In the world of bikepacking, cargo cages have become the staple of fork-mounted luggage.
A concept invented by Salsa in 2010 with the anything cage, a bike cargo cage is a utilitarian attachment that can be fixed on the frame or fork of your bike. It might be used to carry additional water, or storing gear (usually in dry bags).
Called also bikepacking front fork mounts, gorilla cages, or fork cages – they are similar to oversized bottle cages, but also able to hold a 6+ liter dry bag or other gear in a secure fashion by attaching it to the cargo cage via straps.
This way the front fork has a decent cargo capacity without the need of a rack.
Some of the best bikepacking cages come with their own fork dry bags, like Gorilla Cage, Specialized Burra Burra, Salsa Anything – but many kinds of bags could be attached to fork mounts.
Here is this guide; we will take a look at some of the best cargo cages as well as dry bags available online. So, without wasting any more time, let’s jump in!
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6 Best Cargo Cages for your Bikepacking
There aren’t yet many cargo cage mounts manufacturers around. Here are our 6 favorite options:
The inventors of the thing. In 2010 Salsa came up with this awesome, anything cage for bike packing. Now this cage has probably been the most tested by bikepackers around the world, and it rarely failed even the most extreme missions.
The glass-filled nylon construction is lightweight and provides immense durability and can handle up to 3 kilograms of weight.
Moreover, this new Anything Cage comes with two EXP rubber straps that you can use to secure lightweight gears to your bike’s frame or fork.
The aspect that distinguishes this cargo cage from the others is its three wings wrap system. These wraps perfectly secure your gear bags, dry bags, or water bottles with zero chance of dropping or moving.
Other than this, you can easily mount it to the frame of the fork of your bike with the simple slide down movement (you have to screw the base of the cage to the frame first).
The cage is made from engineering grade polymer that makes the cage fit for even freezing cold weather. Thus, making it extremely sturdy.
The Topeak bike cargo cage stands out from others because of its four-hole mount design that encourages height adjustment. Besides, it comes with two buckle straps that make sure that your attached gears never move, no matter the surface you’re riding.
Its engineering grade nylon material makes it absolutely remarkable and fit for long term usage. The Topeak VersaCage can effortlessly handle weight up to 6.5 pounds.
Material: Engineering grade polymer
Weight capacity: 6.5 lbs
Number of straps: 2 buckle straps
Weight: 4.51 oz.
Four hole mount design
5. Problem Solvers Bow Tie Strap Anchor Kit
Sleek yet strong design
Fit for carrying items like sleeping pads and bottles
These lightweight brackets may look smaller but have the utmost strength to hold your essential gear for a bike trip. You can easily screw these brackets to the frame or fork of the bicycle and use straps to hold things like water bottles, dry bags, etc.
The sleek design of the brackets makes them almost invisible when something is attached to them. Besides, the high weight-bearing capability of the anchors makes them ideal for carrying heavy items.
Material: Aluminum 6061
Weight capacity: 3 lbs
6. Specialized Burra Burra Stuffcage
Powerful design with a high weight-bearing capacity
Fit for carrying items like fuel canisters and bottles
If you are looking for bikepacking fork cages with more carrying capacity, go for this ingenious product. This fork cage by Specialized has an oversized tubular aluminum construction that makes it ideal for carrying water bottles and even a fuel canister of decent size. The oversized design of the bag cage offers its massive durability.
Apart from this, this is one of those bikepacking fork mounts that is equipped with coated webbing straps and camlocks. Thus, making it one of the best among the choices.
Weight: 5.3 oz.
Attachments: 3 bolts
5 Best Fork Dry Bags for Bikepacking
The proper drybag, maybe one designed specifically for bikepacking, is needed if you don’t want to leave your cargo cages for the sole purpose of water-carrying.
If you want to carry gear, and want it to stay dry, here are some of the best cargo bags for your cargo cages.
Attaching a bikepacking fork mount is of no use if you don’t have the equipment to store anything. This is the reason Salsa came up with this cool anything bag for its cargo cage. The innovatively designed bag can be used to store lightweight essential gears and water bottles.
This allows you to be free from any backpack, makes it easy to access the gears. Besides, it also makes the handling easy by lowering the center of gravity.
If you are buying the DOM Gorilla Cage 2, then you must also buy this DOM Gorilla bag. This will be a remarkable and compatible addition to the cage. Equip your rig with this combo and relieve your mind from the fear of your gears getting lost, damaged, or caught in bad weather.
The 500D tarpaulin dry bag is entirely abrasion resistant and waterproof. Moreover, its 5.5-liter capacity makes it ideal for holding multiple items at one time. One of the top bicycle fork bags for carrying a whole sleeping system. A 1 man shelter on one side and aquilt and pad on the other.
If you are looking for the best of the best class bikepacking fork bag, then this one is for you. The bag manufactured by Revelate Designs is easy to attach to the fork of your bike and compatible with any bikepacking cage.
It has a super lightweight design made from radio frequency welding, which makes it highly durable.
To provide you absolute relaxation of mind, the bag can be closed by rollover top closure, thus securing the items in it. Moreover, the back of the dry bag is made from Hypalon Urethane that shields it from every sort of abrasion or damage from the bolts or cage.
Not a bikepacking fork bag per se, this high quality dry bag from Sea to Summit could work well with a cage like the Blackburn Outpost.
The differentiating feature in this product from the others is its watertight design. The double-stitched and tape sealed construction of the dry bag make it absolutely waterproof.
Other than this, the durable Nylon body of the dry sack makes it ideal for long term use. The oval-shaped base cover takes less space and is also lightweight. Lastly, the waterproof bag is an ideal option for backpacking as well as travel.
Material: Nylon body and eVent fabric
Volume: 5 liters
Waterproof: Yes, with air expelling design
Fit for Bikepacking and travel
Size: 7 x 4 x 15 inches
5. ALPS Mountaineering Dry Sack
Compressible and easy to store design
Waterproof design available in multiple sizes
The air purging feature of the bag may not function properly.
Till now, you might have shortlisted the cargo cage you might want to buy, but wait! It is not that simple; there are various factors that you need to consider while buying one. Some of those crucial factors are:
First of all, it is extremely necessary for you to check if your bike is ready for this cage upgrade. This means if your bike has braze ons (threaded holes) like water bottle bosses in the front fork or wherever else you’re thinking on mounting the cage.
Braze-ons are necessary as they will help you fasten or attach the cargo cage to your bike’s fork or frame. (Fork cages can be somehow used also without braze-ons, check the FAQ section at the bottom).
The basic installation procedure of the cargo cage is pretty simple. Here are the steps:
Check for braze-ons on your fork and measure the distance between them. Almost every bike has them; if not, you get braze ons made but only on steel frames.
Take the cargo cage or bottle cage and fit it on the braze ons by using the provided screws (most of the bottle cages or cargo cages come with included bosses and washers).
Tighten up the cargo cage to the bike’s frame or fork.
Now, you are all set to take on the road will all the necessary gear that you need.
Note:Brazing is just another name for welding. It is the process of fitting small fittings like cable stops, cable guides, brake mounts, seat binders, water bottle bosses to your bike.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bikepacking cages
Can I use cargo cages if my bike has no bosses?
Yes, there are several adapters on the market to mount bikepacking cages on forks without braze ons. Normal bottle-cage adapters can work, but also hardware-store clamps and a bit of creativity (remember to protect your frame from scratches, you can use a piece of tube for that).
Bikepacking is a great activity. It not only keeps your body active and fit but also lets you explore places. Other than a durable wheelset, comfortable handlebar, smooth moving tires, and the right bike helmet – you’ll need the proper luggage options for your multi-day trips, and cargo cages do the job very well, getting rid of a front rack and storing firmly luggage and extra water.
We hope you got all the required information in this guide and choose the best product for yourself. Happy biking!
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