Known for riding off the front of group rides only to be caught in the first mile, CJ got back on a road bike and realized he must win the Donut Derby at least once in his life. Regularly pledging he's "not a climber," he can be found as a regular attendee of Trexlertown's Thursday Night Training Criterium or sitting on the couch watching Paris-Roubaix reruns. CJ has been a constant rider of the Hell of Hunterdon in New Jersey and races the Tour of the Battenkill before going into seasonal hiding on cross-country ski trails.

Review: HED Water Bottle and Cage by Elite

Review: HED Water Bottle and Cage by Elite

(2017) Tomorrow is the first day of July and the first day of the 2017 Tour de France. In the northeast it is also amidst a scorcher of a holiday weekend. Today’s temperature hit a balmy ninety degrees. Should one venture out by pushbike a fluid system would be mandatory. In the States though, riders sport oddly shaped bottles compared to the Euro counterparts. A little research reveals a source close to home to get that European touch.

  HED water bottle cage designed by Elite.

HED water bottle cage designed by Elite.

Having crashed out of my last criterium race, I thought I had gotten off easy. I remounted my bike and continued on despite being unhitched from the main group. I was in it for the points and refused to accept a DNF. Days later the damage poured in. My ribs alerted they were not up to snuff and a review of the racing rig revealed a broken water bottle cage. No big deal really, if one was adding up potential damages.

 

I had eyed up HED’s accessory page for quite some time. I loved the look of the European water bottles, those pudgy cylinders that resemble giant aluminum cans and less like those mushrooms like in America. Excitedly I ordered up two water bottle cages and two water bottles for my next half of summer racing. I implore you to do the same.

  Not a bad weight for vinyl water bottle cages.

Not a bad weight for vinyl water bottle cages.

As someone who has been in the cycling world, I don’t care much for the ‘purer’ version of water bottles. Instead, in a land of overstimulation and over design, water bottle shopping is made difficult by graphics and insulation, liquid flow and ease of cleansing. I just wanted a water bottle that looked like it belonged on the bike and not some phalanged drinking apparatus. I found it in HED’s accessory department.

  Euro from the get-go when using Elite bottles.

Euro from the get-go when using Elite bottles.

First the cages are as any cage could be: plastic and light. Ride behind any carbon cage devotee in a spring classic and rest assured, they’ll be riding without water or doing a regular U-turn to retrieve ejected bottles. You'll be dodging the ejected bottles. Elite bottle cages snap the bottle in and leave them there. It’s a nice feeling to know bottles will stay put in plastic cages in exchange for a couple of grams.

 

The bottles are the easy-to-use squeeze type. There is no gimmicky glass lining nor is there a water flow issue. These are water bottles. It’s a simple issue. At least they are not the snap on variety from the eighties that, when squeezed, had the potential to unload the entire bottle’s contents on the rider’s face. The HED water bottle cage and water bottle designs will have your group ride compatriots doing a double take to establish whether you stole off some chucked bottles from the Tour. They may be the simplest accessories on your road bike, but they’re the most important in the summer rides.

Events: Rapha Rising – Day One

Events: Rapha Rising – Day One

Events: Rapha Rising 2017

Events: Rapha Rising 2017