The sports water bottle has lingered in ergonomic design for over 50 years. After tackling multiple challenges to modernize the bottle's clunky shape and feel, a Tampa start-up business thinks it knows why this all-important gear has lagged behind the times.
Tampa, FL, April 17, 2014 - (PressReleasePoint) - Tampa, FL, April 17, 2014 - Cycling water bottles are easy to spot by their barrel-shaped bodies, wide-top caps and short, stubby center spouts. Despite its many inconvenient flaws, which make them hard to hold and less safe to drink from, the squeezable water bottle shape has remained stagnant for more than 50 years. Determined to design an ergonomically friendly water bottle for cyclists, Tampa-based Relaj, a new-comer to water bottle innovation, thinks it knows why the cycling water bottle shape has remained unchanged.
Certain design parameters are required for cycling bottles to be practical. For example, the cylindrical bottom must be sized to fit snuggly into standard bike cages, and a midsection indent is necessary to secure the bottle into the cage. A large bottle opening is required to easily fill and clean bottles. The bottle shape must also facilitate strong water flow and be easy to squeeze. While limiting, these factors certainly do not preclude creative advancement.
So have companies taken a "if it's not broke, why fix it?" attitude to the sports water bottle? If so, they ignore known ergonomic deficiencies in the cycling bottle design, such as the wide-top cap which can obscure cyclists' line of site and force them to lift their head when hydrating. Also the bulky shape can make it difficult for riders to grip the bottle and a dropped bottle can be a hazard to riders in a group or peloton. So why haven't these issues been addressed?
According to Bruce Bernstein, CEO of Relaj, w e found that executing on a safer and easier to use water bottle design while maintaining the functionality of the sports water bottle posed multiple challenges."
To meet those challenges, Relaj hired Jam-Proactive, an engineering firm specializing in ergonomic and aesthetic design, which produced the following results:
A tapering of the bottle's wide top body and cap to give cyclists a superior line of vision while hydrating.
The wide cap itself was moved to the bottom of the bottle, allowing for the bottle to be easily filled while enhancing the ability to clean it top-to-bottom.
Although it has a tapered top, the bottle can generate a strong blast of water into the mouth (or onto the head) of cyclists.
The contoured, easy-to-grip and squeeze mid-section still fits snugly and latches securely in the bottle cage, despite its ergonomic design.
After six years of innovation, Relaj is excited to be launching the new Relaj Shape water bottle on Kickstarter.com. Kickstarter is a great way for the general public to get in on the ground floor of cutting edge products, where Relaj can be found through May 3rd, 2014. Visit Kickstarter-Relaj at http://shapedforsafety.com or visit http://relajshape.com.