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