What a Drag: Why Your Non-Dimpled Water Bottle Makes You Slow


Racers spend ridiculous amounts of money, time and energy to drop seconds, and Rocket Science says their water bottle will save 53 seconds over standard smooth bottles in a 40k ride at 30mph.

Sure, you’re probably not crushing 30mph for more than a few minutes at a time…on downhills…but for $12, you can get their dimpled water bottle that’s actually been wind tunnel tested by aerodynamics guru John Cobb to reduce drag by 16%.

Rocket Science’s round, 21-ounce bottle uses the same dimples found on golf balls–and some aero race wheels–to reduce drag. Quick science lesson: As air flows over the bottle, it separates; the turbulence in its wake causes drag. Delay the separation with dimples, and voila: less drag.

That should save you enough time to fill it with bubbly before 2nd place crosses the line.


Xander - 03/29/10 - 1:27pm

I can’t wait for the,” Dimpled” bike frames, wheels and race gear to be created..

xrd - 03/29/10 - 4:32pm

why don’t the dimple their balls?

dimple gear is going too far

bill - 03/29/10 - 8:32pm

Isn’t the whole point of putting a water bottle on an otherwise aerodynamically inept frame to make it divert air around the wheel and whatnot? Wouldn’t this defeat the purpose?

jon - 03/30/10 - 3:40am

Do they take into account reaching down to pick up the bottle and drinking from it in the study as I think that’s going to affect the wind flow some what or are we supposed to keep it on the bike at all times. Waste of a wind tunnel test fee.

If you really wanted to be aero then use a camelback or similar.

As if it really matters.

Jon - 01/04/11 - 11:58am

A 40k ride at 30mph will take 1:14:33. No more no less.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.