Empowering The Bicycle Traveler

The ever necessary Water Bottle

Chief with bottle cages

The Bike Hermit & Don Jewell heading out for 5 day trip from Boise to Enterprise, Or.

Living in the High Desert we have come to appreciate the ability to carry enough water when touring.  Look closely at the Bike Hermit’s feet and you can see his white water bottle attached underneath his down tube. (click on the photo to see it better)  The challenge is “Chief”,  his A Homer Hilsen, only comes with the “normal” two cage bosses.  Don’s Surly Ogre (on the left) has 3 cage bosses, as does the Surly LHT and the Surly Disc Trucker.  Thankfully we’ve found a sweet solution to add more bottles – Elite VIP bottle clips.  Made in Italy these clips resemble a zip tie, the heavy duty type but with cage bosses attached.  Designed to fit any tube between 22mm and 50mm diameter. These are slick.  We have also mounted them on Surly Pugsley Forks (see below).  A light weight inexpensive addition, well worth it for anyone planning rides/tours where water is not readily available.  As you can see from the 1st photo, The Bike Hermit also chose to carry a camelback and tucked into his gear is a folding hydration bottle and the water filtering system in case they have to resort to cattle troughs and trickling streams.

Surly PUgsley

Wendell’s Pugsley with cage bosses for more water capacity

Elite VIP bottle boss

Elite VIP Bottle Boss

6 comments… add one
  • Craig Montgomery June 29, 2013, 1:29 pm

    Here in the Southwest water bottles hanging off the bike guarantees you a burnt tongue at first gulp. Downing hot water on a tour is not my idea of fun. I’ve gotten into the habit of freezing bottles (stainless), half full, wrapping them in thick towels after filling, and stuffing them into my sleeping bag. This gives you cool water at least for the first day and I’ve had the sleeping bag bottles keep chunks of ice in them into the night.

  • Patrick Lyford July 11, 2013, 5:30 pm

    Hydro Flask insulated water bottles. 24 oz, keeps water cold for 24 hrs. Where I live, it’s HOT and these bottles work great. I have tried all the other plastic insulated bottles and they’re pointless. As for freezing a bottle, wrapping it up, stashing it in your panniers…why not use an insulated rear rack bag and put a few Hydro Flask bottles in it. Works great!!

    • Bike Hermit July 12, 2013, 7:24 am

      Thanks Patrick, I’ll check those out. I also checked out your blog….and bookmarked it. Bicycles, beer and music! What’s not to like?

      • Patrick Lyford July 12, 2013, 9:36 am

        Thanks for checking out my blog. As for the Hydro Flask, they’ve worked great for me here in SW New Mexico. They will accompany me on my next big tour in 2015… a 10,000 mile trek around the U.S. and Canada. If you’ve never heard of it, http://www.pubquest.com is another great site, which I’ll use on my 2015 trek, for sure. Besides being able to find good brew, it also means the town has other amenities, as well, like a larger grocery store or maybe a food co-op.

        I like your site…glad I came across it. Cheers!

  • Bud Halpin August 27, 2016, 8:00 pm

    You may also check out the “LOONEY BIN” bottle holder by Arundel; they coat ~$25 delivered and will hold a 32 ounce Gatorade bottle or a 1 1/2 quart bottle of water from a grocery store. I carry premeasured Gatorade powder in ‘snack’ bags to add to water along the route. You may also look into the SALSA ANYTHING cage; it holds 96 ounce cleaned out juice bottles; don’t use milk jugs! This costs around $30 delivered and comes with two (2) straps but I use short ‘bungee type straps. I employed these during my bike camping trip through Death Valley during the winter and I really appreciated the extra water capacity.

    • Sky King August 28, 2016, 8:23 am

      Thanks Bud, this is an older post and yes we carry the Salsa Anything Cage. We also now carry the Many Thing Cage from King Cage and the Mojave Bottle Cage from Velo Orange. All great options for carrying more water.


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