Are you looking to buy water bottles for cycling?
I know. It’s easy to just buy the cheapest cycling water bottles and leave it at that.
After all, it’s a plastic bottle, what more do you need to know?
If you ride a lot, a water bottle choice can make a significant experience to that ride. It can mean the difference between a warm drink on a warm day, water that tastes like plastic or the need to replace them every few outings.
Like everything else in cycling, science and marketing plays a part in your choice of water bottle.
I’m here to strip all that back to give you my top picks of cycling water bottles available right now. All so you don’t have to waste time and money researching yourself.
So, let’s get started.
1. Elite Super Corsa
At 750ml, the Elite Super Corsa is the best large volume water bottle around.
Having a pair of these on the bike can last you several hours on the bike and help keep you sufficiently hydrated regardless of the temperature.
These bottles have a secure nozzle, flexible skin and are easy to grip. They also fit perfectly into most bottle cages. Obviously, they work best with Elite bottle cages.
They aren’t the cheapest water bottle around but they will be worth what it’s for.
Buy If : You want a large volume water bottle for long, non-stop riding.
2. Elite Fly
The Elite Fly is a great lightweight cycling water bottle. At only 54g, it won’t worry weight weenies or weigh down your frame any more than necessary.
With a rugged BPA-free construction, secure nozzle, flexible material and excellent durability, this makes an excellent choice if weight is your main criteria.
At 550ml, it won’t carry as much as the Super Corsa but could still last a while on the road. It comes in a range of colors too so you can coordinate your bottle with your frame color.
Buy If : You’re a weight weenie and every gram matters.
3. Tacx Shiva
The Tacx Shiva is my pick for the easiest cycling bottle to clean. With a super-simple design, unfussy lid and simple nozzle, making sure you can effectively clean the bottle after use means these bottles could last years.
At 500ml, it’s a standard size too.
The material is soft yet pliable and lends itself to being gripped with or without gloves.
It has a fluted neck which adds security when pulling it from the cage. It’s a small thing but very useful.
Buy If : You want a water bottle that’s easy to clean.
4. Polar Insulated Bottle
If you live somewhere particularly hot or cold, or regularly ride on hot days, the Polar Insulated Water Bottle is the one you need.
It’s an insulated bottle that will take the edge of any particularly hot or cold day and keep your drink at a reasonable temperature throughout your ride.
It has a double-wall construction with an insulating layer between. There is a slight weight penalty but nothing unreasonable. It is dishwasher safe which is a bonus.
Buy If : You want your drinks to remain at a similar temperature throughout your ride.
5. Camelbak Podium
At 710ml, the Camelbak Podium is large enough for most cyclists.
The material is robust, the lid strong and nozzle secure and provides the usual CamelBak quality. The nozzle is one of the most generous in this list, offering more water per gulp and all the others. That can be important especially on very hot days.
Construction quality is excellent with the flexible skin deforming enough to make it comfortable and improving that longevity.
Buy If : You want a durable cycling water bottle.
6. Fabric Cageless Bottle
If you don’t like ugly bottle cages, the Fabric Cageless Bottle is the water bottle you’re looking for.
The cageless design means it will fit onto specially designed studs that fit where the bottle cage would. The bottle slots directly onto those studs to provide exactly the same experience without the cage.
Materials quality is good and the design is strong enough to stay in place on all but the roughest roads. It won’t be much use on gravel or trail though but is good for road riding.
Buy If : You want your bike to look cool and unique.
7. Elite Eroica
The Elite Eroica is for those cyclists who value design and heritage over weight and price.
This water bottle looks and feels amazing. The design is awesome, almost a work of art in the form of a water bottle. With a definite historical twist, if you ride a steel bike constructed before carbon was a thing, this bottle is for you.
The bottle is made from aluminum and are hand-made with a satin finish. The stopper is made from cork and held on with string just like they used to be. It can carry 600ml securely but weighs a bit.
Buy If : You ride an old school steel or titanium bike and want a matching water bottle.
6 Things to Consider Before Buying Cycling Water Bottles
Cycling websites, nutritionists, coaches and trainers are constantly on at us to maintain hydration throughout a ride. As dehydration can reduce stamina and power, it makes sense to drink as much as is practical while out on the bike.
There is more to a water bottle than just buying the color that matches your frame.
That’s why I’ve put this quick cycling water bottle buyer’s guide together for you.
Here are 6 things to look out for when buying water bottles.
1. Bottle Capacity
Cycling water bottles are typically between 500 and 750ml.
They come in a standard size that will fit most popular bottle cages and will vary in length rather than width. The capacity you choose depends entirely on your drinking habits and how long you generally ride for.
A good example of a large water bottle is the Elite Super Corsa which has a 750ml capacity.
On average, it is suggested we drink around a liter per hour. The size of the bottle should reflect that and take into account how long you typically ride for and whether you can replenish your bottles during your ride.
2. Lid and Nozzle Design
The lid of a cycling water bottle should provide security and prevent leaks. The nozzle design can influence the flow of water from your bottle.
If you like to drink little and often, this won’t matter. If you need to take larger gulps, a larger nozzle design, like the CamelBak might be more useful.
Push-pull or squeeze nozzles both offer leakproof use. This will come down to personal preference.
The design is about both looks and comfort.
Sure we want our water bottle to look good but we also want it to fit securely in the hand, fit securely in the bottle cage and not drip everywhere.
Bottles with a fluted neck allow you to grip it with a finger while collars or indents help keep the bottle in place in the cage.
Water bottles are generally made of plastic or aluminum with plastic being the most common. Those materials differ and will usually be either high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), copolyester or polypropylene.
Different materials have different characteristics. LDPE makes for more flexible bottles while the others are more rigid.
As long as the material is BPA-free or FDA-certified, it is perfectly safe for use.
5. Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning your water bottle properly is key to reducing bacteria buildup and removing any stronger tastes or smells from the bottle.
Plastics are somewhat porous on the inside so if you drink energy drinks, that taste can permeate the plastic. Effective cleaning not only improves hygiene but can prevent the buildup of those tastes and smells.
Some bottle nozzles are easy to drink from but harder to clean effectively.
Some are very simple to clean such as the Tacx Shiva. Some bottles are dishwasher safe while others are not rated for dishwashers.
Hydration is key to performance while on the bike but nobody said you couldn’t look good while doing it.
Insulated water bottles are a quality of life option. They are usually double skinned with an insulating layer between.
They can keep water cool during the heat or stop water becoming too cold in icy conditions.
If you regularly ride in extremes of temperature or really don’t like drinking warm water, insulated water bottles such as the one from Polar may prove a worthy investment.