The margins of marginal gains.

You'd expect a team like Sky, whose mantra is "marginal gains," to look for every possible advantage down to the smallest equipment detail. That's why the team opts for Elite's new Custom Race Plus Water Bottle Cage, which combines the original Custom Race's durable, reinforced nylon body with a more aerodynamic, lighter profile. It's not as lightweight as flashy carbon bottles but, as Sky's preference indicates, some items warrant a few extra grams in order to increase reliability.

A professional's tools are expected to make that pro's trade easier. The Custom Race Plus does so with easier insertion and extraction courtesy of an elastomer bridge that connects either arm of the cage to facilitate getting a bottle in and hold it securely once it's there. The band stretches while you're pushing or pulling the bottle through the cage, but it contracts in order to maintain a snug hold over chip seal and manhole covers when you're not.

  • A professional-grade water bottle cage
  • Reinforced body for multi-season longevity
  • Elastomer insert expands and contracts to grip bottle
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Best bang for the buck.

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

These cages are an awesome value for what you are getting. Maybe not the lightest or the most ENVEable, but for $42 you can get a pair of great cages that will securely hold your water bottles for you. Water bottle fit is initially pretty snug, but the logoed front of the cage is rubber and should stretch out a bit over time.

Great Looks Though Tight

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

The Race Plus from Elite is a good water bottle cage with a decently easy install and looks super sharp. It does require some break in time though and some water bottles were a tougher fit than others. Luckily most of the Camelbak ones fit pretty well and I guess that is the trade off for making sure you don't lose your hydration on a rough section of trail.