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The 650ml Elite Mia stainless steel bottle is useful for commuting by bike, fitting securely in a bottle cage, but it does scratch easily and can't be used one-handed.
While many people choose to use a metal bottle for everyday drinking, to reduce their use of plastic, if you're commuting by bike this can create a conundrum as most metal bottles do not sit well within bottle cages.
Elite has attempted to hit two birds with one stone with the Mia, which is made almost entirely from stainless steel, is 100% plastic-free – including the lid – and fits in a bottle cage.
I tried it in several different cages and it held firm over multiple surfaces, helped by the ridge running around the upper half of the bottle that corresponds to the lip of most bottle cages.
Although it sits securely in a bottle cage, it isn't particularly useful beyond commuting or short rides, as you need two hands to use it. It's fine if you just want to carry a drink, but isn't really practical on a long, hot ride where you have to stop, unclip, unscrew the lid, take a drink, put the lid back on, place it back in the cage, then start again, every time you want to use it.
There are still plenty of practical elements to like, though. Elite has included a silicone seal in the lid, which means no spills; it has a handle; and being stainless steel it's very easy to clean and doesn't taint your drinks.
One slight let-down is that after a couple of weeks of commuting a few chips and scratches are showing up on the black areas of the bottle. This has no impact on its usability, but if you're buying it partly for its looks, it's less than ideal. You can't buy it without a coating either (four colours are available – black, green, black and silver and beige and silver).
We haven't looked at too many bottle like this on road.cc to compare it with, the closest being the Hydro Flask 18oz which Dave tested a few years ago. That's now £29.95, but you can change the top (for additional cost) so it can be used one-handed.
Overall, this isn't a bottle I would choose for a long, hot ride, but for everyday use and moving a drink from your bottle cage to your desk, it works very well; it sits securely in a bottle cage, it's easy to wash, and it doesn't affect the taste of your drink.
An environmentally-friendly and useful everyday bottle, but not the most practical for use on the bike
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Elite Mia stainless steel bottle 650 ml
Size tested: 650 ml
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Elite says, "MIA is Elite's new lifestyle bottle, totally made in stainless steel, ideal for both sports and everyday use.
Totally plastic-free, MIA is a sustainable bottle as you can re-use it for years on end and is distinguished by its urban style, perfect for both cycling and everyday use.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Totally plastic-free
- Stainless steel
- Handle for ease of use
It's well made.
It sits well in the bottle cage and it doesn't leak. It would be more useful on a bike if it could be used with one hand though.
It's a stainless steel bottle that's designed to last, though the black coating scratches off easily.
We haven't tested many to compare it with for value, but £25 for a 650ml stainless steel bottle is about what I would expect. It's cheaper than the Hydro Flask, but you can adapt that to use it one-handed.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's fine as a regular water bottle, less useful as one specifically for cycling.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fact that it's environmentally friendly and sits comfortably in a bottle cage.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
That you can't use it with one hand.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
We haven't looked at too many bottle like this on road.cc, with the closest being the Hydro Flask 18oz that Dave tested a few years ago. The Hydro Flask is now £29.95, compared to £24.99 for the Elite Mia. The Hydro does have a changeable top (for additional cost) which allows it to be used one-handed though.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a good bottle for general use, but for cycling it could be improved.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.