WHAT CAN I SAY? ELITE BOTTLES & CAGES –
THE BEST OF THE BEST!
Elite Bottles & Cages.
Elite is known for their high-quality bottles and cages used by most racers around the world. This includes the world pro tour teams.
BOTTLE CAGE DESIGN
There are three lines of bottle cages; full Carbon Fiber (CF), Fiber-Reinforced thermo-Plastic material (FRP), and metal (aluminum). CF cages and FRP cages include similar models such as the CANNIBAL and PARON. The metal line includes the Ciussi cage, which, if you have been into cycling for a while, you have probably owned at least one. For this test, I chose two of their best sellers – the CANNIBAL FRP and PARON FRP. I chose the FRP cages since, in my opinion, provide the most ‘bang-for-the-buck’. The FRP’s are very cost effective bottle cages which are almost as light as the full-carbon cage but, at a fraction of the price. In fact, not only are the FRP’s 1/4 – 1/5 the price of their full carbon equivalences but the FRP’s are more stable than the carbon cages as well.
Lateral insertion bottle cage ideal for sloping tubes or small frames
- Simple and quick Insertion/removal of your bottle from front or sides.
- ‘Rubber-snubber’ integrated into top part of cage that provides extra security via friction, but makes bottle hard to insert/extract.
An efficient and easy to use composite bottle cage
- Paron adapts to all types of bottles.
- Top of the cage has a slightly larger lip where the bottles snap into place.
- Easy bottle insertion and extraction.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
First, I just wanted to mention that all tests were done only with the supplied Elite bottles.
For the cages, I noticed 4 major differences right away.
- The design of the cages makes it VERY EASY to install these onto the down tube and seat tube. For the Paron, all I needed was a single long 4mm Allen wrench. As can be seen from the pictures below, the Paron has plenty of room for access to the top Allen bolt. The long wrench worked perfectly for the Paron’s top and bottom bolts. For the Cannibal, I had to use both long and short 4mm Allen wrenches. For the top bolt, the ‘rubber snubber’ is just large enough that I was forced to use the small end of the small Allen wrench, for the bottom bolt, it was quicker to use the longer Allen wrench.
- Cannibal’s ‘rubber snubber’ lip vs Paron’s lip: When inserting bottles, Cannibal’s rubber part that secures the bottle is extra tight. This is sort of like the older Shimano PRO version which had a rubber piece that made it almost impossible to insert/extract a bottle. Cannibal’s rubber piece makes it harder to insert/extract the bottle compared to the Paron which allows a bottle to glide almost frictionless into and out of the cage. When using the Cannibal, the cyclist must use a firm and direct pull up or push down to get the bottle in and out. But, unlike the older Shimano PRO cage which is almost impossible to use, the Cannibal does work easier than the PRO.
- Snap-in-Snap-out: With a definite ‘click’, the Paron snaps a bottle in very securely. Although the Cannibal hold a bottle securely, there is not that secure ‘click’ then the bottle snaps in.
- Price – $25 vs $17
BOTTLES – CORSA RACING BOTTLES
A truly universal cycling bottle that comes in 3 different sizes; 550 ml (18.6 oz.), 750 ml (25.4 oz.) and 950 ml (32.1 oz.), all featuring 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.
The term ‘Food-Grade’ complies with European EC and American FDA standards relevant to contact with foodstuffs.
The term ‘BPA Free’ means the elements making up the bottle are completely BPA (bisphenol A) free.
For the 550 ml bottles tested, their diameter is 74 mm (2.91”) with a height of 200 mm (7.87”).
Corsa features a functional design that works perfectly with other bottle cages. Elite has also thought about the safety of the cyclists in the peloton. The upper part of the bottle is slightly narrower where it interfaces with the cap. This design includes a series of rings that grip the cap in such a way to allow the cap to dislodge in case a dropped bottle is run over by another rider.
In fact, I had heard from several people that this design is required by the UCI. To double-check this, I wrote a letter to one of the technical directors of the UCI and here is the response I received.
I have a general question on regarding water bottles for road bikes.
I had heard, but cannot find on your website, that water bottles must have a safety cap so if a water bottle is dropped and someone runs over it, the top pops off to prevent a rider from going down. If true can you point me to the rules?
Bike Test Reviews
Good morning Bike Test Reviews,
There is no rule regarding that in the Technical Regulation.
So, even though Elite was not required to design a bottle with safety in mind, it is a credit to them that they did!
The Corsa’s new large opening enables quick filling of the bottle with liquid and allows for easy cleaning. The Corsa cap has a new push-pull valve made in soft rubber for easier gripping by the teeth for opening and closing while riding. I have used other bottles in the past where they are difficult to open and when you try and close their cap, they tend to ‘bite’ back pinching your lip. With the Corsa, this won’t happen to you.
Prior to using the Elite cages and bottles, my preferred choice was the Shimano PRO cage. Priced between the Paron and Cannibal, it’s a great cage when new. But, after about a year, the split holder loosens up allowing a bottle to rattle around. The loosening is caused by the constant removal and insertion of a bottle during rides. As it loosens further, I will be forced to toss it in the trash can since it will be too easy for a bottle to pop out of the cage. So far, Shimano has come out with a couple of cages that just don’t meet the grade, and this is the exact reason for long term testing. I hope Jessie from Shimano takes his bottle cages back to the drawing board.
SUMMARY – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Elite’s cages and bottles are top quality and even more important inexpensive making them the no-brainer best choice.
Truly great products that get the following ratings
• Paron cage: a true 5/5-star rating!
• Corsa Bottle: a true 5/5-star rating!
• Cannibal cage: 4.5/5-star rating
I have always enjoyed bicycling and, through a series of coincidences, became a Bicycle Industry Consultant and Product Tester. I continue to test prototype products for companies and publish only off the shelf production products on biketestreviews.com.