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Too often cyclists are slaves to fashion or too tied to tried-and-true gear to try something new.
With that said here’s a new item that will undoubtedly challenge both of those stick-in-the-mud notions.
The Showers Pass VelEau 42 bike-mounted hydration system is a specially shaped 42-ounce (1.25 liter) container — twice the capacity of a standard cycling water bottle — that fits inside a formed, under-the-saddle bag.
OK, we haven’t tried the VelEau — yet. But the idea of ditching the old hydration pack is one we’re totally open to. So until we get one in our grubby mitts, we’ll give you the manufacturer-supplied information.
The VelEau bag attachment system uses a ratcheting buckle that attaches to the seat rails. For getting liquid to your mouth, the VelEau uses a food-grade polyurethane drink tube. Two retracting reels keep the drinking tube held securely in place on rough terrain. The reels use three-ply nylon parachute cord, tested to over 180,000 cycles; and two superstrong magnets to automatically return the tube to its proper position.
Along with schlepping liquid the VelEau also has a built-in tool bag with room for a spare tube, multi-tool, nutrition, etc.
Frank Bretl, VelEau co-inventor, noted that many mountain bikes allow for only one water bottle while some don’t have room for any at all.
“Why carry a hot, sweaty and constricting hydration backpack when you can let the bike carry the water?” Bretl asked.
At the moment we don’t have a weight listing for the VelEau, but when we get a test model we’ll let you know. Meanwhile, look for the Showers Pass VelEau 42 in July 2011. MSRP is $80.