Tested May, 2010
Bottle Water Bottle
- MSRP: $9.95 each available
- 22 oz. capacity
- 100% non-toxic, BPA-free plastic
- Removable top and bottom for easy cleaning
David Mayer is the mind behind the Clean Bottle. And this year he's burst
onto the cycling scene with guerrilla marketing run amok. From spamming the
Webcore cycling Yahoo! Group to free samples at the top of Old La Honda, Dave
and his bottles are everywhere. He even had a video testimonial on
Bicycle Retailer and
dressed up as a Clean Bottle for the
Tour of California. In
fact, nothing is sacred with Dave; at the Wildflower Triathlon in May, I opened
the door to a porta-potty and was greeted with a huge Clean Bottle poster over
the throne. Dang, this guy is EVERYWHERE!
He also does something cool with the profits--he will donate 10% of the years
profits to a charity that his fans vote on. Kind of cool.
Regardless of the marketing, lets look at the "history" of the water bottle.
The evolution of the water bottle
Check out these bottles. Any memories? From the right is the classic original
Specialized. For many years, this was the only solution to hydration on the
bike. When new, the bottles worked well. But with use, the top could become stubborn to put on
and they were prone to leaking. Next to it is a "no name" that offers a screw-on lid
for easier securing, no matter how cold; these were a good upgrade to the
original Specialized design and were on the market for years. Following is a Tacx bottle that was
looks good but doesn't work well; if you squeezed too hard, the lid would burst, showering you in energy
drink, water, or whatever fluid you were using. Next to that is the Revenge bottle with a flip lid; too complicated
for riding. The blue bottle is the current standard and is also made by Specialized.
a screw top, high flow head, and soft plastic construction. Next to it is the
Polar insulated bottle designed for keeping drinks cool in hot weather; despite
the conceptual usefulness, I've
never really used it. Flanking that is the new
Johnny's bottle made by Trek. It features a screw top and
has a very high flow head with supple plastic that makes it easy to squeeze
large quantities of fluid. Finally, on the end, is the new Clean Bottle.
So how does it work?
Plain and simple, the Clean Bottle is a better mouse trap. It offers a removable
top AND bottom to facilitate easy cleaning. The sheer capability to remove the lower half incents folks to
at least think of their "bottle hygiene", though I think most water bottles
typically get a simple rinse and air dry. But perhaps we should pay more
attention to cleaning our water bottles; check out the black ring of growth on
the Trek top; it's remarkable how germs and algae accumulates at the
nozzle, as see by the picture below. This "growth" originates at the base of the
nipple which is very hard to reach by any means.
It is hard to know if similar similar "growth" occurs with the Clean Bottle,
because of the opaque top. But my advice is, stick your bottles in the
dishwasher ever once in a while!
Overall, this is a great idea. The bottle has heavier-duty plastic
that should last a long time. According to hiker friends, the seals on the Clean Bottle
work well; no drips were found on a recent journey. However, there are some drawbacks:
the bottle holds only 22 ounces vs 24 for the modern Trek &
Specialized bottles. Additionally, the plastic is stiffer which makes it more
difficult to get a strong swig of fluid, though the stronger material should
The Clean Bottle seems like it would be a hit with Mommies with young kids
(in fact-Dave, maybe think of making a smaller sized one for infants and young
kids), hikers, and cyclists who actually think about their bottle hygiene.
Bottom line: well done innovating on something that most folks have taken for
Value: 4.5 stars (wish it had larger capacity and softer plastic)
Overall: 4.5 stars