WHAT CAN I SAY? ELITE BOTTLES & CAGES –
THEY JUST KEEP GETTING BETTER AND BETTER!
ELITE FLY Bottle & VICO Carbon Cage
Our previous ELITE bottle & cage review rated the Paragon cage and Corsa bottle a true 5 out of 5. Just about the time you finished reading that review, ELITE upped the ante and introduced a lighter and equally sturdy carbon cage called VICO and the lightest pro-tour bottle called the FLY. Just when you thought you had the best, ELITE has just set a new standard!
VICO BOTTLE CAGE DESIGN
LIGHT, STRONG and TOUGH. The VICO carbon bottle cage securely held every plastic water bottle I have. Not only tested were the included ELITE FLY racing bottles, but, a dozen more miscellaneous sized bottles from my ‘collection.’ I even tested a plastic (water-bottle-type) tool-carrier. The heaviest water bottle weighed in at 1lb 13oz. (29oz., 822 gm) and I experienced no flexing or stress of the VICO cages. Every bottle I used was held securely.
VICO is made from a carbon fiber composite material which provides extreme lightness and durability. VICO is also about half the price and about the same weight as full-carbon cages costing $75-$80 each. How light? VICO weighs in at 24 grams.
VICO achieves this light weight and tough strength by adding structural sections that vary according to the tension level applied to different areas of the bottle cage. Kind of like the multi-shape double-butted aluminum and steel framesets. This ensures low weight, high strength and high reliability against breakage.
Each frames’ unique placement of the water bottle bosses makes some installs easy and others hard. Since the cages on my Trek Émonda SLR are located a little higher up on the tubes, the install was easy. I needed both a long 4mm T-wrench as well as a standard small 4mm Allen wrench. Slots in the outer-facing sections allow easy access to the screws. I used the longer 4mm wrench on the upper screw and the shorter wrench for the lower screw. My only question is why manufacturers make those screws so darn LONG? Half-length, they would still work perfect.
USING THE CAGES
I used both 500ml and 750ml bottles to test the cages. When inserting a bottle in to the VICO carbon cage, there was no noticeable ‘snap’ like that experienced with the Elite Paron. There was, on the other hand, a very firm friction fit. The first several times I replaced any bottle, I was concerned the ultra-light VICO would break. Instead, the VICO flexed when inserting and extracting the bottles. After several months of use, I gave the cages a detailed inspection using a magnifying glass and saw no stress risers or stress fractures anywhere on these cages.
VICO is a very sturdy and lightweight bottle cage made for racing, touring and gran Fondos.
BOTTLES – FLY RACING BOTTLES
A truly race-worthy cycling bottle that comes in only one size 550 ml (18.6 oz.) and 54 gm in weight. Since this is a bottle designed, supplied and used by World Pro Tour teams, the number of bottles provided to each cyclist is not an issue. The smaller the bottle the lighter the weight the cyclist needs to carry. Out of water? Just go back to the team car and get more!
If you want a larger capacity bottle, you will need to look at the OMBRA which has a 750 ml (25.4 oz.) option, or, the previously tested CORSA which has a 750 ml and a 950 ml (32.1 oz.) option. All Elite bottles feature food-grade squeezable polyethylene for the bottle body and food-grade thermoplastic rubber and polypropylene for the cap. Bottle body and cap are biodegradable, 100% recyclable and BPA free.
Capacity: 550 ml
Total height: 185 mm
Diameter: 74 mm
Weight: 54 gr
Bottle body: innovative plastic material
Cap: food-grade Polypropylene and food-grade Silicone
The new Fly bottle by Elite was designed and produced to achieve record lightness and is the lightest sport bottle available worldwide. The FLY weighs in at 54gm while most other standard bottles of the same capacity weigh over 80grams. The FLY’s cap is responsible for most of the weight savings. The new cap is manufactured with several different plastics and features a uniquely designed ‘oversized’ push-pull soft silicone valve. This new larger diameter valve guarantees an easier liquid flow. It’s also odorless and tasteless. Its unique design also ensures that the cap wont ‘BITE’ your lip when opening or closing with your teeth.
The cap unscrews easily and the bottle is easy to clean with any standard bottle brush.
All-in-all, this is the best designed cap and valve I have ever used!
Elite’s cages and bottles are top quality making them the no-brainer best choice.
Truly great products that get the following ratings!