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The 2014 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide magazine is out on newsstands now (and check out the digital version), and we’re giving you a sneak peek right here. Check out the bike fueling systems from the guide below and check back to Triathlete.com for more Buyer’s Guide content.
Xlab Delta 225
The draw: Aero-friendly rear mount for ISM saddles
The simplicity of a single bottle cage affixed just behind an aerodynamically positioned rider is undeniably attractive. Many of the popular single-cage saddle-mounted systems, however, simply aren’t compatible with the more atypically shaped saddles. Enter the Xlab Delta 225. It’s a beautifully simple mount with a small wedge to angle the carrier around a bulky saddle. This allows the Delta 225 to curve around the ends of certain saddles, namely the ISM series, where the hooked rear back would otherwise impede mounting a single carrier. A carbon Gorilla XT cage that firmly clamps the bottle rounds out this attractive setup.
Profile Design Aero HC
The draw: Streamlined, simple and secure fluid source
Profile Design has evolved from its upright aerobar hydration systems into this horizontally oriented one. Improved aerodynamics is the objective, and Profile claims a savings equivalent to 10 seconds over an Olympic-distance bike leg. It uses a standard water bottle cage to hold the bottle, meaning a rider could conceivably use a round bottle if he wanted to. The bottle is refillable on the fly, and the small flip cap virtually eliminates splash-back. An integrated mount behind the bottle can carry a computer, but reading data can be a challenge since it sits far rearward.
The draw: Rock-solid storage container
Velcro-strapped top tube storage boxes often slide, slip and twist out of place; Torhans has a solution. The AeroBento attaches directly to frames with bolt bosses on the top tube, including the Cervélo P-series bikes and Trek Speed Concept. Once mounted, it is secure and clean. A rubber port that runs lengthwise along the top of the AeroBento allows easy access on the fly without zippers or Velcro. Despite the easy access, the AeroBento held on to our stash securely, even over rough roads.
The draw: Most affordable rear bottle mount
Affordability isn’t the only appeal of this system: For many people it includes everything needed in a rear-mounted hydration storage solution. A simple clamp affixes the SBH-80 to the rear of the saddle rails, and the unit holds one bottle cage of your choice. It fits many saddles and seat posts (but not all, so double-check compatibility with your setup). Its location, however, means a saddlebag can’t be mounted while using this carrier.
Nathan AP Pro Aerobar Hydration System
The draw: Easy to drink from, easy to live with
Nathan didn’t reinvent cycling hydration with this product; it simply created the most refined version of this relatively new bottle style. Arguably one of the easiest hydration systems to install (of any style), the AP Pro attaches firmly to the aerobars using innovative articulating arms that adjust to a range of widths. The uniquely shaped cage holds the bottle securely, even over rough roads. It’s also refillable on the fly and includes a cap to cover the quick-fill port. An aero shroud that shields the flexible straw from the air and a bite valve that assists in fluid flow round out the system.