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Deep Dive: Profile Design HSF/Aero HC 800+ Hydration System

This do-it-all system is not only versatile, but well-thought out and works with plenty of setups. Here, we dig into Profile’s front-mount system.

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Review Rating


Basics

Sought after features including the ability to refill on the fly, an integrated computer mount, flexible drink hose with integrated magnet, and an adjustable design


Pros

Integrated Garmin mount

Can be mounted above or below bars

Powerful magnet secures straw

Cage also fits a standard water bottle—perfect for training

Cons

Difficult installation/removal with zip ties

Fill port can splash when refilling on the fly

Bottle can rattle in cage when riding on rough surfaces


Weight

387g, 800mL capacity

Price

$115


Profile Design’s HSF/Aero HC 800+ packs everything you need for on-the-bike hydration into a sleek and reasonably priced package. Profile has thought of everything with this product, and it’s all included right out of the box. Where most hydration systems have at least one or two features that leave something to be desired, the HSF/Aero HC is a complete and well-balanced system. You won’t have to settle for a leaky, difficult-to-clean, impossible-to-install system with nowhere to put your head unit. Among a virtual sea of well-designed hydration systems, including others from Profile Design, the HSF/Aero HC stands out.

RELATED – Spring 2021 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Cycling Hydration Systems

Profile Design HSF/Aero HC 800+: The Basics

The HSF/Aero HC was designed by Profile to be a high-performance piece of race-ready kit without giving up any of the convenience that triathletes depend on. The system has minimal frontal area and fits nicely between an athlete’s arms either above or below the aerobars. At 800ml (~27oz.) of fluid capacity, the system holds more than a standard water bottle. The redesigned mounting bracket attaches via zip ties and offers increased compatibility with a wider range of bars and gives athletes the ability to fine-tune the location of the bottle to suit their taste and their fit. 

Profile Design HSF/Aero HC 800+: The Good

The HSF/Aero HC 800+ includes many desirable features in a reasonably priced package. The straw is flexible for easy access, including a bite valve for easy drinking, and is held in place on the side of the bottle when not in use using a strong magnet. The system does not appear prone to leaking and features a nicely sized fill port for adding extra liquids on the fly. A Garmin-compatible computer mount is included, and it holds the athlete’s head unit of choice securely and in a location that is easy to view while riding (a Wahoo-style mount can also be purchased separately). The system is very easy to clean by removing the rear portion of the water bottle. Finally, the cage can also be used to hold a standard water bottle, a welcome feature for those athletes who would like to keep the system permanently installed on their bike but want to train with the flexibility and convenience of a standard water bottle.

Profile Design HSF/Aero HC 800+: The Alright

While there are plenty of mounting options with the HSF/Aero HC, the bracket must be attached to aero bars using zip ties. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this setup, other than the fact that zip ties generally can’t be re-used, and installation requires a pair of cable snips to trim excess material—as well as a supply of spare zip ties in case one breaks. Athletes who prefer to use their hydration systems only on race days will have to go through this slightly more tedious installation process each time they’d like to use the HFS/Aero HC. There doesn’t appear to be a compelling reason why some sort of hook and loop faster could not be included or a mounting bracket similar to those included with other Profile Design hydration systems—either of which might improve not only the installation process but would also potentially lead to a more robust package. 

Profile Design HSF/Aero HC 800+: The Conclusions

The Profile Design HSF/Aero HC 800+ is a hydration system that offers both performance and value. It is one of the best combinations of features normally found in hydration systems available today. Everything an athlete needs is included right out of the box, and the range of compatibility and adjustability means that the system will work for almost every athlete and on a very wide range of aero bars. 

RELATED: Triathlete’s 2021 Gear Guide