With a variety of water bottles lying around, I typically use one of the many Specialized Purist 22 oz. bottles at my disposal. But, when the Elite Fly water bottle was introduced, I started using the 550ml and subsequently added a few 750ml versions for longer rides.
Elite Fly Water Bottle Features:
- Lightweight design
- Uses 30% less plastic than typical bottles
- Straight wall design for easy cleaning
- Available in 550, 750 and 950ml sizes
- Weight: 554g (550ml) and 75g (750ml)
- MSRP: $9.99-$12.99
Easy-to-squeeze, great flow
Elite produces thousands of water bottles for professional bike teams and recreational cyclists, so it’s great to see them optimizing both the function and production of their bottles. With so much excessive plastic use in all industries, reducing the amount of plastic used by 30% is a great accomplishment. And, in the process, the bottles are lighter and easier to clean.
Now, shaving weight with your water bottles isn’t going to yield huge results, but if you are looking to drop 60 grams or so, you could opt for the Elite Fly 550ml bottles and also give up about 200ml of water compared to a pair of Specialized Purist bottles. It is a cheap way to drop a few grams in plastic and liquid, if that’s what you’re after. But, with those smaller bottles, you will run out of water faster. Or, you can still save weight and opt for the larger bottles and carry along more water than a set of Specialized bottles. Dropping weight doesn’t always make for a positive user experience, so let’s dig in.
For several years, I’ve used a set of 550ml Elite Fly bottles for road, gravel and MTB. These bottles have been used with the Zipp Alumina, Bontrager Bat Cage and Silca Sicuro over their lifetimes. Bottle security has remained outstanding across all three cages and it’s easy to slide in/out as well. As opposed to the large notch of the Specialized bottles, these only have a small indent that plops into the lip of the bottle cage. Still, they remain securely in place.
The cap doesn’t feature any texture to aid in gripping it, but I can always twist it on/off just fine. While it’s possible to cross-thread caps on other bottles, I find it easier to do that with the Fly, so make sure you get it on squarely before tossing it into a bag or your bike. Once closed, the nozzle has proven to remain waterproof in my testing.
The most important aspect of any water bottle is how easy it is to pull it out of the cage when you need hydration. With a Specialized bottle, it’s really easy to grab that large indent and manipulate the bottle. With the Elite Fly bottle, the lip on the cap is what ends up being my grab point. It’s not as pronounced, but hasn’t been too problematic. But, unlike Specialized bottles, that grabbing point requires you to slip your hand down before squeezing, which could result in a bottle drop if you’re not careful.
When it comes to squeezing, the Elite Fly bottle feels flimsy at first, but becomes natural very quickly. It’s almost as if you can squeeze the bottle completely and it just rebounds into shape. The result is a huge amount of water flow. A full squeeze of the Elite Fly will yield almost 300ml of liquid, whereas the Specialized Purist will give you 200ml. Both have a comparable stream shape for easy aiming and swallowing.
Like any bottle, the Fly will get scuffed in a jiffy. I do like the smoked plastic to be able to easily see water levels — which is still possible when scuffed, but not possible with solid colors. Cleaning them up is easy and they do well in the dishwasher. You’ll have to use a dishwasher or a small scrubber to completely remove any lingering drink mix flavor.
- Three size options available
- Lighter than typical bottles
- Can squeeze more water out in a hurry
- Nice nozzle flow and shape
- Has remained leak-free
- Wide, flat bottom
- Straight sides are easy to clean
- Flat nozzle is easy to wipe clean
- Squeezes ALL the water out
- Not as easy to grab-and-squeeze in the saddle
- Easy to cross-thread the cap
The Bottom Line: Elite Fly 550 and 750ml bottles
I have loved mixing in both the 550 and 750ml Elite Fly bottles into my rotation. Particularly, the 750ml size has been great for long MTB rides on the Trek Top Fuel, which can’t clear most large bottles. It’s easy to squeeze lots of water out in a hurry and they remain secure across all cages I’ve used.
Buy Now: Available on Amazon