Fidlock Water Bottle Review: Hydration with a Twist

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Fidlock water bottles offer a variety of magnetic Twist-action mounts that feature a quick-access design to replace traditional bottle cages. They’ve designed a system that’s low-profile and compatible with a wide range of bikes. Find a closer look at the entire suite in this detailed review…

I was first introduced to Fidlock water bottles and their magnetic system while reviewing High Above’s Venture hip pack. The Venture is equipped with Fidlock’s magnetic base on the waist strap, allowing the use of a bottle while riding. While I don’t usually need extra water strapped onto my body, my partner Emily found the system quite useful for day rides and longer trips due to the lack of water-carrying capacity on her small/medium-sized frame.

The Fidlock water bottle system is based around two pieces that can be mixed and matched depending on your needs. The base is the “male” end of the system, which holds the bottle in place. There are several variations, including the bolt-on Bike Base, strap-on Uni Base, an adapter base to shift the position of your bottle, and even a base designed to strap directly onto backpack shoulder straps. Fidlock offers a number of bottle sizes and styles, and even universal systems to convert non-Fidlock bottles into magnetic ones. All components are available on their own or as complete kits with a base and bottle, depending on your needs.

Fidlock Water Bottle Review, High Above Venture Hip Pack
  • Fidlock Water Bottle Review, High Above Venture Hip Pack
  • Fidlock Water Bottle Review, High Above Venture Hip Pack
  • Fidlock Water Bottle Review, High Above Venture Hip Pack

The Fidlock Flip system uses both a magnetic and mechanical attachment to keep the bottle in place. Two strong magnets attract, center, and latch the bottle while mechanical locking “jaws” secure the bottle in place. The Twist bottle is removed with a clockwise motion, making it ideal for tight spaces, such as the main triangle of a full-suspension mountain bike.

While the system is quite versatile, there are some limitations. The strap-on Uni Base can be mounted to any of the main triangle tubes with a 27-80mm diameter, but they don’t recommend securing it to the fork or seat stays. The Bike Base can be mounted to any standard bottle cage mounts on the frame, though Fidlock only seems to mention the seat tube and down tube in their manual. That said, it seems some folks are getting creative with their Fidlock positions, and when I asked Fidlock about any limitations, they said folks they encourage folks to try interesting mounting solutions.

  • Fidlock Water Bottle Review
  • Fidlock Water Bottle Review
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Fidlock Uni Base

I was most interested in the Fidlock Uni Base as a way to add an extra bottle on a frame without braze-ons. The magnetic base has two rubber zip-strap style straps that attaches it securely to any 28-62mm wide main triangle tubes. The base is backed with a grippy rubber pad to help create a secure attachment and protect the frame, and when installed correctly, it does a pretty good job at staying put. The entire mount is just 88mm long, so it takes up minimal room on the frame, allowing it to sneak between frame bag straps, as you can see in some of the photos in this review.

Fidlock Water Bottle Review, Fidlock Uni Base

The straps feature two locking tabs that ensure they don’t slip. After some pretty aggressive tugging and stretching during my testing, they seem to be fairly durable too. My only real complaint is that the excess tail of the strap has nowhere to live, so it either dangles beside the frame or must be tucked in under itself. I also found the straps needed a solid pull to ensure the base is kept in place, otherwise a hit from a leg or hip would shift the base/bottle out of position.

The twist-to-release design works great no matter where the Fidlock water bottle is positioned. It requires minimal effort and after a few tries, replacing the bottle becomes almost second nature. With that said, depending on the location, I found I would sometimes accidentally hit the bottle right off my bike when getting back on. I think the Fidlock bottles are best kept clear of your legs, either toward the front of the top tube or inside the main triangle.

  • Fidlock Water Bottle Review
  • Fidlock Water Bottle Review, Fidlock Uni Base
  • Fidlock Water Bottle Review, Fidlock Uni Base
  • Fidlock Twist Review
  • Fidlock Twist Review

  • Model tested: Fidlock water bottle Uni Base
  • Material: Plastic, Neodymium Magnets
  • Weight: 41 grams
  • Place of Manufacture: China
  • Price: $24.99 at Jenson Worldwide
  • Manufacturer’s Details: Fidlock-Bike

Fidlock water bottle Bike Base

The Fidlock Bike Base is a bolt-on version of the Uni Base. It has slotted mounting holes that provide some position adjustment, and comes with two low-profile bolts that must be used in order to not interfere with the bottle. It’s not surprising that the Bike Base is more secure and solid feeling compared to the Uni Base, and it also happens to sit closer to the frame as well, which could be important with limited clearance.

  • Fidlock Bike Base Review
  • Fidlock Bike Base Review

We bolted the Bike Base directly to Emily’s size medium Ibis Ripley AF, since a standard bottle cage setup required an adapter and was awkward to get in and out of the frame. For full-suspension mountain bikes, the Fidlock Twist system brings a lot of value and may even open up the possibility of running more than one bottle on certain frames. Just like the other Fidlock bases, the bottle is released with a quick 45° clockwise turn, similar to a side-release bottle cage, and reconnects to the base easily with one hand. Both Emily and I agree that the magnets are strong enough to quickly align the bottle while riding, making a great one-handed system for drinking on the go.

  • Model tested: Fidlock water bottle Bike Base
  • Material: Plastic, Neodymium Magnets
  • Weight: 23 grams (with bolts)
  • Place of Manufacture: China
  • Price: $11.99 USD at Jenson Worldwide
  • Manufacturer’s Details: Fidlock-Bike

Fidlock Twist Bottles

The Fidlock Twist bottles themselves are designed specifically with one-handed operation in mind. The body is contoured to provide a lip to grab onto while grabbing the bottle, and the flip cap is oversized with a small lip to make flipping it open with a thumb or finger that much easier. The mouth piece is always open, so you can simply squeeze or drink from the bottle after opening the lid.

Fidlock Twist Review
  • Fidlock Twist Bottle Review
  • Fidlock Twist Bottle Review
  • Fidlock Twist Bottle Review

The only other obvious downfall of the Fidlock water bottle system is that if you lose or forget your Twist bottle at home, you’re not going to have much luck finding a replacement. On a few rides this year, Emily would grab a standard bottle out of habit, only to realize she had nowhere to stash it. On longer bikepacking trips, losing a bottle mid-ride could have some serious implications when water becomes scarce. I think with some proper testing and a solid setup, the Fidlock water bottle Twist system could be great, but I’d recommend experimenting with different positions, terrain, and scenarios where you might eject a bottle.

  • Model tested: Fidlock Twist
  • Material: Plastic, Neodymium Magnets
  • Weight: 106g (450ml), 117g (590ml), 125g (800ml)
  • Place of Manufacture: China
  • Price: $13.99-$35.99 at Jenson Worldwide
  • Manufacturer’s Details: Fidlock-Bike

Pros

  • Magnetic + mechanical attachment holds bottles securely, even on rough terrain.
  • Low-profile and compact. Great for full-suspension mountain bikes and small frames.
  • Quick to install and swap between bikes.
  • Interchangeable bases and bottles.
  • Multiple bottle sizes.

Cons

  • Base becomes useless if you lose or forget your bottle.
  • Easy to knock bottle off base in certain positions.
  • Not recommended to use Uni Base on fork legs.
  • Uni Base straps require a firm pull to hold tight.
Fidlock Water Bottle Review

Wrap Up

After seeing the Fidlock water bottle system pop up in some of our “Rigs of” series, I figured it was time to check it out for myself. In fact, I find lots of inspiration from rigs that successfully tackle demanding bikepacking routes. If gear can handle routes like the Arizona Trail or Atlas Mountain Race, there’s a good chance it would be suitable for us average folks as well. The Fidlock Twist system of bike-mountable bases and bottles has proven to be reliable and totally suitable for off-road riding. It might not be the perfect way to attach bottles to your frame, but its low-profile, magnetic design is unique and potentially very useful for certain bike setups, including Emily’s full-squish mountain bike.

The only major problem we had with the Fidlock water bottle Twist system was when we forgot the matching bottle at home, rendering the base useless, unlike a standard bottle cage or cargo mount that can usually be filled with any old bottle. So, if you’re like me and misplace things regularly, that might be worth considering. Otherwise, both Emily and I really enjoy Fidlock’s magnetic bottles. And, according to our “Rigs of” series, others do too.

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