An aero shaped frame mounted 20 oz water bottle.
Different lid and possibly a larger volume capacity. Also some type of port for refilling on the fly.
One of the better and more functional aero bottle/cage combos currently available.
If you aren't familiar with Xlab and their product repertoire, it can be summed up pretty easily as a niche market for creative ways to carry all the stuff that we "need" to carry on our bikes when training and racing triathlon. Most of the Xlab contraptions focus on creative solutions for carrying hydration and nutrition items.
The XLAB Aero TT bottle is an aerodynamic frame mounted bottle that uses a special carbon cage in place of a traditional round bottle setup.
As you can see the XLAB bottle has a pretty unique shape to it, which is similar to most aero bottles. XLAB claims this particular shape combined with the non-slip dimpled surface produces 25% less drag than typical round bottles.
As you can see above, the dimpled surface comes to an end at the groove in the bottle which is intended to make it easy to grab and pull out of the cage. As far as getting in and out of the cage, this is one of the most functional aero bottles we have used. Almost as simple as the traditional round bottle.
The bottle is pretty "invisible" to the wind. Below are a few pictures of the bottle (actually you can't see the bottle because it is as narrow or narrower than the frames, but that is the point of the pics) on a Cervelo P3 and Trek Speed Concept. (There are many more pics in the gallery at the bottom of the review)
The bottle is BPA free, which is slowly and thankfully becoming the "norm". The cage is Carbon Natural Weave.
90 grams for the bottle and cage.
How Does It Work?
After using the XLAB Aero TT bottle setup for a while now, we think it is one of the better options currently available. Some other aero bottles/cages are known to rattle, to be difficult to get in and out, hard to hold, etc. We didn't experience any problems with the Aero TT.
Our only 2 issues with the setup are:
1) We are not fans of the flip top cap. We can see where this would be easy for filling on the go, but more than likely after a few cycles in the dishwasher this cap connector is going to break. We would prefer a typical screw on lid with some type of "port" for refilling on the fly.
2) This is more of a personal preference, but it would be nice to have a 24oz option. This provides just a little more volume to have your "calorie" drink in for longer events.
With a MSRP of $59.99 the XLAB Aero TT is priced right. It is at the lower end of the price spectrum for similar products.
TriBomb Bottom Line
One of the better designs we've come across, and overall a solid choice for a frame mounted aero water bottle.