Released in December 2020, we’ve finally been able to put the new cargo cages through the test from problem-solving innovators Tailfin Cycling.
It’s been a frustrating year for testing bikepacking gear, with covid restrictions eliminating the chance of overnight trips until April, but now that we’ve had a few months to test out the new cargo cages from Tailfin Cycling, it’s time to bring you our thoughts.
A fairly simple, yet seemingly well-thought through design, Tailfin claim that rather than create a ‘me-too’ product like others on the market, they have made the ultimate cargo cage for bikepacking. Here’s why.
Unique modular design
The Tailfin cargo cage can be used either simply as a cradle or with the addition of a bottom shelf. For heavier items like water bottles, a lower shelf is handy, but for some strap-on bags or larger loads like tent poles it can get in the way.
To overcome this, Tailfin designed a removable ‘Load Chip’ which can easily be removed or added back with a single bolt, depending on your set up.
Two different size options
There’s a small and large cargo cage on offer, with either three or four bolt attachment. Here are the full detailed dimensions of the two options (click to expand):
I found the smaller size to be practical for most applications: strapping up the Apidura Fork Packs, adding bottles or even bottles of pickles and packing rubbish out of camp.
There’s a £6 price difference between the two (£39/45), as well as a 22g weight difference (57/79g), exclusive of the 11g Load Chip.
Wherever there’s bottle bosses
Don’t limit yourself to just the forks: you can use these wherever there’s a pair or more of bottle cage bosses. In one case, I used a large cage with the Load Chip as a bottle cage, supporting an oversized Nalgene bottle with a Voile strap to allow me to carry much more than a regular 750ml bottle of water.
You can also use them on the Tailfin rack systems for extra mounting real estate.
The 72mm width has been chosen to make sure you can fit underneath the down tube or in the main triangle with plenty of drivetrain clearance, regardless of Q-factor.
After this first batch had been released, Tailfin made some minor adjustments, which you’ll see in current production of the cargo cage. This includes widening the strap holes marginally to allow for a better fit with Apidura Fork Packs, as these holes were previously optimised for Voile straps which are marginally narrower.
They’ve also added small rubber inserts behind each bolt hole to create a wider and flusher fit on curved surfaces such as forks.
The Tailfin Cargo Cage verdict
I’ve been really impressed by the Tailfin cargo cages, both how robust and durable they’ve been, as well as how versatile the Load Chip makes the design. I’ve removed it to fit the curved base of the Apidura Fork Packs, and easily reinstalled the chip to support 750ml water bottles on longer trips.
Although there are cargo cages that look similar on the market, no others currently have this removable shelf at the bottom, which I think is a really neat feature. At £78+ per pair, they’re certainly not the cheapest on the market, but for a pair of solid yet lightweight and versatile cages that should last you years and years, I think they’re generally good value.
Last modified: 5th July 2021