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The Dawn To Dusk Bear Hug Mount is a quick and effective way to add another bottle cage to your bike. With two strap lengths and a flexible design it'll fit most places on your bike.
You can never have enough of a good thing. Like bottle cage mounts. Especially when you head off bikepacking with frame bags, you've likely lost one or two bottle locations. Being able to add a few more back on might make your trip a whole lot better hydrated or convenient.
This is basically a cage mount on a plate you strap to your frame, and of course those carry more than just bottle cages; think pump clips, 'bento box' top tube bags and the like. It's a pretty simple concept, and Dawn To Dusk has done a good job executing it.
The kit includes the plate, two sets of straps – one long, one short – and two lengths of bolts to suit varying thicknesses of accessory. The straps cover tube diameters between 35 and 77mm. 77mm is pretty chunky – I have large hands, and that's too big to close my grip around.
Measuring 19mm wide, the ultrasonic-welded straps have hook and loop fastening on one side and a pliant rubber coating on the other to avoid scratching your frame. Of course the usual caveat applies – it's not the strap that will scratch, rather the particles of dirt that work their way in between. As always my advice would be to tape your frame.
The composite base plate holds two replaceable M5 nuts, and as they're nylock nuts you don't need to threadlock them. However, there's nothing to stop the provided bolts carrying on through the soft rubber foot and into your paintwork, so it's important to gauge the depth carefully. It would be good to see some sort of metal backing underneath the nuts to prevent any risk of over-driving the bolts.
If the tube diameter is right, it's also possible to thread the straps in such a way that the end is underneath the accessory you're mounting. This provides an extra level of security for the strap, which is very handy and comforting when holding critical water or tools down below.
Not that it's really needed, mind... my harshest test was holding a full 740ml bottle on the top tube of my eMTB as I battered through two batteries and quite a few thousand metres of climbing and high-speed descending. The mount didn't move at all, resisting any forces trying to tilt it to one side. I imagine the most common application for the Bear Hug Mount will be on the outside of the down tube, but other possible locations include on the seat post or underneath of the top tube.
A word of warning: I wouldn't try this on a fork. Although at first glance a great solution, under impact – say with a trailside rock or root – any load could rotate into your spokes.
Whilst the Bear Hug is designed for two-hole bottle cages, I can't see why you couldn't strap two to your bike aligned to fit a three-hole cage or cargo deck. The grip force of the Bear Hug is rated at 14lbs – possibly to match that of their top-rated Kaptive 14 cage.
At £18.99 with two sets of straps and a set of bolts, the Bear Hug is sensibly priced. You'd pay £25.70 for the Granite Design AUX kit (though you get a cage as well there), or £10.99 for the SKS Anywhere Adapters.
Both of these options only include one set of straps, however, so you might need to factor in extras. The SKS straps are – like the Bear Hug – good for up to 77mm, but for smaller tubes you'll either have to put up with lots of slack or cut the strap short, meaning it's now no good for going larger.
If you want a really solid, multi-scenario option for holding bottle cages or accessories, the Dawn To Dusk Bear Hug is tough, effective and very easy to trust.
Great way to quickly and securely expand your bike's luggage capacity
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Dawn To Dusk Bear Hug Mount
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It's for people needing to carry more stuff than their bike has mounts for.
Dawn To Dusk says: "Gone are the days where anywhere mounts look like add-ons. The sleek, low-profile design Bear Hug mount focuses on functionality and convenience, and appears seamlessly against your frame just like the bike was designed to have a cage there all along.
"The Bear Hug 's unique mount design featuring the Grizzly Grip technology flexes and bends to conform to where you want a cage. One size truly does fit most tubes!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
We found the best way to fit the widest range of shapes and surfaces was by using a large compliant pad for maximum frictional resistance. We then designed a rigid composite molded plate to guard against vibration. The straps are actually not sewn, but ultrasonically welded for maximum strength and have a special frictionally-resistant surface to prevent movement.
1. Corrosion-resistant screws – Short for carbon cages, Long for thicker cages
2. Tough composite material upper plate
3. Embedded stainless steel locknuts (2)
4. Large super compliant base pad. Fits most frame tube shapes.
5. 2 Pairs of straps. Fit tubes from 35-71 mm (1 3⁄8' – 2 3⁄4') diameter
Large super compliant base pad, Tough composite material upper plate
– Set of 2 short and 2 long straps to fit 35-77mm (1 3/8" – 2 3/4") diameter sized tubes
– 2 M5 x 10 mm Button Head Screws for carbon cages
– 2 M5 x 14 mm Button Head Screws for nylon cages
– 2 M5 Nylon Insert Lock Nut
– Bear Hug mount – base pad & rigid upper plate
Behind Seat Tube, Down Tube, Seat Tube, Top Tube, Underneath Down Tube
Easy, Moderate, Tough, Extreme
Feels well built from quality parts.
Holds on like a... well, like a bear.
Looks like new after a bashing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really well – it doesn't shift over rough terrain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The speed of fitting.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Theoretically possible to over-drive a bolt right into your frame's paint.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's towards the premium end.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I'd like to see plates under the nuts to prevent accidental over-driving of the screws. Otherwise it's a great solution.
About the tester
I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe My best bike is: Nah bro that's it
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L