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,
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.