BTA Hydration Shootout
article & images by Nick Salazar
Feb 26, 2014
In the world of triathlon equipment, there are a few topics that never seem to get old. No matter how high-tech the equipmrnt, or how varied the options, or how conclusively the tech seems to have settled, there is always room for improvement. There's always room for exploration, tinkering, and intrigue. I'm grateful for that, because not only does it keep TriRig relevant, but as a die-hard gear head, I just love playing with new stuff. Today, I'm going to be talking all about Hydration. More specifically, this article is all about BTA (between-the-arms) solutions.
Just a few years ago, the options for drinking from the aerobars were very limited. You either zip-tied your own cage onto the bars, or used the Profile Design Aerodrink. And that was basically it. Funny enough, that zip-tie solution continues to be a very cheap and effective way to add aerodynamically neutral (or better!) fluids to your rig. But, with the march of time, a lot of very good products have entered the market, and we're going to look at several of them today.
So what's on the docket today? Step one will be to look at four different types of bottles on the market today that work really well for BTA hydration. These will include the Speedfil A2, the Profile Design HC Bottle, the X-Lab Torpedo Bottle, and a good-old homemade bottle, which is just a regular water bottle with a straw poked into it.
Step two will be to look at the various bottle cages and mounts used to put these things between your arms. Some of these are equipment-specific choices, like the new BTA cage for the 2014 Speed Concept. Others are universal, and will fit any set of aerobars.
Finally, I'll offer my conclusions on this landscape as a whole, and what it means for triathletes of various budget levels. Ready to go? Hit the jump and let's get started.