I was in the bike section of my local REI the other day and noticed they were stocking a gadget called a Cage Rocket. The Cage Rocket is a water bottle-sized pod with a hinged opening, meant for carrying gear and designed to fit in a bottle cage. There’s a standard version and a slightly-more-expensive waterproof version, which includes a foam seal on the opening. I had read about these before on a couple of different bike blogs, and was considering trying one out, so I bought one of the waterproof ones.
I’m still working on an ideal system for hauling gear around on the 3 different bikes I use for commuting. Each bike has certain gear that is specific to that bike (for example, each bike uses a different size spare inner tube). Then there’s the stuff that comes with me on all the bikes, like my wallet, patch kit, and multi-tool. My goal is to make it as easy as possible to switch from one bike to another, without having to shuffle a lot of gear around. I wanted to see if the Cage Rocket could help me out.
Initially, I’m trying the Cage Rocket out on my fixed-gear road bike. This bike has an extra tool (a Pedro’s “Trixie”) which I originally had bolted to the bottle cage braze-ons on the seat tube. However, that left it exposed to the elements, and I quickly learned that the Trixie is not weatherproof, as it’s getting some rust on it. Also, I’m storing a frame pump, spare tube and a couple of tire bead jack tools in my rear panniers, where they take up a lot of space, because there’s currently nowhere else to put them. I figured for starters, I’d see which of these I could fit into the Cage Rocket.
The Cage Rocket, while useful, his its shortcomings. There’s only so much you can fit in a rigid pod that’s the size of a water bottle. You’re limited to relatively narrow items that are 7-8 inches long or less. My Topeak “Alien” multi-tool is too wide to fit, but the Trixie fits fine. My Kool Stop “Bead Jack” tire tool is too long. No chance of fitting a frame pump inside it, but it would probably accommodate a CO₂ inflater and a couple of cartridges. It fits a spare tube, but you have to roll the tube up into an oblong shape or it’ll be too wide.
For starters, I’m using the Cage Rocket to hold the Trixie and a spare tube. It keeps the Trixie out of the elements, and the spare tube out of my pannier. The tube takes up most of the room inside, but there’s still a bit of room for something else. So while it’s not the ultimate answer to all of my on-bike storage problems, the Cage Rocket is a step in the right direction. We’ll see how my use of it evolves over time.