Extra water storage is always helpful for bikepacking. Below I detailed a hack I came up with for mounting an extra bottle cage behind the Salsa Anything Cages on my fork. I’m very happy with it, so I figured I’d share for anyone out there who is working on dialing in their own bikepacking rig. Happy trails!
Step 1: Buy material – I used Master Plumber Heavy Duty 3/4″, 24 gauge Galvanized Steel Hanger Strap and it worked great. You can find this stuff online or at your local hardware store.
Step 2: Mark length for cutting with a Sharpie, it ends up being about 3-3/8″ long. The holes are drilled at 1/2″ on center, and with this material you need 6 holes (you’ll only use the outer 2) to line up with a standard bottle cage and the openings in the Salsa Anything Cage. Note that holes alternate between large and small.
Step 3: I used M5x0.8 bolts, and the small hole was too small to fit the bolt through, so I drilled it out. To make the drilling easier, I clamped the strapping to a piece of wood. I think it makes drilling easier because the drill tends to catch on the metal and twist it, so if you’re holding it by hand it could mangle the strapping.
Step 4: Drill out the small hole with a 1/4″ bit (for a M5x0.8 bolt).
Step 5: Cut the first end of the strapping at Sharpie mark. I marked it right at the edge of the next holes beyond the ones that I need. Any metal shears should do the job since this is light gauge material. Careful, the corners will be very sharp!
Step 6: Cut the second end of the strapping at Sharpie mark. Now you have your bracket. Again, be careful because the corners will be very sharp!
Step 7: File the sharp corners. It is easy enough to do with a hand file, but a grinding wheel would work great as well.
Step 8: Wrap the center of the bracket with duct tape to prevent it from cutting your Salsa Anything Cage straps. A few layers is plenty.
Step 9: Position bracket on front side of Anything Cage, with bolt pointing out the back side. Before you get too far – I recommend installing the straps on the Anything Cage like I have them here, with the buckles on the outside (towards the extra bottle cage on the back). The strap gets sandwiched between the bracket for the extra cage so it is easiest if you can leave that side alone when putting it on or taking it off the bike.
Step 10: Position the extra bottle cage you’re adding to the back side of the Anything Cage, with the first bolt through one of the holes in the bottle cage mounting plate.
Step 11: Thread the nuts onto the bolts from the bracket. This can be tricky the first time because the bracket needs to bend to conform to the Anything Cage. Longer bolts would be helpful, but you don’t want them digging into your water bottle. I used bolts with ~7/16″ of threads. There was also a small washer that I probably could have done without to make attaching it a little easier.
Step 12: Tighten the nuts & bolts. While they’re only slightly snugged up, position the extra bottle cage to the outside of the Anything Cage to provide as much clearance as possible, and then tighten the bolts appropriately.
Voilà! You now have space for two more water bottles on your bike! Here are some finished pictures, showing the setup, sans bottles!