Saturday, April 10

ANOTHER Carbon Digression

Campagnolo - 0.67oz to carry water that weighs 24 oz
What Would Tullio Say About This?
For THIS one, you can blame a possibly innocent observation by Lizzylou. Said she, "I find it interesting that when placing a solitary bottle cage you chose the seat tube instead of the down tube."
This set off a chain of events. My loyal reader may recall that I have posted on the danger aspects of water bottles, here. Many more will recall that I have an ongoing "carbon" series. In reality, what Lizzylou SHOULD have asked was "I find it interesting that when placing a solitary bottle cage, you chose the seat tube instead of the down tube, and your cage isn't made out of CARBON!" Opportunity missed!

Bontrager Plastic Cage on a Cannondale
Just over an oz and all-plastic With Places
I Could Remove Weight
Bontrager and Cannondale - Does
that Combo Corrode?
Well, she's got a point. It is more or less traditional that solitary water bottle cages are mounted on the down tube. What's more, I actually mounted my own ones that way at one time, but they just seem to work better for me when mounted on the seat tube. What's more, I only mount one, because that is enough water to go between Starbucks stops under any conceivable weather conditions (for those NOT experienced in such things, Starbucks offers free cups of ice water. Those cups are triple filtered, and the Venti size is PERFECT to fill up a 24 oz water bottle, and will last at LEAST until the next Starbucks - what's more, Starbucks do NOT usually have bike racks so you need not feel guilty walking your bike in with you - I've checked! You should, however, check at your own local Starbucks ahead of time since we ALL know what "assume" stands for). The only time I will mount TWO water bottle holders when I next run in the "Hotter 'n Hell 100" and even then I'll only carry one water bottle. The second holder will be reserved for picking up a sweet bottle that has been discarded along the way by some rider. Last year, I was AMAZED at the variety of bottles along the way, but didn't want to carry one a long way in my jersey pocket. One interesting aside - my Tricross has also got mounting points on the BOTTOM side of the down tube. I haven't, to this date come up with anything I'd really want to have to clean off from the escaped mud and dust that collects down there, despite my protestations about keeping everything clean and dry.

Anyway, back to carbon. Carbon water bottle holders definitely fit into the "style" area of carbon on bikes. Perhaps, some might claim I should say otherwise since Arundel is local and a big player in the area of carbon bottle cages. But they didn't bribe me to say otherwise. While one might CLAIM weight savings with carbon bottle cages, even one of the lightest carbon holders, shown above, is really designed to carry stuff that weighs darn near TWO pounds. What's more, if you go to "weight weenies" listings, you'll find that many carbon cages weigh more than their plastic or aluminum counterparts. When you get back to things, carbon has lots of stiffness - which has marginal utility for carrying over a pound of water. Myself, for the road bike, I use a plastic holder that weighs 1 1/3 oz, and whose red color goes well with the bike. It was also on sale and didn't cost much more than the ugly steel ones. On Buddy, I use a plastic "Rib Cage Pro Road" plastic cage that also matches the bike well, and it weighs just about the same. Conveniently, it was also on sale. In both cases, there's weight that could be carved off the holder, if I felt ambitious, and this weren't "get the taxes done or else" weekend...

The Specialized Cage at 1.3 oz, Looks GREAT on Buddy and it was on Sale, too!


Lizzylou said...

I agree that buying carbon cages to 'save weight' is a wee bit ridiculous. How much can a bottlecage weigh? Like you said, I buy them for aesthetic value. (But I always have too, believe or not, Starbucks are not very prevelent in eastern PA).

Tracy W said...

Somewhere along the way I recall some claim being made that mounting a single bottle on the seat tube is more aerodynamic than mounting that same bottle on the downtube.

Myself, I drink off the downtube and put the empty on the seat tube.

cafiend said...

I read what Tracy referred to. A triathlete brought us an article about aerodynamics. It recommended placing the water bottle on the seat tube.

I use Blackburn Chicane cages. They're stainless steel, very light and strong and boringly traditional.

Ham said...

An un-funny example of carbon fatigue under what might be described as extreme circumstances.

Steve A said...

Ham, I would be VERY reluctant to fault the carbon in those particular circumstances, unless it turns out the motorist's behavior is due to some carbon fiber that lodged in his brain.

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