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If you don't want your drink to taste of plastic then the Specialized Purist WaterGate Bottle could be for you. Whatever liquid you put in tastes the same when it comes out, and the valve works a treat. It's a pricey solution though.
Inside the Purist bottle you'll find an "amorphous silicon dioxide coating" that has been "infused into the inner-wall of the bottle" according to Specialized. It says that this forms a glass-like finish which stops drinks staining the bottle, avoids residue aftertaste and also stops your drink tasting of plastic on hot days.
Switching from sweet energy drinks to plain water with just a rinse in between saw no carryover in taste from one to another, and the bottle has remained completely stain free.
Seeing how far it could go, I mixed a strong vinegar/water solution and left it for 24 hours before rinsing and refilling with water and there was no acidic tang to be noticed at all. So, from a taste point of view the Specialized bottle does what it is designed to.
I like the shape of the Purist, too. The narrow diameter of the neck gives you something to hold to pull it out of the cage and makes it easy to grip when drinking on the fly. The bevelled bottom of the bottle also lets you locate and slide it into the cage with ease.
The Heart Valve is really nice to drink from and seals itself when you've finished so you don't get any spillages on your frame even when riding on rough terrain.
To be honest, there isn't really anything I can fault the Purist for other than the price.
Most people tend to stick to one sort of sports drink and the crossover of flavours between that and water isn't massive in other bottles anyway, so why not go for something like the £7.99 Zefal Sense Pro 65?
I did like the valve of the Purist, but you can get the same option on Specialized's Little Big Mouth bottle (review to come) for just £6.50.
Overall, if a crisp taste to your drinks is the ultimate goal then the Purist is a good choice, as long as you don't mind paying for it.
A bit pricey but keeps your drinks tasting fresh while remaining stain free
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized Purist Watergate 26oz
Size tested: 26oz
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?
Specialized says, "The Purist WaterGate Bottle features an amorphous silicon dioxide coating that's infused into the inner-wall of the bottle. Essentially, this forms a glass-like finish that provides a totally natural, and completely inert, solution to the problem of your drinks staining the bottle or leaving behind any residual aftertaste. This infusion also shields your fresh water from tasting like plastic on very hot days, making it akin to drinking straight from a sparkling clean glass. The silicon dioxide coating is a mere 20 nanometers thick which, for comparison, is less than 5,000 times thinner than a human hair. Meanwhile, the shape of the bottle feels equally perfect both in the hand and in the cage. It comes equipped with our WaterGate Cap, with a self-sealing Heart Valve™ that delivers a high rate of flow with a leak-proof design, even when the valve is open, providing a simple drinking experience."
It delivers on the taste front exactly as Specialized says it should.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Purist infusion shields the bottle form odor, stains, and mold to keep your water pure and your bottle clean.
Simple hands-free open and close valve: Nothing to turn.
100% leak-proof top locks down for transport or mixing powdered drinks.
Self-sealing Heart Valve™ delivers a high rate of flow with a 100% leak-proof design''even when the valve is open.
Rubber over-molded on the outside of cap for easy, sure grip.
Made from easy-to-squeeze LDPE material.
Clear viewing strip makes it easy to see the bottle's contents.
BPA-Free plastic is made from 100% FDA food- grade materials, and it's printed with non-solvent base (UV Cured), CPSC-approved ink and materials.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It delivers on flavour and drinks don't stain the bottle.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Self-sealing valve doesn't leak.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The infused coating adds quite a bit to the price over other Specialized bottles and those from other brands like the Zefal mentioned in the review.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Does everything that Specialized says it will, but it's pricey for marginal benefits over a standard bottle.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
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, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!