The bicycle water bottle is a ubiquitous accessory every cyclist has, but likely hasn’t thought much about after the initial purchase. Most water bottles are chosen based on exterior design, but underneath the covers there are a variety of valve styles and form factors. What makes a cycling bottle different from a standard bottle is the fact that you are typically using a water bottle one handed while riding. As a result, a cycling water bottle needs to be easy to grip and control single handed. In today’s review, we’ll be looking at the Elite FLY water bottles as well as the insulated Elite ICE FLY bottle.
The Elite FLY and ICE FLY are the perfect water bottle for weight weenies. Although they scratch easily, they’re easy to clean and squeeze.
Although Elite is better known for their impressive bicycle trainers, the FLY bottles are used by a number of professional cycling teams world wide. They are well known for the light weight, easy modulation and cool designs.Claimed to be the lightest 550 and 750 ml bottles available worldwide, we weighed them in at a feathery 54/58 grams respectively. The ICE FLY weighed in heavier at 124 grams but has a spout cover and is insulated to keep upto 500 ml of fluid cool on warmer days.
|Likes||+ Affordable prices |
+ Light weight
+ High-flow nozzle
+ Easy to squeeze
|Dislikes||– Scratch easily |
– Push-pull valve
– Elite’s bottle ranges are confusing
|Where to Buy (US)||Elite|
If you are looking for some unboxing therapy, you’ll be disappointed with this one. All three water bottles some with simple plastic hooks attached to the lid to place them on shelves.
In this review we have three variations of the Elite FLY bottles:
- FLY 550ml
- FLY 750ml
- Insulated ICE FLY 550ml
DESIGN & USABILITY
While you can’t buy premium light weight cycling water yet, you can satisfy your inner weight-weenie and shed some grams using the Elite FLY bottles. We tried two standard FLY bottles – the 550 and 750ml size variations, as well as a 500ml insulated ICE FLY with the simple logo design. These bottles are visually unadorned and have a logo on on one side and the bottle name printed on the other. The accent and valve color on the bottle match each other for a sleek look. Form factor-wise, the bottles have the standard 74mm diameter and a slight narrowing near the cap. The taller 750ml bottle as well as the ICE FLY also have a short inset ring near the upper portion of the bottle for improved grip. The ICE FLY bottle differs from the standard bottles with a dual wall design and a geometric faceted surface to further improve the grip.
What makes the Elite FLY bottles different from a standard bottle is their variable thickness. The middle portion of the bottom is very thin, which makes them incredibly easy to squeeze allowing you to easily modulate the flow rate. The caps on the bottles are also thin and feature a simple push/pull valve.This style valve is very simple, unlike the complicated jet valves of Camelbaks; which also means it is not self sealing (it will leak if upside down and open). There is no locking mechanism as well, so care has to be taken when traveling with these bottles to avoid spills.
In terms of riding, we found the Elite FLY bottles really easy to use. Their soft bodies make them easy to grip and put them in/remove them from bottle cages. Although we still prefer the jet valves in CamelBak bottles, the Elite bottle design makes them easy to clean so you don’t have to worry about mold or junk build up when using sports drinks with these bottles. However, after only a few rides the water bottles showed some significant scratches. This is likely a sacrifice made to maintain the low weight and doesn’t affect the actual functionality.
Overall, the Elite FLY bottles are affordable and sleek bottles. The lightweight and thin bottles are easy to grip and squeeze as well. We did find the exterior of the bottles showed wear and tear after a few rides though. Although the few grams you save with the FLY bottles may not give you a new PR on your local climb, with a variety of designs and color schemes, you can easily match these to your ride for extra style points.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Elite. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.