Granite Designs Portaledge Review



Review by Robert Johnston

The on-bike storage market is booming, as riders look to ditch the pack for those shorter rides without leaving themselves liable to getting stuck out in the woods with a mechanical. Frame manufacturers are starting to cotton onto this, adding in bottle cage mounts that are specifically designed for bolt-on tool mounts in places a bottle won’t fit. But not all manufacturers have caught up yet, so often the bottle cage mounts are all that is available for an ultra-secure bolted solution. Granite Designs decided to bring to market two solutions for frames with either storage situation, with their Portaledge for directly mounting to a tool mount, or the Portaledge XE for fitment on a bottle cage mount while allowing a bottle cage to still be operational.

Granite Designs Portaledge Review

The Portaledge by Granite Designs is a strap system designed to fit directly onto a bottle cage mount, or the frame tool mounts that are becoming increasingly commonplace. The base is made of 6061-aluminum, with generous length bolt recesses to allow for sliding the mount to the best position.

A 30mm, silicone coated hook-and-loop strap then secures any spares desired to this aluminum plate, ensuring there’s no contact with the frame and therefore no damage caused to the paintwork. The strap should be sufficiently long to allow for a tube, CO2 and tire levers to be carried on the mount, or a variety of tools of a similar size, with the wide strap allowing them to be cinched down tight and the silicone gripping them in place.

The £15.95 /$16.99 Portaledge is available in black or orange (tested), with a weight of 42g.

Granite Designs Portaledge XE Review

Portaledge XE: The Portaledge XE is designed for frames where the bottle cage is the only possibility to bolt anything to the frame. The design is effectively the same 6061 aluminum plate of the standard Portaledge, with a rail that extends out and features multiple recesses for bolts to mount it up. It bolts to the bottle cage mounts on a frame, and will allow for a bottle cage to then be mounted on top into a set of threaded holes on the tool. There are three options for where the tool mount will sit, allowing for the bottle cage to be shifted up or down or mounted directly above its usual position on the frame. The strap will then sit below the bottle cage, mounting the same options of spares or tools as the standard Portaledge, and therefore requiring around a fist sized space below the cage.

The £19.95 /$21.99 Portaledge XE is available in black or orange (tested), and weighs in at 53g all-in.

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Mounting up the standard Granite Designs Portaledge couldn’t be simpler. If you’ve got a tool mount on your frame, then it’s simply a case of threading the bolts through the holes in the plate and you’re good to go in seconds. If you don’t, you’ll have to forego a bottle cage if you’re using the standard Portaledge mount, but that’s where the XE comes into play.

The Portaledge XE is built for a bottle cage mount, though there’s nothing to say you couldn’t run it on an under-top tube tool mount to relocate where the strap sits. Since the XE is quite long, you’ve got to be careful it doesn’t protrude into the zone of a suspension pivot or the shock under compression. This length lets the strap sit below a bottle cage provided there’s space, which can make for a handy use of dead space on an appropriate frame. Granite Designs suggests a “fist size” space being required below the bottle cage, which seems about right for an average sized hand. Because you can slide the XE up and down the downtube, moving the bottle cage position in the process, you can get a bit creative and free up space on more frames than you may expect. However as the plate adds about 5mm height to the cage, you’ve got to be extra careful not to end up with a bottle or cage fouling on a frame member it previously cleared. Similarly, the straight length of the plate means that you can’t run the strap portion in an area where the frame has started to curve upwards towards the seat tube, unless it’s only a fractional amount. The XE will secure a bottle cage mount just as securely as a frame, if not more so as you can torque the bolts slightly tighter without risk of a rivet spinning.

Once you get the fit dialed on both of the Portaledge options, the performance is identical as you would expect. The strap loops through the slots in the plate easily, and has enough space to fit a relatively chunky 29er tube plus a tire lever and CO2 canister. As there’s no extra elastic loop or similar, you’ve got to be careful to ensure there’s adequate compression by the strap to hold the desired items firmly in place every time you pack it, or they could work themselves out.

The padding under the strap portion of the XE is smart to ensure there’s no rattling or damage if it rests on the frame, but it wasn’t required for the straight-tubed bike it was tested on. The velcro of the strap has held up reasonably well to some seriously soggy rides without loosening or feeling like it doesn’t strap up securely, and there’s no sign of fraying or stitching coming loose on the joins.

The Wolf’s Last Word

Overall, there’s little to complain about the simple yet effective Granite Designs Portaledge and Portaledge XE. You’ve got to be careful to ensure the XE will mount up to your bike successfully, but if you have a compatible bike then it’s a neat solution to reduce reliance on a pack.

Portaledge – £15.95 /$16.99
Portaledge XE –  £19.95 /$21.99

Weight: 42g (Portaledge) / 53g (XE)

We Dig

Neat solution
Effective use of mounts
Versatile XE mount

We Don’t

Lack of elasticated security
XE may not fit many bikes


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