Saturday, January 12, 2013

Guest Post: bike + coffee (#sanfranciscoproblems)

I run most errands on my bike. I stop at red lights. Every single one. So where’s my coffee while I wait? Andrew gave me a new insulated mug for Christmas, from that pioneer in safe reusable drinking vessels, KleanKanteen.

So how to mount a holder for the new, extra-wide insulated mug on my handlebars…? It's substantially wider than a regular waterbottle. Most hot-beverage holders for bikes are rings with a bit of taper, as if for a papercup of coffee, and the KK mug is perfectly cylindrical – not a good match. @KleanKanteen on twitter could offer me no help, except some advice to use rubberbands to keep it from dropping through…!

The insulated mug is bigger than most bike bottle cages – despite the photo on the company website showing someone's tea in such a holder – making it a tough and tight fit. You could shove it into a cheap aluminum open-front bottle cage – but do that ten times, and you’re looking at a very bashed-up mug, as metal grinds on metal.

Finally, I visited Valencia Cyclery and after poking around in their stock, the fellow there put this combo together for me (while insisting he was not a Bontrager company shill):

Bontrager RL Cage – a standard high-quality plastic waterbottle cage that’s open on the front and so more flexible, and Bontrager Waterbottle Handlebar Mount (plus a couple of screws to connect them). It ran me twenty bucks, but I was happy to get the human intelligence too.

I connected the two items with an allen wrench (don’t ask me the size). And mounted it on my handle bars, also with an allen wrench.
 The nifty thing about this arrangement is how the 12-ounce insulted mug fits perfectly under the lip at the top of the cage, holding it firmly. You pull it slightly away from the handlebar, and it pops out easily. (Video demo:)

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