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The Ninja Master+ Cage X1AJ is quite the little package for the money. Not only does it work with Topeak's accessory mounting system, you are also getting some tyre levers thrown in, and a bracket to give you some adjustment for where to put the cage on your frame. Oh, it holds your bottle well too.
Ninja Master+ is a range of bottle cages and accessories that can (but aren't restricted to) fit together. There are multi-tools with their own toolboxes, for instance, that can be fitted to the bottom of this cage and others in the range. It's a handy way to carry your stuff without having to overload your pockets.
This X1AJ is made compatible by swapping out the bottom tab for the one that comes with a Ninja kit, easy peasy.
The cage itself is made from polymer which gives plenty of flex, allowing it to fit a whole range of water bottle sizes without issue. The chamfered edges at the opening of the cage help you locate the top and slide the bottle in.
Once in place it will sit there securely, even on rough terrain. Whether the bottle is full or empty makes no difference. I didn't have a single issue with it when off-road on the gravel trails.
Included in the kit is an aluminium bar that Topeak calls an Alt-Position Cage Mount. Basically, it has a couple of cage bolt holes drilled through it which, depending on which way round you fit it, gives you a bit of scope to change where you position your bottle cage. Further up or down the tube. It's quite a neat and useful design if your frame is small or you are using frame bags.
The final little treat are the two tyre levers fitted to the side of the cage, and when I say little, I mean little.
In all honesty, compared to a standard size tyre lever they are quite fiddly to use and don't give you a whole lot of purchase. That said, they are ideal in emergencies, as long as the compatibility of your tyres and rims doesn't make things too difficult to contemplate.
I'm not complaining, though, as they are a bonus.
Overall, the X1AJ works well as a bottle cage regardless of terrain, and is well priced, especially considering the neat additions, which all add to the value.
Secure bottle retention with the bonus of flexible fitting and tyre levers included
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Ninja Master+ Cage X1AJ
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?
Topeak says, "A stylish water bottle cage allows you to add tools, CO2 inflator kit or inner tube holder with interchangeable Cage Mount and is compatible with all Ninja Cage accessories for basic repair and maintenance. Included AltPosition Cage Mount provides an alternative way to raise and lower the water bottle cage on smaller frames and tighter spaces. Integrated tire lever holder keeps levers in place for fast access and makes changing a tube a quick proposition."
A good quality bottle cage with added versatility.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
MATERIAL: Engineering grade polymer
CAGE OUTER DIAMETER: Fits standard water bottles
COMPATIBILITY: Ninja Master+ Cage accessories
ADDED FEATURES: 2 tire levers, One piece Alt-Position Cage Mount
SIZE: 14.9 x 8.8 x 7.8 cm / 5.9' x 3.5' x 3.1'
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A great bottle cage with added versatility.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Holds a bottle securely.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Tyre levers are on the small side.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
As a bottle cage it's well priced compared to some on the market, like those mentioned in the review, and they aren't coming with any accessories either.
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
It's very good: works well, good value, plus you get accessories like the adjustable mounting bar and tyre levers.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!