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Horizontal Bottle Mounts
CREATED: 04/25/13 by tgalbert REPLIES: 20
tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 405
Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/25/13 12:41 PM

I'm interested in switching up my hydration setup, and one of the changes I'm considering is a horizontal bottle cage in the aerobars. The set up is targeting 70.3 and Olympic distance. This would be coupled with a rear mounted bottle behind the saddle, thus removing cages from the frame.

1) Does anyone have an Xlabs Torpedo mount they have an opinion on?
1a) If yes, would you also mind letting me try it out?

2) Does anyone else have a horizontal bottle mount they feel strongly about?

3) I'm not sure what else to list, so this is number three. That is all.

4) Oh wait, I thought of something - nope... lost it.


shannontri's ravatar shannontri    JOINED: 6/28/12    POSTS: 54
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/25/13 1:50 PM

The cheapest and most effective option is to use a regular frame mount and attach it between your aerobars using six zip ties - two for each side and two for the back.

Make sure to test a few for bottle security in the horizontal position. You want a snug fit for obvious reasons but not one so tight that it's impossible to remove the bottle from the aero position.

In my experience, the bottle you put in front will probably stay there the entire race, meaning that you won't exchange it at aid stations since the course water and gatorade bottles are often narrower than regular sport bottles.

I keep pure water up front, and then electrolyte drink in my frame mounted bottle for easy exchange on course.

Just a question - is there a reason you don't want bottles on your frame? Rear mounted cages are affectionately known as "bottle launchers" when you go over bumps - not a fun way to lose your race nutrition!! Or get saddled with a penalty for littering.

conartist's ravatar conartist    JOINED: 1/31/12    POSTS: 54
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/25/13 2:19 PM

I inherited an xlabs torpedo and attached it to my bike.

I've been mostly unhappy with it. Maybe it's my bottle cage but it's really hard to get out. Plus it's at an akward angle (horizontal) with little leverage when moving quickly.

While it's hard to get off manually, gravity stole two bottles on those Arlington (down)hills roads that I had to stop to pick up.

Also, the velcro straps are worn so I applied a LOT of electrical tape to strap it down so to speak. Even that needs reapplication now and again.

I think having that dope straw thing is actually the most expedient way to go if it's set up properly...not sure how many peeps choke on those but the fast 70.3 dudes and Olympic pros typically have that from what i can tell.

While the pros aren't as fast as me, they may be onto something...

jxjia's ravatar jxjia    JOINED: 8/13/12    POSTS: 112
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/25/13 3:35 PM

To answer your #2:

I've used this Aero Hammock

It's basically a mesh bag around your aerobar extensions. It holds a waterbottle and weighs basically nothing. The only downside is that the mesh does not grab the bottle so it's prone to falling out. What I ended up doing is putting a rubberband in front the bottle to hold it in place.

I'm considering switching to a homemade Xlabs-esque between-aerobar cage mount inspired by this slowtwitch post:

lwboyer's ravatar lwboyer    JOINED: 6/1/12    POSTS: 18
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/25/13 4:08 PM

Trevor - I use a Profile HC mount with a speedfil A2 bottle. I like the speedfil because I don't have to remove the bottle to take a drink, still get the aero benefits of a horizontal mount and I can fill it on the fly with whatever I need at the time.


mchaney's ravatar mchaney    JOINED: 7/29/10    POSTS: 34
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/25/13 4:33 PM

I mirror Lee's comment. Speedfill 2 all-the-way! To secure it I just use the enclosed velcro and a handful of rubberbands stretched across the aerobars. Cheap but effective.

jbauer    JOINED: 1/1/11    POSTS: 108
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/25/13 5:37 PM

I don't have a strong opinion on particular mounts, but I do like my current between-the-arms system. I attached a generic bottle cage with zip ties to my aerobars. It's not the greatest cage, and it has launched a few regular bottles. However, I usually have the Speedfill A2 bottle in it and secure it with the included velcro strap. Like Lee and mchaney above, the Speedfill A2 setup has worked really well for me. I did make a slight modification with magnets to keep the straw out of the way when I'm not drinking.

For the long courses, I'll also use the Profile Design RM1 (rear-mounted double cage) to round out my hydration needs. I've found the RM1 to be pretty solid, but it can launch bottles on nasty bumps.

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1481
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/25/13 6:30 PM


I have the rear missile launchers. You can borrow it the next time that I see you. I can bring it to the bricknic.


tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 405
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/25/13 7:11 PM

Thanks all! This is great info. I've got a zip tied set up which I'll demo this weekend.

Tuan, I have the single- and double-bottle systems (rear mounted) already. I'm just working on the front now. That's what you meant, right? Thank for your noble offer.

My main goal is to be half as fast as Conartist.

Next problem: Where to mount the computer :)

I hate triathlon. Maybe I'll take up badminton.

conartist's ravatar conartist    JOINED: 1/31/12    POSTS: 54
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/25/13 8:48 PM

Good goal. You'll still beat half the field then :).

Good luck in whatever you decide.

bcfrank's ravatar bcfrank    JOINED: 3/23/09    POSTS: 1098
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/26/13 6:32 AM

Your next problem Trevor.... 29:30... :::^)::

wbdowntown's ravatar wbdowntown    JOINED: 3/28/12    POSTS: 131
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/26/13 6:45 AM

I use the cheap zip tie method with a carbon cage. The speedfill A2 rocks. You can switch up the size of the bottle (20-24 oz and it even fits on the old green gatorade 32oz bottles) depending on the race distance. As for the computer, I use two extra rubber bands from a garmin kit looped around the bottle. My garmin comes off the wrist and sits in the middle of the bottle out of the wind - zero areo penalty.

merriamk's ravatar merriamk    JOINED: 9/10/12    POSTS: 73
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/26/13 10:23 AM

this thing:

with this right handed cage:

works like a charm

conartist's ravatar conartist    JOINED: 1/31/12    POSTS: 54
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/30/13 8:33 AM

peep this from the most interesting man in the world, Ray Maker...

tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 405
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/30/13 8:41 AM

Ha, thanks! I read that a little earlier. When he put out a teaser the other day I was fairly excited, but not after more pictures of the product and the drag results.

I'm sure my crappy zip-tied bottle cage between my bars has similar penalty, but no annoying straw in front of my face. As I become more bored around my house I may just start tinkering with more spare parts and make something.

It's pretty funny that it still has way more penalty than a regular bottle.

conartist's ravatar conartist    JOINED: 1/31/12    POSTS: 54
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/30/13 9:08 AM

ya, but what I don't get is that if you do swap it for a regular bottle, you don't get the aero benefit. Don't you have to 'stand up' so to speak to drink and get the water for each sip (of a regular bottle)? If so, that is a huge drag cost especially for those peeps doing long distance races.

So while it may not be as aero as just a regular bottle when riding along, when it comes to actually drinking it you lose time getting the bottle out and getting out of position...unless I'm missing something.

tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 405
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/30/13 10:16 AM

I get all those points, and actually thought about that as I was doing a test ride on Saturday with my new setup. My thoughts are:
-A setup that is easier to drink from in aero yet has more drag than a regular bottle will sustain a higher penalty throughout the course - it has a constant 'high' CdA over the entire bike leg.

- With a regular bottle, coming out of aero for a few seconds to drink every 15 mins or so should still have a lower penalty over the course. [So, the 65 seconds out of aero during the 5:30hrs on the bike during the long course still saves you the 4-6 minutes over the course than a lesser setup would]. One would hope you're not sitting up out of the aero position for long periods of time to negate the benefit of an aero hydration setup.

These above are just my interpretations of articles and tests I've read about, I've not done any tests of my own.

For all we know, the penalty/benefit of both cases may be nearly exactly the same over the long course. And for that, even with a penalty (measured in mere minutes) likely won't be the deciding factor of a win (okay, maybe for you, Con).

It comes down, really, to two things: personal preference and ensuring you're at least getting nutrition/hydration.

On most courses that I race (specifically Half/some Olympic), I find myself out of aero at times anyway because of climbs/hills or stretching, which is when I will take 3-4 seconds to drink from my normal round bottle. Doesn't seem to affect Cancellara much with he nips from his frame-mounted bottle during a TT.

On further reading, I found that most of the top pros tend to lean toward horizontal bottles with varying set ups - check it out HERE with pix, too.

I think the idea that PD has is great, but needs improvement as far as computer placement. I'm interested to see what Nathan offers up (the one Andy Potts is demo'ing").

For now, I'm going to experiment with my [probably highly un-aero] zip-tie set up with a round bottle.

conartist's ravatar conartist    JOINED: 1/31/12    POSTS: 54
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/30/13 11:00 AM

thanks for your thoughts. interesting stuff and not 'easy' to quantify it all under the conditions of a particular distance/race. i agree it's pry best to get that water in while you climb where you may not be in aero anyway. I'm gonna try the zip tie thing as well since electrical tape is annoying.

asovonick's ravatar asovonick    JOINED: 6/3/09    POSTS: 213
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/30/13 1:24 PM

Yo, water bottles produce like barely any aero penalty, at least not enough to really affect people slower than Conartist Shapiro. Pedal hard and stay hydrated.

-Andy Sovonick of Gaithersburg

asovonick's ravatar asovonick    JOINED: 6/3/09    POSTS: 213
RE: Horizontal Bottle Mounts
POSTED: 4/30/13 1:28 PM

Haha Bryan talking trash, love it.

-Andy Sovonick of Gaithersburg

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