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Which water bottle to use for cycling?


Bike Guru often encounter friends asking me these two questions:

  1. Should I use my regular water bottle or a water bottle specific for cycling?
  2. What is the volume or capacity of the water bottle recommended for cycling?

It depends on the type of water bottle cage on your bicycle, as well as your bicycle frame size. There are two types of water bottle cages available in the market:

  • Water bottle cage that fits only cycling water bottles snugly.
  • Water bottle cage that allows different sizes of bottles to be fitted which is used frequently in touring and bike expedition.

The volume of the water bottle will depend on the seat tube length of your bicycle. The common volume in cycling water bottles are 500ml and 750ml.  In the photos below, I have placed a Nalgene water bottle alongside with two other cycling water bottles used for comparison to help you understand better.

Types of water bottle
Diameter of water bottles vary
  • The Nalgene water bottle is wider in its diameter compared to the cycling water bottles. Hence, a water bottle cage specific to cycling water bottles only will not be able to accommodate the Nalgene bottle, or any other bottle with a different diameter.
  • The blue and grey cycling water bottles featured in the photo above are 500ml and 750ml respectively.

This is a photo of my road bike. You can see that the length of the seat tube with respect to the top tube only allows a 500ml water bottle to be fitted.

Able to fit two 500ml bottles

You may wish to explore Decathlon bicycle accessories, they carry a wide range of cycling water bottles and bicycle bottle cages.

Disclosure: If you do intend to purchase anything from Decathlon, I hope you can support Bike Guru by making your purchase via my affiliate link. Bike Guru will receive a commission and your kind support will help me in the cost of running this website to provide bicycling tips and advice for the cycling community.


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