The humble water bottle. A simple piece of equipment, and essential for every ride. But what if there is a better, faster, sleeker and sexier alternative? And where to put those tools and tubes when your pockets are full? Because let’s be honest, no one wants bulging pockets.
Introducing the Freedom Cycle System, a range of bottles and toolboxes that will challenge the way you think about hydration and storage on the bike.
Words - Katie Quinn Images - Justin Castles Photography & Breanna Gravener photography
Your water bottle, you know it’s important. Every cyclist has at least a dozen, but leave it at home, forget it after being at the café, or drop it mid-ride and you’ll instantly regret it. While technology involved in producing the latest and greatest bicycles has evolved in leaps and bounds, the humble bottle and bottle cage system has remained largely unchanged - until now.
The Freedom Cycle System was created in 2009 by Bendigo cyclist Steve Serpell. Steve realised that by placing the bottle ‘in’ a cage created limitations to its function and design. The shape of the cage limited the shape of the bottle. Bottle decals are hidden and usually damaged by the cage within a few rides. And anyone that’s had to dodge a runaway bottle mid-ride or mid-race knows that sometimes they can be a pain to return to their holder.
The Freedom Cycle System delivers a new way to provide storage for your essential bike items. It is based around a unique pin interlocking system that replaces the traditional drink bottle cage. The aero drink bottle, the aero tool kit and the traditional round bottle all fit the same pin. The system has been aerodynamically tested, designed and built and paves the way for the production of accessories or bottles of any shape and material for improved aesthetics and specific volume carrying capacity.
The current system is comprised of the Freedom Ease round bottle, the Freedom Fast aero bottle, and the Freedom Fix toolkit. The Freedom Ease and the Freedom Fast bottles hold 600 and 520mL of fluid respectively. They are sturdy bottles with removable top and bottom caps for easy cleaning. The Freedom Fix is a purpose built toolbox that opens like a suitcase to house whatever you choose. There are two mesh dividers so everything you need to carry is easily accessible, visible and secure. No more rattling parts. It’s aerodynamic, versatile and looks good.
The bottles can be easily located and replaced back on the pin in any position, with little resistance when removing or replacing the bottle, making it ideal for a smooth road ride. If you push your bottle more firmly down on the O-ring style pin it delivers a firmer lock-in, making it great for off road riding. The universal carry system means that the Freedom Cycle System accessories utilise that sacred space within the frame ‘triangle’ with improved efficiency. Now two bottles will fit any frame, regardless of frame size.
If the prototypes we looked at are anything to go by, prepare to be impressed. The components are manufactured in Australia and Italy with assembly taking place in Australia.
The bottles are well constructed, nicely finished, and made from a highly durable and lightweight low-density polyethylene. The LDPE is also easy to squeeze allowing you to get the most from each drink. The construction material for the toolbox has not yet been finalised but will be equally strong and durable.
Both the Freedom Fast and Freedom Ease bottles were wind tunnel tested, and have been proven to provide an aerodynamic advantage. They have removable tops and bottom caps for complete cleaning access. They currently have a basic nozzle, with a one-way valve nozzle available in 2017. The bottles are dishwasher and freezer safe. To ensure your health and safety Freedom Cycle System water bottles are BPA free and fully comply with all international food and liquid holding standards.
As with any new design there will be teething issues, and these naturally will be addressed over time. Design modifications are underway for a pin system that can also convert to a cage to carry neutral spare bottles. While the pin system means that your other bottles will be obsolete, we don’t think you’ll mind when you see how amazing these look.
The weights of the products are as follows:
- The Pin - 50 grams
- Freedom Ease - 105 grams
- The Freedom Fast - 98 grams (estimated)
- The Freedom Fix - 160 grams (estimated)
Prices start from $25 on Kickstarter for the Freedom System pin and Freedom Ease drink bottle. For three pins and the 3 systems – the Fast, Fix and Ease – you are looking at $85. Further discounts apply if you are sign up for the Earlybird offer.
Currently the Freedom Cycle System is available for purchase via a Kickstarter campaign that is aiming to raise $30,000 by August 12.
Kickstarter is an online website for entrepreneurs to pitch their innovative ideas to the public, to generate interest and funds, and in turn their ‘investors’ are able to purchase their wares at a reduced price.
WHERE TO BUY
Head to Kickstarter here to get yours!
More information can be found at Freedom Cycle Systems website
The days of cyclists accidentally dropping their water bottles are over. The Freedom Cycle System looks fast, sexy and über cool. Why have a standard round bottle in a standard round bottle cage, when you can have the aerodynamic advantage, not to mention the pure panache, of a sleek and sexy bidon that complements your modern speed machine. This is a system that will appeal to any cyclist that appreciates new concepts, improved products and just may give you the extra kick you need to get you over the line first.
Tell us what you think of this shift in water bottle tech in the comments below