Admit it, you’ve done it. Gone out for a ride on your shiny well-maintained bike, wearing your best cycling kit. And then spoiled it all with an old tatty water bottle in your superfly 20g anodized bottle cage. Or worse still, and I shudder at the thought, sporting mismatching bottles! It’s not big and it’s not clever.
Pound-per-style-points, bidons are one of the cheapest upgrades you can make to your aesthetic, so here are five potentials, depending on your style and budget.
1. Out of the ordinary: Abloc Arrive
Available in nine different colors (well, caps, the bottles are all a uniform smoked transparent material), Abloc are a relatively new kid on the block and also one of the more expensive bidons on the market at US $15 for the 550ml version and US $17 for the larger 710ml bottle. The design is unique, almost spaceship-like with a thinner neck and a narrow mid-bottle collar.
The bottles are logo-free and I’ve been using these for a couple of years and can confirm the valves work well (the only real issue is that the narrow opening makes filling the bidon with powder a challenge , unless you use a funnel). Getting hold of these in the UK used to be a challenge (I had to order mine in the US) but there are now a few retailers stocking them locally.
2. The brand snob’s choice - Rapha Water Bottle
If you want to match the bottle to your kit rather than the bike and leave no one in any doubt that you’re a ‘serious cyclist’ (even on the morning commute on your Brompton), then the Rapha water bottle (strange that Rapha of all brands chooses not to call it a bidon) is available in a range of Rapha colorways and 625ml and 750ml sizes. The bottles feature an ‘ergonomic design’ and a leakproof cap. The bottles are advertised as 100% recyclable and dishwasher safe (or you could just get your butler to wash them).
3. The Weight Weenie’s friend - Fly Elite
Marketed as the lightest bottle on the market, the Elite Fly weighs in at 54g for the 500ml version (750ml and 950ml also available) and is available in a wide range of colors, making it not only suitable for the weight-conscious but also the sartorially inclined. Elite say the bottle is designed to be both sturdy (thicker at bottom) and also easier to squeeze (thinner material in the center of the body).
I have to admit I like the look of these bottles and plan to get my hands on a few shortly. A relative steal at around £6-7 online for the 500ml version.
4. Style over substance? - Science in Sport Deboyo
To give its full name, the SiS Limited Edition Thermal Deboyo Bottle (500ml) isn’t really a bidon at all, but an insulated water bottle that happens to (they claim) fit into most bottle cages.
You have to admit that it looks good, very good. The shiny metallic design will look catching the sun on a beautifully smooth Mallorcan road.
Although perhaps it will be more useful for keeping your hot chocolate warm on cold miserable winter rides – SiS say it will keep a drink cold or hot for up to 12 hours. Yours for just £20 online.
5. The budget option - Tacx Shiva
Available widely online and starting at around £5 for 500ML bottle. Simple design, lack of branding and easy to color-coordinate with your bike. Nice wide neck for filling with your preferred carb powders etc. Available widely online, it could be your best option if you want to go for a simple understated design.
Have you got a recommendation for a bidon that should be featured on this page, let me know!