Arundel is a beautiful town in West Sussex, with a magnificent castle that I have pasted on many occasion. Arundel Bicycle Company was formed in 2000, after the founders returned from a trip to the Milan bike show; with a desire to make carbon cages that looked ‘Italian beautiful’ but would hold your water bottles securely, even on the roughest terrain.
Over the years, Arundel bottle cages have cemented their reputation as some of the most reliable and best made carbon bicycle bottle cages in the world. They have been the choice of professional riders on the rough roads of the Spring Classics races and have been selected by multiple championship winning XC mountain bike riders looking for dependable bottle storage.
Over the last month, I have been assessing two cages from the Arundel range: the Looney Bin Adjustable Cage, and the DTR/STR Sideloader Cages.
Review – Arundel Looney Bin Adjustable Bottle Cage
The Looney Bin is an innovative ‘Carry Anything’ cage. The plastic shell can be ratcheted up to cinch tight around any cylindrical canister: from a large 1.5L metal Sigg-type bottle, to a fuel canister, beer tin, coffee flask, or champagne bottle…
Tightened up, the Looney Bin is incredibly secure thanks to the minute adjustment level of the dial and a rubber bumper on the inside of the adjustment dial that creates a grip-lock hold on the bottle. I have ridden with a flask of coffee in the cage on many off-road rides and the cage has always held the bottle firmly in place despite the constant vibrations and jolts of the trail.
The Looney Bin is reasonably priced at £20, considering the versatility it can add to your bike carry. It is the ideal solution for mounting bottles under the bottom bracket, on the fork legs, or inside the frame.
It is worth noting that the Looney Bin is not intended to be used like your standard bottle cage—where you can draw the bottle from the cage on-the-fly. Rather, the cage cinches tight around the canister, requiring you to stop and undo the dial to remove it. This makes the Looney Bin best used for secondary bottles that you do not need to access so quickly.
Review – Arundel DTR/STR Sideloader Bottle Cages
If you are looking for a fast-draw bottle storage solution, then the side-loading DTR and STR models from Arundel Bicycle Co. are the answer.
These two full-carbon bottle cages are named because they are location specific: DTR stands for Down Tube Right side entry; STR stands for Seat Tube Right side entry.
Side-loading cages are a major bonus when you have a bike fitted out with a bikepacking frame bag; they mean you can pull your bottles out without needing to squash up the frame bag to take them out the top of the cage. The DTR / STR cages also feature four bolt holes, so if you have room you can position them lower on the frame tubes to allow for even larger water bottles.
Traditionally I would avoid carbon products for long distance bikepacking adventures, but the build quality of the Arundel cages is second to none; they seem incredibly robust and durable. You cannot nip them up like you would an alloy cage, but assuming your bottles fit (all mine did), then the DTR and STR will hold onto them like they never want to let go…
The Arundel DTR / STR cages come in at a price. £65 for be exact. This is quite a hefty weight on your wallet for the small weight saving that you gain over an alloy bottle cage; but then these are a work of art, and they hold every bottle I have tested very well indeed. I would say these are a great investment.
Lyon Outdoor are the UK distributor for Arundel Bicycle Company – www.lyon.co.uk