Bike Water Bottles
Staying hydrated is an essential part of biking–duh. The challenge is carrying enough water to last through your ride as conveniently as possible. Just like everything else that goes into cycling, there are plenty of things to consider when finding the perfect bottle for you.
Maybe that sounds a little crazy. After all, it’s just a bottle, right? Any old plastic thing will do. But there is more to it than that. Insulated bottles keep water cold throughout the ride, but uninsulated bottles can save weight. The diameter of a bottle determines whether it will fit in a standard bottle carrier. Even the material is important because some plastics can crack easily, and metal is durable but heavy.
So, buying a bottle for your bike is not as simple as picking up the first one that catches your eye. The perfect bottle is the difference between a cold swig on a hot day and a tepid gargle. It’s the difference between a flashy accent to your bike or a gaudy distraction. Here are a few things to look for when shopping for a bottle and some recommendations.
Why do I need a bike water bottle?
This might seem like a crazy question, but for cyclists who keep their rides short, it might be a real concern. Surely not everyone needs a bottle, but it is a very good idea for most people.
Of course, the purpose of a water bottle is to remain hydrated. The risks of dehydration include a loss of stamina and power, heat exhaustion, and even seizures or kidney problems. Even a short ride can turn sketchy if there is an unexpected delay or particularly brutal weather.
The risks of not carrying a water bottle surely outweigh the inconveniences of carrying one. Bringing a bottle along for a ride is as simple as mounting a bottle cage to your bike frame and finding a bottle with a matching diameter. Not only will your water always be there, it is easy to access while in the saddle or taking a breather.
Insulated vs. uninsulated
The primary consideration when shopping for a water bottle is whether to choose an insulated or uninsulated model. Insulated bottles, like the CamelBak Podium Ice, are designed with a layer of trapped air in the wall of the bottle to keep cold drinks cold. This bottle promises to maintain coldness for four times longer than uninsulated bottles.
Of course, there is something to be said for uninsulated bottles as well. They are usually less expensive, and they take up less space to hold the same volume of water. They are also lighter, such as the Polar Bottle Breakaway Wave Lightweight. Even though these bottles may be holding warm water at the end of the ride, they are a good choice for many styles of riding.
Plastic vs. metal
The choice in material really comes down to one word: squeezability. That means for most cyclists, a flexible plastic material is best. This allows riders to quickly squeeze water out of the bottle rather than having to pour it out or suck on it. Using a squeezable material means less time rehydrating and more time riding. This pack of two bottles from 50 Strong is a great example of maximum squeezability.
Metal or rigid plastic bottles do have their advantages. Some flexible plastic bottles can make water taste plasticy, but metal and rigid plastic bottles often avoid that problem. Additionally, metal bottles in particular are extra durable, making them excellent picks for rough rides. For instance, the Travel Kuppe steel bottle will last a long time, and its unique two-finger grip design means it is still convenient for demanding rides.
Water bottle size
The perfect size is the bottle that holds the right amount of water for you. But for cyclists looking to keep a bottle mounted to the frame, the bottle must be a diameter that will allow it to fit in a standard bottle cage. Some bottles come with their own frame mounts, but be sure to read product descriptions to determine whether a bottle will fit inside a standard bottle cage.
Water bottle cage
A water bottle cage keeps your water bottle secure on the road but close to your hand when you need it especially if you choose to mount the cage on your bicycle handlebars. Many bikes come ready with bottle cage bolts, making installation as simple as screwing the cage on. For those that don’t, check out this convenient adapter for any frame.
Once you are ready to mount a cage, you just need to pick one! The biggest things to consider are weight, convenience, and design. If you have a sleek-looking bike, you might want an angular cage like this full-carbon Gazeer cage.
Once you have your bottle and cage mounted up, you’re ready to hit the road safely and comfortably, with wonderful peace of mind.