Think beyond the bento and eat and drink in perfectly-functioning, aero style.
$58 (190G); Flowcell.co.uk
British-based Flowcell has created an excellent and sturdy top tube nutrition carrier. The solid plastic construction inspires confidence when attached via Velcro straps to fit most top tube shapes, and the sliding-door top keeps all goodies in place while still providing easy access. Expect to fit about five to six gels in the top, but don’t plan on stashing a phone, and no, Flowcell does not recommend drilling out the solid box to accommodate an electronic shifting junction box.
Topeak Tri-Backup Pro V Mount with Tri-Cage Carbon Cages
$56 (Mount, 97G), $35 (per cage, 45G); Topeak.com
Topeak’s setup offers a rock-solid behind-the-saddle mount with expansion options for a bag, CO2, a pump, and more. Though
the setup is a little tricky, once mounted (it fits most road saddles) it’s not going anywhere. The beefy cages might not be super lightweight, but they hold tight and avoid ejection even on bumpy roads.
Torhans VR Downtube System
$50 (176G); Torhans.com
For those who want traditional seat tube hydration placement, but want to enjoy aero benefits, the VR system is a good choice. Featuring a high-flow bite valve and nearly seamless aero design, the VR can also be modified for use as storage if hydration is relocated elsewhere (though it involves making the bottle unusable for hydration). The bottle itself holds 20 ounces and fits snugly into most seat tube water bottle mounts with enough adjustment to cozy into the bottom of a frame’s inner triangle.
XLAB Torpedo Versa 500
$155 (332G); Xlab-usa.com
Yes, this is the same hydration system four-time IM world champion Daniela Ryf used when she rode her way into the record books back in October. Boasting all of the bells and whistles possible, this setup includes a mounting plate, a carbon Torpedo cage, a 26-ounce bottle, and a mount for Garmin or Wahoo computers (an adapter for Polar, Cateye, and Sigma computers is also included). The flexibility, easy setup, and novel features on this system make it ready to go right out of the box.