Glen Alden's BTA Mount
article & images by Nick Salazar
Jun 3, 2013
I'm a pretty outspoken fan of using BTA bottles (“Between The Arms”) as a triathlete's primary hydration source on the bike. Not only do they put the water right in front of your face so that you're bound to remember to drink, but they also offer an aerodynamic advantage over every other bottle location on the bike. Time and again, wind tunnel tests will show that using a BTA bottle actually makes you faster than having no bottle at all. And that's generally not true for any other bottle anywhere else on the bike.
The challenge for most athletes is how to set up the BTA bottle itself. With a little ingenuity and patience, one can often get a good solution going with nothing more than a standard bottle cage and a few zip ties. However, some folks just aren't that handy with a zip tie, and some aerobars don't lend themselves well to that kind of setup. So Glen Alden, the mad scientist behind quite a few custom creations we've shown you before, got to work on his own BTA solution. What you see here is the result. It's essentially a pair of carbon fiber plates, each with a profile shaped to fit over an aerobar extension. The plates slide over one another, allowing for horizontal adjustment to match the stance width of your extensions. Then everything gets bolted down, straight through your water bottle cage. There's also an integrated Garmin mount that you can hook up as well. Finally, you zip the the entire contraption to your aerobars using some holes pre-drilled into the carbon plates.
Sound complicated? Just look at the pictures, they'll explain everything. At 39g, the mount is pretty darn light, and very easy to use. If I was going to nitpick for complaints, I'd say that it'd be nicer if the nuts were pre-bonded into the carbon plate, and I'd prefer it if they weren't lock nuts, which limit the lengths of bolts you can use (and also constrict your choice in bottle cages). The nuts are easy to replace on your own if you run into any problems. Beyond that, there's really nothing to complain about. This is a great little product, and a very elegant solution to putting a bottle between your arms if you're having a hard time going it alone with the zip ties. Have a look at the gallery for more detail. To pick up one of these for yourself, head over to Glen's website