8 min read
This HandleStash review goes out to every cyclist who enjoys a hot coffee on their morning commute to work or a cold beer whilst cruising down the beach if that’s more your vibe.
The HandleStash is a one-of-a-kind bike cup holder that implements several impressive features to keep whatever you’re drinking in your cup/can.
I’ve used the HandleStash for over a year now, and below, in this HandleStash review, I explain its strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, whether or not it’s worth your money!
Overview - HandleStash Review
Clamps to – Anything up to 1.5″ thick
Weight – 131g (4.62oz)
Warranty – 1 Year
Despite its higher-than-average price, the HandleStash is my favourite bike cup holder on the market. It’s highly versatile, durable and works effectively to keep your drink in your cup.
The quality of the HandleStash is even more evident when you use it alongside a cheaper plastic cup holder.
Plenty of cheap bike cup holders are available for under $20, but I’ve found these are typically made from flimsy plastic that wears out faster and won’t dampen the impact of any shocks in the road.
Whilst no bike cup holder will prevent 100% of spills, the HandleStash has outperformed any other cup holder I’ve tested, and I’d recommend it to anyone who frequently rides with a hot brew or a cold can.
Bear in mind, it is more expensive than its competition, but it’s made in the USA and is designed to last. Find out more on the HandleStash website here.
What is the HandleStash Shock Absorbing Cup Holder?
If you haven’t already figured out what the HandleStash Shock Absorbing Cup Holder is, it’s a bicycle cup holder that utilises a clever suspension system to hold your drink in place and reduce spills while you ride.
Suspension for a cup holder may sound excessive, but if you imagine going over a speed bump or into a pothole whilst holding/riding with a cup of coffee or beer, you can probably understand how the HandleStash can help.
Suspension system to one side, the HandleStash is made using a durable rip-resistant material that offers plenty of room for larger cups and bottles.
When selecting your HandleStash, there are loads of different colors and designs and two material choices to choose from, which I will cover later in the review.
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How Does the Handlestash Work?
Unlike other bike cup holders, there’s no fiddly installation with the HandleStash. Instead, this cup holder uses a quick-release plastic clamp to secure itself on your bike.
A rubber insert sits underneath the clamp, which provides additional holding power for the HandleStash and prevents it from rotating when carrying heavier drinks.
Later in the article, I’ll show you just how easy it is to mount the HandleStash to your bike (or whatever you’re mounting to).
Once mounted in your desired position, drinks containers are inserted into the top of the HandleStash.
For smaller and thinner cups and bottles, an elastic cinch strap ensures your drink remains upright during transit and also helps to reduce necessary bouncing on bumpy terrain.
A foam insert is included with the HandleStash which is inserted into the bottom of the cup holder to prevent smaller drink containers from sitting too deep, maintaining easy access for when you’re riding.
When you’re riding with a taller container, simply remove the insert and it will sit at a stable height.
Once you’ve placed your drink inside, four durable elastic bungees suspend it in place and, along with the elastic cinch, these dampen the shock of any lumps and bumps in the road.
In addition, when turning corners or riding on a steep gradient, the flexible elastics allow your beverage container to find its natural upright position, further preventing spills.
The HandleStash is easily the most advanced bike cup holder on the market, but how effective is it compared to a traditional cup holder? Let’s find out.
How Effective is the HandleStash?
I’ve enjoyed using the HandleStash over the last year; it’s a convenient way to transport a drink whilst you cycle, allowing you to keep both hands free.
The adjustable elastic cord keeps your drink verticle, helping to reduce spills whilst allowing you to carry thinner bottles and cans than other bike cup holders.
Any drink container attached to your bicycle whilst open runs the risk of spilling or splashing out whilst you ride.
Whilst the HandleStash does an excellent job at minimising spills, if your can, bottle or to-go cup is full to the brim, you may still experience some spills when crossing uneven terrain.
Fortunately, the ripstop nylon and other materials the HandleStash is made from are super easy to clean if your drink does spill at all.
Additionally, if your drink was to spill, the HandleStash’s lightweight mesh base lets any liquid drip away rather than becoming a sticky mess like with many other holders.
Good attention to detail from the HandleStash team here.
Compared to the Delta Ultimate Beverage Holder, a cup holder featured in my review of the best bike cup holders, the HandleStash’s shock-absorbing abilities are evidently superior.
I’ve ridden with a full range of cups, bottles and flasks in the HandleStash and have found that it’s best used on flatter paved surfaces, with beverage containers that aren’t full to the brim.
If your container is full, I advise taking a few sips before riding, as this will significantly reduce any spills.
How to Mount the HandleStash
The Handlestash’s mounting clamp is supplied with two different mounting options:
- A standard quick-release clasp
- A higher-security hex key bolt
If you often leave your bike unattended in public, I recommend using the hex bolt to secure your HandleStash.
The quick-release clasp allows the HandleStash to be mounted in place in seconds and removed quickly by hand.
Since it can be removed easily, the quick-release clasp does leave the HandleStash vulnerable to theft, whereas a thief would need a hex key for removal if you use the hex bolt to secure it.
If you’re not going to be leaving your bike unattended, or if you plan to use the HandleStash with different bikes, the quick-release clasp will be a better option.
- Take the rubber strip and wrap it around your desired mounting area, feel free to cut this down if it’s too long.
- Next, take your HandleStash and chosen screw type (clasp or hex) and place the clamp’s jaws over the rubber strip.
- Using a hex key or by turning the clasp, tighten the screw until it’s stiff and the HandleStash is held firmly in place.
How to Adjust the angle of the HandleStash
Depending on what you’ve mounted to, you may need to adjust the angle of the HandleStash so that it sits upright. All you’ll need for this is a Phillips head screwdriver.
- To make a marginal adjustment to the angle of the HandleStash, you only need to loosen the screw partially. This will allow you to make a slight adjustment (up to 30 degrees) to the angle the HandleStash sits at.
- If you need to make a more substantial adjustment to the HandleStash’s positioning, loosen the screw until it’s nearly coming out, this will allow you to rotate the HandleStash to the required position.
- After you’ve adjusted the angle of the HandleStash, retighten the score,w and you’re good to go!
Is a HandleStash Worth the Money?
There’s no denying that the HandleStash is more expensive than most of its competition. This is because it offers several convenient features that improve the user experience this cup holder provides.
Another reason the HandleStash is slightly more expensive than other cup holder brands is that the majority of the manufacturing and assembly of the product happens in the USA, rather than the Far East.
By manufacturing their product in the US, HandleStash can keep a close eye on their quality control, allowing them to back every HandleStash sold with a one-year warranty.
Ultimately, the value of the HandleStash will depend upon how often it’s used. If you’re cycling with a drink (or if you want to), it’s a good investment that will serve you well.
However, if you don’t cycle that much or don’t ride with a drink very often, there are cheaper, yet less effective handlebar cup holders out there.
If you’re looking for something cheaper than the HandleStash, read my review of the best bike cup holder here.
Otherwise, you can view the most up-to-date price for the HandleStash on their website here.
What's Included With the HandleStash
Apart from a 4mm Allen/Hex key, everything required to use the HandleStash is provided:
- HandleStash cup holder
- Quick-release mounting screw
- 4mm hex screw
- Removable foam insert
- Rubber grip pad
HandleStash Material Choices
If you decide the HandleStash is the right cup holder for you, you’ll need to choose your preferred color from the many options on the HandleStash website.
You’ll also have a choice between two material options, the classic HandleStash and the more durable Diamond Ripstop Nylon.
The Diamond Ripstop HandleStash material (right) is visibly thicker than the classic nylon material, providing increased durability.
I chose the Red Diamond option, and after using it for a year with multiple different drink containers, it’s yet to show any signs of wear.
The diamond option is slightly more expensive, but I often ride my bike with a hot coffee, so it seemed a worthy investment.
HandleStash Q&A With Founder Adam Saplin
I spoke to Adam Saplin, the Founder, inventor and owner of HandleStash and asked him a few questions that I thought my readers might find interesting.
Find the answers to each question by clicking on the toggle boxes below!
Me: “If HandleStash was never invented, what cup holder would you use to hold your drinks?”
Adam: “I would use a regular water bottle cage. I really did try a number of other cup holders before creating HandleStash, and never left one on my bike for more than a few days.”
Me: “In terms of sustainability what are HandleStash doing to reduce their environmental impact at the moment? And what are HandleStash’s longer-term goals in terms of sustainability?”
Adam: “Our printing and custom plastic molding are both done in the USA – these processes can be terribly polluting when not managed correctly and using trusted US-based manufacturers ensures we are not poisoning anyones waterways.”
“Our packaging is printed in Erie, PA and our plastic molding is done locally here in Colorado. Our custom-printed fabric is printed in North Carolina. We also re-use any packaging that comes in from our suppliers.”
“We are working on combining our shipping box and product packaging into a single e-commerce box that reduces overall paper and printing and takes up less space in transit.”
“Our local supply chain also means less carbon footprint to move product from our suppliers to our warehouse.”
“We still have a lot more I want to do for sustainability – the handlebar clamp we use is imported from China, and I hope we can eventually onshore that to the USA. The fabric we use is also imported, though I’ve been unable to find anything similar produced domestically. “
Me: “Is there anything you want to improve/change with the current HandleStash & will we see a HandleStash 2.0?”
Adam: “We are in the process of changing the plastic support ring from Polycarbonate to Nylon, which will improve the toughness and reduce breakage for our customers.”
“We’ve made so many small changes to the design since launching that I think we’re already on version 2.0 or later, but I am always working on ways to further improve the design.”
Adam: “I want HandleStash to be commonly available in local bike shops as well as national retailers like REI, and to be the de-facto cup holder for anyone who would buy a cup holder.”
“I also think we’ll be able to offer better pay and benefits and hopefully have grown to the point of having more than one full-time person working for us. Even as we grow, I want to continue to be a small brand that offers a healthy, happy place to work, and make fun and awesome bike accessories.”
“I expect we’ll have some additional products in that time as well, but I think we’re still only scratching the surface of the cup holder market.”
Me: “What would you say to customers that are on the fence regarding the price of the HandleStash?”
Adam: “We hear from a lot of customers that the HandleStash is the 2nd or 3rd cup holder they buy after trying cheap ones and being disappointed.”
“Why not skip ahead to the best cup holder on earth? Nothing else offers the flexibility of install or the usability of the HandleStash. We offer a 1-year warranty and we’ve never denied a return to a customer who wasn’t happy.”
“We’re really a no BS kind of company, and if you’re still not convinced make sure you read the reviews on our website, which are 100% authentic and unmoderated.”
If you’re not sure the HandleStash is the right choice for you, I’ve included a couple of suggestions below that have different features and are all slightly cheaper.
Alternativley you may want to read my review of the best bike cup holders.
Delta Bike Beverage Holder
Affordable & Simple Design – Sightly Lower Quality
Fits handlebars – With up to 3cm (1.18″) diameter
Holds cups – Up to 8cm wide
Weight – 57g (2oz)
Warranty – Lifetime warranty
The Delta bike cup holder offers a no-frills yet effective way to carry a drink when riding your bike.
The Delta Beverage Holder doesn’t feature an adjustable elastic toggle for different-sized containers, but its flexible sides adapt to accommodate large containers.
There’s also no angle adjustment, meaning the Delta cup holder needs to be mounted on a horizontal bar.
In addition, the Delta cup holder doesn’t offer shock-absorbing features but is available at a much more affordable price.
Aluminum Bike Cup Holder
The Best Bike Lock for Defeating Thieves
Fits handlebars – With up to 2.54cm (1″) diameter
Holds containers – From 7.5cm wide
Weight – 75g (2.6oz)
Warranty – No warranty
This style of aluminum cup holder is available online from many different retailers as they’re mass-produced in China and can therefore be purchased at a very affordable price.
These cup holders are only designed for take-out style coffee cups that are wider at the top than at the bottom, so if you use disposable coffee cups or a reusable coffee cup this will work well.
However, if you like to carry cans and bottles in your cup holder, the HandleStash or Delta cup holders will be more suitable.
Read more about this cup holder in my review here.
Conclusion - HandleStash Bike Cup Holder Review
To summarise, the HandleStash is currently the best bike cup holder that I’ve used to date.
It’s easy to use, holds firmly in place and is capable of carrying beverages of all shapes and sizes.
Yes, this bike cup holder sits at the top of the price range for what you’d expect to pay, but its high-quality durable materials and functional features help to justify its higher price point.
If you regularly carry a drink with you whilst out on two wheels, there isn’t a more versatile cup holder than the HandleStash.
Whilst no cup holder prevents every spill, the HandleStash’s shock-absorbing suspension does a good job of minimizing spillage, whilst providing easy access for drinking on the move.
If you want to see how the HandleStash compares to other types of bike cup holders, you can read my review of the best cup holders here.
Otherwise, you can check the most up-to-date price on the HandleStash website.
Additionally, if you don’t already use one, get yourself a good-quality bike lock, before it’s too late!
Lock it or lose it.
Ciao for now!