I bought a pile of inexpensive bicycle handlebar cup holders to mount on my family’s bikes. They’re not as alike as you might think!
All of these cup holders are designed to mount on the handelbar. They hold the type of travel mugs that taper in size, with a narrow bottom and wider top. They’ll also hold the “to-go” paper cups typically available from just about every coffee shop, donut shop, gas station, corner store and fast food outlet in America.
The instructions for all of these cup holders warn to use a splash proof lid. Even minor bumps in the road or path can result in hot coffee spurting from the sippy hole at the top of many disposable cups.
When you buy a handlebar cup holder, pay attention to the handlebar size. The Portland Design Works “Bar-ista,” for example, is designed only for 26 mm handlebars. Most handlebars designed for road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrids today have 31.8 mm diameter clamps that taper down to either 22.2 mm or 23.8 mm, depending on the type of bars and bike you use.
My road bike drop bars have a weird oval shape with cable channels. The PDW Bar-ista does not fit on this. My daughter’s hybrid bike with “flat” riser bars tapers down to a size the Bar-ista fits near the shifters and grips, but you can’t fit a cup because those pesky brake cables.
The 26 mm size limits you to older style bikes with traditional bar diameters. The PDW fits my wife’s Breezer Villager. It will fit on bikes that use old style 26 mm Italian handlebars from the 1980s, or even 25.4 mm mountain bike standard from back in the day.
That RavX “Coffee Ring” (available from same manufacturer under several different brands, including more familiar bike brands such as Bell and Origin8), claims to fit “most bar diameters,” but that’s a lie. It doesn’t clamp on anything over about 26 mm. As with the PDW cup holder, it might fit where the bar tapers towards the grips, but you can’t slide your cup in because the cables interfere.
If your bars fit, however, I really like this RavX cup holder ring because it comes in several different colors.
Finally, the Ibera Cup Clamp has the clunkiest mounting bracket, but it’s also the only one in my little survey that fits oversized drop and flat handlebars such as mine. Hence, this is the one you saw on my bike during San Jose Bike Train this morning.
How do you carry hot drinks on your bike?