Finding the perfect bike is impossible. Case in point: I love the color, geometry, and cable routing on the steel Orange P7 hardtail I picked up a couple years ago. BUT, it only came with mounts for a single water bottle cage, located on the down tube, despite a massively open front triangle on my size XL frame. As far as nit-picks go, it’s definitely a small one. Little did I know at the time, I could have flicked even that tiny hair nit with an $11 upgrade (currently on sale for $7.95 at Wiggle).
Topeak Versa Mounts make it easy to add bottle cage mounts to almost any bike frame. The mounts work like a standard hose clamp to get a tight fit, but are designed to minimize scratching or frame damage. The pair I tested officially weighed 31.4g before trimming.
There’s a stretchy band that sits between the ratcheting strap and bike frame, and the strap is made of an “engineering-grade polymer.” Basically the ratchet strap feels like a fairly rigid piece of plastic, and a worm bolt tightens the mount in place. Because the worm bolt is made of plastic, a 4mm hex tool will slip once it’s tightened to the maximum torque which should keep carbon frame tubes happy.
Topeak says the strap is long enough to fit up to 60mm tube diameters. This makes it possible to not only use on a wide range of frames and frame materials, but also on fork lowers, seat tubes, or even handlebars if one were so inclined. On my seat tube I ended up with an inch or two of excess strap length, which I cut off using a set of shears. Installation took all of five minutes.
I mounted a Topeak Ninja bottle cage to the Versa Mounts, but any standard water bottle mount will work just fine. The mounts include metal bolts for attaching a cage, and the bolts are fairly long to deal with a variety of configurations. Of course usage isn’t just limited to bottle cages; these days there are countless bags, tools, and accessories that can be connected to a standard set of bottle cage mounts like this system from Wolftooth.
Over some rough rides with a full, 24oz. water bottle weighing 820g in the cage, the mounts haven’t shifted a bit, which I verified by comparing before and after photos. Topeak says the mounts should stay in place for loads up to 1,500g. I imagine how well they stay in place will depend on where and how you’re riding, in addition to the weight of the load and the placement on the frame.
Like many riders, I was concerned the Versa Mounts might scratch my bike’s paint job. Obviously I wasn’t so concerned that I didn’t try them, but still, no one likes scratches. After my test rides, including some muddy ones, I removed the mounts and found zero evidence of scratching. That makes sense given that the mounts do not appear to have slidden up or down at all during testing.
There are likely other similar products on the market, and I’ve certainly seen folks use regular steel hose clamps to accomplish similar things. However, priced at about $11for a pair, the Topeak Versa Mounts are basically a no-brainer and make it possible to strap more gear to any bike frame safely.