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Verdict: 
Magnetic bottle system works fine but it's a solution in search of a problem
Weight: 
137g
Vincero Design Stratus 24 bottle + Edge 16 mount
5 10

Instead of sliding into a cage, Vincero Design's Stratus bottle slots on to a flat, wedge-shaped mount - the Edge 16 - where it's held in place with magnets about the size of 5p pieces. There's one on the bottle and one on the mount, and they're very strong. I cannot see a bottle falling off by accident; it didn't happen during the test. But while this design looks futuristic, the advantages over conventional bottles and cages are minimal – and there are drawbacks.

It's similar to a normal bottle in use. You reach down, grab the bottle, slide it free, and then drink. There's more resistance to overcome as you slide the magnets apart but it won't cause any problems for able-bodied adults.

Putting the bottle back isn't as simple. It's harder to do by feel while you're looking ahead. For while the magnets will snap the bottle loosely into place if they're anywhere near each other, the bottle will only attach securely if you slide the bottle's wedge-shaped slot down over the mount. This is fiddlier than shoving a conventional bottle into a cage, where the 'slot' you're aiming for - the mouth of the bottle cage - is much bigger, and where the rotational orientation of the bottle doesn't matter. I got quicker with practice, but it invariably took me a few seconds to replace the Stratus bottle; it wasn't something I did automatically.

The main advantage of the Stratus/Edge 16 set-up is that there's no cage when you remove the bottle. This means clean lines for those that care about such things. It also means the mount is basically unbreakable, unlike a bottle cage.

Does it hold the bottle more securely? I guess so, but I can't remember when I last lost a bottle from a standard cage - and I use bottles when mountain biking, not just on road. Any half-decent conventional cage is secure enough already.

The Stratos/Edge 16 is useful for frames with limited bottle room, such as small sized bikes or full-suspension mountain bikes. If there's just a few centimetres of space in front of the Stratos's top cap, you can get the bottle on and off; conventional cages won't release until the bottle is pulled further out. Yet even here there's a simpler alternative: a side-entry bottle cage. There's plenty to choose from. I've got a BBB SideCage on my Whyte M109. It cost less than a tenner and it's great.

Weight is more or less a zero sum game: what you save with the minimalist Edge 16 mount, you lose by having a heavier bottle. I compared the 710ml Stratos 24 (fluid ounces, hence the name) and Edge 16 with the 750ml conventional plastic bottle and a Cube HPP bottle cage they replaced. The Edge 16 was 20g lighter (16g versus 36g), while the bottle was 32g heavier (120g versus 88g).

I also tried a Stratos 20 bottle (20 fluid ounces, or 590ml). That costs £8.99 and weighs 110g. A Stratos 24 bottle is £9.99, while the Edge 16 mount is £31.99 by itself. That's not horrendously expensive, but I bought a decent bottle cage from Wilkinson's for £2.99 and even my best bottle cage cost £10. Conventional water bottles, meanwhile, can be had for under a fiver each.

The Stratos bottle is dishwasher safe so long as the temperature doesn't exceed 70 degrees centigrade.

Overall, then: it works. But it's more expensive, a bit more awkward to use, and confers few real world advantages.

Verdict

Magnetic bottle system works fine but it's a solution in search of a problem

road.cc test report

Make and model: Vincero Design Stratus 24 bottle + Edge 16 mount

Size tested: 710ml Opaque white

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Vincera Design says:

Weighing in at just 16 grams, the edge16 is the ultimate cage replacement. Engineered with a carbon fiber composite, it weighs so little you'll hardly know it's there; even when you reach down and easily remove your securely-held stratus20/24/AERO/FROST bottles.

Designed to allow the stratus20/24/AERO/FROST bottles to attach quickly, easily, and cleanly, the edge16 mount utilizes geometry and one half of a very strong magnetic pair to offset the vibration and shock loading typically seen on roads and trails. Its unique design securely holds the bottle to the patent pending edge16 mount and effectively offsets forces exerted on it.

The edge16 is a perfect solution to the cramped spaces of small or uniquely-shaped frames. The rail mount design means you will have easier access to your water bottle while improving the hold security.

The unique design of the edge16 means no more dropped or ejected bottles, no matter how rough the road or how little fluids you have left.

Additionally, the edge16 restores the beauty of your frame when bottles are not mounted. No longer will there be the ungainly sight of empty water bottle cages detracting from one of the most scrutinized parts of your bicycle.

Our largest bottle at 24oz. and a trim weight of 85g (including cap). absolutely won't leak with the patented silicone valve. The 63mm wide mouth makes it a snap for filling with ice cubes, fluids, and electrolyte as well as allowing for easy cleaning.

I say: ungainly? 85g?

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

* Wide mouth screw top is 63mm and seals tight every time

* Medical grade silicone valve requires no manual opening and closing, delivers excellent flow without any drips

* Physical cues to ensure easy mating to the edge16 rail mount

* Easy-to-handle, non-slip shape, yet compatible with traditional bottle cages

* Food grade plastic doesn't soak up flavors or odors

* 100% free of BPA, DEHA, and DEHP

* Proposition 65 Compliant and made of 100% FDA food-grade material

* Safe for the top rack of your dishwasher

* New Bite and Pull design allows traditional style drinking and original 'squeeze and squirt' option * Super easy to clean. Now with removable valve from inside of cap for increased hygiene.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Sturdily made.

Rate the product for performance:
 
5/10

Not as easy to get on and off as a conventional bottle. Drinking valve is fine but not as good as Camelbak's.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

The slot in the bottle might wear, but otherwise there's little to go wrong. If the magnets fade, Vincero will replace them.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
4/10

Slightly heavier than the cheaper bottle and cage I removed.

Rate the product for value:
 
3/10

Almost three times the price of the bottle and cage they replaced on my bike.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It works okay, but not better than conventional bottles and cages.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Novelty value.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Fiddlier to use. More expensive. Not compatible with all my other bottles and cages.

Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay.

Would you consider buying the product? No.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Different, not better.

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 45  Height: 1.78m  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride: Ridgeback Solo World fixed wheel  My best bike is: Planet X Pro Carbon Track. Or Whyte M109

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

4 comments

Avatar
mellowmiles [19 posts] 2 years ago
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if the 24 is meant to signify ounces then i suspect the bottle is even smaller no? (680mls) which is a bit too small personally. probably would go for the 750ml option if it ever comes out.

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CanAmSteve [253 posts] 2 years ago
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I've a few of these - I use them on my fancy bike as I like the clean lines.

They are US-origin so the 20 and 24 relate to US fluid ounces. The bottle is not really opaque - it is translucent and you can see the water level through it.

I've never had a problem with one coming off but if that is a worry (the bottle are cheap - it's the mount that's expensive) go with the smaller size as it is lighter when full.

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gigster69 [8 posts] 2 years ago
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I had these for a while but have gone back to normal bottles & cages. The idea in principle is good bu the problem for me was locating the magnet again when trying to place the bottle back in place. You have to be precise with it which isn`t always easy & I found i took my eye off the road in order to try & put them back onto the holder. A normal bottle & cage is so easy to use in comparison. Try if you want to waste some money.

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mellowmiles [19 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Thanks it didn't twig with the US ounces. I might try one actually. looks like they've come with a new design.