I have bottle cages similar to these ones and I don't like that my bottles get scratched after a while. Will this also happen with plastic or carbon fiber cages? I don't like the idea of having to buy new bottles every time they look all scratched. Any tips will be appreciated.

Bontranger metal bottle cage

  • 2
    Maybe you should tell us what kind of bottles you use. Standard plastic water bottles do not scratch noticeably. Jun 22, 2016 at 2:44
  • 2
    You could wrap some kind of tape around the metal, then it wouldn't scratch as much.
    – Superbest
    Jun 22, 2016 at 4:38
  • 5
    Scratchless bike is unused bike. Unused bikes are owned by bikers who a) just bought new bike or b) posers.
    – Crowley
    Jun 22, 2016 at 12:35
  • 3
    Unless bottle is leaking there's nothing wrong with it. Jun 22, 2016 at 13:48
  • 4
    What's wrong with scratched bottles? You actually would look more professional that way.
    – c10yas
    Jun 22, 2016 at 14:28

3 Answers 3


I think that's a generic chinese bottle holder cage with the word "Bontrager" printed on it. The price alone implies its not "authentic".

Any cage that employs friction as a retaining mechanism will scratch up bottles/bidons after a while.

  1. limit the scratching, using a layer around the bottle (a clean sock soaked in water used to be a pro thing to keep the bottle cooler)

  2. buy a bottle like this - it clips onto two bosses. keyword: "cageless"

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  1. buy a bottle like this - it uses magnets in the mount to attract the steel ring on the bottle. Keyword "koala bottle"

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  1. Hydration backpack. Had to put it in as an option, and the roadies are all thinking "hellno!"

  2. Buy an adapter like this - removes the need to slide bottle in/out while riding. Downsides, looks a bit weird, and you still have to take the bottle out to fill and wash. Keyword "h2bike"

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  1. buy a bottle "system" like this: Just don't loose the bottle cos nothing else will fit the clips. keyword "elite cronos" enter image description here

  2. Apply rule #5. My bottles last about 3 years on average before cracking or the thread goes wonky, or they vanish down a hillside after a crash. I get a couple bottles a year from events that I go in, so there's always some around. Last resort is to use 500-750 mL drink bottles, like flavoured milk or various carbonated beverages. They may not have a sippy lid but work well enough as the second bottle.

  • 8
    The website is Trek. Trek owns Bontrager -- it is authentic. That's not to say Trek didn't just take a generic bottle holder and put the Bontrager name on it, but it is as authentic as things get.
    – Batman
    Jun 22, 2016 at 3:09
  • 7
    Rule 5 is the correct answer to this question.
    – alex
    Jun 22, 2016 at 3:28
  • 2
    Also, it seems there are at least 2 companies that think a bottle that can only be mounted to your bike when held in the correct orientation is a good idea. Wow.
    – alex
    Jun 22, 2016 at 3:30
  • 2
    Well yes, i guess i will just follow rule number five on this.
    – blidt
    Jun 22, 2016 at 5:28
  • 1
    @alex For those of us that aren't familiar with cycling rules, what is "rule #5"?
    – Nzall
    Jun 22, 2016 at 7:37

You don't have to buy new bottles every time they look scratched -- they're still perfectly functional as water bottles.

Depending on cage design, you may find that plastic or carbon fiber cages don't scratch bottles as much (but you have essentially some light paint on a water bottle, and if you rub it enough with any bottle cage it will eventually come off). An adjustable cage (like the Topeak Modula EX) may help as well, since you can have the cage adjusted to the point where it just grips the bottle.

If you really care about the aesthetic, you can attach some felt or other non-scratching substance to the parts of the bottle cage where the bottle comes into contact with the cage. This can be done with tape or glue. Alternatively, you can buy a different type of bottle with less scratch-able decals.

  • I've got that topeak as a second holder. It's better than a cheap aluminium holder but still scratches a bit. I mainly use it to hold a lock.
    – Chris H
    Jun 22, 2016 at 6:56
  • 1
    Plastic cages help less than what you would think. It's the dust and grit that scratches the bottles, not only cage.
    – ojs
    Jun 22, 2016 at 18:21

Sorry, like anything else in this world, it will wear away over time. Budget for new bottles every four months and you will be shiny.

  • 2
    Four months seems like a very short time. I'm much less precious about what my bottles look like!
    – srank
    Jun 22, 2016 at 10:10

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