Leaving a water point with your crisp, chilled bottle of fresh drink which was just handed by the friendly staff at the bottle drop is a special kind of high. But three kilometres after that water point the Epic will throw the hell of all trails at you – rough enough that the best bottle cage will not be able to hold your precious bottle.
I lost a lot of bottles on my first Epic. Not just one, but often two bottles a day. Quickly you learn how to solve this problem. There are a lot of tricks to get that bottle to stay put – such as using tape on the cage to make it fit just a bit more snug – our solution however, is good old elastic. Not your average stationary type, mind you, we used thick elasticated cord (about 8mm thick).
I didn’t come to this solution overnight. At first I used hairbands but because they are so thin after hours in the saddle and with numb, tired fingers it’s often a slog to grip them.
The 8mm elastic also allows you to tie a solid knot. I found that the best way to fix the elastic between to the bottle cage bolts so that when the bike is at the wash or service it can not be removed. Same goes for the seat post, you can either mount the cage over it or stretch it over the seat post.
I place the knot close to the bottle’s cap, this allows me to grip the knot easily to remove the bottle from the cage and then to secure it down again. In an emergency the elastic can be used for various bush repairs like fixing shoes, loose cables and who knows what else.
Never lose another bottle.
Story and photos by Craig Kolesky