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When you traverse rough terrain and speed down mountainsides, your bicycle will endure a few hard hits. You’ll likely have a water bottle strapped to your frame so you can rehydrate as you go. If you need new gear to manage your insane riding, learn what to look for in a cycling water bottle.
Size and Material
The first thing you’ll want to figure out is the bottle size you need. Consider how thirsty you get while riding and gauge your drinking rate throughout your time biking downhill. You should also figure out how big of a bottle your bike clip can hold.
Apart from the size, think of the material you want. Plastic bottles may squish easier when drinking and fitting into the sleeve. But it can make your water taste funky. On the flip side, a metal bottle may last longer and endure the rocks and dirt flying around it.
Texture and Style
While water bottles fulfill a functional purpose, they’re also statement pieces that show off a bit of your personality. Do you like a specific style or color? Do you want to place stickers on your bottle? Do you like bottles with themes and decals? The answers to these questions should guide you to the right cycling water bottle.
You must also consider the exterior texture. If you frequently reach for a quick sip while cycling, you should opt for a rubbery grip that will keep the bottle from slipping out of your hand. If you prefer a unique texture, look for engraved or marked bottles with grooves on the plastic or metal surface.
Durability and Upkeep
When mountain biking, you encounter gravel, rocks, mud, and debris that billows around your tires as you travel. The feeling of kicking up rocks is exhilarating, but it can dent your bottle if you’re not careful. Think about the durability you’ll need based on your riding style and location.
You should also wash your water bottle consistently to keep it pristine—and especially after a messy ride to remove caked-on mud. In fact, cleaning your cycling bottle is one of the first things you should do when you get home. You don’t want dirt or bacteria to grow, and the special attention keeps it in good condition.
Knowing what to look for in a cycling water bottle helps you choose the best container for your riding style. Remember that a little bit of care can go a long way. Wash your bottle and bike often.