Syncros Matchbox Tailor Cage HV1.5 review£54.99

A cunning bottle cage, tool and pump combo that lacks puff

BikeRadar score2.5/5

On-bike storage is all the rage at the moment, with many riders looking to move beyond shoving a multi-tool in a pocket and gaffer taping a tube to their frame. Specialized has led the way with its SWAT integrated tool systems, but Scott's house brand Syncros is now getting in on the action with this rather neat bottle cage-cum-tool holder, the Matchbox Tailor Cage HV1.5.

The Tailor Cage stacks a clip-in cassette below a conventional bottle cage. Slide the cassette out and you can access a pair of multi-tools, with one having a selection of Allen and Torx bits plus flat and Phillips screwdrivers, while the other is a chain tool that also serves as a spoke key. The latter has a neat magnetised holder for a spare chain quick-link and an 8mm Allen bit that can be slid onto the 5mm driver of the multi-tool when required.

The stubby handle of the multi-tool doesn’t give huge amounts of leverage, but it’s good enough for most tasks. While it has most of the commonly used sizes, the lack of a 6mm bit is a slight oversight and you’ll struggle to get the straight 2mm and 2.5mm bits to access brake lever adjusters and the like, though that’s more the fault of brake manufacturers than a mistake of Syncros.

Regardless, it’s a very neat design and although sliding the cassette in and out and making sure the retaining clips engage properly has a bit of a knack to it, it does hide the tools from the worst of the dirt and water they’re exposed to.

A slide out cassette provides storage for a pair of multitools and also a mounting point for the pump
A slide out cassette provides storage for a pair of multitools and also a mounting point for the pump

The tool cassette is also where the HV1.5 mini pump mounts. Designed to shift mountain bike friendly volumes of air in a single stroke, it’s got an extendible valve that slides back inside the body of the pump and is covered by a small rubber hood when not in use. All good in principle, but in action it’s underwhelming, with a tight and sticky action that didn’t get any better once I’d lubed the air shaft up.

Rather annoyingly it also leaked air from the valve when slid into the pump body and connected to a tyre, meaning furious amounts of pumping were needed to make any positive headway at all. That makes it a bit of a waste of time, unless you’re willing to throw it away and find another pump that fits onto the mounting bracket.

There is a Tailor Cage that comes with a simpler HV+ micro pump that doesn’t have the extendible valve, so that may be a better option. It’s also possible to buy a Tailor Cage that has no pump at all.

The Syncros Tailor Cage HV1.5 looks like a normal bottle cage but it's got a neat trick up its sleeve
The Syncros Tailor Cage HV1.5 looks like a normal bottle cage but it's got a neat trick up its sleeve

The bottle cage itself works well. There are right or left-handed entry options and it does a good job of keeping hold of a bottle without being a nightmare to grab a drink in a hurry. There are plenty of mounting holes with lots of lateral movement so it’s easy to get it in the right place too.

You do need to use extremely low profile cage bolts to give clearance for the cassette to slide in and out and if your frame has a narrow triangle then the extra height can reduce clearance enough to make dinky water bottles your only option.

Jon Woodhouse

Technical Editor, UK
Jon's been working with bikes for as long as he can remember, from spanner monkey to product tester. He's always looking out for new kit that'll give an edge when the going gets rough and is happiest experimenting with geometry, rubber and suspension.
  • Age: 32
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 62kg / 137lbs
  • Waist: 79cm / 31in
  • Chest: 92cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: If it involves dirt and bikes, Jon is there, whether big days out in the mountains or steep and technical plummets in the woods. It's all good.
  • Current Bikes: Mondraker Foxy Carbon, BTR Fabrications Custom hardtail, Scott Spark 700 Plus Tuned
  • Dream Bike: Nicolai Ion 16 Longest, made from carbon
  • Beer of Choice: Franziskaner Weissbier
  • Location: Monmouth, South Wales, UK

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