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If you're a faffer, or a forgetter, or a combination of the two, the Syncros iS Coupe CO2 Bottle Cage – a simple-to-install bottle cage, multi-tool and CO2 dispenser all-in-one – is a straightforward way to ensure that you never leave home without on-the-fly maintenance essentials. The cage feels strong and bottles fit snugly, the multi-tool contains 10 of the most useful basic bits, stores away neatly, and is a more than decent size – albeit without a chain tool – and the CO2 valve is basic but seems well made, though you'll need to protect yourself against the chill of the spent canister.
Packaged this way they free up valuable space in your top tube bag or saddle pack for other items, and the quality of the items isn't diminished, with the strength of the bottle cage plastic and the ergonomic pleasantness of the multi-tool both worth a mention.
Simple as it seems, it's pretty common to be confronted with excessively tight bottle cages that require either a bit of lubing or a few robust tugs on the down tube. No problems of this nature with the Syncros. It's made from glass fibre-reinforced nylon, a hard and sturdy plastic that doesn't have much flex at all, but the plastic ridges form a tight bond with the curvature of all the different bottle types I tried, and I was able to release them with a firm grip on the lid.
Both the CO2 canister plus dispenser and the multi-tool click in securely (and satisfyingly) to the bottle cage – the CO2 on the side in its own holster, the multi-tool concealed once a bottle is slotted into the cage. This means you have to remove the bottle to access the multi-tool, but I found this a positive, adding even more security to carrying it.
After removing the bottle, the multi-tool pops out of its nook with a bit of force applied to a combination of the sides and the top end.
The multi-tool is exposed to all the elements, so will come in for more punishment than if it were stored away, but a rusty working multi-tool is still a working multi-tool, and Syncros claims to have increased the durability of the materials in this new version. I certainly didn't see any meaningful depreciation of the materials after a good few weeks of use in mixed conditions.
The multi-tool has a number of positives. When fully extended, it is almost as long as my palm and finger measurement, giving it a good pivot range when you require some more oomph for stubborn bolts. Its generous size means it is nice to hold and use without becoming at all fiddly.
There are no small parts to misplace, and the range of 10 tools covers all the main bases, with the hex keys ranging from small enough to adjust my Wahoo mount, to large enough to fiddle with my rim brake calliper. More specifically, you get 2, 2.5, 3, 4 and 5mm hex keys, plus PH2 and flat screwdrivers, and three Torx keys: 10, 20 and 25. It lacks a chain breaker, but they do take up a significant amount of space and add weight, so you can understand its omission.
The Boundary CO2 valve and canister are also easily accessible, sliding out of two separate half-circle slots, and clicking back in, in particularly satisfying fashion. The valve and thumbscrew are covered with a plastic sheath, both to protect from debris and to avoid accidental engagement.
In use, it provides a secure lock with the tube valve, and the thumbscrew enables you to modulate the release of CO2. It doesn't come with any protector, though, so your hand might freeze during use unless you come prepped with a glove or sleeve of your own.
The mount is designed for 16g cartridges but you could certainly squeeze in a 25g at a push. The 16g canister got my 30mm tyres up to 80psi with no issues.
While the price seems high, it's not bad compared with purchasing the items separately in a less convenient format. It's also not excessive compared with the competition.
For example, the Lezyne Flow Cage plus the Flow Storage Adaptor, loaded with multi-tool, CO2 canisters and tyre levers, would set you back £76 at rrp, and the combination is significantly heavier at 359g.
Topeak's Ninja Master+ series is another cheaper but more limited option: the basic Ninja Master+ Cage X costs £7.99, and you can add various items to it – an eight-function multi-tool in a case for £38.99, for example, or a Ninja Master CO2 Fuelpack for £36.99, but it's either/or, not both. (Stu tested both the Topeak Ninja Master+ Cage SK+ and the Ninja Master+ Toolbox PT30 last year.)
So there are alternatives, but I'd say Syncros is doing a good job.
Syncros also offers other combinations – you can switch to a high pressure pump rather than a CO2 valve and cartridge, for example, with the iS Coupe 2.0HP model for £59.99, or the cage with just the multi-tool for £44.99.
The Syncros isn't an essential item – you probably have your favoured combination of tool storage long calibrated – but following the general trend of using on-bike storage in place of on-rider storage, this removes another few essential bits of kit from sagging pockets.
I have no complaints at all about its performance or usability, and have enjoyed the cleared pre-ride headspace of knowing I can always inflate a tyre if I need to. The incorporated elements of CO2 inflator and multi-tool are well made and durable, with the large and strong multi-tool probably superior to the relatively basic CO2. Though the price will be offputting for many, if you do go for it, it should last you many years.
A good, smart piece of all-in-one design from Syncros
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Syncros iS Coupe CO2 Bottle Cage
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?
From Syncros: "Our iS (Integrated Storage) solution for road and gravel riders, the iS Coupe cage is a top entry cage which can be mounted anywhere on the bike. The 10 function multi-tool is securely housed behind the bottle and features a special finish for higher resistance to corrosion. The tool itself has 10 functions to help you get over basic trail side disasters. The CO2 unit is our Boundary CO2 delivery system which offers a fast and efficient method to reinflate your tire in an emergency. The valve is protected to avoid accidental engagement and our design allows you to easily control the rate and flow of CO2. The pack contains a 16g cartridge."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Integrated Storage top entry cage
- Upgraded bit finish for higher resistance to corrosion
- 10 function multi-tool
- Low profile design mounts seamlessly to the downtube or seat tube
- New Boundary CO2 nozzle with 16g threaded cartridge
The hard and sturdy plastic (glass fibre-reinforced nylon) used for the cage doesn't have much flex at all. The multi-tool is made from hardened steel and is an excellent size for small maintenance tasks. The CO2 dispenser is made of a similar material with a silver plastic screw-down valve for releasing the gas. A plastic sheath slides over this when out of use, and it clicks into the main body of the cage securely.
The cage provides a secure fit for the bottle while also making it easy to access on the move.
When fully extended, the multitool is almost as long as my palm and finger measurement, giving it a good pivot range when you require some more oomph for stubborn bolts. There are 10 standard bits, with the hexagonal bits ranging from small enough to adjust my Wahoo mount, to large enough to fiddle with my rim brake calliper. The hex sizes are 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 plus PH2/flat and Torx 10, 20, and 25.
The gliding click motion of the CO2 dispenser's plastic sheath, which protects it from accidental engagement and debris, is particularly satisfying. There are the inevitable pitfalls of screwing into your canister the wrong way if you aren't familiar with the way these dispensers work, but here you get a secure lock between canister, dispenser, and tube valve. A thumbwheel modulates the release of CO2.
Syncros says it has increased resistance to corrosion on the multi-tool via an upgraded bit finish. I didn't experience enough bad weather for a long enough period to really test this, but for the duration of my test period, the cage, tool and dispenser picked up a fair amount of grit and there was no lasting depreciation.
Next to competitors, the 211g seems pretty slight. The Lezyne combination of the Flow Storage Adaptor plus the Flow Cage weighs a claimed 359g with the addition of some tyre levers. And when you bear in mind that a decent budget multi-tool like the KranX F-170 will weigh 199g by itself (though it includes a chain breaker), this starts to look more impressive.
The nylon material has a smooth feel to it, and I really enjoyed the haptics of the CO2 dispenser. However, the canister isn't covered so your hand is at the mercy of the frozen CO2 unless you take measures. The multi-tool fits well in the hand even when stretching into harder-to-reach areas of the bike.
At £69.99 this is right at the top end of the multi-purpose bottle cage market, though it's £6 less than the Lezyne combination mentioned above.
The quality of all the parts is welcome, but if a decent multi-tool costs around £20 and a CO2 inflator £29, then that's £20 for the bottle cage... (The non-iS Coupe cage is £9.99.) Whether the convenience of having your tools screwed onto your frame is worth it is for you to decide.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Syncros ensures that you never leave home without a multi-tool, and have the bare minimum required to get some air back into a flat, even if you forget to pack a pump. Storing the multi-tool underneath the bottle adds extra security – you need to remove the bottle to use it. The inflator stores away well and dispenses CO2 as expected, but you will need your own preventative measures for using and removing the frozen canister.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The length of the folded multi-tool is the same as my knuckle width, which means you have a long pivot for the hex keys and, therefore, more force for any particularly stiff bolts.
I also like that it just makes life much easier, knowing you are always tooled up. One of my main areas of time-consuming faff is triple checking whether I have the necessaries to fix on-ride mechanicals. The Syncros certainly remedied that.
The slick sheath of the CO2 dispenser is also very well done.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It isn't exactly a bargain, and nor is there any provision for the chilliness of the CO2 dispenser. I am prone to forgetting about the incoming arctic freeze of the canister, so I'd like to have something built in to protect my hand.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Syncros offers a range of different bottle cage plus options, with the Coupe being the gravel/road-friendly edition. While not cheap, it is comparable with other combo offerings from Lezyne.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, very much so.
Would you consider buying the product? If it was cheaper, yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? One who puts big value on convenience and integration, yes.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a good option, achieving everything it sets out to do. It's not cheap, but for your money you're getting convenience and the security of knowing you won't leave home without some vital tools.
About the tester
I usually ride: Pearson Hammerandtongs My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Ultra endurance