|The Anything Cage HD and what you get in the package.|
Background: Original Anything Cages were made from tubing and had a reputation for being less than successful at staying in one piece for some folks. That was back in 2010. Since then Salsa Cycles has responded by introducing a redesigned Anything Cage which became available earlier this year. However; unbeknownst to us, they were working on a new design. A heavy duty version of the Anything Cage which has become public knowledge only just today. Dubbed the "Anything Cage HD", it is obviously quite different and I was forwarded a couple samples to try out about two weeks ago.
Technical Info: The Anything Cage HD is made from injection molded impact resistant nylon. It features a new shape but still does the old job of carrying your roundish shaped objects like water bottles, Nalgene jars, dry sacks, or what have you. Basically anything that will sit well on the cage and weighs 6.6lbs or less. The new Anything Cage HD still mounts to the Three Pack Bosses found on many Salsa Cycles forks or down tubes. Each cage comes with longer bolts, three washers, and two Salsa Cycles webbing straps to lash cargo to the Anything Cage HD. Each Anything Cage HD will cost $35.00USD and the two samples sent to me weighed in on the scale at 160 grams with hardware. For comparison, the original Anything Cage, which I own, weighs 100 grams.
|An original Anything Cage (L) next to the new Anything Cage HD|
|The Anything Cage HD mounted to my Blackborow DS and loaded with a tent and dry bag|
Anyway, the dry bag side was unloaded almost everyday for the two week review period to reflect how one might use this in a bikepacking set up. I changed the load occasionally as well. As Salsa Cycles indicates, using "roundish" objects will work best, and my tent was a testament to that, never getting loose or hardly shifting around in the Anything Cage HD at all. The other side featured those "not so roundish" loads, and with a bit of care and a touch of extra attention, even those stayed put. I had to wrench on the straps pretty severely, but the Anything Cage HD stood up to the task and I felt that these racks performed flawlessly at carrying loads.
Verdict: With a solid two weeks of bouncing around fully loaded and using several various loads on the one side, I have to say that these cages are the real deal so far. They are easy to use and make any Salsa Cycles rig with the Three Pack Bosses into a mule capable of hauling around more than you could without them.
On a negative note, I will only say that they are an unlovely beast of a component. Unloaded on the bike, they look like some sort of freakish radar/ microwave receptors. It is a sure bet that the new Anything Cage HD will not win any beauty contests. Well, that is unless you decide to rely on them to pack your tent and sleep system on some long outing. Then they may be the most beautiful things you've ever seen. It's all in the eye of the beholder, as they say. Of course, you can still buy the Anything Cage in its tube constructed version if the HD is just too much for you to handle visually.
The Anything Cage HD is a worthy compliment to any Salsa fork or down tube where you may want to pack on some cargo. This rack certainly fits into the "Adventure by Bike" ethos and the new design should provide many miles of faithful service to those who decide to employ it. The ease of use and versatility make the Anything Cage HD something you could use for touring or everyday use. I'll be looking for more ways to use these in the future and I'll be back with a long term use update later on.
As noted above, these Anything Cage HD's came from Salsa Cycles at no charge and I will strive to use my honest thoughts and opinions about these products here and in the future.