Lil Bits: REI Junction Water Bottle Cage First Look

Recently I’ve been on the hunt for a new set of water bottle cages for fork mounting on the ole trusty Fargo. A seemingly easy task, you quickly find out how complicated it can be to find a water bottle cage when adding a few more parameters other than “does it hold a water bottle” and “does it match my bike.” Here are those parameters:

Fork Mount Water Bottle Search Parameters

  • Holds a water bottle securely in rough terrain
  • Matches my bike (of course)
  • Can possibly hold a Kleen Kanteen or fuel bottle
  • Inexpensive. I did not want to spend $65-$90 on three bottle cages
  • Durable finish
  • Has space for a frame bag strap to fit beneath

The REI Junction house brand comprises a range of cycling products from rain gear to bike bags, and now this alloy bottle cage line. I’ve found that their house brand offerings across the board are very durable and a good value, so I’m going into this review with that trust. There is also the trust that if these cages do, in fact, fail that REI’s warranty program will replace or refund for these on the spot. It’s the simplicity of this warranty/exchange/return program, paired with the earned annual dividends, that has made me a lifetime REI customer for most hiking/camping supplies. I generally buy bike things only from local bike shops, but in this case I was in an REI and discovered these beauties first hand. I was hoping that they had a few Lezyne Power Cages, which were on clearance at REI for dirt cheap, lying around, and the bright orange powder coat caught my eye.

You’re welcome for the terrible photography

The Junction Cage is made of one piece aluminum and comes in five different powder coat finishes: Black, Dark Gray, Green, Red, and Orange. The Dark Gray would match a peen shot finished Titanium frame like a Moots almost perfectly, the Green is more of a “Safety neon yellow” to my eyes, and the Orange is a perfect match for the Crank Brothers Stamp 1 pedals I’m currently cranking on. At a claimed 55 grams each, they are about the expected weight for a cage of this construction, and at $9.95 they are just the right price if you are on a budget and need to purchase multiple cages

Installation was super easy, the shape of the “wings” gives plenty of room for my bear paws to get the screws started, and for turning a 3-way or multi-tool without having to bend the cage out of shape. It was an easy, fast install with only one complaint: there is no room for a strap to be pulled beneath the cage. My frame bag strap is curiously positioned right between the two down tube mounting bolts, so now to remove that bag I will need to remove the cage. This will be solved with a few spacers next time I get to Ye Old Local Hardware Store, and bag removal will be back to its normal level of velcro-fighting difficulty. It’s like fighting a velcro octopus. (Do a search for velcro octopus if you have time, it’s kind of fun)

My first impressions are very positive, and as there are no reviews of this product to be found anywhere I’m going in with no preset expectations other that this will be my next favorite dirtbagging bottle cage. I’m pretty excited to get out and do some rides to see if these bad lads will drop bottles all over the craggy terrain of the SWUS.

REI Co-op Junction Water Bottle Cage

  • One piece aluminum construction
  • Easy installation
  • 55 grams each
  • 5 Powdercoated Colors for all you color matchers
  • $9.95 available at your local REI store or REI.com
Getting Matchy Matchy… might be time to bring back the orange bar tape

Published by wizgnomad

Nomadic Wizard, First of Their Name, Two-Wheeled Tourer of Earthen Worlds, Destroyer of Equipment, Salty of Word. Vicariously ride through the mountains and deserts of this mortal realm via the scritch-scratching of my modern-day petroglyphics.

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