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.
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.
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.
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