Weight matters, right? Right. To some. Weight definitely matters to some and to some it matters a lot. Weight matters so much to some, that they’ll save weight wherever possible: carbon saddle rails, thin tires, water bottles… the list goes on. If there is a component or accessory out there, there’s a brand that will make it as light as possible.
Italian brand Elite fits the bill with some of their products. Elite puts a premium on performance-minded products, and sells trainers, bottles, and bottle cages. They actually have four different carbon water bottle cages. The Elite Prism Carbon is one of their carbon cages made with mountain biking in mind. The carbon bottle hugger weighs in at precisely what they have claimed: 29 grams.
The Prism is made from a polymer-matrix composite, reinforced with carbon fiber. Elite says the Prism cage is made with a “unique design and easy-access storage for your bottles when space on the frame is limited.”
By limited space, they mean small frames, where a side-loading water bottle is necessary or just more convenient. Thus, they make the Prism Carbon in either a left or right orientation and in two different colors. Usually when you think about products that are light, made from carbon, or from a quality brand like Elite, you’d think they’re expensive, but the cage is priced at a totally reasonable $25. That said, it might still be a tough buy for someone who has an alloy cage lying around in their garage somewhere.
There’s not much else to say about it other than I’ve used it for a few months now, it’s light and flexy, but still strong and I have yet to lose a bottle from its grasp.
I also tried two bottles from Elite. The Jet is made from biodegradable “food-grade squeezable polyethylene.” Still, who knows how long it would take to actually break down. My 550ml bottle weighs 78g, but their Fly Elite bottles are the lightest-ever bottle made according to them, and the same size weighs 24g less.
The Ice Fly weighs a bit more at 136g for a 500ml, but keeps bevvies cooler for a bit longer. Elite says it’ll last about 2.5 hours. That’s fair. I don’t think it keeps it ice cold for that long, but it keeps drinks cooler than the outside temperature for about that long, which is still longer than most bike bottles. A nice little cover prevents dirt from gathering around the spout.
The Jet retails for around $8 and the Ice Fly for around $10. Check out more on the Elite website.