King Cage ManyThing Cage & Universal Support Bolt (USB)
Two new products from Durango, CO’s King Cage… one of which may prompt an uproarious ‘At last!’ from some readers.
If you’re familiar with the quality craftsmanship of the popular Stainless Steel King Cage, you probably wouldn’t guess that since 1991 they have been fabricated in a small garage in Durango, CO… although King Cage recently upsized into founder Ron Andrew’s basement. In fact, their products are all made in house, mostly from US sourced materials. I might add that King Cage is no slouch when it comes to production volume either; last year, in addition to Iris cages, handlebar mounted bells, flask cages, and several other handy items, Ron and three employees made over 12,000 Stainless Bottle Cages. And now they’ve added two more very interesting accessories to the lineup: the 3-bolt ManyThing Cage, and a product will, undoubtedly, have many readers joyfully exclaiming “Finally!”… the cleverly named USB (Universal Support Bolt).
The King Cage USB (Universal Support Bolt)
If you’ve ever packed a bike for a long-distance or desert bikepacking trip, you’ve carefully thought through bottle cages and ways of securing them. And unless you have a rig completely loaded with brazeons, such as the Surly ECR, you’ve probably used pipe clamps or electrical tape to secure a bottle cage to your fork or down tube. Furthermore, during this jerryrig attachment process you probably thought to yourself, “Why in Sam Hill hasn’t somebody invented a pipe-clamp strap with an integrated braze-on!?” Well, here you go. It may not be exactly what you envisioned, but after playing with it for a couple of weeks, I can tell you that it works, pretty damned well.
On first thought, I would have assumed that such a widget would feature the female threaded attachment on the clamp strap; like the traditional bottle boss, a cage could then be secured by threading bolts to the attachment. But, because there is no leeway in the hollow recesses of tubing, the space is limited, and any bolts would need to be perfectly sized to ensure a tight connection. So now, after working with the King Cage USB, the post attachment system they employed makes perfect sense.
Installing the USB is pretty simple. You need a flat head screwdriver and an 8mm socket with driver. Because of the length of the post, the USB works best with cages that feature thin attachment stays, such as King Cages and the Salsa Nickless. On first inspection I was slightly concerned that the M5 locknuts would stick out and interfere with bottles sliding in and out of USB mounted cages, but with the cages I used, the nuts rest perfectly in the recessed channel. Those cages were the Salsa Nickless Cage, Lezyne Power Cage, ManyThing Cage, and the King Iris Cage.
Not only does the USB jive with other brands’ bottle cages, the length of its strap adapts to multiple sizes of tubing, and more importantly, suspension forks… at least up to 34mm stanchion forks, such as the Fox Float 34.
- Material: Stainless steel bolt and strap
- Weight: 10g (.35oz)
- Price: $6 each/$18 for 3
- Availability: Now*
“The USB is a versatile solution to a long-time conundrum. I am especially impressed by the build quality and the fact that it’s stainless steel. For whatever reason most of the new ‘adventure’ bikes fall short on having a down tube bottle mount, not to mention there’s no such thing as a suspension fork bottle mount. So the USB is a well thought out and timely little gadget. They seem solid but we’ll see how they hold up over the long haul, and I’ll make sure to update this after a few hundred miles.” – Logan
The King Cage ManyThing Cage (Titanium)
The ManyThing Cage is another product with a long anticipated release. After the first wave of Salsa Anything Cages had some issues in 2011, rumors of the ManyThing started circulating. According to Ron, their variation on an oversized cage required “more testing and tweaking”, so it took a while to perfect his design. Since then several similar cages have hit the market, including the Anything Cage HD and Blackburn’s Cargo Cage. However, the all new ManyThing is the only titanium option out at this point. And it’s a good one.
Like the Anything Cage, and unlike the Cargo Cage, the ManyThing Cage has a three bolt design made to play well with Salsa’s Three Pack Bosses three-hole mount system found on forks such as those on the Fargo, Mukluk, and several Surly bikes. The ManyThing Cage can theoretically be mounted with two bolts, although it’s not recommended when carrying weight. However, now with the USB, any two-bolt config can become a 3-bolt pattern (with the right spacers and bolts). It’s worth noting that the ManyThing does have one hyper-specific issue on the non-drive side fork leg (only with rear angled 3-pack bosses). With the flattish design of the cage, it’s tough to get around the brake line. This isn’t always the case, but on the Krampus and ECR with SLX and Klamper brakes, it hindered mounting the cage in this location.
Unlike the Anything Cage and Anything Cage HD, the design of the ManyThing is extremely minimalist, and far more lightweight. At a whopping 37 grams, the ManyThing weighs a mere fraction of either the 149 gram Anything Cage HD or the 144 gram aluminum Anything Cage. On first inspection, one might be concerned with the three small bracket stays and minimal welds, but considering that it’s titanium and has been tested and tweaked for 4 years, I am assuming it’s pretty sturdy. After just a handful of rides, I can’t fully attest to this claim, but Ron assured me that he’s had folks testing them for quite a while now and the cages are holding strong. We’ll certainly update this post down the road with a long-term look at the ManyThings’ endurance.
The King Cage ManyThing Cage ships with three ladder-lock 3/4″ straps, which are fine for strapping a dry bag, Vargo BOT, or the classic 40oz Klean Kanteen. However, I chose to use my go-to Revelate Washboard straps to assure a tight fit andconnection. The ManyThing works really well with hard, cylindrical items, such as a BOT or a large water bottle; but it also holds tightly packed narrow dry bags, such as the Salsa Anything Bag, surprisingly well. I tried both the BOT and an Anything Bag with the Revelate Washboard straps; there was never a shift that caused concern, even on the bumpy trails of the Pisgah Ranger Disctrict.
- Material: Titanium
- Weight: 37g (1.31oz)
- Price: $55
- Availability: Now*
“I always choose minimal vs overbuilt, so I immediately liked the ManyThing Cage. It’s priced about $20 over the Salsa Anything Cage HD, so it’s not cheap; but it works with the USB while the Anything and Anything HD do not… the plastic and hefty aluminum are too thick. The ManyThing also weighs about a quarter pound less than the Anything cage. And so far, with Washboard or Voilé straps securing the load, it seems extremely stable. My only small grouch is that I wish it was about 3/4″ longer at the top. It’s not too short, but it would be nice to have a little more wiggle room for one more strap for taller bags.” – Logan
*KingCage.com is undergoing a website redesign, so these two products are not available for purchase on the current site. However, email them and they are happy to sell via PayPal checkout.