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Guest Article: Reverence: Cannondale Immix Bottle Cage

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A Velominatus is never to judge a book by its cover; appearances and predispositions are quickly cast aside at the discovery of a diamond in the rough. After all, the pursuit of perfection necessarily requires that we are a breed who turn over the last stone in search of it, even when all hope has long since been lost. But the gems to be found when peering past outer appearances, these are the reward for our effort.

Even those items which are necessary evils, those we’d just as soon have no need for, these items are not exempt from our quest to discover the perfection; a mini-tool, patch kit, C02 chuck, chain catcher. Today, @Steampunk describes such a component: his Immix Bidon Cage.

Yours in cycling, 

Frank

The Velominati appreciate the finer things. While we adhere to Rule V to varying degrees of devotion, we are at the same time fragile and fickle beings. A ride can be ruined simply by receiving a less-than-stellar espresso pre- or post-ride or by discovering a mystery clicking sound buried somewhere in our drivetrain. We crave the very best. Style and performance are shared badges as we search and yearn for that ever-elusive momentary glimpse of la volupté. Cannondale is rarely the first name associated with the search for this most austere experience in cycling, though they make some good bikes. When compared with handcrafted Italian frames or components, Connecticut’s finest might lack some class or caché (in these instances, I pronounce Cannondale in the original French: Canon D’Allez), but moving beyond the romance of all things European there are some bits and pieces that warrant some appreciation. Submitted for consideration: the Cannondale Immix bottle cage.

First, a confession: I loathe bottle cages. I appreciate their importance and how one’s performance is enhanced by being properly hydrated, but I find them unsightly—interfering with the frame’s symmetry. Too: they remind us of our protean form and that we cannot ignore the physical demands of our bodies for nutrients and hydration while we ride. But for this minor detail, I would ride without them. Furthermore, as an inveterate steampunk, I dislike plastic. It’s hard to escape this infernal material when it comes to the bidon, but I won’t stand for it on my cage. Carbon fiber isn’t much better, and typically is more prominently visible from a distance, with its thick, bold silhouette. And don’t get me started on wind resistance when the cages are empty.

With this important caveat out of the way, the appeal of the Immix cage becomes more significant. For me, it balances function and form. The carbon fiber base sits nicely flush against the downtube or seat tube—and, in my case, matches my fork. Sturdy. The cage has been on the bike for more than two years and it continues to clutch the bottles tightly and without any wobble. Full or empty, the bidons remain snug, a mere afterthought until such time that I should need a drink. Sleek. The titanium bars minimize the visual intrusion of the cages on the bike and yield a very light (29g) overall product. These look fast, without the crazy and distracting lines of their carbon fiber competitors.

Here’s the rub: the Immix cage has been discontinued, apparently because they were over-zealous in clutching their charges. I’ve not had this problem; the bottles are snug, but easily removed while on the go. The great tragedy, however, was that I only got one. I had bottle cages, which (see above) I didn’t like very much, but ordering two fairly expensive bottle cages online (product unseen) seemed somewhat foolhardy. Cannondale doesn’t ship to Canada (odd, since they’re owned by a Canadian company), and my LBS even failed in procuring a second cage. Opportunity finally knocked this week; I traveled to Vancouver to visit my parents. Online, I had found a Cannondale dealer there who still had an Immix cage in stock. Almost directly off the plane, I headed straight for the store to collect my second cage. The guy behind the counter didn’t much seem to care that I was excited to get my hands on this product, which had probably been collecting dust on his shelf; nor did he seem surprised/amused/relieved to part with a product that had been collecting the aforementioned dust for so long. No matter: in some small, strange way, my ride is complete. Regardless of what you are field testing in your bidon, you want it held tight, without drama and with a little bit of style. In a minor but significant way, the cage is a crucial piece of every ride.

// Guest Article // Reverence

  1. @xyxax
    Xynax, I think it is exponential. It’s a three shelf cupboard. Top shelf is mostly saddles. Second shelf bars and old shoes. Third shelf components. What other sports have such a continual need/supply of new bits?

    While I’m here, can old helmets be recycled or destined for the bin?

  2. really like this bidon / bottle cage combo. Apparently worth an extra 30 or 40w

    shame the bidons don’t match though. Looks cheap. But cyclist is welsh (and yes, serious breach of Rule #40 (and 26)… I have had a go at him)

  3. Very interesting thread. I have been contemplating new cages for a while but havent found anything truly harmonious yet. Currently running Elite Ciussi`s but I dont really like them, sure they hold the bidon well but I find the chrome “Elite” badges vulgar.

    @Roadslave
    Glad to hear that, also running Campag 11spd and have been living in fear of a Shleckanical of some kind.
    I know some people have reservations about the latest Campy groups but remember folks These go to 11

  4. @Roadslave
    Be advised that I have seen the results of a Campag 11sp chain that had been rejoined skipping the peening of the rivet, and they were ugly results indeed involving splintered carbon fibre, smashed nuts and broken bones. The chain looked perfect and ran without issue for several weeks, but when it went it was in the middle of a hard hill effort and he mated briefly with his stem before falling sideways into the road, breaking his handlebars, putting a nasty divot in his top-tube and shattering his wrist.

  5. @Oli…. Bloody hell! It got me home. And I’ve been riding it since… but no longer. Am changing chain tomorrow evening before Saturday’s ride… cannot risk damage to my princess. Not to mention the smashed nuts (ow). Thanks for heads up.

  6. @Oli
    Well when you put it like that Oli, perhaps investment in the Campag tool might come before any thoughts of new bidon cages.

  7. @wiscot
    Fuckall that’s funny! Well played!

  8. I love the Elite cages I have. They hold my bottles snug and I think they look sexy on my new bike. At some point I would like to get the carbon versions since I have a carbon bike.

  9. @roadslave
    Fuckin Veuve Cliquot, that shit is good.

  10. I haven’t been all that satisfied with my side loading cage. This discussion turned dissatisfaction to loathing. Picked one of these up. I should give it a good try out tomorrow on an 80km ride.

  11. @itburns, sgt

    I’m running a pair of the these very cages as well, which upon first sight struck me immediately as the most minimal of all the carbon cages.

    I have the oil slick (non-woven) finish, but dammit, they have since put out a matte oil slick style which would be an even better match to my raw/matte carbon frame.

    Even so they do look rather spiffy. And for those that need them, they have this cage in a white as well. Good equipment.

  12. Great article Steampunk, I’m happy you find your perfect combo!
    For me well, you know what I think about bottle cages!

  13. @Pedale.Forchetta
    How do you stat hydrated?

  14. Update on the cage. The Arundel Mandible. Sorry about the double picture post. I first thought @sgt was using a sideloading cage from Arundel because of the angle of his picture.

    Cage is nice. Strong grip but you don’t have to fight it. Top is flared so guides bottle down. Increased my psychological speed by 10%. Actual speed – not so much.

  15. @RedRanger
    I’ve always with me a bottle, but in the middle of the jersey pokets.

  16. @Pedale.Forchetta
    Must be an Italian thing. When I was in Sicily most of the locals I saw would ride with just one bottle. the second cage was used for storage(not sure what its called)

  17. @RedRanger
    For rides no longer than 150Km one bottle is ok, but just because there are a lot of ‘fontanelle’ or drinking fountains in the country.
    But for serious distance I too mount bottle cages!

  18. For a visit here today one bootle was enough! *wink*

  19. @Pedale.Forchetta
    I remember those fountains well. I dont think I ever used one myself. We dont have things like that here. Since I live in Arizona and most rides take me away from the city I always ride with 2 bottles. this is the the Carini fountain:

  20. @RedRanger
    I’ve to say that I love to see you Sicily photos!

  21. @Pedale.Forchetta

    @RedRanger

    I think its really awesome that places such as Italy, Switzerland, etc. have public drinking fountains available, seemingly all over the place. We have some here in Portland which I utilize on almost every ride, but they always get turned off during the winter, which is annoying.

  22. @ToeOverlap
    TO – who made your frame? I have a matt black(ish) carbon frame (Canyon – no weave just blackish) with one ally cage (lakes) and one plastic one (paron elite) I have to say I like the cheap ally one but I could be tempted by matt mandibles …

  23. It looks like Canon d’Allez currently sells a similar design in aluminum: GT 40 cage.

  24. Blackburnproduct warranty is good: “WITH BLACKBURN, YOU’RE COVERED FOR LIFE. PERIOD.”

  25. @Steampunk

    @redranger
    Maybe not the best example—given the back lighting (the bidon’s actually full, though you’d never know it)—but here’s a pic from this morning’s ride:
    The bike (and the rest of me) is inching (I mean centimetering) towards Rule compliance.

    @frank
    Wish I could claim Canon d’Allez as my own. Don’t remember where I heard it, but I liked it. Those Zipps are fine! I imagine I’d need matching wheels to pull them off, though—talk about “establishing a need…”

    Off topic but ….  the big dog is noticeably absent a chain …. oops …..  I feel your pain ….  I too have strayed and photographed my steed in the little dog ……   damn

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