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The Dawn To Dusk Kaptive 10 Cage is a very grippy - and very expensive - full-carbon way to keep your bottles clutched. Multiple design features work to keep your bottles where you want them, no matter the terrain. What price a drink of water?
Water bottle cages have one job, but go to any mass-start gravel event and you'll see that many designs don't even do that. When I did the Dirty Reiver 200km race with the road.cc team a few years back, the first rocky descent was littered with bottles and wafts of regret as people arrived at the bottom to find their hydration strategy literally missing.
At that point – or more likely a dozen miles on when they reached down only to grasp air – I bet many people would happily pay £54 plus postage for a cage like this.
And that's really the target market for the Kaptive 10 cage - people riding rough terrain and relying on their hydration staying put whatever.
The kind of terrain where missing a half-litre of fluids could be the difference between happiness and either cramp or dehydration. If that's the sort of riding you do, the price is likely second to the peace of mind.
Featuring 4K carbon weave construction, six grip arms, a 3mm-thick base, a 5mm-deep hook and angled top edges, everything works together to hold really tight to any bottle. All this means it isn't for those with really small frames, frame bags, or anything else that would prevent a straight pull to get the bottle out.
The angled top outer edges at least make reinsertion easier than otherwise would be the case. Dawn to Dusk even suggests the Kaptive 10 can be mounted horizontally or facing downwards on your top tube, butted up against your stem for knees-free extra bottle capacity. I tried this on my mountain bike using DtD's Bear Hug strap-on mount, and it worked just fine. The bottle stayed gripped.
After a year on test, the logos on the outside of each cage still look like new. There's scouring inside the cage where bottles have been removed or replaced whilst covered in gritty filth, which is to be expected. You get a five year warranty against manufacturing defects or workmanship (not crashes though).
It's shown no change in its ability to hang on to bottles over the roughest terrain I could throw my gravel bike at, either, despite the efforts of Perthshire's roughest tracks. Not once has a heavy 750ml bottle even begun to slip.
Testing with the official road.cc Digital Force Meter (OK, a hand-held luggage scale), I measured over 14lbs (6.3kg) of force required to break one of the firm's own Aqua Flow bottles free. A range of other bottles all took between 11 and 13lbs of force to release - even rather soft bottles with a minimal indentation for the cage hook.
Tests on the plethora of other cages littering the workshop showed most take around 3-5lbs of pull force to release a bottle, and some were pretty nice and a few rather pricey.
Which brings us to 'what price security'? £54 is a large sum of money for a bottle cage - but not unique. The SKS Pure Carbon Bottle Cage is £46 and weighs 23g less, if that matters. Stu found it grippy enough, but then he rides that manicured chalky southern gravel, not the rugged stab-you-in-the-kidneys-as-soon-as-look-at-ye granite of the Scottish Highlands.
The Topeak Shuttle Cage X is £66.99, weighs about the same as the SKS cage, but as with the SKS there's no grip force claimed.
The only real competition from a security point of view then is from Dawn To Dusk itself. The Kaptive 8 or side-entry Sideburn 8 are both a bit weaker at 8lbs of force for the same price, while the Kaptive 14 creates – you'll never guess – 14lbs of force. But that costs more at £59.99.
Unlike so many rivals, the Kaptive 10 does exactly what it promises. It also takes a beating and still looks good. If you need your hydration to stay put anywhere on your bike yet be easily accessible, however rough things get, it's well worth the high investment.
Excellent way to keep bottles safe yet easily accessible over really rough terrain
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Dawn To Dusk Kaptive 10 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?
It's for people riding rough tracks and roads, who want to keep their bottles fixed.
Dawn To Dusk says: "The KAPTIVE 10 is a robust cage made to withstand the shred. Its 120 mm tall sides provide a whopping 10 lbs of grip force. So go ahead and blast the rock gardens... this cage is ready to ride."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
1. Carbon hook projects 5mm into bottle groove for excellent bottle retention
2. 120 mm (4.7in) Tall sides with six 13 mm (0.5in) wide gripping arms. For 10 lbs of Grip
3. 3 mm thick solid carbon shelf to handle heavy bottles
4. Six 13 mm (.5in) Wide Gripping Arms
5. Funnel edged sides for easy insertion
6. Special high temperature high pressure double molded carbon fiber 4k composite for great rigidity. Only 39 grams
Matte midnight 4k carbon weave. Logos in matte 'dirty snow' finish.
Special high temperature – high pressure, double molded carbon fiber for great rigidity.
Weight 39 grams
Excellent finishing as befits a premium product.
Hangs on as promised.
Still looks like new on the outside.
It's 20g or so more than the lightest offerings, but 43g isn't exactly heavy.
It's expensive, but no more so than other carbon cages.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Can't fault it at all.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The grip strength.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The price is on par with other high-end, full-carbon cages.
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
This does its job extremely well and the price matches other carbon fibre cages.
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