This is the Orbit, an innovative new drink holder from Carver. Lung spotted one in one of his LBSs in SF. I’ve been developing and redeveloping drink carry-systems for the office for what, two years now, settling on a scratch-built system involving two tumblers, plastic L-handles, duct tape, plastic packing tape, cardboard and bungies, which reasonably allows you, the rider, to apply your own dynamic balance control onto the carry system without having to, you know, carry the drink(s) in your hand as you ride, risking death. However, with the news of this new Orbit product, I had to try it. So I bought one this weekend at Valencia. The display model, no less!
So, it’s basically a gimbal. The holder mounts to your bars, and contains a ring, within which a smaller ring pivots on one axis, and within that a tertiary ring pivots on a perpendicular axis. The idea is that the drink remains level, even as the angle of the bars changes.
Out of the box, it’s a delightful fail. That is, if you find frothing, boiling coffee ejaculated onto your neck delightful. See, the Orbit has no shock absorption quality. So while the cup attempts to remain level, thanks to the mighty fist of gravity, the road vibration, especially over bigger bumps and chasms, slingshots fluid out of the escape hole of the cup at high velocity. Upwards. Now, sure, if one had a completely sealed container like a sealed tumbler or a water bottle, one wouldn’t worry. But then, one wouldn’t require an elaborate carry-system either.
However, I jiggered a modification, and on my afternoon coffee run, it proved successful. See, the tertiary ring of the gimbal was the one that experienced the most swing through road vibration. What I did was pivot the entire assembly down 90 degrees. Instead of shooting outward in front of you, it’s hanging the cup down alongside the head tube. The cup rests against the front brake caliper. This steadies that wild, swinging tertiary ring a good amount. There’s still road vibration, but it no longer has that swirl and launch thing going on. Much like my old hand-built system, it now sloshes upward int he cup on big bumps but doesn’t have velocity to push out of the escape hole plugged with a small gift.
Now, my home-brew system has the advantage of greater balance and shock absorption, as it relies on one hand holding it level, though it hangs over the bars. And it carries two drinks. But for the single-drink adventure or, like this afternoon, when your hand is occupied with yet ANOTHER object, this in it’s modified position, actually works pretty well! My neck is spared!
Your mileage may vary.