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First look review: Elite Fly water bottle weighs just 54g

24 Aug 2017

When weight is everything, Elite have made a bright upgrade

Cyclist Rating: 
A smart way to save vital grams on the bike
Paint chips easily and more rigged cap

The water bottle is an accessory owned by every cyclist. All offering the same function, you would think that the development of this item would have a pretty clear ceiling. 

Where can you make a bottle better? If it holds liquid and you can drink from it whilst riding, the bottle will most likely suffice. Yet in a world in which cyclists obsess over the details of wight and aerodynamics, our trusty bottle we all own probably don't tick the boxes. 

This is where Elite has stepped in. Elite leads the market when it comes to bidons, and due to their connection with 12 WorldTour teams, often sit at the forefront of our minds when we get thirsty. 

Elite has had a rethink and decided that they could make the bottle better. 

The Elite Fly water bottle claims to be the lightest bottle available worldwide offering another marginal gain to the world's best athletes. 

Is this development really worth it? Would my normal bottle still the trick? 

Light as a feather 

The first thing I noticed when picking the bottle up was that they really are super light. Bottles are not heavy, but it feels like Elite has saved grams that otherwise you would not know were there. 

The new Fly bottle tips the scale at a whopping 54 grams, a whole 40 grams lighter than the previous incarnation. That's 80 grams saved over two bottles, which for some, is a vital saving. 

I was impressed by how the bottle felt lighter and it, to me, felt like a bigger saving than 40 grams. This, psychology, made me feel like I was riding a lighter bike than I probably was. That alone means that the Fly is an improvement.

Realistically, being 90kg, 80 grams saved on my bike is going to make little to no effect to my climbing prowess. Yet 

Where you feel the difference in weight is in the lid. The Fly feels perfectly balanced, regardless of how full the bottle is,  making it stable when being used on the road.

Despite the lighter lid, it remains stable enough to slide back into the bottle cage with ease. The lighter lid is also wider than before which makes for dispensing electrolyte powder a less messy affair. 

Quenching your first 

Besides holding the liquid, the other pivotal role the bottle plays is dispensing into your mouth, some thing that proved a slight issue with the Fly. 

Firstly, the cap is larger than on previous editions, which took more getting used to than you would imagine. It makes it slightly more difficult to open and drink from.

Furthermore, when tackling this wider cap, I found that the cap removed itself easily with a pull of force. With less splash fro the Fly bottle you can ride with the cap open but is something I passed on with fear of getting mud and grit embedded in the cap.

One positive to come from this new cap design is its higher flow rate. Water can now pass quicker from the bottle into your mouth than before, which begs for a more gentle squeeze.

Chip in the paint

I have been using these bottles for the past week and one thing that is apparent is the ease to which the logos have rubbed off. The constant removal from bottle cages seems to have marked the bottles much quicker than on my older Elite bottles.

Whilst this doesn't bother me as such - as I have no preference to what WorldTour team bottle I use - I can see this being a definite issue for those who have bought a specific teams bottle.

I tested bottles branded for Team Sky and after a few uses found the T and the S to have already been marked. If I had bought these bottles specifically for the team name, I certainly would have been peeved.

The reason for this slightly less robust plastic could stem from Elite's decision to use an anti-slip coating on the outer plastic. You can also rest at ease that the plastic used is dishwasher proof and BPA-free.

Final Thoughts

A few things did annoy me about this new design when using it, but I am left annoyed because I like this product. Elite has rethought how to make a bottle, emphasising the need to save weight and make drinking easier, which is great. 

Yet, as with many first attempt, I feel like refinement could be in order to make this perfect. It was only a few snags that prevented this from being perfect, but them snags are quite noticeable. 

If you want to save as much weight as possible on the bike then buy a pair of these bottle, they will not disappoint. Yet, if you want to show off your favourite WorldTour teams colours then hold back until Elite improve the Fly. 


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