Review: Specialized Zee Cage II & EMT Cage Mount Tool

A bottle cage is often the unsung hero on a bike. We expect it to just get on with the job, but picking the wrong cage can be a frustrating affair.

Specialized Zee Cage EMT tool 1.jpg
Specialized's Zee Cage II is a side entry cage that's available in left or right versions in both carbon or reinforced composite material. Apart from keeping the bottle in place, the cage is compatible with SWAT solutions for tool and storage integration.

Features:

  • SWAT technology design allows for storage and tool integration
  • Reinforced composite material improves durability without adding weight
  • Side-load design for easy in/out accessibility for frames w/ compact bottle mounting area
  • Left-hand loading on the downtube; right-hand loading on the seat tube
  • Minimalist, sleek design with razor-sharp graphics
  • EMT Cage Mount Tool with 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm, T25 Torx, and #1 flathead screwdriver
  • Accepts MTB XC Kit Storage Box (only on applicable Epic, Stumpjumper HT models and Diverge)
  • Only 43g
  • Pricing: Zee Cage II: R249.00; Zee Cage II Carbon: R749.00; EMT Cage Mount MTB Tool: R619.00.

On The Trail:


Available in both in left and right side entry models the Zee Cage is great for use on a seat tube or in a full suspension frame where space is tight. The cage is stiff enough to keep your hydration of choice in place yet flexible enough to get bottles in and out easily. I haven’t lost a single bottle yet.

 

Specialized Zee Cage EMT tool 3.jpg

 

Although very basic the multi-tool has the essential bits. In order to keep weight and size down the multi-tool is rather small resulting in little leverage and even less reach to get to some bolts and keep clear of your frame or fork. I don't see that as a major problem though as it's not supposed to be your primary multi-tool.

 

Specialized Zee Cage EMT tool 2.jpg

Verdict:


The usual Specialized standard of quality is there as always. If, like me, you prefer not to have tools in your jersey or short pockets and don't like all sorts of bits and pieces strapped to your bike, the SWAT range of gear is worth a look. Some clever out of the box thinking on the part of Specialized to offer solutions to riders.






20 Comments

Amberdrake, Sep 08 2015 06:58

My personal favorite bottle cage I would like to get a left side one though.

Mackie, Sep 08 2015 09:43

I have the cage and multi tool on my PYGA, I also have the Specialized chain breaker that fits into the fork steerer (Looks like a top cap) it holds a multilink and together with the multitool is your chain breaker.

The bottle cake IMO is the best available, the multitool works perfectly and has the essential tools needed, the chain breaker is genius!

The products are extremely well made, and will go down as one of my best MTB acquisitions, I am not a Specialized fan, but this kit, is brilliant.

I also don't like gear in my pocket and with my Sahmurai in my bars, I can now fill a bottle with water, jump on my bike and go ride, knowing I have 95% of my bases covered WRT technical issues on the trail.

I have a small Lezyne CO2 pump and Bomb, that I take with, then I'm sorted.

not cheap though, but worth every cent.

leaboy, Sep 08 2015 10:14

recommended retail?

Mackie, Sep 08 2015 10:15

The cage is around R200, the chain breaker tool R450, and the multitool, R450 too, if memory serves.

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Sep 08 2015 10:17

I'm definitely going to be getting myself that multitool. Will just pair it with my normal cage for now, and if it doesn't fit lekker then I'll get the zee cage. 

leaboy, Sep 08 2015 10:20

I'm definitely going to be getting myself that multitool. Will just pair it with my normal cage for now, and if it doesn't fit lekker then I'll get the zee cage. 

 

i guess as an alternative one can 'maak n iets' and tape their existing multitool to their bottlecage.

i like to chain breaker idea though...

Robrider, Sep 08 2015 10:21

Do people use the zee cage on their seatpost on mtb? Does it keep the bottle in over the rough stuff? That's NB for me.

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Sep 08 2015 10:22

i guess as an alternative one can 'maak n iets' and tape their existing multitool to their bottlecage.

i like to chain breaker idea though...

you make a good point. Velcro covering the "handle" pieces, and then add something to encase it on the cage. May be doing that instead... :)

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Sep 08 2015 10:25

Do people use the zee cage on their seatpost on mtb? Does it keep the bottle in over the rough stuff? That's NB for me.

 

 

It keeps the bottle in TIGHT. 

 

But - and here's the big one - you need a bottle with a distinct "neck" so that the upper section of the cage can clip into place and fully secure it. Something like this

 

specialized-big-mouth-water-bottle.jpg

slide10_reusable-bottle.jpg

leaboy, Sep 08 2015 10:26

you make a good point. Velcro covering the "handle" pieces, and then add something to encase it on the cage. May be doing that instead... :)

i surprise even myself sometimes :clap:

Robrider, Sep 08 2015 10:30

It keeps the bottle in TIGHT. 

 

But - and here's the big one - you need a bottle with a distinct "neck" so that the upper section of the cage can clip into place and fully secure it. Something like this

 

specialized-big-mouth-water-bottle.jpg

slide10_reusable-bottle.jpg

Cool thanks. I used to use a spez ribcage (i think it was called), but it broke. I didnt know whether to trust the zee. I have found the same with any seatpost cage, the cage must hold the bottle at the neck or else it goes flying.

mxjunke, Sep 08 2015 10:33

I use two Zee cages on my bike with bottles without the "distinctive neck" and they don't budge in the rough stuff. So I would say even a normal riding bottle works perfectly with them. 

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Sep 08 2015 10:36

Cool thanks. I used to use a spez ribcage (i think it was called), but it broke. I didnt know whether to trust the zee. I have found the same with any seatpost cage, the cage must hold the bottle at the neck or else it goes flying.

Well, the bottle has stayed put through Hoogekraal (not a bottle with a distinctive neck" and then on my other adventures on Iwan's Hungry Monkey, and on Cobra in Hoogekraal there's a fair amount of rattling going on. I rate it highly. 

The Commuter, Sep 08 2015 10:51

I have the cage and multi tool on my PYGA, I also have the Specialized chain breaker that fits into the fork steerer (Looks like a top cap) it holds a multilink and together with the multitool is your chain breaker.

The bottle cake IMO is the best available, the multitool works perfectly and has the essential tools needed, the chain breaker is genius!

The products are extremely well made, and will go down as one of my best MTB acquisitions, I am not a Specialized fan, but this kit, is brilliant.

I also don't like gear in my pocket and with my Sahmurai in my bars, I can now fill a bottle with water, jump on my bike and go ride, knowing I have 95% of my bases covered WRT technical issues on the trail.

I have a small Lezyne CO2 pump and Bomb, that I take with, then I'm sorted.

not cheap though, but worth every cent.

 

Good luck in using the chain breaker - personally I do not like, it is cumbersome and not easy/simple to use.  You must have time on your hand i.e. doing a leisurely cruise for it to come in handy, and also be born with a serious dose of patience...  Had it, sold it... 

 

And the Sahmurai - have to laugh - this is crap.  :thumbdown:  Also had one, you cannot load it with the big black plugs, and if you force it, it just breaks apart.  Had to help many a riders on the trials who had this and could not fix their tyre.  Also remember, if you crash you handlebar is usually the one thing that hits the ground hard, so be prepared to lose it, or have it wrecked.  Some I heard just fell out...

 

I guess, all I am saying is, work with it at home, understand how bad it is, and the real risk to lose or have it smashed after a crash, before you hit the trails. :whistling:

 

Unfortunately I am born a gimmick nut, so I always get burned by the not so good gimmicks. And no I do not learn... :blink:

rock, Sep 08 2015 11:17

I would happily drill another another hole in frame if that Spez lunchbox was cheaper, whats it like R2k now?

Mackie, Sep 08 2015 11:23

Have used the Sahmurai sword twice already, no issues, same with the chain breaker, used it at home first on a new chain.

Like all things, learn to use it properly and they way it was designed and you should not have any issues.

The tools are not the one to be blamed here methinks....

Mackie, Sep 08 2015 11:29

I use two Zee cages on my bike with bottles without the "distinctive neck" and they don't budge in the rough stuff. So I would say even a normal riding bottle works perfectly with them. 

I have never lost a Camel Bak Podium bottle either with the cage.

Mackie, Sep 08 2015 11:35

I would happily drill another another hole in frame if that Spez lunchbox was cheaper, whats it like R2k now?

You don't have to.

Fit a piece of aluminium to the 2 existing bottle cage holes

Let the aluminium extend past the cage

Drill another hole in the aluminium strip and attach the lunchbox, to that hole.

Add a rubber grommet to the underside of the aluminium strip so that it does not scratch the frame, or even cable tie it down, viola, okes at Concept Cyclery in Ballito told me about the solution.

The retail price for the tool, 2 cages, chain breaker tool and the lunch box is R 2000 for all of the kit. It also includes a tyre lever and CO2 thingamajig.

Nick, Sep 08 2015 11:43

Quick update on the pricing:

 

Zee Cage II: R249.00

Zee Cage II Carbon: R749.00

EMT Cage Mount MTB Tool: R619.00

jughead_dave, Sep 08 2015 12:16

were can I purchase some decent quality Specialized bottles online?