I’ve built myself a bit of a reputation at Beta for strapping stuff to my bike on rides. I’ve ruined the clean flowing lines of many a beautiful carbon frame in the interest of getting a few hundred grams off my back. But in my defense, I always do my best to ensure that whatever I stack inside my front triangle will achieve a Tetris-level fit, filling voids in corners and aligning surface to surface. Sometimes, that means sliding the water bottle (the centerpiece of any proper on-bike storage motif) by a few inches, which is why I recently talked about the Wolf Tooth B-Rad Base. But other times, it means sliding it by a few millimeters. It seems the folks at Wolf Tooth and I are clearly on the same page about this, because their recently re-imagined Morse Cage Ti allows me to do just that. Full disclosure, the cage pictured here is the previous generation, made by King Cage. Now, Wolf Tooth is making the Morse Cage Ti in house, in Minnesota, but they’re functionally identical. The new version still has the same bolt pattern whose repeating sequence of dots and dashes gives the Morse cage both its name and its ability to fine tune its position on your frame.
For example, on the Canyon Spectral 29 that I just finished testing, it allowed me to carry the bottle a little closer to the bottom bracket, which was necessary on the particular 24-ounce bottle I was running. Or, before I ended up using the B-Rad Base to slide a bottle an inch down the downtube on my Scott Ransom, I used the Morse Cage to slide it up by a half an inch, strapping my spare tube just below it. It seemed to hide the unsightly tube adjacent to the bottle and shock where there wasn’t room before. I bet you’ll find a way to take advantage of what the Morse Cage makes possible if you just experiment a bit, but of course, there’s nothing wrong with just running it right in the middle if you don’t have any specific positioning problems to solve.
Let’s not forget, it’s titanium. And that’s cool. Not just because, you know, titanium, but also because the other choices in bottle cage materials are primarily aluminum, carbon or composite plastic. Aluminum is a relatively brittle metal, and once it’s drawn out into thin rod that flexes back and forth every time you remove your bottle, it suddenly has a shorter life span than it does as an aluminum handlebar, stem or seatpost. Carbon cages always seemed a little silly to me and composite ones always seemed a little cheap. For a component that is so often treated as an afterthought, the Morse Cage has a remarkable amount of personality.
And of course, it does a good job of holding a bottle. Unlike carbon or composite plastic, it can be gently pinched down to have a slightly tighter fit if you’re especially abusive, paranoid or both. Titanium’s ability to withstand flex cycles over time makes it possibly the best material for a bottle cage. Sure, stainless steel has similar properties but, you know, titanium!
Photos: Anthony Smith