I will first cop to using the high capacity 26 oz. water bottles for years, thinking I needed them because I’m an endurance cyclist.
I am. I like the long distances and light, racy bikes. Here’s a photo of my Specialized Venge the day I brought it home in late 2013:
Big, Extra oz. H2O bottles
I swore I needed the extra capacity to keep me hydrated. One day I noticed the shorter regular water bottles were used predominantly by the faster crowd. I thought they were dupes.
Then, I bought carbon fiber bottle cages for the Venge. The hi-cap bottles rattled when I hit a bump and it drove me nuts. Eventually, I happened on a small, regular capacity water bottle that worked with the bottle cages. I still carried the big bottles around for the long rides and lived with the rattle, though.
I needed the extra hydration, right?
Look real close at that photo… that’s from last year, on the Northwest Tour with my friends, a 72 mile day.
Well, one day I’d decided to use a regular bottle after filling up a junior. I dumped the contents of the small bottle into the regular and my jaw dropped.
Folks, there was a sip’s difference. A sip.
Don’t take my word for it… try the experiment yourself.
Better, there’s only a sip’s difference between the regular and the high capacity bottle. A sip.
I never used one of those big bottles again, and I’ve never regretted it or prematurely run out of something to drink on a ride.
It’s not that they’re entirely useless, those big bottles. They rattle around in carbon fiber cages. And we can’t have that. If, after completing the experiment for yourself, you still feel you need a big ole water bottle, by all means; have at it. I’d bet you see the light I did, though.