Is the XLab the key to M-Dot bike fuelling?
XLab’s Hydroblade kicks off the hydration system head-to-head. Computational Fluid Dynamics were used in the design process to minimise drag reduction, and the long bottle is a prominent sight on the front of your bike. The capacity is 828ml with a plastic flip lid to ensure not a drop is spilled while you’re riding, and off the bike it’s freestanding which makes filling easier.
It attaches to your bars using nylon brackets to fit standard aerobars and Velcro straps. While we did get some movement on rough roads, it’s easy to refit on the go if the straps loosen. The brackets can be adjusted to account for different bar widths, with a range of 80-160mm. We measured the bottle at 23.5cm, leaving just 2cm between the bottom and the top of our brake caliper. This could pose a problem if you have your stem mounted low under a stack of spacers.
The straw has a self-locking mechanism, but there isn’t really anywhere to store it when not in use, so you need to try and tuck it under one of your arm pads or leave it flapping. Handily, if you favour a road bike over a full tri rig, Xlab has recently brought out a universal bracket to fit the Hydroblade onto horizontal bars, available separately for £18.99. JS multisportdistribution.co.uk