If you’re looking for a way to make your bike standout and drop a few grams in the process then carbon fiber bottle cages are a great option. In this review we’ll specifically be looking at Topeak’s latest SHUTTLE CAGE XE 3K carbon fiber bottle cage. It’s marketed as an ultra-light, aerodynamic and relatively affordable 3K bottle cage. It accomplishes this with a feather-weight 22 gram weight and a $62.95 retail price. Although that isn’t particularly budget friendly, compared to other 3K carbon fiber cages it’s quite competitive. The SHUTTLE CAGE XE 3K is constructed of Torayca Japan T700 and T300 carbon fiber which offers lightweight and strength. Topeak also includes two stainless steel mounting bolts with the cage. Note, the SHUTTLE CAGE XE 3K is compatible with all standard water bottle cages and has a two-prong design to securely hold bottles in place.
The Topeak SHUTTLE CAGE XE 3K is a lightweight premium carbon fiber bottle cage with an exposed 3K finish and impressive grip.
|Measured Weight (in g)||22|
+ Strong grip on bottles even over rough terrain
+ Beautiful exposed 3K carbon fiber finish
|Dislikes||– Premium price|
– Non adjustable mounting holes limit placement of cage
|Where to Buy (US)||Topeak|
The Topeak SHUTTLE CAGE XE 3K comes attached to a cardboard backing using the mounting hardware and rubber backings on the bolt. Instructions are simply printed on the cardboard and you can quickly unscrew the rubber backing to detach the cage.
FIT & FINISH
With its two-prong design, the SHUTTLE CAGE XE has an elegant 3D design. Thin carbon fiber arms extend from each side of the mounting bolts and curve around to the center. You’ll find the standard lip on the top of the bottle cage and the L shaped extension on the bottom which hold water bottles in place. Unlike most bottle cages the SHUTTLE CAGE XE has no structural component directly between the mounting bolts along the frame. This gives the cage a lightweight and minimal appearance. At 22 grams the cages aren’t the lightest on the market as there are sub 10 gram water bottle cages but makes the SHUTTLE CAGE XE lighter than most cages including the minimalist Elite T-Race.
The finish on the SHUTTLE CAGE XE is also unique with a semi-gloss black finish on the exterior and exposed checker-patterned carbon weave on the interior. This provides a nice visual contrast and makes the inside weave more striking. As with any carbon fiber product, the exposed weave always looks cool and makes you feel faster. Branding is limited to a glossy black Topeak logo on the side of the cage in black which has a ghosted effect and makes it nearly invisible. The only slightly disappointing thing is that Topeak included silver stainless steel bolts instead of black bolts or titanium hardware.
Overall we found the Topeak SHUTTLE CAGE XE 3K is a visually attractive and lightweight bottle cage. With an elegant two prong design and exposed inner carbon fiber finish the bottle cage makes any bike look a little faster. While most people will agree that the SHUTTLE CAGE XE is a visually attractive bottle cage it’s primary purpose is to hold water bottles. We found the wide two prong design works very well and offers a firm grip. It’s stiff enough that removing or inserting bottles requires a little extra pressure. Our only minor complaint is that the raised bottle cage bolts can rub against the water bottle during insertion. That means you need to push a little bit harder or angle it slightly for the water bottle cage to fully seat in the cage. Otherwise, the cage’s standard L bracket on the bottom prevents bottles from sliding through while the raised lip on the top sits against the groove found in all water bottles such as the Polar Breakway bottles.
Overall we found the Topeak SHUTTLE CAGE XE 3K is a visually attractive and lightweight bottle cage. With an elegant two prong design and exposed inner carbon fiber finish the bottle cage makes any bike look a little faster. The 22 gram weight should also mean you drop a few grams over standard bottle cages but don’t expect to hit any new PRs. To be honest the SHUTTLE CAGE XE 3K cages aren’t much more of a visual upgrade than a performance upgrade. Although they aren’t cheap, compared to other 3K carbon fiber cages on the market they are priced competitively. The bottle cages aren’t just pretty though as they grip bottles firmly even over rough terrain or poorly maintained roads. If you’re to add more carbon fiber to your bike or make it stand out then the Topeak SHUTTLE CAGE XE 3K is a great upgrade.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Topeak. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.