MBA Product Test: Topeak Ninja Master Cages
The X1AJ cage offers an innovative design that allows the cage to be adjusted up or down, making it an ideal option for riders looking to install a bottle cage on a compact frame or on one with larger shocks. Furthermore, this cage has two integrated tire levers built into the cage, eliminating the need to carry them. The X1AJ cage offers a straight-pull design and is compatible with Topeak’s QuickClick system, providing the ability to attach either a tube pouch or a multi-tool (both sold separately). Topeak’s X1AJ cage has a retail price of $18.95 and a claimed weight of 68 grams.
The SK cage offers the same QuickClick system in a lighter-weight package. The cage offers a side-pull style that is ideal for full-suspension bikes and is reversible for left- or right-handed riders. The cage weighs a claimed 40 grams and has a retail price of $14.95.
Field test results:
The most highlight-able feature of the Ninja cage is the QuickClick system that allows tools to be attached, but we had to make sure that the cages could also hold our bottles tight while riding aggressive trails. During our rough trail testing, the X1AJ cage held our bottle securely; however, the straight-pull style made it a bit harder to pull our bottle out. The SK cage, on the other hand, offered left- or ride-side pulls, allowing us to quickly access our water bottle while riding. On rough terrain, the SK cage held our bottle without fail but seemed more likely to drop a bottle than the X1AJ cage. The two attachments we tested were the mountain bike-specific multi-tool and the mountain pouch. The mountain pouch proved to be a good size for carrying multiple small items or a tightly wrapped 29-inch tube. Meanwhile, the multi-tool attachment offered enough tools to perform any trailside fix and had a wide rubber band that wraps the tool to keep it quiet inside its plastic storage box.
Both cages and accessories proved to be a great addition, allowing us to carry less on our person and more on our bikes. Our favorite was the SK cage due to its ease of pull when riding. We also found it paired best with the mountain pouch, considering a tube is often more cumbersome to carry than a multi-tool. With that said, both cages would be a great addition for any rider looking to be prepared every time he or she hits the trails.
$14.95 & $18.95 (without attachments)
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