Best front and behind the saddle bottle cage options

What are your preferred bottle & cage options for between the arms and behind the saddle?

I’m using the previous gen Trek Speed Concept ( #RimBrake4lYfe ). I’ve got the bento box on the top tube but could swap that to a bottle as well.

I plan to be taking in ~750ml per hour in normal conditions, so I’ll need to take in 2-2.5 bottles during a bike leg.

It may be outdated advice, but I used to use an XLab system

I’ve seen lots of different saddle rail options for two bottles behind your butt which is ideal. I’d still recommend the Gorilla cages for there.

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I just purchased an XLAB Versa Slim for my P3X for front hydration. It’s expensive for what it is IMO but functions well ‘enough’ It places my Garmin in a good spot, but it’s not very solid and bounces around(it’s not gonna come off) The torpedo bottle also leaks(tiny spurts) some when hitting bumps, especially when full.

For the rear I bought XLAB Gorilla XT’s. Probably overkill but I got these as I like to run 1L bottles. They hold the bottles very tight, almost too tight, would probably go with standard Gorilla’s if I could do it over.

My P3X has a built in sleeve and bottle mount that will hold one bottle. I purchased Wolftooth B-RAD Double Bottle Adapter to convert it from a single to a double and this works quite well.

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Good insight on the Versa Slim. I’ve heard of the leaking issue but didn’t know if it was due to individual setup.

I’ve never once ejected a bottle on a bike when using Specialized Rib Cages and their Zee Cage, so my plan was to use those. Any reason I should go with different cages specifically for these unique mounting positions?

Rib Cages are probably just as good (I’ve never used them personally, but people who have rave about them). The position back there lends itself to launching bottles with the movement and leverage.

When I first got the P3X a month ago, I threw on a cage that I’ve never lost a bottle with in the more traditional locations. First ride , 5 miles in, behind the saddle and I heard the bottle hit the pavement. You for sure need a tighter holding cage for behind the saddle.

The leaking is annoying, but I couldn’t find any other option that put my garmin in a location that I could actually see it when on the ski’s. I tried this from Profile Desgin but couldn’t see the garmin while riding.

This was an option (FC System) but seemed a waste with the integrated mounting that the P3X has(I think the SC has a similar integration?)

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For the life of me I don’t understand it leaking, and can fill it off the bike and shake it all around upside down and not a drop, but on the bike I get a spurt from bigger bumps🤷🏻‍♂️

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I used to run one of these…

With a standard steel cage.

If I was still in Tri I’d use something like

Standard cage I think is the best as you can swap and drop super easy.

The straw options were never that great, though it looks like there are many more options now. I’d want something with a magnetic straw, and fill it with concentrated Maurten or something and chase with water.

The beauty of standard bottles everywhere is you can switch with your premixed ones.

ETA: my thinking is in mind of you doing full length at some point and thus needing to refill/swap bottles. For 90km and your rapidness, you’d only need two or three bottles (depending on size). If you can get a rear mount that can alternate positions, and a front mount that can fit standard or torpedo bottles, you hopefully don’t have to buy twice.

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I run an xlab gorilla xt behind the seat mounted to a Tririg beta bottle carrier, setup as just one but it can do 2. 99.9% sure I have never lost a bottle with this setup but does take some practice getting in and out of.

Between the arms is a now broken rib cage mounted directly to a tririg stem, that I forget is broken until I’m putting it back on for a race and super glue it then breaks again during the race. I’ve used brackets, both diy and special made ones, that go aero bar to aero bar but like how this sits lower.

If you are doing standard bottles BTA make sure they seal up well even when open, have some older specialized ones I now just use for racing. As noted above an advantage to standard bottles is you can swap them out if needed. For a 70.3 I carry 2 with very dense carb mix and just take extra water, drink and toss, the bottle in the feed zones.

ETA saw the comment about never ejecting a bottle from a rib cage before. I used to run them BTS and can’t recall if I ever had one eject. The issue I had was they were too fragile for the weird angles of pulling them out from behind the seat. I cracked more than one in a race or training trying to swap bottles out. They held the empty bottle fine so wasn’t a huge deal but just had too many issues with them.


New rib cages have a designed void to help avoid the breaking. Camelbak bottles are notorious for breaking rib cages.

Just my favorite cage (Tririg or an Xlab Gorilla) zip tied under the rear seat and one BTA.

I have decided that carrying one is best for me and then use on course, but I don’t have anything that resembles your notoriously fickle belly @Jonathan

@Jonathan 's belly likes the taste of speed now remember.

The fuels are so good now compared to when I did IM. The runs on the run is to be avoided at all costs of course.

For 50m TTs (c 2hrs) I use 2x750. For 100m (c4h15m) TTs I use 3x750. Each 750 bottle has 94gm Carbs in c1:1 mix.

I run BTA between my arms on the front and then either one (50) or two (100) bottles off an Xlab superwing with a single bottle for 50 and a double for 100. That also provides a space for a few spares such as tubeless repairs and a multitool. I use gorilla cages

The Xwing is a solid holder. For a 50, then a single bottle cage would do. If you want to run a garmin varia a great place to put it is cable tie the garmin stem mount to the back of the Superwing and it is in a really aero position. Of course that is where a single cage would go.

My D2Z arm rests have an option of fitting a BTA holder between them and so a 750cc bottle is nice and aero. there are different width BTAs for different arm rest widths. Its a neat soution.

The slight concern I have is that with two bottles sideways on, they are quite wide, but I am sure it is not significant.

If you have an ISM saddle, to make a saddle based system work I cut the drop tail off with a dremmel and staple teh "leather’ cover back into the seat base. Works a treat.

I hope this helps. Have a good one @Jonathan

This year i’ve used one of these to hold bottles behind the saddle, not sure of availability in the U.S. easily got bottles in and out using the accompanying cages, never lost a bottle over 100 mile and 12 hour TT’s. My opinion is that most people probably eject bottles because they have them set at to much of an angle, keep them close to vertical and there going knowhere.

Unfortunately i did lose the giant hydration vault (nose cone thing) off my trinity during a 100.