On my cycling tours in Western Australia there is a often need to load up with water, so my preference is to use 1.5 litre PET bottles. For example on the Esperance to Perth tour, there was no water on the section between Norseman and Hyden. As we camped out for two nights, water had to be carried for three days riding and two nights, ~ 15 litres of water.
Getting back to the 1.5 litre bottles; these don’t fit standard bidon cages hence my interest in trying out a couple of BBB Fuel Tank XL (BBC-15). I have gone with the Fuel Tank as my first try out was a Topeak Modula XL bidon cage which didn’t last too long. The Fuel Tank looks more promising with a more substantive clamp for the neck part of the bottle. I was able to get a couple of the Fuel Tanks online from Charlie The Bike Monger for $13.86 each delivered within four days. Cannot complain about that sort of service.
I have fitted the two Fuel Tanks to my BOB Ibex trailer for my 2011 ride of the Munda Biddi Trail.
September 25, 2011 Update.
Whilst my ride of the Munda Biddi was aborted I was able to get four days in on the bike with the Fuel Tanks and used them on bitumen roads, gravel roads and single track so I got a bit of heavy duty use in. The fuel tanks where used to hold two full 1.5 litre bottles on the road, therefore they where loaded up with 1.5 kg each day.
I am very impressed with the cages. The hold the bottles firmly and in particular (this is the key feature for me) the neck clamp works a treat. It is a solid clamp around the new of the bottle, and holds it firmly. It can also be adjusted up and down the to allow for different shaped bottles. At the same time is a simple process of releasing the bottle. I didn’t loose a bottle over the ride.
The cage fits standard bidon mounts so can easily go on a frame as long as you have enough space. My 58 cm Surly Long Haul Trucker will only fit the Fuel Cage on the seat tube. Okay, let me qualify that, I can also fit the Fuel Cage on the down tube but, accessing the bottle becomes an issue; it is a tight fit. Also I prefer to be able to drink and ride so I like to have easy access to a bidon. The Fuel Cage does not hold a normal sized 750 ml bidden. Something to keep in mind.
So far they have survived just dandy, there is no sign of the cages cracking, the clamps are working very well and they look very robust. I am very happy with the Fuel Tank and will look at getting a third one to allow me to mount a 1.5 bottle on my Surly Long Haul Trucker seat tube.