General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Make your own hydration system for under $20 Rss Feed  
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2011-02-12 11:53 PM

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Master
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Rural Ontario
Subject: Make your own hydration system for under $20
I think there are a lot of people here trying to decide how to best set up their hydration as they progress into greater distances and/or speeds. Over the years I've tried many products (regular cages, Profile Designs Aero Drink, Inviscid Speedfil, XLab Speedwing, etc.) - all of these are clever designs but I found that they don't serve my needs in some situations (and they can be pricy). What I found to work best for me is a simple home made 'torpedo' setup between my aerobars. Here is a brief step-by-step.

Step 1: Install a cage between the aerobars
You'll need four wire ties and a plastic bottle cage.
In the picture below I installed a $10 plastic cage using the four wire ties.  Two wire ties secure the butt end against the handle base bar and two secure the sides to the aerobars.

Get a plastic cage that has a opening at the butt end for the wire ties to go through - some cages simply have a solid butt end. Carbon cages work as well - but why spend the extra cash?

Now you have a 'torpedo' style bottle mount. Its quite aerodynamic, convinient and, lets face it, kinda cool.

N.B. There are many commercial products available to help you do this. You don't really need them. Wire ties work best.

Step 2: The bottle
You could simply pop in your plastic bottle into the cage but that would be to easy.
I propose adding a drinking straw - this small modification that will allow you to drink while staying aero.

You'll need: i) a plastic water bottle - preferably but not necessarly with a one of those silicone single-direction valves that allows air to be sucked back into the bottle without fluid leaking out. I used an old $6 750ml bottle that I got as a promo item from a LBS.
ii) You also need a length of PP or PE tubing. I bought 5 feet of 3/8" PE tubing from Home Depot for $5 - you can check the plumbing dep't and ask for icemaker tubing.
iii) finaly you'll need a 3/8" rubber grommet (<$1 at Home Depot in the hardware fasteners section)




Simply insert the bottle into the cade and decide where  you want the straw. Put the tubing on that sopt and trace around it. Then with a sharp blade (or drill)  make a hole. Insert the rubber grommet and then the tubing. Cut the tubing to the desired lenght. Voila!




 


For races under 30km (20miles) this is the only bottle I need. you can always tuck the straw away or push it into the bottle if you're worried about the tiny ammount of drag its creating.

For longer races I plan on throwing the bottle away at an exchange station and replacing it with an ordinary bottle. I figure if the race is over 1hr. I'll need to break aero position anyways to give my nether regions a break, so I can drink upright then.

Happy Riding.


Edited by mgalanter 2011-02-12 11:56 PM


2011-02-13 2:20 AM
in reply to: #3352452

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Master
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Gold Coast Australia.
Subject: RE: Make your own hydration system for under $20
Very clever indeed!
My only concern would be the suction created by drinking. Any small openings to let the air in?
2011-02-13 7:43 AM
in reply to: #3352452

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Member
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Subject: RE: Make your own hydration system for under $20
nice thinking there pal

hats of to you
2011-02-13 7:53 AM
in reply to: #3352452

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Subject: RE: Make your own hydration system for under $20
I like it!  Thanks for taking the time to post this, I think I might try this setup!
2011-02-13 8:32 AM
in reply to: #3352452

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Master
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Subject: RE: Make your own hydration system for under $20
Great design but would only be good for a short race unless you figure out a way to refill it at 20+ mph using one hand. I am going to try it for my first sprint this year.


Edited by pschriver 2011-02-13 8:37 AM
2011-02-13 10:02 AM
in reply to: #3352479

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Master
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Rural Ontario
Subject: RE: Make your own hydration system for under $20
markz - 2011-02-13 3:20 AM My only concern would be the suction created by drinking. Any small openings to let the air in?


Yes - that is why I recommend having a one-directional valve on the bottle (air can come back in). An alternative is to cut a second hole at the highest point of the bottle and insert a 1/2" (1cm) long piece of tubing to act as a pressure-equalization vent.


pschriver - your right, I don't intend to refill on the go.  For races under 30km (20 mi) I only need one 750ml bottle. For very hot or Olympic distance races I'll add a second bottle on the downtube. For long distance racing (HIM / IM) I plan on disposing of the bottle at an exchange station and replacing it with a regular bottle. I hate to throw it away but its only a $6 bottle.

Edited by mgalanter 2011-02-13 10:02 AM


2011-02-13 10:06 AM
in reply to: #3352452

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Subject: RE: Make your own hydration system for under $20
I love when people find simple, inexpensive and clever solutions. Well done sir. I may have to give this a try during my short races this year.
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