Arundel Bicycle Company is a tight group of passionate individuals who create some of the finest riding accessories in the world including industry-leading bottle cage designs, luxuriously comfortable bar tape and elegantly simple seat bags. Every Arundel product is a beautiful fusion of aesthetics and practicality that has struck a chord with serious riders of all disciplines – including professional teams. Arundel's grandiose goal? Come up with some cool bike equipment that people want to buy.
Founded by Chris Watson and Dave Bradfield in 2000, Arundel Bicycle Company's very first product, the Dave-O cage, was designed on a flight back to Texas from the Milan Bike Show.
After prototyping a few designs, the Dave-O won out thanks to its beautiful and innovative shape, which, along with the oft-emulated top tab, would hold bottles securely while still allowing easy access in the heat of the race.
Carbon fibre was the material of choice and the first 500 Dave-O cages were made at a small carbon fabrication facility in Arundel's hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, by Dave himself. Cutting the forms from the carbon sheets, fitting to the moulds, curing, post cure trimming, and even mould maintenance. It was certainly a labour of love.
Each handmade cage was a work of art, the finish differing slightly as each creation was completed. Nevertheless, the Dave-O cage proved an exceptional design, with every single one selling locally despite a hefty price tag due to the time-consuming manufacturing process. This kind of fabrication just wasn't sustainable, though, so the young US brand looked to the far east to turn imagination into reality.
Chris and Dave were put in touch with the Taiwanese manufacturing team of Race and Beer, whose pre-production versions of the Dave-O proved to be exceptional – the realisation of the cage the Arundel team had originally envisioned. The first 1,000 cages shipped from the fabrication facility near Hong Kong, China, and the 30g cage went on sale to garner rave reviews from riders and the press.
Further designs followed including the Mandible, which became the company's flagship model in 2008. Lighter than the Dave-O and featuring an even more vice-like grip, its svelte design oozes high-end sophistication while its performance has been proven on the cobbles.
2008 was also the year that WorldTour squad Team Slipstream approached Arundel while seeking for the best bottle cages on the market. The initial meeting kick-started a great relationship that continues to this day with Cannondale Pro cycing. In 2016, Arundel is working with no fewer than 10 UCI-registered teams including British UCI Continental squad NFTO.
Arundel's other innovative designs include the Chrono, which was created to give TT and tri riders an ultra-light aero bottle option, combining a full carbon housing with a custom drinks bottle that clicks securely into place; and the Sport, which replicates the Dave-O's design in Nylon reinforced plastic, broadening Arundel's reach while still coming in at just 47g.
Understanding the importance of the connection between rider and bike, Arundel has also expanded into bar tape with three distinct feels: traditional cork; soft Gecko Fur; and the textured Gecko Grip. Seatbags have also joined the Arundel line-up, offering simple, practical under-saddle storage for riding essentials in timeless designs that bridge tradition and modernity.
Arundel joined Saddleback in December 2011 and it's testament to the brand's quality that it has become one of our biggest success stories in the UK, with riders obviously feeling a strong connection to this producer of the industry's best high-end accessories.
The Mandible builds on the success of Arundel's trendsetting Dave-O with a yet more innovative design to create the company's range-topping bottle cage. Designed for all-day rides, the Mandible offers extraordinary gripping power making it ideal for cobbled challenges, off-road adventures and behind-the-saddle battering in triathlons.
The slim arm shape allows for a small yet tough cross section, the carbon wrapped around a foam core for added strength. The minimal design keeps weight down to an incredible 28g while the seamless mounting bolt area ensures smooth bottle transitions.
Mandible cages have been proven in Grand Tours, Spring Classics and World Championships and are used in the UCI WorldTour and Tour de France by Cannondale-Drapac.
Arundel's latest bar tape design, Synth Gecko is made from 100 per cent silicone foam for luxuriously thick comfort, excellent grip and unbeatable durability.
The silicone foam sticks to itself while wrapping, so there's no need for extra adhesive on the back – always an annoyance when changing tape. This also means it's easier to re-wrap and reuse. The silicone is also easy to clean. Wiping with soap and warm warm water will get Synth Gecko back to its former glory after road-grime-sprayed ride outs.
Because there's plenty of elasticity in the tape, you can wrap each 220cm roll to your preference – stretched thin for a light weight and low volume or wrapped fat for pillowy comfort and maximum vibration damping. Either way, you'll get sure-handed grippiness thanks to the subtle pavé pattern, which also improves tactile feel.
Available in a choice of nine colours, it's easy to match Synth Gecko to your machine.
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