The humble water bottle is an unglamorous but essential item for cyclists, and one that manufacturers often try to improve in order to bring us the next best thing. Elite say that the material used in their new Buricci bottle, Higene, is designed to give a clear, untainted taste to its contents, and an antibacterial action to keep it that way.That may be so, but Elite seem to have taken their focus of some of the other factors that make a good water bottle.
The bottle is available in four colours; clear, blue, red and smoke colour, and two sizes; 550ml and 800ml. Tested here was the 800ml variety, in clear.
The top cap has a soft rubber drinking nozzle, with the usual pull up to drink, push down to close action. The cap also ‘snaps’ open on a plastic hinge, to allow refilling, and as Elite put it, ‘showers’ – dousing yourself down in hot weather. The entire top cap assembly can also be unscrewed for cleaning.
The first impression was that the bottle was very tall, and the cap appeared a little narrow. The height of the bottle was not an issue on my normal bike with a semi compact frame, but when I hired a bike on a recent trip abroad, the compact frame of the carbon Massi made it very difficult to get the bottle into the cage mounted on the seat tube, as the nozzle ended up jamming against the top tube. I had to stop and dismount to extract the bottle and swap with the down tube mounted one once it was empty, as it was not possible to do this on the move.
The added capacity of the bottle, 800ml as opposed to the more traditional 750ml, partly accounts for the extra height, but the shape of the bottle narrows towards the top, meaning despite only adding 50ml to its volume, it stood at least 2 inches higher than other 750ml bottles I have.
The top cap also suffered several problems; firstly the rubber drinking nozzle leaked when pulled out, which meant that I always got a dribble down my neck whenever I took a drink, which is annoying at best; if you have a sticky energy drink it can make a real mess of your jersey. I had the same issue on both of the bottles I was testing, so this wasn't an isolated incident.
The flip top feature, which is supposed to make filling easy, was not at all secure; I dropped a full bottle onto the draining board of my sink from no more than 18 inches, and this was enough to pop the top open and lose all the contents. Not a problem when at a sink, but if you were to drop this bottle on the road, it is very likely to spill the entire contents, which could be very inconvenient.
Finally, even when the top cap is fully unscrewed for cleaning, the aperture is quite narrow (1.5 inches), and this meant that cleaning was awkward as I couldn’t get a washing up brush in to properly clean it out. It is dishwasher safe though, and came out fine when put through a cycle.
On the positive side, the Higene material did a good job of not tainting the flavour of its contents initially, but once you have had a strong flavoured drink in it, this tends to taint any subsequent drinks anyway.
Elite's Higene material is a plus point, but the shortcomings of the overall design of this bottle really let it down.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Elite BuriHygene bottle
Size tested: 800ml
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?
Elite say that this bottle is particularly suited to those using energy drinks, but the leaky valve and top cap design mean this can get very messy.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The bottle is made from a bacteria-resistant plastic, designed to prevent odour or tainted flavours.
The design and construction of the top cap and valve allowed leaks and spills which detracted from the performance of the product
The leaky valve let it down.
The snap close cap has no sealing O rings etc, so with time the seal that is not very secure when new, is likely to become less so.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Leaks and spills characterised the performance of this bottle, and the overall height also proved problematic.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Poor sealing and operation of the nozzle and top cap, plus the unnecessarily tall design.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
About the tester
I usually ride: Litespeed Icon My best bike is: as above
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Track Cycling