A Kickstarter campaign is aiming to re-boot production of the Coloral bicycle bidon, forerunner to plastic water bottles. The campaign hopes to raise £75,000 to invest in bespoke tooling, fund production and deliver an initial run of 2000 bottles, sure to be in demand from hipsters and from collectors of 1950s racing bikes.
Created in Steward Street, Birmingham, in 1947, Coloral was one of the the first brands to manufacture alloy drinking flasks and bottle cages. The bottles were used by grand tour legends such as Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali.
Originally sold for four shillings and six pence, Coloral bottles were simple in design and function, with a ‘fluted’ alloy body, cork stopper, script logo and ‘Coloral Birmingham’ manufacturing stamp on the base. The company came under increasing pressure from cheaper imports and the increased competition from plastic based alternatives, eventually leading to closure.
Whilst the original Coloral factory has closed, one of the UK’s last remaining steel spinning factories still stands on the same street. Steel Spinnings is owned by father and son David and Chris Beeching. They were unaware of the Coloral heritage on their street, but will bring their engineering expertise to the project.
The new bottle will be created in 304-type stainless steel (aluminium can be toxic) and capped with Portugal-sourced, FSC-certified cork stoppers. The base of the bottle will be imprinted with the original Coloral manufacturers stamp.
The people behind Coloral are design-savvy, cycling-aware enthusiasts. The Kickstarter campaign went live yesterday, with 31 backers pledged £2,213 of the £75,000 required. The campaign will run for another 43 days.