Review: Tacx Tao Cage and Tacx Shiva Bottle

Some things just work. It seems that the combination of Tacx Tao bottle cages and Tacx Shiva bottles is one of those. Not only do they work well together, but they are both a very reasonable price, with the bottles around £3 each and the cages less than £14. I've had a set fitted to my Planet X road bike since I bought it and certainly if I ever have to buy another bottle cage it will be one of these.

Whilst you could use any bottle with these cages, the Shiva bottle is made for them; due to the nature of the Tao cage, with non-adjustable internal diameter, a smaller bottle will shake around in them whilst a Shiva bottle is a perfect snug fit. For that reason it makes sense to review them together and highlight the merits of this combination over other rivals.

Tacx Tao Ultralight Bottle Cage
OK, so £14 is not a cheap price for a bottle cage by any means, but for me it's all about value. The Tacx Tao is a cage built to last.

  • You won't stretch the metal like you might with a traditional style cage from constant squeezing to fit the correct bottle shape, as the Tao is fixed in diameter and perfect for the Shiva bottle.
  • You could spend £40 on a carbon bottle cage, but considering the Tacx Tao Ultralight only weight 39 grams, the saving at most is going to be 8 grams! Not really worth the extra cash or the risk of snapping a carbon cage as soon as you bash it on something.
  • The rubber rim on the Ultralight ensures a secure, rattle free hold on the bottle; something that I've not seen on many cages apart from the Elite gel holders on the traditional style cages.
  • The solid feel and even hold means a bottle slides easily out of the cage, whilst having a positive hold to confirm that it is secure when you place it back in after having a drink. 
  • The thing looks pretty cool; taking its inspiration from the shape of the bike apparently.
  • It's for these reasons that many Pros use these cages over carbon cages now, especially on the cobbled Classics. 
Available at Wiggle Bike Shop (Link)

Tacx Shiva Bottle
The Tacx Shiva Bidon is the perfect partner for the Tao Cage. As highlighted above, it fits snug into the rubber grippers and prevents rattling, even on the Arenburg cobbles. 
Here are a few other positives about the bottle:
  • It's cheap - at around £2-3 it's a fair bit cheaper than many other bottles.
  • It's squeezable; the lightweight construction and malleable plastic means that you can squeeze a good amount of fluid out without having to waste energy and breath sucking it out.
  • It's secure - I've had a few bottle tops come off in my mouth before as you pull up the plastic nozzle. It's not a great look and usually leaves you covered in energy drink, but without any in your mouth. For that reason, I'm a big fan of screw on bottle tops; far less risk of becoming a sticky mess.
So there they are, two great value products, good enough for the Pros, and certainly capable of anything most of us can throw at them. I'm considering getting a set to put on my Whippet as well, which must bode well as anything that can hold a bottle securely on a hard-tail mountain bike should be able to cope on most bikes. The combo could make a good birthday present or stocking filler for any cyclist.
Available at Wiggle Bike Shop (Link)


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