Sunday, September 15, 2013

Speedfil Z4 Bottle Cage

Since getting the Felt B10 and building it up the one thing I could not get settled on was how to mount the torpedo bottle and at the same time have the Garmin Edge in a position where it was not going to be a strain to see the screen display. As shown in the Previous Homemade Mount below I ended up placing the bottle below the bars which does not reap the benefit of reducing drag like Between The Arms (BTA) where the bottle is tucked behind the forearms. My homemade mount worked well for the Garmin display as it was placed just a little bit forward for an easy glance down, but this mount also had some other issues in addition to catching more air. Lately the factory rubber bands that are used on the Edge mount broke on two occasions during a ride where I was lucky that the computer did not go flying off, but I did have to remove the computer while in motion and stick it in my rear jersey pocket. While trying to save money on factory produced mounts I had tried other types of homemade mounts and even tried just to zip tie the mount on the very front of the aero bars, but never could get comfortable as each had their own issues.

Searching the internet again I stumbled upon the Speedfil Z4 mount and it appeared to be exactly what I wanted and much more streamlined compared to my version that I recently tried to create in my shop. After trying a number of ways to streamline the front of the bike I was more than happy to spend some money to give the Z4 a try. I ordered the Speedfil Z4, Garmin Edge mount and the Xlab Torpedo mounting plate from Just a note that the Speedfil Z4 comes with zip ties and can be fastened directly to the bars without additional cost. I purchased the Xlab Torpedo mount for mounting ease and fast removal.

I used the new setup yesterday on a 97 mile training ride so I got enough time in to say I am really happy now with the way the bike is setup for a long ride. I do not race and I really enjoy doing long endurance rides and using the Felt B10 with 3 bottles to rotate for a self-sustained century distance. The previous below the bar mount was super easy to pull the bottle out while tucked in aero position and take a drink. I was able to do this as well from the Z4, but just a little more difficult since the bottle is pointed backwards, but still not too bad. The standard notched neck cycling water bottle was locked in pretty good so no issue with the bottle being loose in the cage and I don't think that it will come out from a hard bump. There was some chatter noise from the computer mount tapping the bottle on rough pavement, but I think there is an easy fix for this. I have some self-adhesive Velcro and will cut a small square from the felt side and stick on the mount that will probable eliminate that chatter.

I really like the computer mount portion since it eliminates the need for the rubber bands. The Garmin mount simply presses in from the underside and locks into place. During the ride and even on the roughest pavement sections there was no vibrations in viewing the computer display. The best yet was the effect that I was hoping and that was having the bottle tucked behind my forearms with the display exactly where I wanted for easy viewing. With my setup the bottle was tucked, my hands shielding the front of the bottle and the top of the Garmin Edge was almost flush with the top of my forearms.

There are a number of types of other mounts that put the display behind or in front of the bottle, but the Z4 is exactly what I had wanted to achieve for how I wanted the bike to be setup. Finally I feel good now for how the Felt B10  will serve as a training bike for long solo routes.

Z4 Summary
  • Easy to mount and position with zip ties
  • Fairly easy to use while tucked in aero using a standard water bottle.
  • Holds the bottle tightly
  • Puts the Garmin Edge Display in easy viewing position
  • No vibration in the Edge display
  • Some vibration noise between the Edge mount and bottle (I think there is an easy solution)
Xlab Torpedo Carbon Mount
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to mount and remove with Velcro straps
  • Very stable with almost no movement when straps are pulled tight.
  • Provides more flexibility moving the bottle cage forward or back

Previous Homemade Mount:                                                                               

Speedfil Z4 Bottle Cage with Garmin Edge Mount:                                           

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