66mm Water bottle Cages = Disappointment

Elite Patao 66mm & 74mm

In the earlier part of the previous decade, Italian water bottle & cage manufacturer Elite SRL introduced the Bajiji water bottle standard. Rather than the 74mm diameter bottle standard used since time immemorial, the Bajiji bottles were 66mm like a Coke can; the matching bottle Patao cage design was a stylish departure from their highly successful Ciussi cage. Rather than bent and welded rod aluminium or tubular steel, the Patao was made from a sheet of magnesium alloy.

Ostensibly, the slender, new bottles were more ergonomic and had better aerodynamics. They also carried less water, but a large number of Euro pro teams used them since Elite probably just gives them to the teams anyways. Long story short, the 66mm standard did not endure, and Elite eventually introduced a 74mm version of the Patao cage. It is still available today. Most of my bikes have Patao cages because the 74mm version has long mounting slots that alloy a 35mm range of positioning. The other great thing about these cages is that they are the most secure cage I’ve ever used; I’ve never lost a bottle from a Patao.

So in the future, the 66mm Bajiji bottle standard and Patao cage will just be an obscure footnote in the memories of shop staff…or maybe it will command top dollar on the eBay of tomorrow. Either way, I’m pretty disappointed. No, not about the 66mm thing. I’m disappointed in magnesium bicycle components. It turns out that magnesium alloys will not ignite unless you do something like expose them to burning gasoline for several minutes. Even grinding the Patao cage into filings and shavings to increase the surface area will not allow the alloy to ignite from a cold start. There goes my idea for a Pinarello Dogma-fueled bonfire to the gods. Why must all my dreams be ruined?

Elite Patao 64mm with Rockstar Cola

Elite Patao 66mm & 74mm


I suppose you could always pour gasoline on the filings, then set fire to them that way. In a pinch you could even use certain pr racers’ urine samples—they’re roughly the same composition as jet fuel.

Related to the standards, I looked at BB386EVO and thought assholes should’ve just made a BB30 crank or bottom bracket.


Logic says you’re wrong. 

BB30 shoulda been made as BB386EVO.  If it had, then there would be just one type of crank with different BBs based on your frame. BB386EVO fits BB30 frames and frames with standard threaded BB shells.  If that’s not enough, a BB386EVo frame should have a stiffer BB and better bracing for the bearings (=longer bearing life and stiffer crank).

Ah so the BB30 people are a-holes?

(sigh) for the 4th time….....

Cannondale invented BB30 as an open standard to take advantage of the weight savings that a 30mm aluminium spindle would have over 24mm steel spindle, with no loss of stiffness. other companies signed up for the 30mm spindle as either BB30 or PF30.

then Giant (and by extension Scott) with Shimano developed BB86 as a way to use 24mm spindle cranks with pressfit bearings, allowing carbon frames to flare out to 86mm at the BB shell and requiring less precise shells and obviating the need for metal inserts. PF30 does the same thing for (direct-fit) BB30 but still is only 68mm wide at the BB shell.

BB386EVO combines the best of both standards and creates a crank that could fit BB30/PF30 as well as standard threaded BSC.  BB386EVO frames can accept standard 24mm spindle or BB386EVO cranks. 

you could argue that BB30/PF30 paved the way for widespread acceptance of 30mm alloy spindles, but it is an inarguable fact that BB386EVO is the more flexible standard.  the same logic that supports the use of BB30 puts BB386EVO into a more favourable position except for heel clearance and slightly less weight savings compared to a 24mm spindle (maybe negligible). 

BB30/PF30 has some momentum already, true, but not 70-90yrs like threaded BSC.  If we are adopting new standards, why not choose something that is more versatile.

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