How To Install A Water Bottle Cage On A Bike Without Holes

Bike Water Bottle

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Staying hydrated is one of the most important parts of cycling. Water keeps all your vital organs functioning properly and prevents burnout during intense workouts. But what are the best ways to carry water on your bike without damaging your bicycle?

Wire ties are the best way to avoid drilling holes into your bike frame. They allow you to attach bottle holders without damaging your bike. Drilling holes in your bike frame can cause rust and decay over prolonged periods and is not recommended. 

If you’re looking for the best ways to use your bike’s space effectively, you’re in the right place! We have a variety of ways for you to carry your water without the need of damaging your bike! 

What’s the Best Way to Attach a Water Bottle to Your Bike? 

One of the best ways to attach water bottles to your bike is with zip ties or mounted bottle cages.

Some bottle attachments use velcro, snap-on straps, or slide-on carriers. The best option for your personal use depends on the kinds of biking you do and how secure you need your water. 

You’ll want a more secure bottle holder for more intense biking, like mountain biking. A bottle cage or carrier to keep your bottle safe will prevent it from falling off while riding. 

You can make do with a simple bottle strap or harness if you’re riding on the street. This should hold your bottle in place on smooth surfaces that don’t present much resistance. If you plan to go on a cycle tour, a simpler water mount should suffice. 

However, if you plan to go off-roading, you’ll want a secure bottle holder. This makes a secure cage or bottle bag ideal for bikepacking and off-road cycling. 

You’ll also have to consider the shape of your bike and how much space you have available.

Bikes designed for long-distance rides typically have more room for storage. This means you can fit larger bottle carriers (thus larger bottles) on these bikes. 

But mountain bikes, road bikes, and other slim bikes designed for day rides don’t have as much space.

If you’re using one of these bikes for a long-distance, multi-day journey, you might need to get creative with water storage. A hydration backpack is one of the best tools for water storage on a small bike frame. 

We’ll dive deeper below into how to set up a great bottle holder on your bike!

Water bottles on a Bike

How Can You Attach a Water Bottle to a Bike Without Using Screws? 

There are several effective ways to mount a water bottle to your bike without drilling holes in the frame.

Drilling holes may seem like the easiest way to mount your bottle, but these holes can cause damage over the long term.

Water and moisture penetrating your bike frame can cause rusting and decay. 

Zip Ties 

Zip ties (reusable) are an excellent way to mount a bottle to your bike frame without breaking the frame. While zip ties come in various sizes, I recommend choosing a heavy-duty variety. 

This variety is designed to hold the weight of the bottle and resist wear and tear from the road. They’re more secure and won’t break when the road gets bumpy, like skinnier ties. 

You use these to attach your bottle to the bike frame in several ways. You can use 2 or 3 and simply strap the bottle to your bike frame.

Just be careful not to tighten them too much so you can lift the bottle out without damaging it. 

Alternatively, you can use them to strap a bottle cage to your frame with zip ties. This is especially good if you’re trying to fix a broken bottle carrier.  

Bottle Cage Clamp

Bike clamps are an excellent tool to secure your bottles on the road. They easily attach to the bike frame with adjustable screws. 

There are other varieties as well, including a clamp-on bottle cage. While this one does require you to use screws, it doesn’t require you to drill into the bike. 

The screws simply hold the clamp onto the bike frame. This doesn’t require breaking the structure and is an excellent option for intense off-roading bike rides.

Also, be sure to make sure your bike’s weight distribution is set up correctly and safely. Here are some tips Bikepacking Weight Distribution Guide.

Water bottles on Bike

Bottle Cage Strap

Bottle straps are great for mounting your bike bottle without breaking the metal frame. The straps can be used to hold bottle cages and clamps to the bike frame. 

They’re easy to use and hold the bottle securely. You’ll have to buy a bike cage or case to hold the bottle since the straps aren’t strong enough to hold it properly.

Seat Bottle Strap 

Saddle seat strap bottle holders are a great choice, especially for larger bike frames. They offer extra space for food and snacks in the bag while firmly holding the bottle.  

Some varieties of these bottle holders use velcro straps, while others use buckle and clip-on straps.

While velcro isn’t necessarily bad, it’s not nearly as secure or long-lasting as the clip-on or buckle strap varieties. 

We provide this free bike touring list in PDF format that you can use to be sure you have packed all the essentials for your next adventure.

Homemade Recycled Can Bottle Holder 

Homemade bottle holders can be an excellent and easy way to carry water bottles. One of the easiest varieties to make for yourself is a recycled can bottle holder. You can watch a breakdown of how to create your own on Johnny DIY

To make your very own recycled can bottle holder, follow these steps: 

  1. Clean out an old metal can (you can use a vegetable can)
  2. Drill two holes in the bottom of the can 
  3. Put a strap or wire tie through these holes
  4. Use a bracket to hook the can to the bike handlebars

Some people like to personalize their cup holder by painting it or covering it with nice material. 

This holder is best for holding smaller bottles over shorter distances. The bottle may wobble a lot and fall out on long off-roading excursions. 

Voile Straps

These types of straps are the go-to for many bike enthusiasts! In fact, they are so popular we wrote an entire article about them and how to utilize them.

Check out How To Use Voile Straps for Bikepacking.

Use this Amazon link to order them for your next outing.

Mountain Bike

Closing Thoughts

I hope this article helps you find the best bottle holder for your needs! We have a lot of excellent blog articles on various topics, including how to convert a mountain bike for long-distance biking

I encourage you to find the best DIY ways to make the perfect bottle carrier for your needs. Use recycled materials whenever possible to make the best, most personalized, sustainable carrier for the road. 

However, if you need a sturdy carrier, use a bike cage or strap-on bag. These will keep your water bottle from falling and help you carry plenty of water for your trip. 

Check out more free biking content:

  1. What To Eat When Cycling Long Distances
  2. The Top 2 Drones for Bike Touring Video Footage


Mountain Bike Rider: Best water bottles for mountain biking: keep thirst at bay when you don’t want to wear a pack

REI: Introduction to Bike Touring

Bikepacking: What is bikepacking

Johnny DIY: Easy DIY Bike Bottle, Cup or Phone Holder -Jonny DIY

Wild Lumens: How To Convert A Mountain Bike To Touring Bike (7 Step Process)

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