Monday, December 22, 2014

Anything Cage HD: Update

Carrying ....well, anything!
As stated in the previous review on these cages, (seen HERE), I have continued to use the Anything Cage HD's and I wanted to follow up on a few criticisms I have seen of them from my viewpoint. By the way, thank you to all who linked and came to read the review. It has turned out to be the #1 read post in my almost ten years of blogging here. Outpacing the previous record holder by almost twice the number of readers.....for an accessory cage/rack for a bicycle. Yeah, I couldn't believe that either, but apparently lots of folks want to "Adventure By Bike".

So, let's take on the fact that these are not of metal construction, but an impact resistant nylon instead. Part of the inspiration for the Anything Cage HD was a plastic water bottle cage that despite its cheap price, was nearly indestructible and held the water bottle very well. You can read all about that and more HERE, but this is the pertinent quote:

"A real kick in the pants to get the project moving came when Sean mentioned a cheap water bottle cage he used to have. It just so happened that for the last eight-plus years, I’ve used that same cage on my bar-cruiser bike.
This particular bottle cage was friendly to my then college budget, has been smashed and crashed about 20 different ways, and still does a great job to this day."
Andy Palmer- Salsa Cycles.

Oddly enough, I have also had great luck with a couple "plastic" cages like the old Cat Eye one I have and several Velocity Bottle Traps that I have employed. That isn't to say that all plastic water bottle cages are great. That isn't the case at all, and I can point to a couple Bontrager and Profile cages I have tried that have either failed or have been not very good. As Sean Mailen says in the Salsa article I linked, there is plastic and then there is plastic!

The nylon reinforced plastic that Salsa uses for the Anything Cage HD is compliant to a point and I can see it flex to accommodate different items I have loaded onto it. I have also wrenched on it with my bare hands, forcing it to flex in unnatural ways to see if it would fail. It didn't. However; I would say that if it fails, it will likely be at the mounting points, in my opinion. That's why I believe that it is imperative that you use the provided washers under the Allen bolt heads when mounting the Anything Cage HD.

The next thing I saw that was a "comparative complaint" was a comment on Salsa's blog about the Anything Cage HD vs Cleaveland Mountaineering "Everything Bag". Here's my take on that comment and a few points to consider....
  • The Cleaveland Mountaineering product is cool, but for over 10 extra bucks, it should work better.
  • The point made about slipping straps? Not an issue in practice with the Anything Cage HD and not an issue when tightening down cargo. It's all in the wrist. 
  • Irregular shaped objetcts, or non-round objects, can be carried on an Anything Cage.
  • You can remove and replace a water bottle of any size but not while riding, and I doubt that you could do that safely with the Cleaveland product. So, it's a wash there. 
  • The Anything Cage HD cleans up easily with a simple washing of water. My experiences with the fabric used to construct the "Everything Bag" show that this is more difficult to do. 
Both have their merits, for sure, but for ease of maintenance and versatility, I would get the Anything Cage HD for less money. My two cents there.

The water bottles issue is also a non-issue as you can easily strap water bottles to the Anything Cage HD's as seen in my images here. While it is true that you cannot grab one while riding, (in a way that I have figured out, at any rate), I don't see that as an issue with a bike you might be "hike-a-biking" with a lot, or touring on. For those travelling fast and wanting to grab a water bottle, try the Chaff Bag from Bike Bag Dude and put them up on your handle bar, as shown on my Blackborow DS here. Easy-peasy! 


Dan said...

but will it safely transport a full growler. THIS is the important question nobody is asking.

Guitar Ted said...

@Dan: Search Twitter for this- @BicycleTimes the brand-new @salsacycles Anything HD cage with precious cargo from @RoundaboutBrew.

I think your question has been answered already. :)

Dan said...

ah, thanks! Looks like I'll be picking one up then....or two.