ZEFAL TRI BOTTLE CAGE SET
£45.99 Saddle-mounted hydration for long-course tri
It always surprises us in transition areas when we see deep-rim wheels, integrated tri-bars and truncated aero frames on a superbike… only for a pair of round 750ml bottle plonked on the seat tube and down tube. 220’ s own wind tunnel research and that conducted by XLab and more has shown the benefit of mounting the bottle behind the saddle in the slipstream of the rider. That said, and while it’s no fault of this Zefal set, we do seem to drink less with the bottles behind instead of mounted on a tri-bar or down tube.
This brings us onto the 180g Zefal Tri Bottle Cage Set, which can mount two bottles and CO2 canisters alongside them (not included). So, what’s good? The system gives you the option of mounting one bottle centrally for shorter races, and the hold on the bottles was secure enough for the battered winter roads we we testing on. What those winter roads also did was cover the bottles in detritus flicked from the rear wheel, so this is certainly a midsummer option. An adjustment cog also lets you position the bottles at an angle that works best for access and/or aerodynamics.
The reason for the average score, however, is the faff of installation. The system required a complete dismantling and rebuilding to secure onto our standard saddle rails due to the screws being at inaccessible angles. You’ll need extended Allen keys and plenty of patience for the job, but it’s a chief reason why we personally prefer our Topeak Tri Backup Pro system with its host of extras and easier installation, albeit added costs. chickencyclekit.co.uk
VERDICT Affordable option for Ironman, but there are smarter systems