While everyone else in 1991 was producing very similar bottle cages, Geoff Ringle was thinking completely outside the box with the Ringle H20. Instead of the common use of metal rods or tubing for the main structure, Geoff opted for sheet aluminium which was CNC machined to remove excess weight and provide mounting slots, then rolled and pressed into shape.
This simple process eliminated the need for any welding, pinning or bonding as the bottle would be held in place using friction (using the adjustable mounting slots) and prevented from falling through the bottom of the cage thanks to a separate CNC machined L-bend stopper. The only other accessories supplied were three alloy washers which were intended to increase the surface area around the mounting slots when tightening the bolts.
H20 cages are not polished before being anodised, so the natural brushed satin finish of the aluminium provides an industrial look.
There are 3 generations of Ringle H20 bottle cages:
mk1 – Ringle H20 Ultra Light
The original H20 was very light at only 31g. But the sheet aluminium was so thin that cracks would appear around the mounting slots. They were originally released in 7 anodised colours: Black, Blue, Cammo Green, Gold, Purple, Red, Silver.
Weight: 31g (mk1)
mk2 – Ringle H20 Ultra Light XC
By the end of 1991 Ringle were pushing out the remainder of their mk1 H20 cages while planning to release a beefed up version of the iconic cage called the H20 Ultra Light XC in 1992. The extra metal would increase the weight of the cage to 49g. Colour options were now increased to 8 with the addition of special edition Pewter. Pewter was dropped from the line up in 1996.
mk3 – Ringle H20 Ultra Light XC
Sun bought out Geoff Ringle in 1996, so fresh for 1997 was a new italic Ringle logo. Sun decided to have the new Ringle logo etched onto the top of every H20 cage. It is our understanding that these were simply the remainder of the mk2 stock with just a Ringle logo etched onto them to help Sun promote their new brand. It is also interesting to note that they were being sold in mk2 packaging. 1997 was the final year for the Ringle H20 as Sun dropped the cage for 1998.
Geoff Ringle submitted a patent application for the design in 1991 and it was granted in 1993. Sun then acquired the patent after buying out Geoff Ringle in 1996. Seeing no future in the design, Sun let the patent expire in 2007. This enabled the guys at Sellution Components producing a repop of the Ringle H20, which we call the Ringle H2Faux.