A sticky bottle, as many race fans know, is when a rider holds onto a water bottle being handed out of a moving car and effectively gets a high-speed push. Now, you can buy one.
Well, okay, you can’t buy a team director and a place in a WorldTour race. But you can buy a Rider’s Sticky Bottle from Watrbodl, a small company that sells fun designs on bottles made by Specialized.
Company founder Giancarlo Bianchi started 10 years ago with an idea for a Haterade design that played on the Gatorade logo. He approached Specialized at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, but was told it was too similar to the Gatorade design. After the word came up again in talking when a cycling friend was expressing his disdain for disc bikes and tubeless tires, Bianchi decided to try again.
This time he was told if he adjusted the design, Specialized would make it. After a graphic designer friend, Juan Carlos, tweaked the design, they were off to the races.
Bianchi, who works for TrainingPeaks, started selling Haterade bottles through a personal webpage using Venmo and PayPal, and a Google Doc for keeping track of inventory. “It was a mess,” he said.
Earlier this year, Bianchi and new business partner Ben Gorodetsky launched Watrbodl LLC to sell a variety of designs, often those that apply a cycling themes to a variation of a popular consumer product. Bidon Domestique, for example looks awfully similar to the logo of Dom Perignon. In the coronavirus age where hand sanitizer is ubiquitous, the PureWatts bottle riffs on the Purell logo.
“I’m happy with how things have turned out and exited about where they’re going,” Bianchi said. “New ideas either come to me naturally, usually on a ride, or would be suggested to me by friends. I’m happy that other people share a similar sense of humor. The bottles have since proven quite popular with Instagram influencers and pro cyclists alike: @cat3memes, @feedzonenews and @trollcyclist all have our bottles in their personal stash. Ashton Lambie, former individual pursuit world record holder, who is one of the fastest haters out
there. And Rohan Dennis’ 6-year-old Akita, Willis, uses them when he gets sick of his water bowl.”
Although Watrbodl is well beyond the days of using a Google Doc for inventory — and is now selling t-shirts as well, Bianchi is happy to see name he remembers from copy-and-pasting into a Doc come through the ordering system.
“I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to bring some humor and style into the cycling world,” he said.
You can check out all Watrbodl’s designs at watrbodl.com.