Stuff – whether it is nutrition, a repair kit or your cellphone, sooner or later you are going to want to carry it on your ride. Jersey pockets are enough for some; but for those wearing a tri suit (single pocket) or just those that want to carry that one extra accessory, they may find their pockets lacking. Typically cyclists will turn to bento boxes and other frame storage solutions to fill this need and more often than not XLAB is the company they turn to. For quite some time now, XLAB has offered an assortment of bento boxes for up front nutrition and saddle bags for equipment but those tend to be semi-permanent additions to your bike. For those looking for an even less permanent solution, XLAB introduced their Cage Pod solutions – products that were meant to take advantage of their highly rated gorilla cages and be a true grab-and-go option.
XLAB offers their pods in two sizes; Mezzo (750 mL) and Mini (500 mL). The mezzo is intended to fit a tubular tire and pit stop while the mini can fit a tube, levers, CO2 and a multi-tool. Both are designed to match up with the existing hooks on gorilla cages to create an extremely un-launchable solution (though both pods should work with any existing cage). Included with each pod is a micro fleece bag to help protect your items and keep them from rattling around.
We have been using both the mezzo and mini for the past few months. For the AeroGeeks, the pods are extremely useful. Since each of our editors typically has two bikes assigned to them at any time, we are often swapping between frames on a daily basis. Being able to swap our personal kits by just grabbing a pod is something we are big fans of. Yes swapping saddle bags isn’t that huge a deal, but grabbing these containers are definitely easier.
For most rides we have stuck with the mini. It holds a full flat kit which is basically all we need. For some of our longer rides we have upsized to the mezzo to hold a second tube and CO2. One of our readers inquired as to whether either would fit a cell phone. We tried with both an iPhone 5S and 4S and without a case both fit. However when the phones were fully encased in an otter box, neither pod was able to easily fit the phone unless we jammed them in there.
Overall we are fans of both of the XLAB solutions. They are not for every ride (at least not for us), but when we are looking to just grab a bike and need a flat kit, they are exactly what we are looking for.