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The Topeak Ninja Master+ Cage Z is reasonably light, very competitively priced and easy to get bottles in and out of, and although its grip proved entirely secure during the test, its gentle-feeling squeeze doesn't inspire confidence.
The Ninja Master series of parts from Topeak gives the ability to add on extra carrying capacity to the humble bottle cage. The accessories fit into a bottom section with options available that include toolboxes, small enclosed zipped cases such as the Roadbox and a C02 Fuelpack which holds two 16g cartridges and the inflator valve.
This cage is plastic and weighs in at a very respectable 35 grams without bolts or accessories, which makes it a very competitive weight. Bottles are easy to place in and remove as there is a significant amount of flex in the arms – in fact, the pressure exerted on the bottle is not great.
While testing I have not had any bottles eject while riding, but I was always wary and kept checking.
I was especially wary with this on my mountain bike and avoided trying it on the roughest trails for fear of losing the bottle, but to be fair it worked perfectly well on regular rough stuff.
At £7.99 it is good value and at the lower end of the price range. In fact, the Zefal Pulse A2 is one of only a few we've tested that can match it on price, though Topeak's own Ninja Master+ Cage SK+ is only £2 more and Stu found it very secure, with the flex having the opposite effect of making bottles tricky to quickly remove.
The Lezyne Flow bottle cage isn't that much more either at a current price of £11.50, and gives a much stronger hold.
The Cage Z is a perfectly good if rather flexy cage at an attractive price. It doesn't give your bottles the strongest squeeze, which may worry some over very rough terrain, but for road and even gentle off-road use it proves perfectly secure.
Effective cage at an attractive price, but too flexy to really grip bottles hard
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Ninja Master+ Cage Z
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."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Engineering grade polymer
CAGE OUTER DIAMETER
Fits standard water bottles
Ninja Master+ Cage accessories
14.9 x 8.3 x 7.8 cm / 5.9 x 3.3 x 3.1"
38.5 g / 1.36 oz
It's a little flexy, but stayed secure.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
There is more flex within the cage material than I would like.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The ability to add attachments and create a neat package.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The flex makes me fear a bottle would fall out while riding, though that never happened, even off-road.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Ninja Master+ Cage Z is one of the cheaper bottle cages on the market – the Zefal Pulse A2 is one of the few we've tested at a similar price.
Did you enjoy using the product? I did worry about bottles falling out and was repeatedly checking, though none did
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Perhaps road riders
Use this box to explain your overall score
While this worked fine on the road and on medium-rough off road routes, the ability to attach accessories is a clever feature, the flexiness may lead some people to worry about bottles staying in on very rough ground. To be clear I never lost one, but it didn't make me feel confident.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix
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, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding
Matt is an endurance nut who loves big rides and big events. He's a former full-time racer and 24hr event specialist, but now is also happy riding off-road on gravel bikes or XC mountain bikes and exploring the mountains and hills of Mid Wales.