended to grab the bottle at the base. That makes it more of a peel-out or 'diagonal in and then clunk down' process than the SK but it’s more secure as a result, the cost and 43g weight are the same too.

What’s common across all the Master+ cages is the fact the lower foot section can be swapped out for a Ninja+ mount foot that you can bolt whatever accessory you want onto from the Master+ range.

Image 1 of 3

Topeak Ninja Master+ bottle cages and tools review

Topeak's multi-tools are consistently good quality (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Topeak Ninja Master+ bottle cages and tools review

Alternatively there is a CO2 fixture (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
Image 3 of 3

Topeak Ninja Master+ bottle cages and tools review

Or you can strap on a tube (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Ninja Master+ tools 

'Bolt’ is the keyword here as previous Ninja mounts used a plastic bayonet attachment. This was easy to swap tools with, but tended to get worn and come loose or could be knocked easily in a crash without you noticing. It’s good to see the Master+ fixtures use a metal receiver on the tool that fixes onto the bottle cage foot with a metal screw. The really cunning bit is that gap between the cage and tool contains a sprung washer and there are quarter locator lumps on the case too so that you can twist the tool holder 90-degrees for easy access in tight spots. 

That’s particularly useful with the larger T11/T20/T30 toolboxes which have a latched flip-up lid that needs more space to open than is available on a lot of frames. Just be careful not to run things too close though as there is some flex in the mounts and they can knock against the frame on rough sections even if there’s clearance when static. That’s nothing a bit of tape can’t help protect against though. Also if you can’t quite fit the cage into position with the tool on, Topeak also does an ‘Alt position’ mount to shift it up or down a bit on the frame although this inevitably adds a bit of height.

Besides the various cased multi-tool options (which are excellent quality and often include some gems of innovative tool packaging particularly on the T20 and T30) there’s a CO2 Fuelpack with two CO2 canisters as seen on the Pivot Phoenix Dock tool system and an inflator and a strap on mount for tubes, tools, CO2 carts or whatever else you want to fit. 

Topeak Ninja Master+ bottle cages and tools review

The toolboxes rotate so you can still access your multi-tool when clearance is tight (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict

The revised Ninja Master+ cages and tools are more secure and easier to access versions of an already smart multi-mission storage system. While the cages are OK value and the Master+ tools are Topeak’s usual excellent quality you are paying extra for the convenience/protection of the cases and mounts. Make sure you get the correct ‘handedness’ of the side release cages too. 

Tech Specs: Topeak Ninja Master+ Cage X bottle cage

  • Price: $10.00 / £7.99 to $12.99 / £9.99
  • Weight: 39-43g
  • Colors: Black
Guy Kesteven

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect and Cyclingnews’ contributing tech editor. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He got an archaeology degree out of Exeter University, spent a few years digging about in medieval cattle markets, working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit he’s also coughed out a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too. We trust Guy's opinion and think you should, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel Ltd MTBs, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Cannondale Supersix Evo Dura-Ace Di2 Disc road bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg