The Bontrager Storage Bottle is a two-tier segregated bidon designed for lugging spare tubes, tyre levers, keys and similar essentials. In keeping with most things bearing the Bontrager name it's well made, but if you can forgo a few frills, something like the B'twin Storage Bottle does the same job for half the price.
- Pros: Well made, seemingly water-tight and compatible with most standard cages
- Cons: Pricey compared with the alternatives
Flipping the 74mm bidon over, the base bears the Elite logo and is, in effect, a badge-engineered version of the Italian marque's Byasi model, which is also available in black or white.
Not that it's overly important, given you're not going to be swigging from it, but the bottle is made from BPA free (food grade) plastic. Threaded sections are also very neatly machined, resulting in a snug, 'weatherproof' seal. So much so, some suggest carrying your phone inside. Not sure I'd go that far myself, but you get the idea.
Unless lined with bubblewrap or similar insulator, the main downside to traditional designs and DIY lash-ups is potential rattle. Bontrager's response is a separate pot, segregating keys and other nick-nacks. This also saves frantic scrabbling for door keys at the end of a long ride, especially in the dark. It's not big enough for my big bunch of keys, but on some rides I've slipped a couple of electrolyte sachets and a 13ml bottle of chain lube in there.
In the main section below, I have fed ours two neatly bound 700x28-32 tubes, an 18-function multi-tool, two composite tyre levers, and self-adhesive patches.
Provided all are tightly packed, there's been no hint of annoying rattle, whether I've been cruising along well-surfaced roads or taking spirited deviations along green lanes and the like.
Contents have also remained bone dry, with no hint of ingress, so no danger of multi-tools cultivating that orange taint when you've forgotten to retrieve them following a long, wet ride. (I'm still inclined to use a bag as a liner, the sort with press fit/zip top closures or this Nicnacpac.)
Being the standard 74mm diameter, it's a snug fit with a Tacx Deva, Elite Ciussi, Syncros Matchbox Coupe and several 'bat-wing' pattern carbon patterns. It's perfectly secure, even when tackling unmade backroads, although removal is an effortless, single-handed grab.
Ultimately, the Storage Bottle does everything it should, but I'm inclined to suggest you're paying for the Bontrager name. Elite's Byasi is a couple of quid cheaper and, gift aside, I'd buy the B'twin tool bottle and a tube or two with the cash I'd saved.
Well made but expensive compared with the alternatives
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bontrager Storage Bottle
Size tested: 74mm diameter
Tell us what the product is for
Bontrager says "Storage made simple. Pack the essentials for every ride with the Bontrager Storage Bottle. It features secure storage for multi-tool, tubes, tire lever, CO2, and patch kit that easily fits in any standard water bottle cage."
It's well made and does the job to a decent standard. However, it's expensive compared with Elite and several store brands, let alone the DIY options.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Wide opening for easy access
* Fits in standard water bottle cages
* Securely holds tools, CO2, spare tube, tire levers and more
BPA free plastic
Well organised, makes for convenient access. It's also waterproof and less prone to rattling than more traditional/DIY options. Fitted all my standard bottle cages.
Well made, should last.
Expensive compared with other brands and DIY options.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It keeps tools, tubes and other nick-nacks segregated and to hand, and fits most standard cage diameters snugly.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Decent materials and design. Does exactly what it says in the blurb.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's relatively poor value compared with store-branded and DIY alternatives.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a decent storage bottle but it's overpriced.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)