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Elite's new Jet bottle is made from biodegradable plastic, has an oversized nozzle that is easy to drink from and seals efficiently, and is based on the Elite Fly, as used in the WorldTour.
Elite claims impressive sustainability and public health credentials, but how does the Jet work as a bidon? Faultlessly, is the short answer.
I used the Jet with the Elite Ala Resin bottle cage, which I reviewed separately, and the way the two go together – well, it's a match made in heaven (or Italy for the cage and Croatia for the bottle).
Elite really has nailed its bottle cage/bottle integration and although I had to point out that the Ala cage worked best with the Elite bottle and not quite as well with bottles from other brands, having used the Jet I would be quite happy not to buy (or even accept as freebies in goodie bags) bottles from other brands having used this combination.
The oversized nozzle with increased flow and perfect sealing makes taking a decent gulp an efficient and clean process. It slides up easily with just gentle teeth pressure and can be comfortably reset with the teeth too – and I wasn't left with any sticky residue on my down tube or jersey after riding with the Jet.
As for cleaning the bottle, the nozzle cap is removable – in fact it's the same type used in the Fly bottle that's designed to blow off if run over in order to reduce the chance of a crash – so you can disassemble the bottle into three parts to put in the dishwasher.
Unlike the graphics of the Ala bottle cage, the Jet's smart grey and white print is staying sharp so far, and although I admittedly have used it mostly in the fine weather before Easter for shortish exercise-allowance riding, I am confident that it will stay looking smart and I won't need to test its accelerated compostability for a good while yet.
So not only is its performance excellent, but Elite has also addressed some of the unease eco-conscious cyclists feel when we throw away our water bottles for no reason other than that they look gouged and dirty and the graphics are wearing off. The Italian company says it takes three months to five years for one of its Jet bottles to break down once it enters a regular industrial composting cycle, instead of the 100-1,000 years of regular plastic products.
The Jet bottle – which comes in 550ml, 750ml and 950ml sizes – is treated with a bio additive that makes micro-organisms attack the polymeric chain of the plastic, according to Elite.
The Jet's plastic is also BPA-free, and Elite says the nozzle is made from an odourless and tasteless material that doesn't alter the taste of the liquid – and I can vouch for that, though of course it's impossible for us to verify Elite's claims for its compostability.
There's nothing to dislike about the Elite Jet and everything to like. Even the price is easy to swallow. You don't pay any more for the Jet's biodegradability – scrolling down through the road.cc bottle reviews, I see we've never reviewed a cheaper bottle. Tacx also makes biodegradable bottles, with the 500ml Shiva retailing at £5.99. That's not to say there aren't cheaper bottles, but I'm pretty sure they won't come with better usability and eco credentials than this one.
Full marks to Elite for producing an eco-friendly bottle with pro-level performance and a price that's easy to swallow too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Elite Jet Bottle
Size tested: 550ml
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 says the Jet is: "A new biodegradable model made in food-grade squeezable polyethylene."
The super light Elite Fly is the pro racing bottle, weighing 54g to the Jet's 80g (550ml size).
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Elite says: "Made in biodegradable plastic material... the Jet is available in three sizes so it adapts to any of your hydration needs on your bicycle (550, 750 and 950 ml). The JET combines the best in quality and performance of the most appreciated Elite bottles such as lightness, copious liquid flow and tasteless nozzle, all the while integrating the use of biodegradable plastic material to lessen the environmental impact of the bottle.
"The plastic material used to create the JET is treated with a special bio additive that makes the microorganisms responsible for the biodegradation of materials attack the polymeric chain of the plastic. This process significantly reduces the time it takes for the bottle to break down (3 months to 5 years). This is something that regular plastic products cannot do (they usually take 100 to 1000 years to decompose).
"The bottle has a new sporty, sophisticated and practical design that made it possible for us to achieve greater resistance for the bottle body while retaining unaltered its lightness and softness. Distinguished by an elegant and sinuous profile, the JET comes with a contoured bottle body with smaller diameter for easier and improved handling, insertion and removal of the water bottle under any circumstance.
"The standard 74 mm diameter of the JET ensures it can be used with all the commercially available bottlecages.
"The JET bottle includes the Elite custom cap with the innovative push-pull nozzle, which doesn't just make it easier to open and close it when you're riding your bike, it is also designed to supply a quicker and more abundant liquid flow at any time.
"As with all Elite bottles, the JET is also made with certified BPA-Free (Bisphenol-A) plastic materials, totally safe and compliant with all the more restrictive EC and FDA regulations concerning products that come into contact with foodstuffs. The rubber nozzle of the bottle boasts an innovative odorless and tasteless material designed to effectively maintain the taste of the liquid unaltered."
Very sleek looking and well finished with good quality, durable printing on the bottle.
I can't fault it.
Early days, but as good as any water bottle I've ever used.
For those who care about the weight of their water bottle, the Jet weighs 80g compared to the Fly's 54g.
The wide nozzle is really comfortable for pushing and pulling with the teeth and also for releasing a decent gush of liquid.
It would be hard to find a bottle with better performance and eco credentials at this price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Sustainability is something many of us care about but don't always think about when buying bike kit, so it's great to see Elite stepping up with this.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I liked everything about it.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
We've never tested a cheaper bottle at road.cc. Cheaper bottles are available, but you're talking £2 less for something that almost certainly won't have the combination of sustainability and great performance. Tacx also makes biodegradable water bottles, with the 500ml Shiva retailing at £5.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? 100%
Use this box to explain your overall score
Ideally, plastics would not be used at all for cycling bottles, but in the meantime measures to reduce plastic pollution have to be applauded, even if we can't independently check Elite's claims regarding the bio additive it has used to make the polyethylene of the Jet bottle biodegrade faster. That aside, its performance as a cycling water bottle is superlative, especially if used with one of Elite's own bottle cages such as the Ala, and the list price is surprisingly low.
About the tester
I usually ride: Racer Rosa custom alu My best bike is: Colnago Master Olympic
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, School run on a tandem