Storing essential tools on your bike is a smart move if you like to ride packless and tend to be forgetful.
If I tell you that IS stands for ‘Integrated Storage,’ you’ll have a good understanding of what the Syncros IS Cache CO2 is all about. It’s a nylon bottle cage with three integrated trail tools – a six-bit multi-tool, a mini chain breaker and a CO2 inflator. So how does it measure up against the best bottle cages on the market?
The multi-tool sits in the centre of the cage, but the plastic holder can actually be flipped round, so you can get it out either side. You can also mount the 16g CO2 either side because it too sits on a separate mount. The chain breaker just plugs in the bottom.
With space and weight at a premium, the multi-tool only gets three hex keys, a Phillips screwdriver and two Torx – a standard T-25 and a bigger T30. Also on the cluster is the threaded pin for the chain tool. There’s one in there already but you take that out and thread into the bottom to form a handle.
We tested the Syncros MB Tailor bottle cage previously in MBR and, although it had a similar cage, it had a slide-in tool draw, which didn’t work that well when it got dirty. It also had an odd-shaped tool that wasn’t that effective. The one here is a conventional shape but it’s also a bit lacking – there’s no 6mm hex and the tools are all a bit short.
It’s nice to have a chain breaker, but it doesn’t have the secondary gate for releasing stiff links and, even with the handle fitted, it’s quite hard to use if you don’t have hands of steel.
The CO2 uses the Boundary delivery system, which means it has a dial to regulate the flow and a cover to stop accidental activation. It works really well but the 16g capacity is too small for trail tyres – although there is an adapter to carry a 20g cartridge or you could carry a spare in your pocket. In fact, I’d seriously consider other storage options just because the IS Cache CO2 is so expensive for what it is. If you go online, you can buy a nylon bottle cage for £11, a CO2 for £12, a chain breaker that’s bigger and better quality for £10 and multi with 10-bits for £6, all of which undercuts the Syncros IS Cache CO2 by £41 but you’ll have to carry that stuff with you. You could justify the cost if the Syncros tools were premium quality, but they’re not.
Having on-the-bike tool storage is really good, as it means you don’t have to carry this gear on your person and the stuff is always with your bike, so you’re never going to forget anything, but this convenience only makes sense if you’re not paying a premium for it. The only difference between the Syncros IS Cache CO2 and the separates above are a couple of clips and for that reason I can’t recommend it.