Bikepacking Hacks: How to Put a Bottle in Your Frame Bag with Fidlock

Miles finally got around to installing a magnetic Fidlock Twist bottle inside a bolt-on frame bag, and the results have been game-changing. Take a look at his setup in our latest installment of Bikepacking Hacks here…

There’s something incredibly satisfying about using every last bit of a bike’s main triangle with a frame bag. Frame bags are centered and relatively low on the bike, making them an ideal location to stash awkward, heavy items like spares, tools, water, and food. For bikepacking, that space is essential. However, I prefer to have access to a bottle for all my rides, whether I’m on an extended bikepacking trip or just out for a day ride, which is why I normally run some sort of wedge-shaped bag with a bottle cage mounted to the seat tube.

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Left: bottle + wedge bag, Right: full frame bag

The problem with full frame bags is that their contents bounce around and make a lot of noise, especially bottles. You can get around this by using a water bladder or by filling the excess room with a spare layer, but sometimes I just want to get out for a quick ride before dark and drink out of a good ol’ fashioned bottle. After all, over half of the folks who submitted a response to our bottle vs. bladder survey earlier this fall also said they prefer bottles, so I’m clearly not alone on this one.

bottle inside frame bag fidlock
  • bottle inside frame bag fidlock

Since reviewing Fidlock’s entire suite of magnetic bottles and mounting brackets, I’ve been meaning to install one inside of a frame bag as a workaround. The opportunity presented itself after picking up a Rocky Mountain Element and a custom frame bag from Rockgeist. A few bolts later, I couldn’t be happier with the results. The Fidlock Twist bottles are slightly narrower than standard bottles, making them perfect for tucking inside a bag. Plus, with their bolt-on bike base, it’s super easy to swap out the bolts holding on a bolt-on frame bag and add in a bottle mount.

The best part is that the Element has multiple sets of mounts along the downtube that the bag bolts into, enabling me to use a few positions. The lower bosses would leave plenty of room for a longer 800ml bottle, too. I’m still not sure if I’m sold on this setup for bikepacking, as it’s not the most optimized use of frame bag space, but I’ll for sure be experimenting with it. It’s hard to beat the access of a good stem bag or Rogue Panda’s Bismarck Bottle Bucket if I decide a bottle in the frame bag isn’t going to be my go-to setup for bikepacking.

bottle inside frame bag fidlock

I can’t see why this setup wouldn’t work on any bike with a frame bag that bolts into a standard downtube bottle mount, as long as there’s room for a bottle. After some experimenting, I’ve found that it works best if it can be mounted further up the downtube toward the front of the bike. Neil tried the same setup on his Pipedream and felt it was positioned too far down to be accessible. For frames with multiple mounting points, Fidlock offers three bottle sizes that should accommodate a variety of frame shapes and sizes, and the beauty of this setup is that you can just remove the bottle and keep the mount in place if you want to pack in burritos and cinnamon buns instead. Just remember that the base is magnetic.

Drooling over the massive frame bag on my Rocky Mountain Element? Make sure to check out Logan’s in-depth review, which you’ll find linked just below.

Further Reading

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