Race Day Nutrition and Storage

I’ve only used standard bottle cages, start with 750ml and grab more from aid stations. Then able to take ~4 bars and 4 gels in a bento box and trisuit, and grabbed a jam sandwich at T1 and stuffed down top.

Some really basic questions if someone could show some patience:

How much difference does putting bottle behind saddle make, and how do you do it?
In above system, will any normal bottle work?
When you talk about putting gels in a bottle, so you mean in their sachets just for storage, or actually emptying the gels into a bottle? If so, assume you need to dilute with water to actually be able to drink them?

What do you mean by “difference”? If the second part is how do you mount them, then the options will depend on your saddle/frame/etc. There are various options. I use a fizik mistica saddle, and that comes with a rear cage mounting bracket. For standard saddles, you can get after market stuff like the xlab delta wing series. Certain frames have options like the xlab delta sonic, so it’s attached to the seat post rather than the saddle rails.

You generally put on whatever cages you want to the rear bracket. I use xlab gorilla cages as I had instances of bottles being ejected.

Gels can just be decanted into a bottle. There are many ways of doing it. Depends on the gel and its viscosity. A bit of trial and error in that regard, depending on your preferred nutrition. High5 is decantable, and I know others who just mix high5 gels in with their normal electrolytes, so you’re getting something of everything each sip (my experience was that made all the fluid a bit sickly however). I now use gu, and they’re too viscous, so I just have the gels direct from the packets.

Use iso gels: diluted gels that is. They decant easily and are ready to consume without extra water. I find SIS ones a bit more palatable than High5, but large quantities of any gel gets a bit yuck

£10 posted to anyone interested. Tacx bottle cage mount. Carries either one central cage, or two side by side. Never used.

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Whatever difference you’re all seeking by doing it :wink: Assume aero benefits translating to watts/free speed.
Ah ok so you get a mount to go onto the saddle/saddle post (like the one Jorgan is conveniently now offering), and then just attach normal cages to that. Where do zip ties potentially come into this, do some people just tie a cage to the saddle?

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Got one of these recently to fill in my P2.

Haven’t properly fixed it into the frame (before anyone points out that it doesn’t appear to fit!)

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Yes, just zip tie a cage to the saddle rails.
I did that for my spares cage for Outlaw, as it’s slightly more aero than a saddlebag.

I’m probably going to just buy a small strapped saddle bag for my spares this time round - but I’m going to have a play tomorrow/Friday.

I’d prefer to take my aero front bottle and my own refill on the down tube. With some food of my own, I won’t need any aid stations, so should maintain a higher speed.

That’s the benefit of carrying your own fluids.
There’s enough to last the whole bike leg, which keeps that average speed up

Hard to quantify the aero difference BHS cages make. Round water bottles on the down tube is widely believed to be sub optimal so its always worth getting rid of them, indeed over on SlowTwitch if you are found with a round water bottle on your down tube you’ll be burnt at the stake. Between the arms or behind the saddle are the best places. BHS needs to be close into the body of the rider though, if it sticks out miles it will be causing drag

Best place if you need a bottle on the frame is normally seat tube; except those frames that only have bosses on the down-tube of course! (my Argon was like that). That’s because the seat-tube bottle will ‘fair’ the rear end of the bike that was going to create turbulence anyway.

Saddle mounting is more tricky I believe, and they can vary a lot. A really well placed bottle behind the rider can actually reduce drag caused by turbulence, by filling that void. I think it can be really tricky though, as a lot of holders place the bottle too far away from the backside of the rider. Mine is zip-tied almost horizontally under the saddle like Chris Lieto used to have it.

In a Half, I only need what’s in my Torhans Aero 30 & a refill under the saddle. Especially as it’s pretty cool when it starts at 6am! Spares go in a ‘draft box’ as it’s a Speed Concept. Although last year I was so not bothered with Triathlon, that I didn’t take any spares :upside_down_face:

I read somewhere or watched a video (don’t remember which) that although this has been the perceived wisdom is has been recently been found that whilst BTS bottles on their own are very aero, when you go to take a drink it takes a long time for the air to re-attach after so if you are constantly drinking from a BTS bottle you would have actually been better drinking from a frame mounted bottle.

Edit: Think it was on one of the Silca marginal gains podcasts

Sounds logical. And exactly the reason why I only use it as a BTA refill bottle. I therefore use it only once. And I tend to try and time that refill to coincide with a drinks station, or incline, where I’d have broken aero anyway.

The only time I broke aero in my IM was to turn corners where I needed to brake, on the two climbs where they have all the support (fairly sure I refilled the BTA on these climbs), and when I was taking on solid nutrition (fluid was all from the straw on the BTA bottle)

I have two bottles BTS, mostly as I ride a fizik tritone and it comes with the carriage kit. I can stay on the aerobars and reach back to grab a bottle and drink. Well except on parts of that Southern loop of the Outlaw half as it was too bumpy and therefore scary to move an arm without sitting up.

I just tried the Maurten gels and drinik and so far so good. The gels are more jelly like than gooey so are less messy. The drink is odd as it isn’t flavoured so there was nothing to be sick of. Only tried the 160 mix and will try the 320 mix on a sportive next weekend. I’ve found easting flapacks in a tri makes me feel a bit grim so stops me eating. I like the OTE duo bars and clif bloks and find them easy to eat without any problems. Was able to get down about 75g of carb during the outlaw half and long brick the other week with these.

What are Ironman supplying on course these days? Anything has to be better than the Power Gels of old!

Got IMCH, it’s Enervit.

Steve Cummings doesn’t care what STers say

Look at that position though. Back is perfectly flat and inline with the top of the helmet. Still should lose the round water bottle.

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I think Cervelo (?) said that round bottles are better with their frames than an aero bottle?

Steve rode a 50-31 that day.
Second place was a 52.

His position is amazing

I had to hold my bladder due to the lack of bushes in the desert for three hours. Went to the toilet six times in the race; Two pees, two failed bowel movements, and two successful. :sweat_smile: probably cost me half an hour but felt better for it.

About nutrition: I simplified by necking a bottle of electrolytes at the feed station and stowing the coke in the down tube array. Unfortunately they were only half full, so I got about a litre of fluids per hour. I nabbed two half bars or scoffed two banana sections each time to get the carbs up.

Found these (in stock)


I’m thinking the 100 would be good for me, as I’m only
Planning on two bars (cut into halves) and one gel (though I’d elastic band the gel to the aerobars to take after ten minutes)
The XLab site mentions the stem straps are long enough to get around the cables entering the top tube, if not, I’ll do a little “fix” on them.

I also ordered the same Elite aero bottle as you have.
£22 vs the £46 for the XLab one :scream:

And here it is…as the bike needs recabling, I’m debating cabling a little longer, zip tying them as one, then running them through the top of the bag (will need a hole cut into it)