HYDRATION SYSTEM SET-UP
My opinion on the best hydration set-up for a tri-bike.
by John Bye
For me, I have three things I am trying to achieve:
Because of my size (200+ pounds) I have to consume about 400 calories an hour to not bonk as well as massive quantities of potassium and salt to not cramp up; so, I need to drink frequently and so I need easy access to drink.
I am trying to ride as fast as possible, so I care about the drag created by the various systems.
I need to be able to see my bike computer as I pay attention to cadence and power output. The issue is that in the tri set-up, you are so far forward that mounting your computer on your head-tube makes it tough to see.
On the Front
The bullet set-up, with the water bottle cage on the aerobars has the least drag. The problem is that if you drink at high frequency, then, you have to break out of your aero formation to access the drink. So, this is a non-starter for me. So, I then tried the JetStream Straw system (and Chris still does) -- The problem is that I can't see my bike computer, so this is a non-starter for me as well. Currently, I use a Straw system by Torhans (Katz introduced me to it) and this has worked pretty well and has a mount for your computer so you can easilty see it. Problem is it rattles amd it splashes. For the splash control, they have this stupid cover that they claim works, but doesn't and makes it tough to refil. So I took my sponge from my jetstream and put it in the bottle and that solved the problem. The rattle is still there and is annoying.
Peter Wick has an interesting configuration which used the bullet mount, but the bottle is actually a straw system. I couldn't find what he has, but found that Profile Design is launching this same set-up in May and think this is probably the best. You still will have to solve the mount issue for the computer, but there is a lot of room so it should be an easy solve.
On the Back
The Rear System I use is the two water bottle cage set-up (Bryan Magnus introduced me to) which is great as you can put two bottles in and it sits behind you, so it is out of the wind.
In the Triangle
I have a basic Bontrager carbon water bottle cage that I use for aid station management. I don't slow down as I move through the aid station, so, if I quickly need to grab a water and set-it down then grab something else, I use that.