Whether you ride pavement, gravel, or dirt, you probably have at least one water bottle cage on your bike. And if you’re like most riders, there’s a good chance that you’ve lost a bottle due to an unseen pothole, bumpy trail, or poorly designed bottle cage. Losing a bottle is not only inconvenient, it’s also potentially dangerous (especially if you’re riding in a group). No matter what type of terrain you prefer, peace of mind is within reach with the Arundel Bando and Elite Pria Pavè bottle cages.
With its interchangeable silicone bands, Arundel’s aptly-named Bando cage ($34.95 MSRP) offers three levels of security. For a light touch, remove the band completely. If you prefer more security, go with the thin/grey band. And for a truly vice-like grip, there’s the thick/black band. I found that using the Arundel cage with no band proved secure enough for paved roads and smooth dirt and gravel. Fitting the thin/grey band didn’t have a noticeable effect on removing bottles, but I did notice some added resistance when replacing bottles. Using the thick/black band was overkill for normal use, but the thicker band’s added security was ideal for mounting on the underside of the downtube (or when holding a battery pack or tool kit).
Elite Pria Pavè
Constructed from fiberglass-reinforced nylon, Elite’s Pria Pavè cage ($28.99 MSRP) utilizes a ratcheting dial to accommodate bottles ranging from 70 to 76 mm in diameter. The Pavè’s dial requires very little movement, and can be quickly adjusted with bare hands or while wearing gloves. Standard-sized bottles were easily removed and replaced with the dial fully opened, yet the cage’s upper finger kept bottles secure. Tightening the Pavè’s dial reduced rattling on rough roads and trails, but made replacing bottles slightly more difficult. Due to the Elite cage’s limited range of mounting positions, I was unable to install the Pavè underneath my test bike’s downtube.
During my ten-month test period I never lost a bottle with either cage. Elite’s Pria Pavè has a slight weight advantage (41 grams vs Arundel’s 48 grams), but neither cage wins any weight weenie award. For absolute security it’s hard to beat the Arundel’s Bando with the thick/black band. If you favor the convenience of on-the-fly adjustability, Elite’s Pave gets the nod in that department. For smaller bikes or frames with compact main triangles, the Bando’s multiple mounting positions make it a better choice.