Syncros Matchbox Tailor Cage Mini HV 1.5 review

Secure integrated storage for hand pump and key tools in a bottle cage

Gear
We even used the Matchbox Tailor Cage on longer rides because it allowed us to carry something besides water without mucking up our hydration pack bladder.

We even used the Matchbox Tailor Cage on longer rides because it allowed us to carry something besides water without mucking up our hydration pack bladder.

Lowdown: Syncros Matchbox Tailor Cage Mini HV 1.5

The basic premise behind the Syncros Matchbox Tailor Cage Mini HV 1.5 borders on brilliant. By integrating storage for a hand pump and key tools into a bottle cage, you’re lessening the amount of gear you need to carry elsewhere, thus increasing the likelihood that you can ride without a hydration pack. The question is how well has Syncros executed this idea. Read our full review below to find out.

Stat Box
Material: Nylon+Glass Fiber Bottle volume: 19.3oz
Pump: High volume 1.5 with ~5” hose Bottle cage: Right side entry (left option also)
Valve type: Presta w/reversible Schrader Total weight: 333g (not including bottle)
Air volume per stroke: 67CC Price: $70
Max pressure: 80psi (5.5 bar) Rating: 3.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 3.5 out of 5
Number of tools: 14 (including chain tool)

Pluses
Minuses
  • Easier to ride without pack
  • Mid-tier multi-tool
  • Easy bottle removal
  • Tight chain tool tolerances
  • Big flow bottle valve
  • Tight tool cage tolerances
  • Insulated bottle maintains liquid temp
  • Tool/pump can get dirty
  • Effective hand pump
  • Bottle cap doesn’t fully seal
  • Secure attachment on bike
  • Low cage bolt clearance
  • Minimal weight penalty
  • Some frames won’t accommodate cage
  • Vertical and horizontal cage adjustability
  • Alternative hydration source

Review: Syncros Matchbox Tailor Cage Mini HV 1.5

First a caveat. I don’t hate hydration packs. For any ride more than a couple of hours, I rarely leave home without one. Of course I’d rather not have a sweaty back or gear flopping around on gnarly descents. But mostly I like to be prepared and well hydrated. And with the right pack, that’s easy to do.

But on shorter rides, it’s nice to have the option to roll out a little less encumbered, and that’s where the Syncros Matchbox Tailor Cage comes in really handy. Utilizing a two-piece integrated design (bottle cage and tool shell), it allows you to carry a hand pump, multi-tool, chain tool, and water bottle all in one compact downtube-mounted package.

Stick a spare tube in your jersey or SWAT pocket and you have everything you need for a sub-2 hour ride.

Stick a spare tube in your jersey or SWAT pocket and you have everything you need for a sub-2 hour ride.

The bottle cage comes in left and right side options, making it easy to hydrate with your preferred hand. The high volume pump securely straps in place on the opposite side, and the two tools live inside the tool shell, which slides into and locks onto the bottle cage. It’s a slick little set-up.

The multi-tool includes Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, plus two Torx wrenches and four Allen wrenches (5mm, 4mm, 3mm, 2.5mm, and 2mm). There’s also an 8mm fitting that’s housed on the chain tool, and fits over the 5mm head when you need to use it.

The cage attachment allows for vertical and horizontal adjustment. And we never had any security issues, even when hitting a few jumps at the bike park.

The cage attachment allows for vertical and horizontal adjustment. And we never had any security issues, even when hitting a few jumps at the bike park.

The whole apparatus attaches just like a normal bottle cage, with the added benefit of vertical and horizontal adjustment. This makes it easier to assure your legs don’t rub anything. Mine never did.

Weight wise, I’d call it a push compared to a standard set-up. The whole thing comes in at 333 grams sans bottle. (The breakdown is — cage: 69g, pump: 111g, tools: 109g, tool shell: 44g). That’s compared to a basic plastic bottle cage (~40g), Crankbrothers M19 multi-tool: 174g, and Crankbrothers hand pump: 114g — which totals 329 grams. The primary difference is the Crankbrothers multi-tool both has more bits and is easier to work with in terms of creating leverage and just general usability.

Continue to page 2 to find out what we liked (and didn’t like) about this handy bottle cage »


About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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