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I've been riding with a bottle filled with isotonic drink + hydration backpack with plain water for quite awhile. Recently my bottle stated to fall off on descents (not the best frame design + increase in speed). I'm looking for alternatives to frame mounted bottle cage that will suit aggressive trail riding. Solutions like Source dual bladder won't fit, because once you had a sweetened drink in your bladder it's just a matter of time before mold starts to grow there. I've looked on runners belts, but 600ml is way too little for hot conditions. Assuming I want to separate between sweetened electrolyte drink and regular water, and a minimum of 1l liquids all together, what are my options on the market nowadays?

  • What kind of bottle cage mount are you using (you might get better grip if you use a better cage/bottle), and on what kind of bike (your cage mounting options are different on full sus/hardtail)? – Batman Sep 23 '17 at 15:03
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    For aggressive trail riding I wouldn't try to have a bottle on the frame. Could you use energy gels and salt tablets instead of electrolyte drink? – ojs Sep 23 '17 at 15:31
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    Don't the saddle mounted bottles interfere with moving your weight back? – ojs Sep 23 '17 at 20:34
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    You may have to do some testing. One to verify that the seatpost has enough lift power to raise 1 or 2 water bottles. And second that the rear tire has enough room when fully compressed to clear the water bottles with the saddle in the lowered position. – mikes Sep 24 '17 at 12:11
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    Unless the bottle is falling off because it's physically being struck by objects on the trail, it seems to me that you just need a better bottle cage. However, I am familiar with poorly-placed bottle mounts, and it is frustrating to have an "aero" downtube that will not accept a simple clamp-on cage. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 25 '17 at 12:38
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My bottle holder under the frame (the third) is also prone to dropping its contents. That's easily fixed with an elastic strap round the bottle and down tube (I use an old reflective ankle strap or bungee cord. I doubt many people will be drinking from a bottle mounted there while riding anyway, so the extra difficulty of getting it out doesn't really matter.

The cheap aluminium cages can be bent tighter, but with plastic cages it's easier to pad them out using an old inner tube, cable ties, and/or duct tape.

You can buy clamps to put a bottle on the handlebars.

Two-bottle belts are available -- I have an old one that I sometimes use if I ride then run. Mine takes 800ml bottles happily, but anything bigger would be awkward.

  • ... or to the rear side of the seatpost if it's far up enough and doesn't need to go down all the way. The cage can be held by one of the handlebars clamps mentioned in the answer. (There are others that allow a 90°angle between clamp and cage.evanscycles.com/topeak-cage-mount-EV162274) – Carel Sep 23 '17 at 16:57
  • @Carel sorry, this is immpossible for AM riding, as all modern bikes have dropper posts. – J-unior Sep 23 '17 at 17:34
  • Could you please name some brands that make hydration belts with 1 liter capacity and more? – J-unior Sep 23 '17 at 17:36
  • My old one is karrimor. Their new ones don't look as good as mine but still come with 2x600ml and would take bigger bottles. "Two bottle cycling belt" found loads of hits on amazon and eBay. I'd go for a no-brand cheap one if ordering online. – Chris H Sep 23 '17 at 18:20
  • Couldn't find anywhere the volume of X Duo bottles and google search on "hydration belt two bottle 30 oz" yields no results :-( – J-unior Sep 24 '17 at 12:21
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First of all: You mention that the placement of the bottle mount is bad. There are adapters which allow you to mount a bottle cage without frame holes. E.g. SKS Anywhere, Minoura or this set. All look rather flimsy though. Mounts for the handlebar or behind the saddle usually look more sturdy, if you have space there.

There is also the Salsa Anything Cage which allows you to mount and tie down anything anywhere.

If a better, more vertical mounting point for your existing bottle cages doesn’t solve the problem, maybe you should get better bottle cages. For example I use these Elite bottle cages with various normal ~800ml bicycle bottles on my cyclocross and I’ve never lost a bottle (except in a 40km/h crash, but that doesn’t really count). They also seem quite popular.

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    Most bottle holders will cable tie onto any tube, perhaps with some inner tube in between. Some come with moulded rubber to do this. The issue is more likely to be finding a suitable part of the frame, as the manufacturer couldn't. – Chris H Sep 23 '17 at 18:22
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I would like to summarize all the common wisdom that was mentioned here. Note I'm talking about MTB enduro/all mountain/aggressive trail riding that involve hammering down downhill style trails, with roots, stones, drops above meter height. Also I assume your frame does not have any bottle cage mount, which is common among modern enduro bikes (Nukeproof Mega, YT Capra, Polygon Square One)

  1. As to current state (fall 2017) there is no ultimate solution that has a mount for both sweetened drink bottle and regular water bladder. In a perfect world I see it as a bladder backpack with a secure belt pocket for bottles size 500-800 ml.
  2. There are solutions to mount your bottle on the frame, all of them lame in a different way: Velcro mounted bottle cage (less lame), on the bars (very lame), on the saddle (also very lame). I guess there are exceptions, but for me none of those options will fit, because a. the only place I can allow another 750 g. of weight is close to the bike center of gravity; b. can't see most of those options survive aggressive downhill hammering.
  3. There is a nice solution by Source, but you should remember to do your best to clean it after a ride ASAP and store in the freezer, otherwise you'll share your energy drink with other forms of life (mold).
  4. There are runners belts that should take 2 bottles of volume 500 ml, but that's not officially mentioned on brand's sites. @Chris H mentioned that his Karrimor Duo X holds bottles up to 800 ml. volume.
  5. Another option (and IMO the best one) is to separate between hydration & energy needs and add sweeteners free salt tablets to your hydration bladder and use gels, snacks or jelly candies to restore energy. This way you can care less about your bladder maintenance, avoid aftertaste if you decide to ride with the same bladder after sweetened drinks and plan your carbohydrates intake better during the ride.
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    Your last point works well for me on long road rides (a variety of gels and solid energy sources). Some form of sugary drink is then very tempting at a stop and encourages an extra drink. – Chris H Sep 25 '17 at 9:38
  • That's true, it's tempting to sip some sweet stuff, instead of thinking whether you are that thirsty. – J-unior Sep 25 '17 at 11:44
  • There's also something about having to finish the bottle/can/glass because you can't take it with you. – Chris H Sep 25 '17 at 12:42
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I think you can fix this by buying a better water bottle cage. The Camelbak podium, especially older ones have a ridge that can fit into water bottle holders well. When paired with a water bottle holder that can exploit this ridge then it is a very secure fit. I think you should go to a bike store and look at different water bottle cages and bottles to find a pair that fits really well.

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I recently saw a bottle holder in a shop that consisted of webbing and velcro. The design was for a bottle smaller than you describe, but you might be able to make your own.

An internet search did not show the one I did see in the shop but it did show this one out of this page about how to attach a Fire Extinguisher to an UTV.

With a flexible cage you can fit in the bottle you want, and use the position on the bike that suits it best.

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