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Fri, 18 Feb 2005
Bidon monopolies - 19:35
In Australian cycling circles almost every bidon you either buy or get given at an event is made by one company, BoA (crappy website, but you can see what they make). All but two of the drink bottles I own at home are made by Bottles of Australia, including the crappy drink bottle.
The crappy drink bottle came from the 9th Australian Masters Games, which were held in Canberra in 2003, I was given the bottle more recently though. I found out fairly easily the difference in bottles is due to there being a budget bottle available from BoA made from crap plastic. Looking at the website the specs of their budget bottle are indeed quite distinct from those of the original bottle (no prices here, but I am sure schwag suppliers like PaddyWack can give you a quote if you care). This discovery does however lead my to the question of, why in hell did the 9AMG people decide to hand out crappy bottles, every cycling event I go to that does a bottle run gets good quality bottles.
Oh well no matter I have many many good quality bottles from other sources. (which is good as they do actually wear out, I go through about 1 bottle every 6 months, with three in high use on my three bikes, and some I keep in lower rotation use for times I need to use more than one bottle on a bike or at an event). Most of the bottles seem to wear out after about 2 years of somewhat continuous use. (the place they tend to wear out is splitting on the lid where the plastic that holds the lid on to the bottle comes apart and slowly splits the side of the lid).
Of course the entry title is a bit of a misnomer, there are other sports bidon makers in Australia, the two I own that are different are NSW State forests bottles, they have a screw cap lid (which is really strange to use when you are used to normal bidon lids) but on the whole work fine and are made with good quality plastic. I guess the linux.conf.au 2004 bottle was also made by someone other than BoA as it has a screw top lid, I can not check as I did not get one at the conference, of course I could probably get one from Mikal as he has the overflow stock of stuff from last year's conference in his garage currently. Also I see other crappy bottles around, such as a Sydney water bottle on a shelf at my sister's place that has a small circumference plastic bite valve on top instead of the traditional rubber surrounded larger bite valve.
Of course I am probably just being a bit of a gear snob again in using the good BoA bottles almost exclusively. Just what I get given a lot, and am used to I guess.