Squash, water, smoothie, coffee, tea, whisky – whatever your preference is for on the bike drinking, having a decent bottle will keep your drink cool or warm. A good cage to keep it in is important too.
Here are some of our favourite bottles and bike bottle cages.
This standard looking bicycle water bottle has a lining that insulates it and keeps drinks cold. It works pretty well, especially if you put ice-cubes in with the water. As it is a normal bidon, it is very easy to pull it out and drink while riding. Its bite valve works well and can be locked if you want to put the bottle in a bag.
This bottle is only for cold drinks, and it will keep things cool for an hour or two if it’s really warm.
The Hydro Flask is relatively new in the UK but hugely popular in the US for hiking in hot weather. Therefore if you want to go out for a long ride and have very cold water when you get there, this is for you. It is also great if you spend all day out, as I sometimes do, and need two bottles – stick some ice in there and it will still be cold 6 hours later.
In terms of hot liquid, it won’t stay warm for as long as water will stay cold but it will still work for a good few hours. Therefore it is more than good enough to bring a drink to work from home or pick one up on the way. It is so well insulated that you can fill it with boiling water and it won’t feel warm to the touch.
The only problem with this flask for hot drinks is that it has a narrow neck and so it is hard to get teabags out. Its a small price to pay for 620ml (21 fl oz) of hot tea in the winter!
Starbucks to-go mug
The style of these are pretty standard, the ones I have are a couple of years old. The ones with no handles work best for use on bikes as they can be wrangled into bottle cages, cupholders or bag pockets.
I personally prefer the plastic ones for tea and metal ones for coffee as I find metal makes tea taste funny. The metal ones keep liquid hot (or cold) a little longer, so are good for full winter.
Of course most of the best bottles and cups don’t fit in regular bottle cages. I offer you a couple of solutions for this!
The Monkii Cage is a bottle cage with a difference. It has a holder that is held to the bottle bosses by plugs. The holder has a velcro strap which you can adjust so it fits bottles of most sizes. It is pretty awesome and I have to admit I stole it from my husbands bike: some Genesis bikes, including his touring bike, come with them as standard. I have promised to replace it.
The Monkii Cage has a weight limit of 1.5kg so you can put most any coffee mug in there. The maximum diameter seems to be around 9cm. This means most bottles or a Thermos fit well, if you need to carry a lot of water even a 32oz Nalgene bottle will fit.
It works well and is pretty easy to use – I have the V version which clicks up and then slides out sideways which is great for my small bike frame. When removing the bottle the strap stays around it – this is what you can see in the photos of bottles above. As an added bonus, you can get an adapter that attaches to the handlebar stem on a Brompton from water carrying that way too.
The bird and The Owl are pretty versions of a standard bike bottle cage. However, I have found that they fit a wider range of bottles than a standard rib type plastic cage. Also, in theory, if you have a specific bottle you always use, you could bend the wings a little to accommodate it.
The only downside with this cage, the bird at least is that if you wear baggy trousers a lot they can occasionally get snagged. I have had this happen once. When I say snagged I don’t mean completely caught and dangerous, just that you can feel the trousers hitting the cage when you pedal.
Another PDW product, it stands to reason a company based in Portland has figured out the best way to carry coffee on a bike. The Bar-ista lets you carry most normal sized cups and to-go mugs. I have not got one of these personally – I have no space for it on my handlebars. However, I have used one and it is sturdy and works well.
As the cup is right in front of you, it is great if you want to sip your beverage while sitting at lengthy traffic lights.
What are you go to bike drink holding carrying solutions? What’s your go to drink on the bike?
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.