A sturdy bottle holder that’s good for holding medium-sized metal bottles but the complicated metal construction makes it awkward to fit and handle.
- Sturdy metal construction.
- Complicated and inelegant.
- Doesn’t hold large plastic bottles well.
- Awkward metal straps can damage hands and bottles.
- Doesn’t fit well with a second bottle cage on seat tube.
The Bike Buddy is offered as a solution to cyclists who want to carry bottles that won’t fit in a standard bottle cage. It’s a sturdy metal holder that can be adjusted to a fair degree.
The instructions seemed to be printed from an inkjet printer. They weren’t very readable or easy to follow and the mechanism is surprisingly complicated considering it’s just a bottle cage. I doubt most people will have major problems in figuring out how it goes together but it does take a bit of work and seems overly complicated for what it is.
The Bike Buddy fits easily enough on to the down tube. However, if you want to use a second bottle cage on the seat tube I don’t see how it will fit. It may just be possible if the cage fittings are far enough apart and you have the straps right at the bottom of the bottle but I couldn’t manage it satisfactorily. Extensions can be purchased but whether they will do the job I can’t say. An alternative solution (if your frame has the fittings) is to attach it underneath the down tube, but only for holding a fairly small bottle like a fuel bottle. A large bottle could interfere with the drive train or front wheel or get damaged going over rough ground. It’s not really the Bike Buddy’s fault that bottle cage mounts are so close together on most frames, but if you’re simply looking form more carrying capacity you might be better using two standard bottle cages rather than the Bike Buddy alone, if your bike has the fittings.
The Bike Buddy is sturdy and adjustable but it’s awkward to use. It’s awkward to get a bottle into the straps, which are very stiff, and even more awkward to get it out. If you suffer from chapped and cracked hands like I do when touring it could really be a pain. The idea seems to be that once the bottle is in the straps you simply leave the straps on all the time, as the cage and bottle can be released from the bike relatively easily. However, the cage makes holding and standing the bottle awkward, and could damage clothing or the floor of a tent.
I also don’t think the Bike Buddy is suitable for holding large plastic water bottles, i.e. the 1.5 – 2 litre ones you buy in stores. The metal straps are only really suited to holding solid bottles and flasks. Even then you will probably want some padding to stop the bottle slipping and protect it from scratching. Bits of an old inner tube will do this fairly well.
Overall I wasn’t impressed with the Bike Buddy. If you really want to carry a metal bottle on the bike frame it will do the job but it’s not a pleasant thing to handle at all. It’s certainly useful for carrying fuel bottles, but after a few weeks of touring I found the metal cage to be such a nuisance I ended up just storing the fuel bottle in my panniers. For holding flasks and 1.5-2 litre water bottles on the frame I’ve found that cheap plastic bottle holders, reinforced with some strapping or elastic, are just as secure and adjustable and far less awkward to handle than the Bike Buddy. I really think a much simpler and more elegant solution could be produced than the this.
5/10 (This score ignores price. Learn more about these reviews.)