You use at least one every time you ride, but you probably don’t give a lot of thought to your water bottle. I know I didn’t. My rotating cast of bottles was a hodge-podge of no name brands that were mostly freebies or race giveaways. Then last Christmas I found two Podium bottles in my stocking, and my view on the lowly water bottle was changed.
In general the bottle looks and feels like most others. The plastic is a bit thicker and gives a bit more resistance when squeezed. The podium is a little wider at the neck than most bottles, but fits fine in the cages and it no problem to grab and remove.
The real differences in the podium bottle are found in the lid. First there’s a twist valve that rotates to lock and open the valve. It works flawlessly. When closed the bottle simply does not drip. I mean, not one drop. Usually when you mix up a batch of whatever it is that you drink while riding you have to shake it up-side-down over the sink or risk faux-finishing the kitchen. You don’t need to use the lock every time you drink from the bottle. The other cool feature is the self-closing bite valve. With just a light squeeze of the bottle the valve opens and lets you drink. Let go and the vale closes back down to avoid the dribbles and drips that get on your hands and bike w/ a standard bottle. There’s a little learning curve with this valve in that the water doesn’t seem to flow as freely, but you get used to it after a few sips.
After almost a year of regular use and dozens of trips through the dishwasher the bottles have held up well and the valve and locking mechanism work as they did on day one.
The Podium is a little more expensive than it’s less feature-rich cousins, but they’re still pretty cheap. The bottles come in two sizes, 21 and 24 ounces and are available in six colors. The 21 ouncer is $8.00 and the 24 is $9.00.
I’d love a few more of these for Christmas this year and I’m sure any serious cyclist would be glad to have one too.