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Spod's Cage Rocket might sound the stuff of bad Fifties sci-fi flicks but serves as a refined, albeit relatively expensive alternative to the butchered bottle, freezer bag and elastic band bodge for hauling, everyday ride essentials.
Made in the US of A and available in seven relatively tasteful complimentary/contrasting colours; the shell is constructed from high-density polyethylene. There is also a waterproof design but the standard design incorporates water channels to, er, channel water and muck from entering the main compartment but river crossings are definitely out. Flipping the lid reveals a modest internal compartment measuring approximately 640cm3 (forgoing the lining frees up a further 95cm3 but with obvious loss of soundproofing) in to that I was able to get a mini-took, keys, Co2 cartridge, patch kit, standard tyre levers and energy bar.
However, before we all click buy now; I can confirm, despite my best efforts that this glasses case on steroids is only compatible with traditional square type bottle cages - the chaps in the office couldn't actually muster a cage between them to fit it. Beefy aluminium MTB types, or those such as the Velocity (review coming up) designed with carrying lead acid batteries are ideal but standard design carbon models with gel bumpers work equally well - the cages we struggled to fit it in were those newer desings that incorporate a tab that grips the neck of a standard bottle.
Nipping litigious opportunity in the bud, Spod warn against accessing the pod while riding but in practice, quick draws are no more dangerous than taking a swig from your regular bidon. Laden to the gills and with liner in situ, chatter is virtually non-existent over rougher roads resting in carbon cages but lower level vibration induces a faint rattle if used with old school 6061 aluminium designs but binding inner tube off cuts around the cage lip cures this. However and contrary to the blurb, it wouldn't be my default home for cameras/smart phones or related electricals. It's also worth noting that there are similar products on the market in the shape of the Tacx Tool Bottle and the Pro Storage Bottle both available online for considerably less then the Cage Rocket - although it also has to be said that both also look like much more basic designs. Currently the Cage Rocket is on offer at £10.99 from UK distributor, Cycle Premier.
Refined and likeable alternative to bottle butchery for stowing tools and similar nick nacks in standard cages but it is pricey and it won't fit all cages
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Make and model: Cage Rocket Personal Storage Pod
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?
"Our SPods are great for cycling, backpacking, inline skating, paddling, golfing, fishing, in the gym, or anywhere you need to carry and protect your gear. Don't think of Cage Rocket just for cycling anymore, our SPods are multi-sport assuring you will get a lot of use and value from our products". Broadly agree but price seems a bit steep relative to function.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High-density polyethylene housing, EVA foam internal lining, ABS lid.
Built to a high standard.
Easy enough to use-even on the fly.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The cage rocket is a remarkably simple yet well executed stash point for multi-tools, patch kits, house keys, money etc. Compatible with most standard cages, it doesn't chatter annoyingly or threaten to eject when riding over poorly surfaced roads and seems pretty weather resistant too. That said, I'm not sure I'd leave smart-phones or similarly sensitive electricals to chance. It also only seems to fit certain types of bottle cage - while I did have the required type to fit it, it didn't work with any of the bottle cages belonging to the chaps in the road.cc office.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Neat, well executed design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Cost + it doesn't fit all bottle cages
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly but not at full rrp.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, as an alternative to bottle butchery.
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)