Portland-based Showers Pass offer a new take on several ideas combined…

There are bike-mounted drinking bottles and there are backpack-style "hydration packs" but the VelEau - geddit? - delivers your favourite drink through a tube-mounted bite-valve with the bottle hidden in a dual-purpose seat pack.

We've reviewed cycling clothing before from the Oregon, USA-based company Showers Pass but only seen prototypes of this accessory which appears to be a new departure for them. If the new VelEau 42 system is anything to go by, it shows that they're certainly thinking differently.

Opining that bottles don't always fit in a conventional bottle cage inside the frame and that backpack-style hydration systems can be unwieldy and uncomfortable especially for "fast" events like triathlon and even touring, they reckon their new suggestion called VelEau 42 - the "42" refers to the volume in fluid ounces - will be a useful option for all sorts of cyclists.


What you get is a ratchet-and-strap-attaching, under-saddle nylon seat pack which contains both a 1.25 litre dishwasher-able, food-safe plastic reservoir and an extra 0.5l of spare space for tubes and tools.

Then, 120cm of medical-grade polyurethane tube cut to length runs to the handlebar area where a familiar-looking bite-valve is attached to the bike by means of a magnet and a nylon cord on a sprung retractible reel. A further 'super strong' magnet and reel of nylon cord mounted towards the rear of the top tube keeps the pipe from flying around but flexible so it can be pulled towards the rider's mouth even when fully sitting up.

Bonkers? The VelEau certainly has all the hallmarks of a solution looking for a problem and there has been at least one other similar "triathlete's" drink delivery system before if we could just remember the name of the now-defunct product from the early 1990s.And yet, and yet. It won't be for everyone, obviously, but we can certainly see some situations where it could be handy. Not least to supplement drinks you're already carrying in conventional bottles for really long, hot rides and where you simply cannot stop. Like 100-mile time trials and the like. Price £59.99.

Details: firebox.com