One thing I think every rider can agree on is that you never want what is on the road to get in your mouth. Whether you ride on city streets, country roads, or dirt trails, crud can easily kick up on a water bottle sitting in a cage on the down tube. If the spout on your water bottle gets dirty, you don't want to put it in your mouth.
The folks over at AVEX have attempted to solve this problem with the Pecos AUTOSPOUT Water Bottle. They sent me one to review and not only will I offer comments, my wife will as well. I thought it would be good for her to offer her comments and I was right because she mentioned some stuff I did not think of.
First is a video from the AVEX website that shows how the spout is designed.
The main design feature is a spring loaded shield that is meant to keep crud off of the drinking spout. In addition, the bottle has an internal spill-proof valve that will only let water escape when the bottle is squeezed (seen at the 43 second mark in the video) and it features double-wall construction that keeps the contents cold for an extended period of time.
The first comment my wife had is that the spout is a little short. What this means is that if you do not want to digest crud that might be around the top of the bottle, the bottle needs to be held away from your mouth when drinking. I think this is fairly standard for any water bottle.
Second, my wife has small hands and she noted that she had difficultly squeezing the bottle to get the water out. This is innevitable with double-wall construction I think.
Third, my wife thought it would be cool if there was some sort of hole or clasp feature in the lid that would allow the bottle to be hung from a bag. This is a common feature in drinking bottles, but not so much in bottles designed for bikes.
I concur with everything my wife said, and I have one additional point, noted at the end of the arrow in this photo -
What I am trying to show is that the spring loaded shield does not create a "perfect" seal. There is a small gap that crud could get in to, but I think this would only be an issue if you were to totally submerge the bottle, which is unlikely to happen. Also, as long as you hold the bottle away from your mouth, even if crud were to pentrate the seal you are likely okay because there is a small reservoir of sorts that would keep crud away from the drinking spout.
All in all it is a well designed product that solves a very real problem and at $12.99 it is priced affordably. I give it five zip ties.