Sunday, May 13, 2012

Indecision over Rear Hydration Systems

How I go from wanting one thing to feeling I need ten others, I have no idea, but I guess that's the US marketing system at work.

Initial Posit: I need a way to carry my flat tire gear on the tri bike.

Initial Conclusion: Purchase the Xlab Mini bag.  $19.99 at the LBS plus my 15% discount.  Awesome.

Seems simple enough, right?

Confounding Posit: I looked at the mini bag and ended up looking at the Xlab wings.  Then I got to thinking.  My tri bike has one less cage than the road bike I've raced with before.  On a 70.3, I'm sure I could get away with only two bottles.  But with the 140.6 in October, I'll bet I'm going to want a 3rd bottle if not a 4th for crazy training rides, especially since they'll be supplying HEED which I can't stomach - I'll need extra Gatorade bottles.  The XLab Mini Wing comes with a mini bag.  That could be the best of both worlds, but it's more $$ up front.  The guys at the shop also suggest switching the cages to avoid launching - that's even more $$.  Therefore, do I bite the bullet and get the full rear hydration system now or just the bag?

Possible Solution #1: Just the bag
If I get the Xlab Mini Bag, it should fit all my gear - 1x tube, 2x CO2s, valve, and levers - but I will need to get the hydration system later. 

Possible Solution #2: Get it all now
If I get the whole system (mini or turbo wing, bottle cages, Xnut, mini bag), I'll be set, but it's going to be rather expensive. 

The bag itself is roughly $16.  I can get the XLab Mini Wing system for $50 which includes the bag and two cages.  But if I go with the LBS suggestion, the XLab Turbo Wing is gonna' cost me $50 and doesn't include the bag or cages. 

Possible Solution #3: Mix the Pros and the Age Groupers as one.
Did you notice how Chris Lieto and Craig Alexander (among others) mount their rear hydration?

I'll admit that Alexander's setup (right) look a little more official than Lieto's taped cage (left), but they both zip tie a single bottle cage to the saddle.  Quite simple.  However, this leaves me with the issue of where to store my flat tire gear.  Well, the age groupers from Kona have a solution...

Electrical tape!  And I thought duct tape solved all problems; apparently not.  I even had a customer at the LBS suggest this to me too.  I guess it's more common than I thought. 


Any thoughts?


1.  Do you have a rear hydration system?
If so, what do you use and/or what would you suggest? 

2. Have you ever taped anything to your bike?  
Would electrical tape really be strong/durable enough?

Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 


Jess @ THIR said...

I have bottle cages behing the saddle on my TT bike, and one on the seat tube.
I have two bottles of drink on the bike. I add an extra bottle cage to the downtube for long training rides if I am not going to be somewhere where I can stop to fill up.

On the right of the rear bottle cages I have a drink.
On the left (because I can't reach it with my left hand anyway) I carry a Giant cyclinder that has all my spares in it.

I do however have friends who tape stuff to their bike (which I do with gells and stuff on the top tube anyway) but I figure I may as well make use of that left cage that I can't get to anyway.

Three layers of electrical tape is pretty much indestructable. Would definitely work.

5 Miles Past Empty said...

I like my front hydration between the aero bars....and I jimmy rig my repair kit under my seat. I was looking for a picture to email you but can't find it. =/ i like the electrical tape because it is easier to get OFF than the duct tape. The only thing I tape to my bike is my GUs.

Miguel Vieira said...

Get a standard speedfill bottle to go on your frame and the Xlab with two bottles and a bag on the back. It's what I have and it is more than enough:

I dont have the Xwing set-up on the photo but you can see the Speedfill.

I have only ever taped gels to my road bike and it was ok.

Sarah said...

I got the x-wing a month or so ago and just tried to install it on my bike before my 70.3 over the weekend. I must have done it wrong because then my water bottles were on my butt. So I took it back off my bike.

Still not sure what I really want to do for ironman. I was thinking to just use my aero bottle and just pick up water bottles at the aid stations as a need them