Burning Question: How Much Do Water Bottles Influence Frame Design?

Dec 10, 2021 at 15:33
by Matt Beer  

Nukeproof Giga


"Can you fit a water bottle in that frame?" is one of the most frequently asked questions I overhear at trailheads and see in the comments sections of Pinkbike articles when the plastic vessel is absent on a bike. "Should a standard water bottle fit?" might be the more appropriate question manufacturers and consumers alike should be asking. Sure, hydration is essential, but longer rides require you to carry a pack or resort to overstuffed chamois pockets regardless of the frame storage. Henry Quinney asked the Pinkbike audience their take on the importance of water bottle capacity and its influence on purchasing a bike back in January of this year.

Think back to Yeti's SB66, a proven EWS race winner and popular long travel enduro bike, which only had mounting bolts under the downtube, and compare that to their SB150. Yeti specifically built the bike around its ability to carry a bottle inside the front triangle and then configured their Switch Infinity suspension design. To squeeze everything in there, the bottle runs tight to the shock and downtube took two drastic bends to get around the dilemma.


Dual link and 4-bar designs like Santa Cruz, Kona, Transition, Norco, and Specialized (the list goes on and on) have it easy, or do they? Trek's design team was challenged to fit a standard 650ml water bottle inside the front triangle on the smaller size Top Fuels, so they curved the top tube to avoid jacking the standover height.

They don't come any larger than this! Even XXL Geometron owners have to get creative as the swing link moves the shock in the front triangle.
Single-pivot simplicity sorted.

So, why not just lay out your suspension first, sculpt the tube shapes, and form your own water bottle? How vital is it to have a standard water bottle that costs five dollars when the entire bike can cost upwards of five figures? Why is a bottle with a flip-top cap under the downtube unacceptable? Are mountain bikers' priorities straight or are we too concerned about appearance? Is a cheap, standard size water bottle housed inside the front triangle more important than the correct pivot placement?

We reached out to a few brands to see how they approach designing a frame with storage in mind and what kind of constraints they prioritize.





Chris Cocalis - President/CEO of Pivot Cycles

How much do water bottles actually influence frame design?


Massively! It is definitely a top priority.

Could you speak to why or why not your brand has made this such a priority?


Although hip bags and hydration packs are still important for longer rides, the customer preference has definitely shifted from carrying things on their body to carrying as much as possible on the bike. For customers, being able to carry a water bottle has moved from not so important to near the top of their list.

If your brand has made it a priority, at what lengths did you have to go to in order to work around the packaging constraints, ie: changing geometry like standover height, downtube angles or tube shaping, and possibly kinematics?


It was a key driver in changing our designs completely from having shocks located under the top tube to a vertical shock design. Of course there were other factors involved as to how and why we could improve our overall design with this change. However, the combination of water bottle, increased tool storage placement and stand-over were leading factors.

It is something that we will continue to focus on. We want to try and find even better solutions and/or more capacity in the future.

The previous generation Firebird had water bottle storage underneath the downtube, but the 2022 Firebird has been reconfigured to follow the suspension layout of Pivot's shorter travel bikes.


Have you ever thought of creating your own proprietary water bottle, like YT has done in the past? Why is there such resistance to this if the frame could be built with less complication?


Absolutely! Although water bottles have typically been thought of as a universal size and a somewhat disposable item, I do think that the possibility exists to do something unique that better takes into account modern mountain bikes chassis dimensions and constraints while offering good capacity and ease of use.

Frame storage, either internal or external, is a hot selling feature right now. Do you see this as a necessity, like water bottle storage?


It’s not quite the same necessity as water bottle storage, but a really nice thing to have. With internal frame storage, there’s really a decision to be made between the balance of the frame's structural integrity and weight. From Pivot’s side, we always want to optimize the frame structure, plus we want to have great tool accessibility and ease of use. If you need a tool, having it on the bike is great but if you have to take time to get it out and unwrap everything to get at it and/or assemble the tool then it really loses that efficiency. That’s why we have the Pivot dock tool system. We have different options that work with mounts on the frame which allows us to develop different tools and different external storage options that are quiet, secure and really easy to use.

If so, how much time do engineers and product managers put into building this and what are the major limitations?


Just like water bottle access, it’s an important part of the design process to fit everything on the frame, account for future tool options and to make sure the rider has everything they typically carry for on-trail repairs and adjustments. If you can only get 90% of it onto the bike and wind up having to still carry a few things, it kind of defeats the purpose. Major limitations are always space and clearance issues with other parts. This is always worse on the smallest frames so we optimize for those first.





Dylan Howes - Trek Senior MTB Engineer Bikes

How much do water bottles actually influence frame design?


A ton! For most bikes (with exceptions like DH or DJ), a water bottle is a necessity. It’s just something we must have on a bike. A trail bike without capacity for a bottle has an unfinished design, and under the downtube doesn’t count! A bottle covered in mud, or worse, that you have to clean off before use, isn’t really functional. So viewing a water bottle as a simple design necessity certainly dictates a whole lot of other things and how everything can be packaged within a frame – and by “everything” we mean a shock, maximized seat post insertion, functional sized tubes, standover limits and these days, storage.

Could you speak to why or why not your brand has made this such a priority?


We need water as riders and humans. Yes, you can use a pack. But we don’t always want to. For that lunch ride, or quick after-work loop, sometimes you just want a bottle and only a bottle. Also, our customers have made it pretty clear that a bottle is a primary concern and desire. When we’ve left that ability off in the past, or made small sizes without bottle capacity, we’ve heard about it loud and clear.

If your brand has made it a priority, at what lengths did you have to go to in order to work around the packaging constraints, ie: changing geometry like standover height, downtube angles or tube shaping, and possibly kinematics?


Kinematics is one thing we won’t compromise. If the kinematics are wrong, the bike doesn’t ride well. You can sometimes hide this with shock tuning, but the bike is still severely compromised. So this is not something we change. However, we will keep working and re-working the design to keep the kinematics we want and still make room for a bottle. Stand-over is something that often has to be balanced or compromised somewhat. In design, every aspect has some level of compromise, but we do work hard to get the best balance possible. Sometimes the standover target simply has to be a bit higher than ideal to fit a bottle. But again, we’ve heard about that from customers loud and clear over the years. And as dropper posts have helped lower the functional parts of the bike we standover, this has become a more willingly accepted compromise if it means a bottle fits.

We’ve manipulated tube shaping quite a bit to fit bottles. Indents on tubes and adjusting tube profiles is common. We’ve also done bikes where there are size specific tubes, especially on the smaller sizes that both look different and have different shapes from the rest of the sizes. We’re usually talking aluminum here as a carbon bike has a whole different mold anyway.

Have you ever thought of creating your own proprietary water bottle, like YT has done in the past? Why is there such resistance to this if the frame could be built with less complication?


We most certainly have. Although this isn’t an ideal solution. Custom bottles come with a whole host of other issues for the rider – where can new bottles be obtained, will a dealer have them in stock, what about lost bottles? Water bottles have been pretty much a standard size and shape for so long that pushing a new standard is a challenge. And again, this really should be a last resort. Just because someone is a shorter height doesn’t mean they need less water.

Frame storage, either internal or external, is a hot selling feature right now. Do you see this as a necessity, like water bottle storage?


It’s not quite the necessity that water is. However, we do believe in the benefit of storage, and see it becoming a much more demanded feature. Also, it’s a feature that has universal appeal so we’re working hard to include it on our entry-level alloy frames and higher-end carbon frames. Slash and Top Fuel both have storage on alloy frames.

If so, how much time do engineers and product managers put into building this and what are the major limitations?


This question alone could be a whole article! We’ve put in countless hours and continue to keep doing so in search of better and better solutions. Just *some* of the considerations are: placement within the frame, where the opening is, how the rider interacts with the opening, how is the bike positioned when interacting with the storage, how easy is it to reach the lever/opening mechanism, how easy is the mechanism to work, how robust is the mechanism, how secure does the mechanism have to be – does the mechanism just open a door? Or does it have to support a large weight such as a water bottle?, how will mud affect the door and mechanism, will mud clog it? How much does the storage weigh? How does the storage opening affect the frame strength? How do different storage locations affect the strength or stress caused by having a hole in a formerly closed “tube?” How much weight and material has to be added back to the frame to reinforce that opening and gain back both strength and stiffness lost by cutting that hole? What happens to all the cables that used to simply run through the space where the storage compartment is now? Remember the old adage of “Cheap, light, strong – pick 2”? This is more like “Cheap, light, strong, robust, easy to use – we want them all!”





Ken Perras - Product Line Manager at Rocky Mountain Bicycles

How much do water bottles actually influence frame design?


It holds a high degree of importance for all relevant platforms where the intended use cases defined during the product definition stage include the need for hydration.

Could you speak to why or why not your brand has made this such a priority?


We need to hydrate while we ride and wearing a hydration backpack isn’t always the best way to achieve this.

If your brand has made it a priority, at what lengths did you have to go to in order to work around the packaging constraints, ie: changing geometry like standover height, downtube angles or tube shaping, and possibly kinematics?


Water bottle placement doesn’t affect geometry as good geometry ranks higher than the ability to carry a bottle. Good kinematics also rank higher, as well as industrial design. Comparatively, the ability to carry a water bottle inside the frame tubes ranks lower, but the ranking score is still high. It’s important to recognize that it is better, in a commercial sense (driven by consumer choice) to create a well balanced design that satisfies all criteria rather than create a design that compromises too much on some criteria in favour of others. A good example of this would be the 2018-2021 Element, where industrial design was visibly compromised in order to satisfy the 2 bottle criteria. Fast forward to today, with more time, we were able to achieve a more polished version with the 2022 version. While including bottles on frames requires a detailed look, we include this spec from the onset, so the work to make it happen is reduced.

Photo credit Dane Perras
All the water bottles. Photo Credit: Dane Perras

Have you ever thought of creating your own proprietary water bottle, like YT has done in the past? Why is there such resistance to this if the frame could be built with less complication?


We have thought about it in the past. However, as our designs evolve we’ve learned to work with the current, most popular, bottle sizes. We prioritize having consumer friendly designs which means that we constantly seek to reduce proprietary components used on or with our bikes.

Frame storage, either internal or external, is a hot selling feature right now. Do you see this as a necessity, like water bottle storage?


A necessity, no. On-frame storage solutions are at a good place right now with the ability to carry ride essentials such as a spare tube, tool, puncture repair kit, and water. Having in-tube storage has some benefits such as the ability to carry your items in a sheltered space, and possibly increasing your carrying capacity, but it comes at a cost and weight penalty. This is not for everyone. Additionally, it should be noted that there are quite a few brands jumping onboard with in-tube storage solutions but we feel that they are hastily executed and not necessarily as useful as they can be, so the addition of one would be a net negative in this scenario.

One thing that external storage doesn’t work for is storing larger, irregular shaped items such as a jacket or spare gloves. These need to be kept clean and dry, so they need to be put in a frame bag, which most high performance MTBs won’t be able to accommodate, or inside the frame. This is where a well executed design will pay dividends for this common cycling scenario.

Finally kudos to Specialized for driving this innovation.





Julien Boulais - Brand and Product Marketing Director at Devinci Cycles

How much do water bottles actually influence frame design?


They are a deliverable of the project like many other criteria, such as tire clearance, chainring clearance, desired travel, etc. It is something that will influence the shock positioning and other key considerations in design just as much as any other criteria.

Could you speak to why or why not your brand has made this such a priority?


Drinking water is pretty high on the list of priority to stay alive, or simply to perform well while doing physical activity. Most people will see the majority of their rides fit within the ‘’one bottle of water’’ range and therefore it is a practical solution to pack less on the rider.

If your brand has made it a priority, at what lengths did you have to go to in order to work around the packaging constraints, ie: changing geometry like standover height, downtube angles or tube shaping, and possibly kinematics?


We would not prioritize water bottle fit vs function of the suspension system or the geometry, but so far we have always been able to get all the suspension characteristics and the geo we are looking for while still fitting the water bottle. Our Split Pivot suspension platform allows for that without unnecessary complications.

Have you ever thought of creating your own proprietary water bottle, like YT has done in the past? Why is there such resistance to this if the frame could be built with less complication?


We never saw the need because we have always been able to achieve what we were looking for while still fitting regular sized bottles, especially with side load bottle cage. It would not bring added benefit to our platform. Also, we think proprietary bottles are a good idea in theory but not practical in real life situations. For example, everyone already has a lot of regular sized bottles, they are cheap and you can get them anywhere. If you forget yours it’s easy to source another one. Let's save our ‘’proprietary’’ items for more useful topics. I think the bike industry has enough proprietary standards as it is.

Frame storage, either internal or external, is a hot selling feature right now. Do you see this as a necessity, like water bottle storage?


Definitely an interesting solution. Same logic of removing some of these items from the rider. Making sure you don’t forget them because they are always on the bike.

If so, how much time do engineers and product managers put into building this and what are the major limitations?


This one definitely requires more time than the water bottle fit. The biggest limitation would be navigating other brand’s patents to bring the best solution.




Nukeproof Giga
Nukeproof took a unique approach and cleverly used the void space in the downtube on the Giga to cradle a water bottle.
Specialized, the winner of on-board storage, changed the game with their SWAT box system. All frame sizes have room for a bottle inside the front triangle, plus you can store tools, snacks, and other items in the downtube.



Steve Saletnik - Trail and Gravity Product Manager at Specialized Bicycles

How much do water bottles actually influence frame design?


Water bottles are just one part of the balancing act when designing a bike. It’s not “free” to get a bottle inside the front triangle on a full suspension bike but our team views it as a necessity so it does influence our packaging and layout.

Could you speak to why or why not your brand has made this such a priority?


We like to talk to riders about what they value and having a full size bottle (or two, depending on the chassis) inside the front triangle is something riders almost universally agree on as a priority. There are not many scenarios like this in the mountain bike world. We can’t recall seeing any Pinkbike comments hating on water bottles on bikes, so this is an easy call for our team to make.

If your brand has made it a priority, at what lengths did you have to go to in order to work around the packaging constraints, ie: changing geometry like standover height, downtube angles or tube shaping, and possibly kinematics?


Ride quality is our top priority so we start with our desired kinematic hardpoints and then our engineers and designers work together to Tetris in the rest from there. Every frame layout and size is different and how the priorities stack up from there changes by the project. Things can get pretty heated debating the best way to do it but it’s all driven by trying to achieve the perfect blend for the riders.

Have you ever thought of creating your own proprietary water bottle, like YT has done in the past? Why is there such resistance to this if the frame could be built with less complication?


Our side loading water bottle cage really helps in this scenario. It is very secure, provides easy access with both right and left hand options depending on rider preference, and allows for use of a standard size water bottle. The side loading feature makes working around the packaging constraints a bit easier, and not having to look for a specific bottle to go with your bike is convenient. Plus our SBC water bottles are pretty nice! If you are dying to have a proprietary water bottle we developed a bonus soft flask that fits in inside the SWAT storage area in the carbon Stupjumper EVO frame, allowing for another 22 ounces worth of water carrying capability in your frame.

Frame storage, either internal or external, is a hot selling feature right now. Do you see this as a necessity, like water bottle storage?


This depends on the specific bike and rider experience we are designing around and the goals of the bike. We produced our first chassis with SWAT frame storage on the carbon Stumpjumper back in 2016, and have been refining it ever since on our carbon trail bikes. The new Stumpjumper EVO alloy models are our first foray into SWAT storage in an aluminum frame. Safe to say we see the value in SWAT storage and will continue to develop it in our bikes where riders are asking for it. It is really nice to ride without a pack and still have all the snacks.

If so, how much time do engineers and product managers put into building this and what are the major limitations?


The team here puts a great deal of effort into engineering and developing our SWAT systems. Again, we put ride quality first so getting the frame stiffness dialed in and keeping the frame light and strong are important and not a simple task when opening a big hole in the downtube. We’ve also tailored our solutions specifically to the frame material to make them as efficient as possible- what works on a carbon bike could plug and play into an alloy bike, but there would be too many compromises (like weight) to be acceptable. Making the system as user friendly as possible is also something we are very sensitive too, so an ample sized opening that allows for getting cargo in and out easily, and an intuitive interface that is robust for the frame and the door. Cable management in the downtube also becomes more important so storage space can be optimized and things like painting have to be addressed as there are more intricate masking operations needed. There are a lot of competing interests here that require attention on the design, engineering and testing fronts but the end results are worth it.





Rob Sherratt - Global Marketing Manager at Nukeproof

How much do water bottles actually influence frame design?


The humble water bottle… in recent years they have become a “must have” on all frames. You only need to look 5-8 years ago and riders were evolving to all carry bum bags/ hydration packs. Maybe with the development of enduro racing that has given trail riders a “look” of what they want / need. As racers have shed packs and looked for other solutions, it’s been a good design evolution to develop “on bike storage”. Hydration is obviously a key element, so there has been the return to a water bottle being an essential. Therefore, our frames have had to evolve. For the latest generation frames, packaging around a “readily available” bottle was an essential part of the design brief. Ideally a 750ml bottle was preferred, but in some cases, like the Megawatt, we reduced that to a 550ml and designed a special mount to best use the space. In an extreme case of the Giga, the downtube features a concave recess which was designed into the mold. When paired with our side loading cage allows riders to fit a 750ml bottle in all frame sizes (Small-XXL). As a side loading cage was essential, we even include this cage as standard. I suppose it's only similar to cars/vans having evolved to include cup holders as an essential item.

Could you speak to why or why not your brand has made this such a priority?


Consumer feedback has been key. We listened to and read about what our customers were asking for. We spent years reading “it’s not got a bottle holder” on the V3 Megas so something had to give (there is actually a thread on 3D printed mounts for the older Mega, which is actually a pretty cool read). As said before, it was also the evolution of our athletes' demands and our own riding too. We all wanted to ride with a more minimalist approach. Looking back to the 2017 EWS season, Sam was riding with a pack all the time at the EWS. Move forwards to 2018 where he had stash-style bib shorts and frame straps – he’d stash two 750ml flexi-flasks in his bibs. Then a frame strap for spares and a OneUp tool - that was 90% of what he needed in general. He even packed his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in his bibs too. Move forwards to the V4 and he can move some of the weight onto the frame for his stash bibs and use these for essentials. What the pros wear gives the look of what our riders aspire to (or it does for me anyway).

If your brand has made it a priority, at what lengths did you have to go to in order to work around the packaging constraints, ie: changing geometry like standover height, downtube angles or tube shaping, and possibly kinematics?


Bike performance is never going to be compromised for packaging a bottle. The performance of our bikes in terms of kinematics and geometry is always key, but by using clever packaging we’ve still retained low stand over heights and not affected performance. This could be done for the V4 Mega, Giga and Reactor as we were designing from scratch in recent years. This is why we never changed the 2016-20 Mega to fit a bottle inside the frame (although you could fit it under the downtube - so we made sure we sourced the bottle with caps over the nozzle).

If not, is this something you will focus on in the future?


It's in every design brief we do from the start now.

Have you ever thought of creating your own proprietary water bottle, like YT has done in the past? Why is there such resistance to this if the frame could be built with less complication?


We have, we looked at it, but the cost of the molds are expensive just for a shot of water. We chose not to compromise and design it into our next generation from the outset and stick with using flex-flasks/ bib shorts or a cap on your water bottle.

Frame storage, either internal or external, is a hot selling feature right now. Do you see this as a necessity, like water bottle storage?


You can’t deny that on bike storage is helpful, be it all-in-one-tools, OneUp components or in frame storage. For us we’re looking at options to meet the demands of our riders. Again, it will come down to performance and where you are adding weight into the frame also versus convenience and what that frame is designed to be used for.

If so, how much time do engineers and product managers put into building this and what are the major limitations?


As a small company, in the past we’ve probably had resource limitations in terms of manpower. We have a super talented team and whilst we are still “small” compared to many brands we compete against; all our growth recently has been in expanding our R&D team and capabilities. Our focus is always going to be in the ultimate performance of our products, we’re a brand built on going racing. However, this extra talent is giving us more and more time to look at some details and luxuries for riders. It’s all part of the maturing and developing of the bike industry and changing customers we sell to.





Richie Rude s fresh SB5c ready to go.
Yeti SB150


Ryan Thornberry - Product Manager at Yeti Cycles

How much do water bottles actually influence frame design?


Internally mounted water bottles play more of a role in frame design then one would think. We are always fighting for every millimeter of clearance in our frame design and trying to fit a water bottle in a front triangle is no easy task. We want to keep our stand over low which pushes the top tube down, we want to leave plenty of clearance for the front tire at full compression which pushes the down tube up, steeper seat tube angles push everything forward and horizontally mounted shocks make it even harder to fit a bottle in such a contested space. Now think about those constraints and how they change as your frame size gets smaller. Achieving all of our desired design goals and achieving optimized kinematics is no easy task.

Could you speak to why or why not your brand has made this such a priority?


It’s no secret that Yeti was slow to move our water bottle mounts to the inside of the frame, we just didn’t want to sacrifice any of our kinematics to accommodate a bottle. We knew having a bottle on the bottom of the down tube wasn’t the best place to have something that was eventually going into your mouth, but that’s why there’s hydration packs right? We knew we had to find a solution to get a bottle off the bottom of the down tube and through many iterations we were able to achieve our kinematic goals and fit a bottle inside the frame. If we had to make a compromise to our kinematics I honestly don’t know if we would have moved the bottle and made those compromises.

If your brand has made it a priority, at what lengths did you have to go to in order to work around the packaging constraints, ie: changing geometry like standover height, downtube angles or tube shaping, and possibly kinematics?


It definitely took some work and all of the factors I mentioned above had to be considered but in the end we were able to move some of the frames' geometry and hard points around to accommodate a bottle in the frame without sacrificing any of our kinematics. Switch Infinity allows us to move our hard points in various positions and achieve the same kinematics with different layouts. The tricky part is finding those combinations among all the possible combinations. Geometry wise we were able to incorporate a shock extender and move our downtube forward a little near the BB to help increase clearance and keep the other dimensions in a good spot.

Have you ever thought of creating your own proprietary water bottle, like YT has done in the past? Why is there such resistance to this if the frame could be built with less complication?


We definitely could make a custom bottle to fit some or our unique design needs but having a solution that works with the many bottle options that our customers currently own would be a better solution. Yeti recently partnered with Polar Bottle to co-develop a 15oz bottle that could work on the smaller size frames where traditional sized bottles just can’t fit.

Frame storage, either internal or external, is a hot selling feature right now. Do you see this as a necessity, like water bottle storage?


Frame storage is a really nice feature on a frame. I don’t think it is a necessity with some of the current storage options available but that doesn’t mean it isn't desirable.





CAPRA MKIII Core3 - YT Industries
YT Capra 29 review
Ask and you shall receive. The Capra can now accommodate a 650ml water bottle thanks to a single-sided front triangle brace.


Frank Dörr - Product Development Manager YT Industries

How much do water bottles actually influence frame design?


The water bottle doesn't necessarily affect the design or shape. Frame and bike performance are paramount. However, it is an additional part that has to be considered as it occupies space within the front triangle as well as the shock. When it comes to E-bikes, adding a motor and a battery to the bike makes things more difficult. Additionally, our well-known V4L kinematics and how it is mounted to the downtube requires great engineering skills, experience, and attention to detail when deciding where to put the bottle cage and if there is enough clearance for all frame sizes.

Could you speak to why or why not your brand has made this such a priority?


Keeping pace with the latest trends, listening to customer feedback, and deciding what makes sense to us is an ongoing process. Things have changed in the gravity segment since enduro riding has developed. Racing started to become more professional and popular since its inception in 2013 and had a big impact on frame features. In the beginning, even the pros wore backpacks. Meanwhile, it is state of the art to put everything onto or into the frame and away from your body. This enables you to ride more actively and move better. I mean look at the Pinkbike poll and compare 2016 vs 2021 – a massive difference in opinion. After the Izzo and Jeffsy were introduced with water bottle options it was a must to feature a bottle on the next Capra too. The new generation of the Capra is a more balanced bike than its predecessors, which were very much focused on the shred/gravity aspect of enduro riding. The new balanced approach increased the use case for water bottle integration and required us to develop the new one-sided wing design that still delivers the same added stiffness and strength we like our Capra frame to have.


If your brand has made it a priority, at what lengths did you have to go to in order to work around the packaging constraints, ie: changing geometry like standover height, downtube angles or tube shaping, and possibly kinematics?



We have always been able to realize the kinematics and geometry we aimed for and the performance of the bike is at the forefront of development. We don’t sacrifice performance to fit a bottle. What can be affected is the shape of the frame, to create a fully integrated feature. This is the case for the current Jeffsy for example, where the downtube is designed in a way that allows for a fully integrated bottle mount.

You have created proprietary water bottles for some YT models. Why is there such resistance to this if the frame could be built with less complication?


Thanks for mentioning us as an example! As mentioned: performance first! This is why we opted to design specific bottles that have enough capacity to be worthwhile and fit within the frame rather than design the frame so it would fit every bottle. The Decoy features a YT-specific water bottle and cage, the Jeffsy MK2 and Capra MK3 feature a YT-specific base plate from Fidlock and a YT-specific water bottle too. However, we are aware that not everyone wants to fit such a bottle and possibly already has a collection of water bottles at home. Therefore, it is still possible to fit most regular side-entry cages and certain bottle sizes on both the Jeffsy and Capra.

Frame storage, either internal or external, is a hot selling feature right now. Do you see this as a necessity, like water bottle storage?


Finding ways to add utility features to the bike that are helpful to riders makes sense. We are always looking for opportunities that are beneficial to the rider as long as they do not harm the performance or look of the bike. We do already feature specific rivets on the bottom of the top tube on the Izzo and Capra to mount on-bike storage. Specific frame storage would be sweet if it's well done.

If so, how much time do engineers and product managers put into building this and what are the major limitations?


If you want to do it right, you have to invest many resources. Even if it looks simple, it doesn't mean it's quickly done. Every project starts with a specification sheet in which features are prioritized according to the area of usage/application. If there is a high priority for a utility feature, we invest capacities accordingly to make it happen. The development of neat, rider-friendly features is gaining more and more attention at YT.




Chris Porter - Director at Mojo Rising

How much do water bottles actually influence frame design?


For most brands it influences design way too much! Bicycle packaging is tight enough trying to squeeze in a century old gear change system around a multi linkage suspension system and a nice fat off-road tyre. I honestly don’t understand why the water bottle question is such an issue? There is no room for ‘old fashioned’ water bottles on triathlon bikes either. But the bikes get designed to be efficient and aerodynamic and the water bottles are then designed to fit the bikes in lots of different locations. The bike is not designed to fit a 750cc round water bottle… It’s the same in other parts of the MTB too… The front wheel to fork mounting system (the axle) is designed around punctures and packing the bike in a car or on a rack. Literally designed to be quick and easy to remove to fix punctures and pack bikes rather than as a stiff, secure performance steering component!!

Could you speak to why or why not your brand has made this such a priority?


Our priority when designing the G1 was to make a bicycle with better suspension performance and longevity. We designed the bike to use longer dropper posts and we designed the head tubes around the capability to use taller and longer travel 29er forks… This inevitably squeezes the triangle towards the head tube so that on the smaller sizes there is no room for a water bottle in front of where we put the suspension system. Bicycle have had front ‘triangles’ for well over a hundred years so why don’t bicycle bottle manufacturers make bottles that fit this shape? We make bicycles, other people make the water bottles, we don’t want to let them dictate the suspension design!
The other water bottle design necessity is holes in the tubes, drill a hole in a tube and that becomes the weak point. Why do that un-necessarily?

If your brand has made it a priority, at what lengths did you have to go to in order to work around the packaging constraints, ie: changing geometry like standover height, downtube angles or tube shaping, and possibly kinematics?


Yes, some people design their suspension system to allow for multiple water bottles. Sweet… Kinematics, geometry, strength, longevity and performance taking a back seat to the need to put in a shit, 50 cent, plastic water bottle...

If not, is this something you will focus on in the future?


No...

Have you ever thought of creating your own proprietary water bottle, like YT has done in the past? Why is there such resistance to this if the frame could be built with less complication?


We don’t have the funds of a company like YT so we would expect the water bottle manufacturers to make bottles to fit bicycle shaped holes!

Frame storage, either internal or external, is a hot selling feature right now. Do you see this as a necessity, like water bottle storage?


Maybe, if you are hiding a motor on your team enduro bikes! Why on earth would you design the MTB frame around a dubious ‘benefit’ of being able to carry a sandwich and keep the same sillhouette? Is it really a buying decision? Does anyone really say "I’d love to buy this 165mm travel enduro bike with the shock and fork I really want and the drivetrain spec I need and the wheels that I want in the size and geometry that I want and in a fetching shade that really brings out the best in my skin tone… BUT! The other one with a different fork and shock, cheaper drivetrain, hooky geometry and crappy graphics actually has a sandwich box neatly integrated into the downtube! I’d better buy that one!” Externally, use a reusable zip tie or nylon strap, no need to re-design the frame!

If so, how much time do engineers and product managers put into building this and what are the major limitations?


Engineers and product managers spend far too much time on little things that look different from brand to brand because most of the bikes are made in the same factories! The Unique Selling Points are all the wrong things… Certainly the USPs are easier to understand if viewed through a marketing lens rather than an engineering lens…


378 Comments

  • 233 36
 1) people get thirsty during exercise
1) people don’t like wearing packs

The math here is pretty easy.
  • 119 238
flag naptime (Dec 27, 2021 at 8:21) (Below Threshold)
 Get a pack an stop being a fucking wuss
  • 61 170
flag nickkk (Dec 27, 2021 at 8:24) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla: this!
  • 100 71
 "How much do cup holders influence vehicle design?"


Sounds just as stupid.
  • 54 67
flag kokofosho (Dec 27, 2021 at 8:29) (Below Threshold)
 @nojzilla: WOW you just convinced everyone with your superior lexicon and logic. Everyone will now commence not being a wuss. Thank f%$% we had you to save us. Make sure to let all the EWS pros know they are being babies for not wearing packs.
  • 49 1
 And why not change the shape of the bottle? To take up less space on the frame.
  • 21 0
 @pdro: YT did that with their Thirstmaster Fidlock bottles. They’re short and fat rather than long and skinny.
  • 85 27
 For the people who are saying use a pack, i suggest you to do few rides without a pack. You dont want to use packs again
  • 53 3
 Why is this even a debate? Engineers are bright enough to make excellent bikes that also fit a water bottle, or frame storage, or accessory mounts. Or if that’s not enough, you can pick from among the dozens of great bikes available and get one that prioritizes everything you do. We sure find a lot of complain about as a group of hobbyists.
  • 2 3
 @Hayek: apart from maybe the folks who designed the Transition Spire. It's an amazing bike (I mean words can't express how much fun it is to ride!) but the mounting bolts on the underside of the top tube are entirely superfluous! You can't fit anything on there if you have a bottle mounted to the down tube! :-)
  • 17 6
 @nojzilla: I just hydro load before the ride.
  • 53 2
 I pretty much always wear a pack, even tho I very much prefer not wearing a pack. In summer it's too hot for just one bottle, and in winter having a pack to add/remove layers is essential. As long as the pack stays fairly light, it's not a huge deal. Necessary evil.
  • 5 6
 are these the engineers that design those fancy aero bikes with those carefully cfd overanalysed shapes..then they stick a massive bottle on in not one but two places where the flow is completerly fucked by doing so, utter value for money that is, does make you wonder why they havent started hacking holes in the top tube as next years top gimmick
  • 16 7
 @Hayek: yeah that’s my main takeaway. Porter out here acting like adding a water bottle ruins all these other bikes. Sure, the kink in my SB150’s downtube probably adds half a pound of carbon but I prefer that over carrying the water on my body.

Porter is also the person attaching weights to his bikes right around the Bb. Maybe he should try adding a kink to his tubes to make space for a water bottle - it’ll have the same affect.
  • 26 2
 (undisputed) People do get thirsty
(nope) I like a pack.

If there is any compromise given to suspension performance due to water bottles, then the bike is worse for me.
  • 3 1
 @pdro: and here we have a winner in terms of innovative thinking! Excellent approach!
  • 8 2
 I'm weird. I always wear a pack but never carry water in it. I used to use bladders but found that I much much prefer dealing with bottles instead. I also found it as an easier unit of measurement to keep track of hydration ie. one bottle, two bottles, half bottle etc. for how much I used and how much I think I need for a ride.
  • 26 12
 It's pretty straightforward... companies can continue to make bikes which don't have bottle space and I'll continue not to buy them. Choice is their's.
  • 12 4
 Why a bottle at all why not a bladder I corporated into the frame design
  • 28 1
 Been mountain biking for a decade or so. Started wearing a Camelback MULE. Stopped wearing a Camelbak MULE when I realized how much comfier using a water bottle was. Switched to fanny packs with two bottles (and one in the frame) for longer rides.

Switched back to backpacks last year! The Camelbak Skyline LR 10 is what changed things. Fits and carries weight like a lumbar pack with the stability and storage capacity of a backpack.

Even on shorter rides I prefer that backpack to a frame water bottle. I can drink with both hands on the bars! Being able to sip on a long sustained singletrack semi-techy climb is really nice. Also nice to be able to take a quick sip on a flat spot in the middle of a long downhill, and I have the option of carrying 3L of water and enough layers/food for a full day mission.

So...I went from backpacks to frame storage to fanny packs back to (the right kind of) backpack.
  • 14 24
flag lkubica (Dec 27, 2021 at 9:35) (Below Threshold)
 @Explodo: Wearing a pack also compromises your ride, bacause it restricts and influences your body movements, especially with FF and googles. Add the fact that most people don't use bikes to their full potential and it turns out water bottles makes much more sense. Everyone needs water, few people will notice performance difference (if there is one).
  • 12 2
 @lkubica: You really ride terrain for FF helmet, with bottles mounted to frame? I can ride all day in bike park and keep turning the loops with proper backpack properly fit to me,containing first aid kit, reservoir , repair tools and some jacket.
  • 9 7
 @kokofosho: blah blah blah yawwwwn
  • 8 9
 @DBone95: lol perfect summary.

For me I just can't stand having anything rattling on my bike and a water bottle is the perfect companion if you want a noisy ride.
  • 12 2
 @nojzilla: I’d rather not ride than ride in a backpack and bum bags make my Insta clips look horrible so I’ll stick to drinking out of puddles.
  • 8 3
 @Compositepro: these are the engineers that design a super aero frame which saves 1w at 50 km/h in the real world and market it as the "fastest frame in the world" but then can't commit to the tolerances of a PF bottom bracket.
  • 8 0
 @DBone95: my 1991 starlet doesn’t have cup holders. It’s one thing I would love. Tempted to screw a cage to the pillar it’s that bad.
  • 5 6
 Back in that period when somehow it was decided that we didn't need frame bottle storage, I definitely passed om several bikes because they didn't have it. My rides are 90% 1-2 hours, so one bottle is fine. It's also hot where I ride, so the back-sweat from a pack is of no interest to me. And not trivially, weight down lower vs. weight up high.
  • 1 2
 @stainerdome: Many reasons - durability being one them.
  • 12 0
 Huh…well my circa 2000s Camelback MULE seems to be holding up just fine….not a huge issue still to this day.
  • 6 24
flag Narro2 (Dec 27, 2021 at 11:36) (Below Threshold)
 I've never met a guy capable of doing 360s, no handers, backflips and all those broworshiping tricks that wears a backpack. Maybe a few guys wearing hip packs can do tabletops, but counted with one hand.

It is a generalization...but having having lots of tools and sh%T so you can bring a backpack, i am no psychologist but it does look like lack of skills compensation...

but thats my experience around to where i currently live i might be wrong, just a comment
  • 18 1
 Personal opinion- don’t slam it tho, it’s just what I like.. But I dislike water bottles. I just wear the smallest size pack with enough water for the ride, to carry my keys and cell phone and a bar.. most of my rides are not massive adventures. I barely even feel the small pack on my body and it removes the cumbersome bottle in my bike. Again it’s just what I like
  • 8 0
 @dick-pound: you will have to wait till later in the year when the question "How Much Do Bottom Brackets Influence Frame Design" i have a feeling it will break the actual internet
  • 1 0
 @juanmenendez: they did this to certain desert military vehicles....so do it man DO IT
  • 1 1
 @KK11: It's on your back. Not in your frame. The SWOT bladder bottle that comes with Specialized bikes does not last long. I can confirm that.
  • 1 0
 @ChrisOC: on a large spire, I ran a wolftooth bag packed with some essentials. topeak has that ninja tool that might help ya along as well
  • 9 4
 @kokofosho: Actually I completely agree with him. A bikes geo, kinematics, overall performance, and even esthetics should take precedence over a water bottle. Just like the previous Gen firebird, I actually loved that bike specifically because they didn't cater to the water bottle. The new design still keeps the esthetics while being able to attach a water bottle mount too. So please tell me, what's wrong with my opinion?
  • 10 6
 @g123 Spot on. And, some of us don’t ride in England, maybe even in high deserts, and hydration is actually a thing. And, overheating from packs is also a thing.

I really don’t care if a company decides not to prioritize a spot for a water bottle, I just know that’s a company I won’t buy from. I’m glad the majority of mountain bikers have come around to water bottles being a priority, though. Cause, now there are plenty of great bikes that fit a bottle. Personally, I’d like to see a second bottle mount below the down tube on more bikes again, it’s a good spot for a gear storage mount or for extra water in the desert where you don’t care about mud splashing up, all while shifting weight lower. Plus, a bottle or gear bag/ canister below the down tube would double was extra frame protection from rock strikes.
  • 1 0
 @DBone95: to be honest a lot, form of plastic bottles and reusable bottles changed so car door carts evolved as well;

I have the best warm memory about some of the cars with 4 cupholder at the front seats; with cooling/heating features - it was just comfortable to use;

Also some of features such isofix, cupholders and yadayada have huge influence when u make a purchase for example family car

Also i never saw people racing mojo bikes and winning podiums on them
  • 1 0
 @nvrthlss85: I only have a medium frame and I tried a couple of options. Not even the micro pig from Project 76, with a super light tube fits! It's no big deal though coz I wear a hip pack and run the Oneup in the steerer :-)
  • 2 0
 @stainerdome: Tri frames have this... bladder inside the top tube with a straw.
  • 5 0
 @Narro2: i wear a small backpack and can do no-handers... thanks for making me feel special Wink
  • 1 0
 @dick-pound: is there a difference in those engineers and the water bottle engineers
  • 2 0
 @pdro: why cant we have square bottles?
  • 2 0
 @Noeserd: I agree with regards to a backpack in SoCal heat. However, I have four different positions for mounting a water bottle on my current frame and after trying them all ended up using a hip pack and love that best. The benefits of a backpack without the sweltering back of a backpack. And I can carry my tools, stuff my jacket as needed, carry my wallet and keys without having them bounce around in a pocket, etc. I'm not seeking KOMs or Sendy McSenderson but I'll take the bum bag and a clean water bottle every time.
  • 13 1
 Don't ruin my beautiful frame with your silly plastic sippy-cups. I carry beer and water on my back (not my 'Fanny') like my pagan forebears.
  • 7 0
 @kcy4130: Yeah, I said the same thing. I think the guys in BC or PNW can go with only one bottle, but if you live in areas were the temps are 80-90s, one bottle will not be enough for any ride over an hour.
  • 1 0
 @DJ-24: Thank you! I don’t like either. Works for me for anything under two hours. Otherwise I’ll reluctantly bring a pack.
  • 1 0
 @DJ-24: Me to, you just drink a ton before and after. But I exclusively ride park so maybe it only works for that.
  • 1 0
 @DBone95: Well, thats stupid in Europe. Not as much in the US, apparently. First factor customers consider when buying a pickup is the number and size of cup holders. (according Top Gear).
I was always happy with my camelbak until Mike K started complaining about bottle mounts in enduro bikes around here.
Apparently he and Pinkbike are the industry equivalent of Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear.
Remember when Koenigsegg redesign their CCX's wing because it didn't have enough downforce according to the Stig? They tripped all over themselves to send them the new design so the show approved it. :-)
  • 2 0
 @Noeserd: I totally hear you! Still almost 25 years since I first began riding, I can't even imagine going on a bike ride without my pack... to me - and obviously it is NOT and should NOT be the same for all the riders in this world - it is a no brainer, like picking up my helmet!
  • 3 3
 @KK11:
Yeah I'm with you on this. Can't believe the obsession with water bottles. I drink at least a litre of water on a ride and my backpack provides that and space for spares, multitool and food.
  • 4 1
 @nojzilla: you can still make amazing bikes with a bottle so why wouldn’t you.
  • 2 0
 I do like wearing packs.
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: great stuff
  • 2 1
 it was a deciding factor for me....dong dig having a bag on my back in the summer....
  • 2 1
 I never liked the feeling of perspiring with a backpack. Bottles on frames are a must.
  • 2 0
 @wslee: Thanks for sharing your feelings with respect to dorsal perspiration.
  • 2 0
 @landscapeben: "For me I just can't stand having anything rattling on my bike and a water bottle is the perfect companion if you want a noisy ride."

Since when did fluids rattle?
And if the bottle itself rattles. Don't worry, that means it'll fall off when riding over the first twig.
  • 1 0
 @imajez: good point so why would I have it on there in the first place? They look awful too, but I get that that's a matter of opinion and I'm in the minority here.
  • 1 0
 @landscapeben:
No not in the minority, there are a lot of us on the same page. Yes they look awful. I worked in a bike shop from 2003 to 2014 and during that time it was considered daggy uncool aesthetically shite to fit a water bottle to a MTB Trail, Freeride or All M ountain bike. We all used backpack hydration/storage and a lot of us still do.
Imagine our surprise/disdain when riders from all these categories started asking for a cage & bottle to be fitted at time of purchase. Backpacks are too sweaty/heavy they said. So what, we said - it's the best way to carry what we need on a decent ride.
Fast forward to today and WOW most riders now demand a bottle. They can be looking at a new bike that has won test after test as the best in category - but if it doesn't have room for a bottle, it's a game changer.
And so we come to this story where bike most bike designers are building a frame around a bottle.
Fear not - there are still some of us who hate the bottle, love the backpack!
  • 2 0
 @rstwosix: 100% fully agree with you. I come from the same Era. Started riding in 99, loyal PB member since 2000. Rode back in the day with full Dainese body armor and a camelback. We loaded them up with ice and water. If it wasn't that, it was my enormous HI8 video camera, so we xould take grainy low resolution Bigfoot style videos of us hitting the biggest shit we could find.
Our bikes were adorned with lazy boy sized seats and Marzocchi Shivers or monster T's. Fast forward to today, and
If I had to choose, I'd go hip pack or backpack. Because I think water bottles on bikes look dumb. But I choose neither. I ride DH bikes or pump track/dj. If I get thirsty, I ride faster to get to the bottom.
That being said.... People, you do you boo boo.
  • 1 0
 @rstwosix: nice to know I'm not alone Beer
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: perfect amount of water for single ride in bike park, refilling at the bottom and go again, also 1 hour ride is nothing to shy about;
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: best comment yet! Sippy-cups Smile
I’m stealing that.

And for what it’s worth, I’m a pack/bladder guy too. One bottle of water is nowhere near enough water for a 4-5 hour ride in the mountains so it’s a waste of space for me.
  • 76 3
 Geez Porter, tell me how you really feel
  • 48 6
 The customer is always wrong vibe for sure. Still refreshing though.
  • 59 19
 But he's right tho (again). Why design a several thousand dollar / pound / euro frame around a 50 cent price of plastic.
  • 22 3
 @sspiff: not that I think you’re wrong, but I don’t get that vibe. I like how porter is on the side of changing things that don’t necessarily make sense. Century old mech, basic bottle shapes, etc. sometimes being perceived as an ass is just someone being direct and forward with their view. I think too many companies do what is going to make the most money rather than do things that could be industry changing. I get that it takes money to be able to support new ideas, but are we just going to keep relying on the big guys with deep pockets to push the envelope? Everyone talks shit on new ideas, old ideas, and anything proprietary. So maybe the customer is always Wong?
  • 30 3
 @fartymarty: So people have water.

I mean I get it but it's not like he designed a bottle/cage around the G1 either. He brought this up in a MBR interview a few years ago, yet G1 owners still are left with the reality of fitting a water bottle on a bike not designed for one. Leaving it up to someone else to design a bottle around your bike means there's no bottle designed around your bike.
  • 29 13
 One thing that always puzzles me about people (myself included) is that they can be genius and dumb simultaneously. No doubt guy has great engineering mind but does not get the simple thing that riding without the pack is simply better. What's more, the freedom you get without one gives you more advantage then a supposedly 1% better kinematics. The facts are: his customers try to have water bottles badly and there are other brands with bikes not worse which somehow fit a bottle. Add 1 to 1 and you get 2. But it's apparently too simple for an angineer.
  • 7 0
 @jeremy3220: pure speculation here: I don’t think it was his point to make proprietary bottles for each and every bike, but to change the basic shape of a bottle. We are, as humans, so used to drinking out of cylinders that no one is attempting to re write the rule to have bottles better fit in front triangles. Fitting a round peg in a square (triangle) hole. Yes you’re right, if he cares to ride with bottles, he should design something.
  • 7 15
flag SintraFreeride (Dec 27, 2021 at 9:38) (Below Threshold)
 @jeremy3220: I have a g1 and I don't have a problem with it not having a place to put a bottle. If I need one I can always carry it on my hip pack. Most time I just hydrate before and after the ride. When it's really hot I can always stop for some water at a fountain or a stream...
  • 7 3
 @HaydukeLives: Part of the problem is most drink containers are cylindrical because that's what fits our hands most naturally. Either way you slice it, it's still a problem after all these years. It's not dumb to design a bike around a water bottle, it's an inconvenience.
  • 8 2
 @SintraFreeride: We're talking about the general population and their desire for water bottles. It's great you found something that works for you.
  • 8 2
 I think he's always like that, i don't think he particularly wants to be the next Trek or Giant or even Transition. I never ride with a bottle and couldn't care less if a frame can fit one but still i can understand that it's important to most manufacturers because lots of other people do like to ride with a bottle. Chris Porter doesn't care though, he just makes stuff the way he thinks is right.
  • 2 1
 @HaydukeLives: object of company is to make money
  • 8 1
 I wonder if being in the UK biases him at all. I don't really know much about exercise science, but maybe in hot, sunny places like the Western USA we care about these things more because of how much more you sweat?
  • 17 17
 I'm 100% with Chris Porter here. Between geometry, low top tube, suspension design, seat post insertion length and water bottle compatibility, the water bottle compatibility gets lowest priority for me too. For those for whom it takes a higher priority, frames from other brands are already available. Get one of those if you prefer to have your suspension design and seat post insertion depth compromised in favor of a water bottle mount. But for those for whom the other qualities take a higher priority it is good to have the option available, that there are bikes designed around that set of requirements and priorities.

Sure I understand we need water and tools on our rides. I do prefer the backpack option. Yes more weight on the body, less on the bike implies you have a greater command over the bike (provided you have the strength). Agreed you do need a pack that stays in place, has the bulk of the weight (the water) low and protects your back against the tools you put in there (if you don't already didn't bolt those to the bottle mount under the downtube). And most modern packs are designed around that idea. I like my Ergon BE1 which has the water bladder low (where hip packs keep it too) and the upper part is flat and there is hardly any weight there.
  • 13 1
 I was thinking the exact same thing. On the one hand, his honesty is refreshing. On the other hand, he’s not really understanding what people want (water bottles — and yes, internal storage is becoming a selling point). I understand where he’s coming from, but he can use some marketing finesse.
  • 1 1
 I will say this — maybe there’s a fortune to be made for the person who invents a water bottle to fit the frames, as he mentions. Maybe he’s on to something here, or maybe it’s impossible without it being proprietary to each manufacturer.
  • 11 2
 Am I to understand that the group that wails and bemoans any and all proprietary design (Specialized shock clevis circa 2015 comes to mind) is now asking for frame manufacturers to design proprietary water bottles for each frame? Where am I?
  • 10 2
 @TheR: If we were to manufacture a water bottle from the ground up, here are the main requirements:


1. Hold water efficiently
2. Have good ergonomics
3. Able to stand up when set on a table/flat surface

The most efficient shape for maximum volume is a sphere, but not practical for anything else. A cylinder is a good 2nd place, and is structurally very strong. You make the bottom flat and now it can stand up on a table. So pretty much we have what we already have.
  • 7 2
 @vinay: As an armchair engineer, my first instinct is to agree. Look at the mutant downtube on the newer Yetis, like the SB-150. Huge changes to the most important structural member of a bike just to accommodate a cheap plastic container.

However, does that make the sb-150 any slower? Heavier? Weaker? The sb-150 is probably the fastest true "Enduro" bike out there. Its decently light. They break more often than they should, but its the rear triangle that cracks, not the downtube. When you're riding it, do you ever really think about how dramatically it hangs forward, or does it make any real difference to your climbing and descending?
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez: totally agree. The SB6 / SB150 straw man in the article and now in the comments doesn’t hold water. The SB6 was a great bike, and the SB150 that replaced it and was apparently ‘designed around a $.25 water bottle’ is a better bike, say what you will about the aesthetics.
  • 1 0
 @Hayek: "doesn’t hold water" I see what you did there!

I will say the SB150 is a much better bike, but thats down to geometry, not is ability to hold a water bottle.


The SB6 did hold a water bottle, but in a bad place. I wonder if this is where a new, "proprietary" bottle design could come into play- one that allows you to put the bottle in the path of mud and rocks but still drink clean water.
  • 1 4
 @hamncheez: I don’t know man. Sounds like Chris has something in mind that will take the world by storm.
  • 7 0
 @hamncheez: that was the point I was making. They made the SB150 a better bike AND one that holds a water bottle. Bike design isn’t a zero-sum game. The bike was able to be improved in virtually every way. Living in Utah with hot summers, a bike that can’t hold a bottle for a short ride is a non-starter.
  • 1 0
 @Hayek: Hey it rained here once last summer
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: I'm more likely to use a pack when it's hot as I need more than one bottle's worth of water. I take water on every ride though no matter how cold.
  • 9 0
 @fartymarty: nope he’s wrong as per usual. Why design a several thousand pound race car around a fuel tank?
  • 5 0
 @jeremy3220: Did he design the G1? Or was it Nicolai? I understood that he just took Nicolai's G1, changed the shock, and rebranded it. I'm just asking.
  • 10 0
 @ichabodchain: He helped develop the G1 with Nicolai..as in decided the geometry and kinematic choices...but the basic design Nicolai has been using for years.
I was nearly going to buy one...but he was just as arrogant and u willing to listen by email as he is in this article. He really has a chip on his shoulder...he's seems super angry at the bike world...he think he knows best and makes the best bike and everyone else makes inferior plastic bikes. I tried to have a logical conversation with him over the sprung mass benefits of gear box bikes and explained I was also looking at a Zerode at the time..he was just sitting on everything else...calling carbon bikes pretty plastic bikes...proper belittling he was. Funny cos Paul Aston used to be associated with Geometron...I emailed him directly and he said straight up gearbox bikes do have much better feeling suspension from the low unsprung mass and higher sprung mass...he basically admitted everything Chris refused to. In the end though I just thought f all this and just bought a Yeti sb165 instead.But to some up...he's bloody arrogant to say the least.
  • 7 2
 @Danzzz88: Many geniuses are arrogant and cock-sure of themselves, and sometimes they are right. But you don't allow them to talk directly to customers haha.
  • 14 2
 @hamncheez: he isn't a genius...he is very knowledgeable about bikes and has some intriguing ideas but he is arrogant and ignorant. He thinks he is right period...People who are smart realise that you can always learn more and things can always be improved. The way he talks is like he has achieved the holy grail. For a start he runs the Geometrons with such low spring rates and so much bloody sag, that he has to rely heavily on what he calls 'progressive damping'...this not only results in a bike that is very stable and keeps good traction but also a bike that is sitting too deep in it's stroke, combined with heavy damping results in harsh mid and large hit performance, a bb height that is too low especially on such a long bike and a bike that has zero pop whatsoever. The irony he has pushed all this steep seat tube slack head angle shit...but it's took till now for people to realise these bikes ride like shit on flatter trails. A steep seat tube feels horrible on flat ground....most places to ride downhill in the UK or Wales where he is based is uplift stuff...the rest of the time it's flattish xc type stuff. There is very few places in the UK to need a bike that is only good for winching up and plummeting down at the expense of flat trail ability. He's an arrogant clown...he tried convincing me his bike would ride uphill easier than a 9kg carbon hardtail all because of the geometry etc...what a load of bs. He may be smart but he is also incredibly biased and not open minded at all...where as mist of the industry agrees there is pros and cons in bike design and compromises will always be made...he views it as the Geometron is perfect and every other bike is the compromise.There is loads of shit I could write here and disagree with him on regardless of how knowledgeable or smart he may be. His ideal bike is 2 meters long running 40% sag with lead weights attached to it.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: But it should be steel, aluminum, or glass. Never plastic. Preferably cast iron. Bronze would also be acceptable.
  • 10 0
 I have a g1 and a g13. The g1 is an xl and I can just squeeze a fidlok inthere and voided the warrenty on g13 and drilled 2 bottle mount holes in the triangle .
I’ve gone over this again and again with Cp Nicolai . They don’t give a shit or they are so deluded by living in wales and Germany they don’t comprehend overheating or death by heatstroke ( happens more than you think)
But these guys see the necessity for fenders on their bikes ….. fenders?..FENDERS? Why the hell who one ever need fenders to ride a bike? I live in the desert, that just is not a necessity .
  • 2 0
 @Danzzz88:
The guy sure as hell knows how to setup a shock, the way he worked his way through the STORIA shock to suit his needs is very interesting but not exactly an approach you could apply to a series production bike. Took the liberty to dynotest one of the things, fun times.

This is also where your complain about the linear to progressive damping falls apart. The storia basevalve allows you do dial in as much digressiveness (read "pop" or "harshness" depending on perspective) as you like.
Also the frame is quite progressive, so I do not understand your argument here. Unless you run the adjusters wide open it should behave like most other bikes on the market. Valved by him you will propably ride the settings wide open to give you that uncorrupted linear damping feel he is striving for but I am sure they can valve the thing properly for different need, if not there are tons of others who can.

What I do not understand is, with everything he is complaining about, why he did not ask at Nicolai to just weld in the top tube about 10cm lower at the seat tube and give it a brace to the seat tube. I mean, he is complaining about stand over height, is he not? Also, it looks like a flat top crane with that high top tube.
  • 3 3
 @hamncheez: Yeah, if it doesn't compromise any of the other qualities then sure, it doesn't hurt. My point is, if it does compromise any of the other qualities, if some qualities become worse in favor of the bottle mount, that's where Chris seems to question the way priorities are being set. My steel hardtail also has a bottle mount. It doesn't compromise any of the other qualities I like. If I'd want a Starling full suspension bike, I could get a bottle mount if I keep my seatpost length at a reasonable length. That is, a length that others seem to be perfectly fine with. But I like my seattube 400mm tall at most. If I'd get that bike and want a bottle mount, I'd compromise on the low seattube. If I stick with the 400 seattube, I'm going to compromise on the bottle mount. I'd choose the latter.

Either way, I still prefer more weight on the body and less on the bike. Just because I believe you can bunnyhop higher and also gain more speed when pumping the bike if the weight is on the body as you can play more with the mass moment of inertia. Imagine having super heavy bike and a light rider. Popping a bunnyhop becomes hard, pumping the bike becomes pretty pointless. Of course it isn't as bad when you just add 1kg or so to the bike (bottle, tools, pump etc) but I believe it still matters.
  • 3 3
 @SintraFreeride: ditto - I down a pint of water pre ride and can generally get away with a 750ml bottle on most rides up to 3 hours. That works for UK most of the year but wouldn't work where its proper hot.

If I need a proper amount of water I carry a hip pack / pack. There are so many ways to carry water I don't see the need to specifically design a frame around it at the expense of suspension performance.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: yes but it as you say it all depends what you are looking for.. from a pure performance perspective more weight on the bike than the rider is better as it increases the sprung mass as the bike helping the bike stay more planted, pusher and generate more traction...if you ever ridden an ebike you will notice how much better the suspension feels. The downside is obviously there is no pop and if you go too heavy the agility suffers a lot also.
  • 9 0
 The thing is it isn't a compromise these days having a water bottle... the way Chris acts is like other bikes are suffering cos they have a water bottle...BS!!! A lot of other bikes have far more complex kinematics than has bike...better suspension in general, with lower standover height, weigh less and are plenty durable. What it is is he doesn't want to make the compromise on time, effort and cost to either produce a vertically mounted shock design or he can't put a proper kink into his precious alloy frames like Yeti does as it will significantly weaken it whereas with carbon it's not as huge an issue.
  • 6 0
 @hamncheez: UK bias: I almost think it’s the opposite. Our moderate climate means that a 2-3 hour ride can be done on just a single bottle of water, maybe push that up to 4 in winter.
And our geography means that in most places, even a full day epic ride can often mean dropping into the next valley where there’s a cafe or shop or church (free water tap) for a mid ride top up.
  • 9 0
 @fartymarty: It's not being designed around a 50 cent piece of plastic, it's designed to help serve the biological need of humans to drink water when exercising and the wish to be unencumbered by not having to carry it on their back.
  • 2 2
 @Danzzz88: Performance has different aspects. For a passive rider, yes I agree on your statement about suspension performance. However as I mentioned, shifting weight from bike to rider (like tools and water) makes the rider more effective at bunnyhopping, pumping and generally muscling the bike around.
  • 3 1
 @vinay: if a water bottle and tool impacts your ability to move around and bunnyhop, then maybe you are not that good? Last time I checked the rear suspension and overal bike geometry had the biggest influence on that, not a 1kg heavier frame. At least on the level that is actually useful on trails. The geometron mentioned here must be a bitch to bunnyhop judging from wheelbase, chainstays, 29 inch wheels (which generały give more weight below axles) and reach.
  • 5 1
 @vinay: I've found the opposite to be true. Bunny hopping isn't just muscling the bike, it's an explosive body movement that requires moving your body weight to both leverage the bike then actually overcome gravity to lift you and the bike. The primary reason I don't like wearing a pack is because I feel like it makes me less active on the bike.
  • 2 1
 @lkubica: Not saying you can't pump or bunnyhop with them on your bike. Just saying that with the same motion, with the weight on your body instead of on your bike (everything else staying the same) you're generating more speed when pumping. It has nothing to do with good or not good as the technique doesn't change.

@jeremy3220: Yes, agreed but I didn't mean to say bunnyhopping is just muscling the bike. I meant to mention three different actions. Bunnyhopping, pumping and muscling the bike around. With the latter I mean tilting the bike in corners or in the air etc. It is a matter of momentum. If you have more weight on your body, with the same body motion you can shift the bike more.
  • 7 1
 @fartymarty: But there are also so many ways to design good suspension that also accommodate a water bottle that I don't see a need to design a frame that needlessly precludes one. Porter is pretty clever and has some interesting ideas for sure - I'll always listen to a podcast. But perhaps the most obnoxious aspect of his response is the implication everyone else has compromised their suspension designs in order to accommodate a water bottle without any acknowledgement that maybe, just maybe, the real problem is that he couldn't quite figure out how to package his geo and suspension in a way that accomodates a bottle.
  • 2 0
 @dancingwithmyself: But how do we know these other brands who did implement a bottle mount didn't compromise on a straight seat tube, low top tube, suspension kinematics etc? The only open source project I know of (so a project where they're completely open about their requirements and priorities) is the Alutech ICB2.0. Sure there was a first ICB too but I haven't looked into that one. Either way as for the ICB2.0, the suspension kinematics and straight seattube got a higher priority and it turned out there wasn't enough room for a standard bottle. Agreed the Liteville 301 does have a straight seattube, bottle mount and they seem to be happy about their suspension design, but the top tube is still fairly high and still the suspension linkage ventures above that. One solution you see nowadays (even though these brands still don't manage to realize an uninterrupted straight seattube) is a downtube with a bend in front of the bb in order to accommodate a bottle (or shift the suspension linkage down and create room above it for a bottle) and then have another bend in the tube so that it still clears the fork crown. Of course you could make that still strong enough but the compromise there is increased complexity and weight. Plus of course in case of Nicolai, it seems like they don't have the (hydroforming) facilities to create such downtubes. They are getting their custom aluminium extrusions (which is a fairly affordable process) but hydroforming requires more expensive product specific tools so it is just off their list of options.

So yeah, it is a matter of priorities. I case of a smaller brand (in terms of production quantities) available production facilities also pose their own requirements but as for all the other requirements already it is about priorities. Seems like a lot of brands prefer a bottle mount over a straight seattube and a lot of people are fine with that so they're getting one of these bikes. Some brands have a different order of priorities and if the bottle mount ends up straight at the bottom of the list, chances are that it isn't going to make it on the eventual bike. And some people are fine with that too. And again, those who aren't already have other bikes to choose from. At the end of the day, it doesn't hurt to have these options for and from people with different visions.
  • 10 0
 I think the problem is not that Nicolai does not have bottle mounts. Maybe for them it is actually to big a compromise. The problem are douchebags which claim that all other brands do compromise instead of simply saying that it is not a priority for them. So they feel they need to make up some bigger story behind it, use hyperboles and basically call others stupid just not to be simply honest and say - we are too small, do not have resources and we do not want to hydroform in asia - this would be perfectly fine.
Instead of Nicolai, Porter should team up with Pole bicycles, this would be fun, I bet they would kill each other because both of them have this "I am right and others are dumb" attitude to life.
  • 7 0
 @vinay: It's all BS..my Yeti has the switch link above the bb taking up space..a horizontal mounted shock and yet still fits a water bottle and has a straight and deep enough seat tube. Chris either just doesn't want to spend the money to develop something else, Nicolai can't create a bowed downtube with their current manufacturing facilities and construction methods or Chris basically is just defiant and refuses to accommodate a water bottle in his designs as to him it serve no purpose and its easier for him to package the bike without. Chris is the kind of guy that is all or nothing..he isn't wrong about stuff necessarily but he is too pedantic about stuff that doesn't matter from an engineering perspective. For example he wants his bike to have a true front triangle shape with straight tubes as this yields the most strength to weight...now this is a valid argument..but at the same time it's also an irrelevant argument as you can also create a 'strong enough' frame without having straight tubes...I imagine this mostly comes down to the limited abilities of Nicolai and lack of hydroforming...hence why he has this attitude of all straight tubes are best, carbon sucks, pretty bikes are unnecessary bla bla bla...it's because ultimately it's not within his manufactures capabilities to create a bike that solves those things with no compromise.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: Exactly, he doesn't have the ability to design or (more likely) manufacture it - and hydroforming is definitely the hurdle. Cons and lots of positives to being a boutique on the bleeding edge, but just be honest about the cons. That earns a lot more confidence and respect than being a pompous ass. The issue is not that we don't appreciate his opinion, but rather that he doesn't appreciate any opinion other than his own.
  • 3 0
 @fartymarty: - "But he's right tho (again). Why design a several thousand dollar / pound / euro frame around a 50 cent price of plastic."

The price of the water bottle is irrelevant. The job it does is what matters. Being hydrated is pretty high on the list of things that are very important.
  • 3 0
 @imajez: I don't disagree but make the bottle fit the frame, not the other way around. If there is space for a regular bottle all good, if not make something that fits that doesn't compromise performance.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: Who makes the water bottle in this scenario?
  • 1 0
 @jeremy3220: Maybe someone clever like One Up or a clued up bottle / component maker.
  • 2 3
 @fartymarty: to add to that, the irony is still how the general public are still concerned about weight, yet put a 5lb water bottle on the bike.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: Let me ask you a question. Because I think stigmas are funny. From the outside looking in for alot of people, engineers are viewed alot like doctors. We believe them to be competent because they finished a degree or a doctorate.
Take a look at what you do for a living... now take a look at some people around you that do the same thing as you. Ask yourself if all of them are good at what they do, or are some of them dumb as shit?
This applies to every profession. Engineers included.
Don't be fooled by the title.
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: engineers to some degree could get away with not being the brightest...but doctors? I agree often doctors get things wrong...but simply to do a medical degree and especially a PhD in medicine certainly requires a level of intelligence and not someone 'dumb as shit'. Most other fields yes...there is people not the brightest in all of them...it's just a case of monkey see monkey do or ass lacking managers for promotions. There is a lot of rich successful people that are far from intelligent and a lot of intelligent people doing blue collar jobs...that's just the way society is.
  • 2 0
 @Danzzz88: Fair statement. I was using that as an example. To be fair, I live in Canada where health care here is "free". I feel the doctors here can tend to be somewhat lazy and pass a quick diagnosis rather than dig deeper to find the actual issue. So I may have misinterpreted laziness for lack of ability.
  • 2 0
 Yes I did mention that the availability of productionmethods to Nicolai could be a reason why Nicolai works with straight tubes, but I mentioned it as a sidenote as I don't think it is the main reason. Straight tubes just are better at dealing with these loads, especially with tubes under compression. Yes hydroforming still allows brands (who utilize the technology) to make better (stronger and lighter) constructions than those who don't, but then I'm thinking about variable cross sections where Nicolai has to resort to using gussets. I doubt Chris is going to claim these gussets are better than butted tubes. But if he's going to claim a straight tube is better at dealing with compression than a bent tube, I'm not going to disagree. As I mentioned several times, it is a matter of priorities. And luckily, it rarely/never is "structure above all". We like our low top tubes so that we can move around over our bikes even though it is easier to make a strong bike with a higher top tube. The builder (BTR Fabrications) actually had to use a stronger seattube (Reynolds 853 instead of Reynolds 631) because I wanted my top tube lower than their standard geometry. The compromise there was cost (and probably tool wear too) for the sake of my ergonomic requirements (to have a 400mm seattube on their large frame). Brands who choose to get bottle mounts inside their full suspension front triangle often seem to sacrifice the straight interrupted seattube, low top tube or straight downtube (or a combination of them). Plenty of people seem perfectly happy with that so that's cool. Chris clearly has his requirements ordered differently so the bikes he designs cater to a different audience. All good.

Is he too aggressive in his statements? See, when a bike is being reviewed on this website with no room for a bottle inside the front triangle, it is perceived as an omission or something the designers forgot. Whereas designers don't just forget those things. They make the conscious choice to implement it or not. A reviewer who spent a day reviewing a bike and claims a team of engineers "forgot" something seems pretty passive-aggressive too. Just because someone made something that doesn't happen to meet your own particular set of requirements doesn't mean they forgot it. So, a lot of shit has been flying one way. Now, a little bit of that made its way back. Should we care much? There is more to riding bicycles than the focus on shit exclusively,
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: I guess sometimes they are lazy...but I think often it's because they see the same symptoms day in day out and usually go with what is the most common. I have had things like ear infections and basic things like that knowing full well I have one only for a Dr to look in my ear say you don't and go back a few days later in agony with a load of fluid build up. Being a Dr is a hard job, they can only assess based on what you say or see with basic tools they don't have your nervous system to give them all the info. But yes they can be lazy sometimes especially when on call out and they are having their Christmas party etc which tbf is understandable but then on the other hand they are payed an absolute fortune so.....
  • 1 0
 @Danzzz88: I can see both sides for sure. I also agree with you in most cases. I have had several instances where I have provided enough proof of significant symptoms that point to specific issues, for doctors to say "no its not". For example.
Back in the early 2000's we were at the DJ park. I had attempted a moto whip, (this was new to MTB at the time), got the bike fully sideways, and couldn't bring it back. Landed on my side, busted a few fingers and messed a bunch of other things up.
Went to the clinic. Told the doc, "pretty sure I broke my fingers". His response was, "no you didnt".
I had broken a few fingers in my life before so I remember the feeling.
So I was adamant that he order x-rays. Finally he responds, "I will order Xrays just to entertain you, but I'm telling you they aren't broken."
So I go next door for Xrays, and sure enough I come back and index was busted through and middle + ring finger were fractured. This MF proceeds to show me the xray where they are broken like he knew all along.
Adding in that he bandaged up my cuts after he dry shaved over the cuts with a cheap Bic razor because he was worried about the adhesive of the bandages sticking to the hair.
Another time I herniated my L4/L5 vertebrae, and several doctors passed it off as back pain, when I had severe sciatica due to the disc misalignment. It wasn't until I saw a doc who was here from the UK that they even ordered a CT. This was 3 years later btw.
So maybe I'm a bit jaded, but I've personally seen some less than optimal doctors in my life.
  • 2 0
 @jomacba: I think its as much a case of "too much to do with too little time" as "lazy"; Doctors in the USA and the Great White North both spend more time doing paperwork than seeing patients. Anyone who thinks the USA or The Tundra have a perfect healthcare system should study harder before trying for that GED again
  • 1 0
 I meant that there are many kinds of intelligence and you can definitely have PhD and yet be completely "dump" in other areas such as finance, relations with other humans etc. You definitely cannot trust judgement of a person outside their speciality. The fact that someone has PhD does not mean he/she is omniscient. That's why engineers or other analytical thinking person are not necessarily good at running enterprises, making strategical decisions and generally in making good decisions outside a quite narrow field of their expertise. Engineer for example is a guy who know how to make things, but he does not necessarily know what to make so it's useful for other people (so called user experience). I can assure you that user experience of say iPhone was definitely not designed by an engineer (in a sense of looks and ergonomics). The same with bikes, they are mechanical, need to be engineered, but also have to be ergonomic and "fun" to use. Of course people are different and consider different things fun, but as usual the majority win. But it's crazy to get mad at designers that they design things that people actually want to use instead of things that are better from the engineering standpoint.
  • 2 2
 @lkubica: maybe we need to walk before we run... most bikes are only starting to get size specific CS and STAs. Let's not get carried away by what a bike looks like when geo isn't even standard across sizes in a range. Then we have a ton of weight hanging off rhe back wheel and a hundred year old drivetrain that has been taken from road bikes.

I think where CP is coming from is there are bigger fish to fry than mounting a bottle in a frame. Sure its important to drink water but let's solve the bigger ticket items first. Then we can finesse the design to take a bottle/ tools.
  • 2 0
 @fartymarty: so should we take bottle mounts off bikes as a little incentive for engineers to solve those issues? Once they do we can have our water back. Forgot the water bottle. It’s not holding back other design elements. Size-specific CS and STA are an operations and production puzzle, not an engineering one.
  • 2 1
 Funny thing about Neko Mulallys custom made DH bikes. They have vertical shock placement and no water bottle mounts (but water bottle would certainly fit). How come he did not use the universally better horizontal shock placement, is he dumb? They have a bent downtube also, even though they are handmade in US. Crazy.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: Because DH riders are superhuman, and don't drink water.
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: it’s “Big Water Bottle” that buys every frame builder off and keeps us all on inferior suspension designs.
  • 1 0
 How is a vertical mounted shock any worse than horizontal...all the Yeti's are horizontal but the new Yeti 160e is vertical and reviewers have been blown away by it's suspension performance.. the only issue I could see with vertical is the lever arm has to swing I an arc so theoretically will cause slightly more side load on the shock increasing friction over a linkage that pushes the shock solely in a straight line. But we are talking peanuts. There is plenty of fantastic vertically mounted suspension designs.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: I am curious how a horizontal shock placement is better... Please elaborate!
  • 1 0
 Explaining sarcasm is below my dignity, sorry.
  • 3 0
 Could you all shut up? Go message each other directly. I’ve been getting notifications about this damn water bottle argument for a week now.
  • 2 0
 @pisgahgnar: No! This time minds will be changed, lives will be saved.
  • 1 1
 @pisgahgnar: you've got mail!
  • 1 1
 @lkubica: Is it though?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I completely agree. I get that a lot of people want to feel planted and have weight centered lower down but If you ride jumps you know that you can pop your body easy enough but you have to take the bike with you. The only lift the bike gets by itself is down to speed and angle off take off, which sometimes isn’t enough, which is where the pop or bunny hop comes in. A heavier bike makes that harder for me, so I’d rather carry extra weight on my body that pops with me than be trying to lift it below me. We obsess about the weight of bikes… why pay for light components and then add a kilo of water to them? Again, a lot of it comes down to what kind of riding you do and where. If I am just going for a quick ride or a sessioning a spot I just won’t carry water on me or the bike.
  • 2 0
 @b-boyben: Exactly. It's straight up simple..fur jumping you want a light bike that leaves the ground easy. For a planted ride that is smoother over terrain you want a heavier bike with more sprung mass. It's as simple as that. The two things are complete opposites.
  • 55 9
 I have no doubts Chris Porter is infinitely more knowledgeable when it comes to bike design than me, but the way I see it: plenty of manufacturers have figured out how to provide excellent suspension kinematics while also providing room for a water bottle, so that's where my money will go; at least, for all my non-DH bikes.

And making a fuss about holes in tubes? I mean... correct me if I'm wrong, but the frequency of "water-bottle bolt-hole failures" ranks pretty low on the list of failure modes I've seen.
  • 5 44
flag Compositepro (Dec 27, 2021 at 10:26) (Below Threshold)
 Amateurs built the ark supposed experts built the titanic
  • 77 4
 @Compositepro: the ark wasn't real; the iceberg was
  • 5 1
 I’ve actually seen a few frames with cracked seat tubes that cracked at the water bottle bolt holes. Probably a result of poor design though.
  • 15 6
 @n734535: Arent ther emillions of people who believe all that bible crap is more real than the current pandemic.
  • 4 16
flag Compositepro (Dec 27, 2021 at 12:21) (Below Threshold)
 @n734535: didnt they find the ark recently?
  • 12 1
 @kevinturner12: ah it was Indiana Jones I was watching
  • 2 0
 @thewanderingtramp: only one person understood the point well done
  • 3 4
 @thewanderingtramp: Space God is 100% real, the Truth and the Way.

Earth Virus is a Libtaard hoax.
  • 39 1
 The designer's emotions seem pretty bottled up on this subject
  • 15 1
 Yeah, some of the answers seemed pretty cagey.
  • 7 2
 Some answers were actually pretty watered down.
  • 15 1
 You could actually bidon Chis Porter being the only one to speak his mind.
  • 4 0
 Yeah, something really got his Camelbak up...
  • 3 0
 I thought there were some pretty fluid responses.
  • 7 0
 Hydraters will be hydraters...
  • 24 6
 Irrelevant to having a water bottle on the bike or not, I'm trying to imagine all the people that don't mind carrying keys and wallets and more importantly expensive ass phones in their pockets so their either bang around on your hips/thighs or they're one of the first things smashed in a get-off. I'd also prefer not to be sweating all over that stuff or getting it soaked in a stream crossing. How does this not annoy more people? To each their own but carrying a pack doesn't even register as noticeable to me after over a decade. At least your stuff is relatively safe in there and then might as well carry some water while you're at it. Seems like a weird thing to "want" as a mtb'er, and stupid to leave that stuff in your car. I guess if you got a big enough stash cubby thingy in your downtube and tools in your stem and a pump clamped on and 50 other Inspector Gadget things attached to your bike... might as well have a water bottle too?
  • 16 4
 You know I thought the same till I rode with no pack, I have a few essentials on the bike and at most use a hip pack now. Water on the bike with the option of 2 more bottles on the hip pack. I hate going back to a full pack now, it's cumbersome and the weight moves around way too much on jumps. I still use it when I go to the alps tho as I carry a little more and the dh bike doesn't have a water bottle. The no dancing monkey on the uswe bags is good but still hate jumping with it
  • 1 0
 I put mine in a water bottle tool carrier
  • 1 0
 Have a look at Specialized SWAT bibs. I'll never buy anything else. Three pairs.
  • 6 1
 All the things you just said and I'll add I like the spine protection. Even when the bladder is empty my pack gives me a little padding when I tuck and roll. Saved me on rocks a number of times!
  • 2 2
 My shorts or trousers fit me. No bouncing around from my phone or keys.
Can’t say there are any waist deep river crossings around here but if there were, most phones are IP67 anyway.
  • 2 0
 @mikealive: Yep my EVOC FR Lite has saved me a couple of times.
  • 19 0
 “The other water bottle design necessity is holes in the tubes, drill a hole in a tube and that becomes the weak point. Why do that un-necessarily?“

But Nicolai provide holes for internal cable routing?
  • 5 0
 Oh the irony.
  • 22 5
 Chris Porter seems like a dick.
  • 9 3
 Thought the same. It wasn't just that he knocked a couple of good ideas (carrying a waterbottle, having storage in the frame) but he says it with such an arrogant attitude. I honestly thought he also sounded pretty daft - there are a lot of bikes with great spec (and great color) and something like frame storage sets one apart. It sounded more like, "I can't figure these things out so they're stupid! Waaaaa!"
  • 1 1
 @Lokirides: and no, we don't consider a custom bottle solution because we don't have the money of YT.
  • 16 1
 As soon as I saw the name, Chris Porter, I said "well here's the contrarian of the article."
  • 1 0
 New to the comment section? You don't have to use a euphemism like "contrarian." Wink
  • 14 5
 For pedally disciplines like XC, trail, enduro, water bottle mounts in the triangle is a must. For disciplines where you 'do runs' for a short period of time like DJ, DH, freeride, and slopestyle, I don't think the water bottle mount is that big of a deal. For those that have tight clearances for bottle mounts, Fidlock is a godsend. I use it in conjunction with YT's Thirstmaster bottles which are short and fat rather than long and skinny.
  • 2 0
 Thank you! Why is everybody acting like it has to be all one way or the other? Different bikes for different folks in different places with different styles of riding. Maybe you like a water bottle maybe another guy likes a hydration pack. Is that a reason to down-vote their comment or act like they are insane just because they don’t share your preference? Get a grip people. There are options for everyone… thank goodness!
  • 45 33
 Chris Porter, the only sane one in the mix.
  • 8 13
flag fartymarty (Dec 27, 2021 at 8:48) (Below Threshold)
 God bless him.
  • 31 9
 I disagree. Having bike specific water bottles would be terrible. Changing standards in the MTB market isn't that big of deal to me, but water bottles are standard across almost every style of sport. I can walk into nearly any kind of store and get a standard water bottle. I don't want to have to buy separate waterbottles for each bike, lord knows each manufacture will charge $20+ for a bottle they spent $0.25 to produce. Forget your bottle? Borrow a friends. Dont have a friend? Buy a bottle of water at a gas station, still fits. Lose a bottle? Buy one at literally any outdoor store and it will fit. Is it really the end of the world to fit in a 8"x 2.75" blank space somewhere on the bike?
  • 24 6
 I totally respect his perspective. I won't buy a frame from him since I want that water bottle inside the frame, but he's got every right to build bikes the way he wants to. As long as there are enough customers to make the business viable no problems. I'll give my money to someone else and get a bike I am stoked about. Everyone is happy!
  • 22 7
 Strange because when I read it he sounds like a kook. The industry listened to its users/buyers and made performance bicycles with a standard feature we wanted. It took a minute but it was a challenge they figured out. Cool he is hyper focused on his vision but a regular user/buyer is gonna walk away. He doesn't seem to care so all good.
  • 2 1
 @vikb: ever noticed how if you know the right people and can get on the right platform you become an instant knowledge base …… yep it’s a weird world
  • 31 1
 Haha Chris' take on fork design was low key insane to me,

"It’s the same in other parts of the MTB too… The front wheel to fork mounting system (the axle) is designed around punctures and packing the bike in a car or on a rack. Literally designed to be quick and easy to remove to fix punctures and pack bikes rather than as a stiff, secure performance steering component!!"

I'd really like to see what his ideal fork axle looks like. If it sacrifices easy maintenance for the front wheel then I'm out. If he can manage all those things with no tradeoffs then that's perfect.

Regardless as a pilot and aircraft maintenance engineer, there's very few things I detest more than highly optimal engineering that sacrifices ease of maintenance for subtle performance gains. For myself easy maintenance = performance, because the longer it takes to service something is less time spent using it.
  • 11 3
 @lncorgnito: if you haven't listened to any if his podcasts they are worth a listen regardless of whether you agree or disagree. IMO we wouldn't have the geo we have now without him.
  • 11 3
 Well if ignoring the reality of consumer wants/needs/demands is sane, then he’s the sanest of the bunch. That and the bit about drilling holes for bottle mounts compromising the strength of the frame. I guess he’s probably right on some technical level, but on a practical level — has this ever been a problem in reality?
  • 2 3
 @TheR: I've had three steel frames crack at the water bottle bosses. Never had it compromise an aluminum frame.
  • 3 0
 @Sycip69er: Well, there you go. How old were those frames? How many years ago was this? I’m not challenging you — just curious.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: all mid 2000s two being 853 and one a TruTemper....so thin steel
  • 4 0
 Just because someone is forthright doesn't mean they are right. I wouldn't buy a bike with proprietary bottles.
  • 1 1
 @lncorgnito: i think all he means is make it a more secure interface eg pinch bolts etc. Doesn't really create maintenance challenges and has better performance but is not fast to remove
  • 6 0
 I do think the pretentious prick schtick is spot on for his product from a marketing perspective. And he was definitely ahead of the curve on geo for sure. But if he invented modern geo, then Al Gore invented the internet.
  • 4 1
 @lncorgnito: probably a bolt up 20mm axle. You know, like we used to have.
Stiffer, stronger, and a bit slower to get the wheel off.
I'd go back.
  • 2 0
 @Velocipedestrian: that’s what I was thinking, the old style bolt up axle with hexagonal ends and 4 easy to strip bolts to hold it in place. They were a PITA, but I rarely take the front wheel off these days - only to change the brake pads or tyre.
  • 3 0
 @dancingwithmyself: wasn't Fisher pushing longer reach/shorter stem back in the '90s (Genesis I believe called it)?
  • 31 23
 I know that 'm against the grain but IMHO designing bikes to make room for bottles is SO dumb. It should be performance first every single time. I ride a Camelbak Chase Bike Vest 50 even when I'm on the gravel bike. It allows for plenty of hydration and room for bits and pieces. It's so low profile that it doesn't roll and shift and is way more stable than any hip pack. The added bonus is that it offers some spine protection which has come in handy more than once. I may not be on trend but it just makes sense.
  • 15 15
 I was wandering the same thing. Why have a water bottle when you can simply have a camelback that you'll probably take anyway to carry the few tools you need to repair your bike on the trail in case you have an issue...
  • 18 20
 Thats exactly what Chris Porter said. And he's right (again).
  • 16 22
flag nurseben (Dec 27, 2021 at 9:12) (Below Threshold)
 No, it is absolutely stoopid to design around a water bottle unless we’re talking about recreational bikes, touring bikes, etc ….

In a full suspension bike, the suspension is the reason for the design and if water bottles don’t fit then that’s just fine.

Waist packs, backpacks, even drinking before and after the ride, these are all fine options.

I have an fs bike that holds two bottle and one that holds zero bottles. When I ride with dogs and it’s hot, I take the bike that has bottle holders.

I really can’t think of a dumber design limitation or a dumber thing to worry about. I think people are stuck in the road biking days.
  • 15 5
 If we want to maximize performance, we should be designing for bottles because it's more efficient to carry it on the bike.
  • 11 0
 @nurseben: You say it’s dumb to fit a bottle but then when it’s hot you take the bike with two bottles. So for people living in hot climates who only want one bike, what do you recommend?

Remember, there are plenty of great bikes that DO fit a bottle, and that there aren’t really any compromises (maybe some grams because of tube shaping)?
  • 3 1
 @sdurant12: leave the bike at home. Go to the beach. Problem solved.
  • 17 0
 @nurseben: actually I’ve re-read your comment and I get what you’re saying.

Everyone should buy TWO full suspension mountain bikes. One with bottles for hot days, one without for *insert whatever supposed benefits not having room for a bottle gives you*.
  • 14 1
 @nurseben: "No, it is absolutely stoopid to design around a water bottle...When I ride with dogs and it’s hot, I take the bike that has bottle holders."

Classic nurseben
  • 2 0
 @alex16trail: I try to carry a pack as little as possible. I hate wearing one.
  • 3 1
 @nickkk: okay next time I go ride whistler if it’s a bit toasty I’ll turn around and go to the beach instead
  • 4 0
 @sdurant12: a marketing job a specialized awaits you
  • 4 0
 @Compositepro: I accept the job offer and look forward to marketing the new stumpjumper cold (no bottles, heated grips) and stumpjumper hot (with bottles) to consumers.
  • 2 3
 I have always had hydrationpack and Couldnt care less about water bottle.
1.5L small Fox hydrationpack is hardly notieable and it holds more water than small frame mounted water bottle + theres just enough room for tubeless patch and pump. Water bottle is wayyyy below number 50 on my list when buying new bike... It could be important for somebody but wouldnt want to buy bike if one of main design priority is to fit water bottle inside frame... I agree Porter on this one...
  • 3 11
flag nurseben (Dec 27, 2021 at 12:56) (Below Threshold)
 @jeremy3220: really, so you don’t have two water packs, one for short rides and one for long rides?

Or perhaps you only have one pair of shoes, so you can go to work (moms basement) hike (to school) and go kayaking (in the pool) in sandals.

If I didn’t have a bike with water bottles, I’d carry my water in my pack of I’d sling a bottle somewhere else.

I don’t ride a watter bottle, I ride a bike.

Classic, Jeremy (whoever the eff you are), insert thumb in arse, then place in mouth Wink
  • 9 0
 You can do both though. There are plenty of bikes out there that hold a water bottle and have great geometry and suspension kinematics. Bikes don't ride themselves and including features such as water and tool storage improves human performance which in my opinion is more important than component performance.
  • 5 13
flag suspended-flesh (Dec 27, 2021 at 17:04) (Below Threshold)
 Water bottles are for roadies.
  • 4 14
flag suspended-flesh (Dec 27, 2021 at 17:13) (Below Threshold)
 Whoever just downvoted me is dating a roadie.
  • 3 0
 @nurseben: Doesn’t matter how good my suspension is designed, if my water bottles falls out and I can’t find it again, I’m riding to my vehicle and going home. A bike without a bottle mount is next to useless and having to ride in a bag is a terrible alternative. While bikes are still powered by humans they’re going to require somewhere to store water.
  • 12 5
 Like they mention talking to pivot, I think the fact that we're designing frames around the standard bottle shape, rather than coming up with better bottle shapes, is insane.

How can we have a new hub standard or bb standard every couple years, but water bottles? No way man. Keep that style designed around 70s road bikes alive! It's super wierd.

I have a yt thirstmaster 5000 on my bike, 835ml bottle that takes up the same space as a standard 600ml bottle, and that's with pretty mild design changes.

I think people would be 100% behind frame specific bottles if it maximized water carrying capacity and allowed frame designers to not have to make wierd design compromises for what is a totally arbitrary bottle shape.
  • 11 2
 That's not something I would buy into. The standard water bottle shape is so user friendly and versatile.
  • 7 1
 @ridenwc1: and because it’s standardized we have aftermarket options for other things to put in that place. You can get those tool cubbies in a dummy bottle, you can have insulated bottles, bottles with promotional logos on them, hell Specialized can put another friggin battery there. When I go rent a bike on vacation I can bring my own bottles instead of having to hope the one strapped to the bike was washed out after it was used last.

This just seems like a case of trying to reinvent the wheel, which I guess as a whole this sport is pretty hellbent on at all times.
  • 1 1
 @ridenwc1: my thought is you could keep 90% the same shape but make the top more triangular so with a side mount you could fit a bigger bottle in the dead space behind the head tube. Should be able to design it to work with most bikes that have a bottle mount between the shock and head tube.
  • 8 0
 I'm convinced that Pivot moving to a vertical shock is entirely because of Pinkbike as a whole whining for 3 years in a row about the previous Firebird not having a bottle in the main triangle.
  • 9 0
 Funny that Rocky mentions the downside of in-frame storage being weight, meanwhile the new stumpy is pretty much the lightest trail bike you can buy right now
  • 6 1
 Aint that the truth?! And all of the packed weight is way down low, near center of gravity and definitely is less noticeable than the same weight being up high on your waist!

Frankly I avoided Specialized for as long as i could, detouring to boutique brands. But my 2020 SJ Evo changed me, and now I have three S-works in the garage (22' SJ Evo, 21' Epic Evo and 18' Tarmac). SWAT storage and the build quality and performance of the new Stumpy's and Tarmac's are quite frankly unbeatable. Only Trek can come close to the overall package.
Still, I have much love for the smaller brands. They will catch up some day
  • 3 0
 @Simann: thats a sweet lineup. I've got the 2021 carbon stumpy, its a good balance between the Evo and the Epic. Its everything ive ever dreamed of in a bike. I looked at 20+ bikes and it came out on top, super capable but climbs so well. The SWAT storage allowed me to ditch my pack completely, the frame is a thing of beauty
  • 2 0
 truth
  • 2 1
 How’s the stumpy’s durability? Low weight can be achieved by running the frame closer to its limit.
  • 2 2
 Can you carry something in the in-frame storage to repair the frame when it cracks?
  • 7 0
 Not sure how riders are able to ride hard for a hour or two with only one bottle. If riding in BC or PNW, perhaps. However, in NorCal, SoCal, AZ, LV, etc. with high temperatures in 80s and 90s, it quite difficult unless you pre-hydrate really well. On a 1.5-2 hour ride, I can lose 2-4 lbs of water weight easily and I am only 135lbs.
  • 3 0
 This
  • 1 0
 Waterfilters are how in most places. In the desert, I've had to resort to hydration packs (but I don't like it!!!).
  • 9 3
 All I can say is that my wife is 5'2" and a Size Small Trek Fuel she demoed was basically unridable for her because the curved section of the top tube made the bike too high for her to "standover" it. All to fit a waterbottle...
  • 6 14
flag schulte1400 (Dec 27, 2021 at 8:54) (Below Threshold)
 Unrideable due to standover? Your wife is aware that standover doesnt mater when youre riding your bike, only standing over it, right?
  • 12 1
 The missing question from this article is how the compromises necessary for the smallest frame size affect all the others. Brands are so desperate to have every size of the same model look similar that they often make bad design decisions at both ends of the spectrum. The reality is that small frames have lighter riders, lower COG and less space. My XXL has to support a 235# rider and has a COG with the saddle up that is probably close to 30 inches off the ground. Making a bike that looks the same, has the same water bottle clearance and very similar geometry really isn't very sensible. I would love to see brands move beyond size specific chainstays and embrace whatever changes are needed to make each size frame the best it can be. That might mean different shock mount points and entirely different approaches to storage.
  • 2 0
 @schulte1400: I get what you're saying but there's a reason manufacturers don't increase the standover height in line with other measurements. My inseam is 34ins and I have never had a bike with a standover even close to 34ins. What about you?
  • 1 0
 @Telemahn: Well said!
  • 3 0
 @schulte1400: Every once in a while you do have to put your foot down when you stop riding the bike and it's nice when you don't get a punch in the groin from the top tube.
  • 5 0
 @Dhers90: standover is like money - it's only important when you don't have any.
  • 6 0
 I like a cage mount on the bike so I can have a flavoured energy or hydration drink in the bottle and just plain water in my hydration pack to avoid the taste or residue sugar contaminating the bladder. Also means I have water to wash my mouth after drinking energy drinks.
  • 2 0
 If you swap them around (water in the bottle) then you can also spray the back of your neck with water.
IMO this is one of the benefits of bottles, I can spray my neck/head when I get too hot. It’s really hard to spray water from a hydration pack.
  • 6 0
 I now own a (short-travel trail, downcountry, aggressive XC) bike that fits two bottles inside the frame.
It’s a game changer for me on this type of bike- I never want to go back.

I understand this is harder to achieve on a longer travel bike for a number of reasons…
But honestly I wish all bikes could fit two bottles plus pump, tube, and tools.

I’ve used both hip packs and back packs… while I get along OK with both styles, NOT carrying a pack is just so nice.
This goes double for hot and humid climates.
  • 7 2
 It's kind of funny to see the geographical biases of the posters on this issue. People who live in the high desert appreciate having water bottle options and don't want to wear a pack. People who live a mile below them and have never ridden in anything hotter than 30C/80F temperatures, and don't even know what the UV Index is? Much more likely to favor a pack.
  • 4 1
 I live in a dry area and prefer a pack for that reason, because I can carry more water. 70 oz of water is 4.5 lbs. I don’t notice the weight it in my pack but I’m pretty sure adding 4.5 lbs to the bike would be no fun.

I feel like water bottles have really only re-surged because enduro is trending. It’s a pretty entertaining trend to witness but also unfortunate to see design compromise for a water bottle just as the industry has finally started to focus more on lowering standover/more clean, compact design.
  • 5 1
 Design concept. Use the space INSIDE the frame to carry water. Have a hose/straw like a camel back or triathlon bike water source be routed. That way your frame can be what ever shape, the center of gravity stays low even as you drink, streamlined, everyone wins.
  • 4 0
 imagine the lawsuit because a stupid person forgot to wash it, and believe me they will
  • 4 0
 The only problem is that if you are putting water say in the downtube, then the straw will be so long that it will be difficult to drink from. If you put it in the top tube, it would be easier to drink from but would raise center of gravity.
  • 5 1
 Until it freezes and breaks the frame.
  • 1 1
 Had the same thought. The flask that Spé is offering to fit their swat box is kind of a first step towards this.
  • 1 0
 @tidnes: but you could pump it up and pressurise it to help deliver , as an aside too it would make an impromptu water cannon or even a bike wash , in fact in the interests of absof*ckinglutely over complicating the bicycle why not put a small electric pump in there and power it
  • 4 2
 I like the idea but the fact is you would have to make the inside of the frame a pretty sanitary environment which isn’t feasible on a bike without making the individual components of the hydration/nutrition system removable for cleaning. Having a frame made of mystery materials that can leech into the water or whatever sports drink mix people put in, and have it be subjected to a dark and extremely temperature-swinging environment (hot summer day sitting on the side of a trail, black painted frame can also be used in below freezing times of year in the same geographic area) sounds like a breeding ground for disease.

I’ve seen people use frame bags specially made for their bikes on gravel rides with an internal bladder that they swap out at aid stations along the race route. Those are excellent solutions to a hydration/nutrition problem, albeit they don’t have suspension to worry about…for now.
  • 1 0
 @tidnes: not really. There are some products that hold water down low (crank tank) and use long hoses. Also bikepackers put water low in the frame bag with a long hose. Both are easy to drink from.
  • 2 0
 Design concept: Use the space INSIDE the frame to carry cans of BEER!
  • 2 0
 I think folk are being over literal with water inside frame idea. I took it to mean the space remaining inside the frame triangle after suspension is added, not inside the frame tubes.
Custom frame bags on all sorts of full suspension designs are commonplace in the bikepacking world and often with a water bladder inside them. I can carry a large and medium bidons on my XC FS bike [Epic Evo]. But with a frame pack I could carry more water in say the Apidura bladder and also other bits too.
  • 6 0
 this is why i no longer ride a bike but use a camel yep the entire dromedary , more eco frinedly than an ebike and good in all weather conditions
  • 4 0
 I'm truly astonished at the amount of vitriol surrounding this topic. My preference would be to not ride with anything on my body except my riding kit: no keys, no phone, no tubes, no water containers, no tools, no snacks, no extra clothes, no camera equipment, no spare parts, etc. However, the vast majority of my rides are 1.5 hours or more. In the summer, I need water. During the cooler months I don't drink as much water and can get away with no water for a short 1.5 hour ride, but I also generally want a jacket available and some other things. Then, when I consider that from time to time one of my tires punctures in a way that cannot be repaired with a plug, then I need a tube and a pump or CO2 cartridge. I enjoy taking photos and video during my rides. I love being able to help out my fellow riders who would be forced to walk out a bike several miles, so I carry tools and other spares like shift cables, quick links, etc. I like to have a snack after an hour long climb before bombing a descent. All of these things make my rides much more enjoyable for me so I wear a backpack on most rides, as I have since 1994. If it is a short ride, I may wear a hip pack or stuff things into my bib pockets and strap a tube and things to the bike frame. In short, I like to have options and will change it up from time to time, but even with a pack, I prefer to have a bike that fits a water bottle, but I would not want any manufacturer to compromise performance to accommodate a water bottle. There are so many good bikes with good options for water bottles so we don't have to worry about it. Like grips, seats, pedals, tires, etc. it all boils down to personal preference. Do what works for you.
  • 8 0
 I dont use a waterbottle
  • 9 3
 My next bike purchase it solely around it fitting 2 bottles. Spark, element, epic evo, blurr tr etc. Lots of choices now.
  • 3 0
 All of my bikes can fit a water bottle but it’s never been a priority for me. I’m ok with rocking a hip pack. I ride with one Everytime anyway. I’m not gonna turn down an awesome bike because I can’t fit a water bottle
  • 3 0
 I want a bike with an option for a water bottle. I use both a hydration pack and a water bottle. Water bottle carries hydration mix and pack carries 3L of plain water and space to put jackets. On cooler days I may use mostly the bottle and sip the pack to wash out the flavor of the hydration mix and drink more plain water. On hot days I will easily go thru both the bottle and pack. I can use the pack to refill the bottle for the extra hydration mix I may bring along to keep my salt and sugar levels up.
  • 1 0
 +1
  • 5 2
 “We can’t recall seeing any Pinkbike comments hating on water bottles on bikes” - Specialized

I hate water bottles and water bottle mounts on bikes! No suboptimal kinematics and beer belly downtubes, thank you! Camelbak ftw!

Am I indeed first with this comment? Do I win something? A date with Chris Porter? Uh…

But seriously, riding on a hot day for up to two hours and bringing just one 750 cl bottle, or less as some seem to do, may not be sufficient to stay well hydrated. Oh, and don’t forget to load up with carbohydrates and minerals (potassium and sodium) which are lost as you perspire.
  • 1 0
 750 ml, not cl… Was too late trying to edit the error.

Please Outside/PB allow more time to edit typing errors.
  • 7 2
 As an engineer, boo fucking hoo, quit moaning and stop using short incremental design lifecycles to reinvent the wheel.
  • 2 0
 Why don’t more DH and park bikes have water bottles on the frame? Not for race runs but for blasting around with your mates, practice and training runs, trips to Morzine/PDS, etc.
Hell the first bum bag/hip pack I saw in recent years was on a German DH rider in Morzine about 8 years ago. He had his keys, a snack, tube, tools and a small foldable water bottle in it. I thought it was genius back then (even if bum bags were lame and for old people back then).
  • 2 0
 I feel like water bottles are the only thing I would like proprietary design in,I would definitely prefer good suspension and frame design then have a custom shaped bottle to fit into the frame,like a little trianglular shaped tank. Because most of the voids on frames are triangular shaped. All these large curved down tubes are prone to rock strikes and look terrible.
  • 2 0
 IF PB WANTED CLICKS, THEY FOUND THE GOLDMINE.
racing definitely directs trail users image and impressions.
and expectations. and trail riders (like me, former racer) also like riding without packs,
and riding high performance bikes.
that ride like a race bike.
because fast is fun. wild is fun. loose is fun.
sweaty and uncomfortable is not fun.
if you're having fun with a pack? rad.
without a pack? rad.
motorcyclists have this same timeless and un-resolvable debate on their sites too.....

I strap shit to my motorbikes, my mt bikes, and my truck.
so if said Moto, mtb and truck strap better, drive better, and I ride better..... its a win win.
I wonder what other designs mojo could come up with that ( while ignoring bottles) still acheive exactly what porter is going for. and I do think adding a water bottle to an enduro bike could literally make it a better riding trail (not for racing per se) bike.
  • 2 0
 Why would anyone want to carry bag pack or hip back in case you can opt to not carry?
Based on demand on EDC tools, water bottles and in frame-storage - majority riders are willing to pay for that including myself;

Riding resort's or short rides up to 1-1,5h can be ultimately better with out necessity of carrying anything on u, also modern bike's are super reliable so the only spare u need is some alien key, and probably co2 or mini pump;
Hitting jump lines much more fun without bagpack;

the last but not least, looking good on your bike also is super important, why someone would not want to look awesome on 5k bike or 10k bike?
  • 2 0
 Probably an outlier in all of this, but here are my thoughts for what they are worth.

I run multiple bikes (and no, I have no intention of reducing the number of bikes I have, it is all part of the fun!, Some have a bottle cage within the front triangle, some below downtube (two Banshee V2s).

Unless I am on a very short ride, I need more than one drink bottle.

I need to carry tools, and having multiple bikes, on-bike storage is not very viable - I cannot be bothered swapping tools between bikes each ride and having multiple sets of tools gets expensive.

Unless I am on a long ride, I tend to use a Bontrager Rapid Pack which carries my basic tools plus a drink bottle. I run the same bottle on the bike and the pack so I can just change the lids between bottles if I am using a bike with under-downtube bottle cage (I don't race much, so no big hurry to swap them over).

I would have considered a new V3 Banshee, but to provide an above-downtube bottle cage has resulted in a linkage axle blocking the seat tube and limiting dropper post insertion markedly. I would need to reduce dropper travel to accommodate the bottle cage - a poor tradeoff for me.

An interesting point to consider is centre of gravity. I am no fan of dirty drink bottles, but positioning the bottle cage beneath the downtube reduces the height of this mass by about 130mm on my bikes. On my scales, a full drink bottle weighs around 800g so this is not insignificant, and I assume is much more than the new V3 shock cradle achieves.

Just the ramblings of an old and irrelevant rider Smile
  • 3 2
 I would like to see brands place water bottle mounts on the top tube down by the seat tube. I had to zip tie a fidlock mount there on my firebird and found it actually very convenient as a) nothing is in that void between the saddle and the TT, even with the dropper slammed b) it’s very easy to reach and c) it stays pretty clean! Downside is all looks, and maybe CoG if that matters too much to anyone.
  • 1 0
 Did the same on my Capra, but it doesn't work really well with the bottle mounted. The bottle gets in the way on enduro trails, sometimes I knocked it out with the handlebar. It wont work on small sizes anyway.
  • 7 2
 Pick a water bottle and be a dick about it.
  • 4 4
 Pick a water delivery system & be a dick about it. Razz
  • 5 0
 @pipm1: it's reassuring after 20 years on this site that common sense still gets flamed. A concept older than the water bottle debate it seems. I point out drinking from muddy water bottles is I'll advised and I'm a maniac. Never change PB.
  • 2 1
 Everything the Nukeproof manager said is bang on except that the shift to bum bags, the "enduro look" or the on bike storage trend has not just happened naturally. It's all come from the bike industry giving those things to their racers so it influences the masses to look that way. The return to water bottles is happening because its simply the best way to carry water- ie not on your body where you have to support the weight. People eventually get over the trends that were introduced to overcome the need for bottles on the bike because eventually new things lose their luster and people just go back to basic, functional things that work.

All this "on bike storage" using zip ties and fancy straps is the dumbest thing that's ever happened in mountain biking too, there are tons of perfectly good frame bags that keep your shit dry and together that have worked perfectly well as long as I can remember. Why on earth did we think it was better to use a zip tie and expose all your gear to the elements every ride as opposed to the existing bags?
  • 1 0
 Why buy a bike bag when basically everybody has electrical tape?
  • 1 0
 Probably a matter of perspective and ride location. As a person who have ridden with backpacks, fanny packs and just a bottle, I find that the location where I ride influence what I'm willing to carry. In my local riding trails, closer to sea level, being so humid, tight jungle, carrying a backpack just pisses me off. It is a bit of a contradiction really, in a hot and humid area, you really need to stay hydrated and carrying a pack allows for more water but it also makes you perspire more, and carrying weight on the back when it's humid is no joke - you get tired more and feel the effects faster. I end up carrying one only when doing trail works and I need to bring the tools. Otherwise I'll just bring a bottle and plan my ride. On higher elevations where it's cooler and no humidity and especially in less jungle type locations, I have no problems carrying a backpack, I can ride with it for hours. So a bike that has proper bottle mounts and location, is god send, it'll be one of my criteria when I look at a bike. It allows for flexibility in my configuration. One of the main reason why I keep eyeing the stumpjumper as my next bike if I ever get a chance to buy one.
  • 2 0
 I think your right about it being environment dependant but you are wrong about high elevations. The body needs more water at high elevation and the thinner air means more UV. You of often get a solar collector effect resulting in the real feel being over the ambient temperature and much less tree cover. Water bottle is a must for me in the mile high state.
  • 3 0
 @catweasel: Yeah. Nothing like being told by some UK park rat who has never seen an 80 degree day, a UVI of 6 or more and lives 7000ft below me that I don't need a water bottle.
  • 1 0
 @catweasel: actually I did not mean I need less water in higher altitudes, just that it feels less of negative/discomfort carrying one where it feels cooler, which is why I carry a backpack with a water bladder. Sorry if that didn't get through.
  • 5 2
 Forget the water bottle. I want the best performing bike they can design. What companies are not designing frames influenced by water bottles?
  • 7 5
 Jesus H Chris Porter is absolutely a boring arse.

because the one bike you made did not represent anything near the rest of the bike industry, you made and sold what? If there are 50 -100 out there i would be amazed.
  • 2 1
 Having the ability to carry a drink on the bike has a net plus for how enjoyable the ride is. Compromise on suspension performance at this point seems negligible or possibly even non existent, were as wearing a pack always feels like a bit of a burden to me.
  • 2 1
 One of the good things about water is that it will change shape to fit it's container - it's a liquid. Just design a container to fit the frame already! Surely must be easier than adhering to the traditional cylindrical bottle?
  • 1 0
 I am a thirsty boy, and like having lots of hydration options. Wouldn't buy a bike that doesn't fit a regular bottle. Even on long rides where I need the capacity of a pack, I like having a bottle on the frame to add electrolytes to, or refill more easily. I appreciate being able to ride without a pack sometimes, and honestly I wish my dirt jump bike even had a cage cause I hate having to figure out what to do with my bottle when riding it.
  • 5 0
 My drone carries my water for me. you guys are still hydrating in the 90s.
  • 1 0
 I'd rather have the best suspension design I can possibly obtain(supply/$ dep.).
Another option is a holder for the collapsible/folding bottles.
I use one in my back bib pocket...
I'd like to see bibs without the pad on offer. 3 rear pockets and performance mesh with compression/nut holder.
  • 1 0
 "It holds a high degree of importance for all relevant platforms where the intended use cases defined during the product definition stage include the need for hydration."

Can't tell if this stratospheric jargon concentration is serious or making fun of the question...
  • 1 0
 he just said yes when the intended discipline of the bike needs hydration. AKA uphill peddling bikes
  • 1 0
 @Jacksond21: exactly... But he said it in 3x as many fancy words!
  • 1 0
 Bike designers - where is it best to have a variable mass mounted to a bike frame? I would guess closer to the BB the better as the rider weight would mean a small incremental change and that part of the bike 'moves the least', but am not sure.
  • 1 0
 "so they curved the top tube to avoid jacking the standover height"

Arguably Trek still jacked up the standover height, because you can't actually stand over the lowest part of the frame, there will be a seat and a butt competing for space and most humans would end up hitting the frame somewhere in the middle of that curve, pretty high up.
  • 1 0
 XC with 2 bottles in the frame and no pack - long rides with plenty of flats to fetch the bottle from the frame w/o risk, lower center of gravity, maximum body sweat evaporation, less scuffing/friction, everything stored in pockets, bibs
Trail with pack - keep the hands on the bar, short(er) rides, room for protection storage
  • 1 0
 I hate the bottle mount on my 2021 Trek Rail 9, where there is no way you can mount there any bottle, because even with the smallest bottle I found on the internet it will touch the expansion chamber on the shock during compression Frown
  • 1 0
 I'm just an armchair designer, but why does it matter now?

top tubes are getting lower and steeper as bikes get more and more aggressive design. This opens up space for frame bags on top tubes (that hold iphones under waterproof films), and no reason the bottle can't go ON the top tube.

I recall old cannondale Super V frames had TWO water bottle cages on top of the front "triangle", and that thing for sure did not "compromise" the frame to support water bottles below shin height.

If a bike mfg wants to design some sort of super-agressive bike with a low slung top tube and front triangle 'full of shock', it seems reasonable to me to put the bottle cage bolts on the top of the top tube.
  • 4 0
 E bikers dont even need to drink water....speaking for a friend....
  • 3 0
 I've given up on carrying a water bottle, I just want a convenient spot to put my bear spray.
  • 3 0
 Id like to see steerer tubes so big they hold 1.5 litres of fluid and have a straw
  • 2 2
 Yes, hydration is important (duh) but sacrificing frame stiffness or suspension performance to fit a water bottle onto a frame is simply ridiculous. On top of that, carrying bottles on your frame is incredibly unhygienic anyways.
  • 5 1
 Bike storage is way overrated
  • 2 0
 you think i'm gonna be able to stash a 1st aid kit, coms, waterproofs, tools, tube, water etc on the bike, its either a pannier or a pack, load carry vest, hip carry
  • 1 0
 You obviously don’t know what diverticula disease is then …..
  • 1 0
 Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe that most FS-frames with in frame water bottle mount do sacrifice either stand over clearance, or seat post insertion depth because of kink seat tube.
  • 3 1
 I can’t stand the look of water bottles on great looking bikes. Small waist pack for me any day. I have ditched the big camel back backpack style.
  • 1 1
 "Dual link and 4-bar designs like Santa Cruz, Kona, Transition, Norco, and Specialized (the list goes on and on) have it easy, or do they?"

What does that have to do with anything? Easier than what? There are dual link designed with all manner of shock orientations, same with 4-bar, faux-bar, split-pivot: all have seen both vertical and horizontal shocks, and both linkage and direct (shock attached to seat stay) driven.
  • 2 2
 I sold my v2 banshee for a v3 almost entirely because of the bottle situation. On my v2 I ran a fidlock with the dust cap under the downtube, which worked fine enough, but the convenience of a bottle inside the front triangle was worth it for me. now given, it just worked out that I was able to sell my v2 frame for pretty close to what I payed for my v3, but still. Also packs suck, if you use one, take a break from it for a few days, and you'll realize they suck.
  • 5 5
 seems like there is a bandwagon group of pack wearers that dislike any comments from people who dont wear packs. They are generally not great at biking and old. Not wearing a pack is always better when you can get away with it. So if a bike cant fit a bottle, I aint buying it.
  • 2 0
 Fuck em
  • 1 2
 Not wearing a pack when you can get away with it is nice, almost as nice as riding without a water bottle, which you can always get away with. If you have a pack.
Let’s face it, if you only need 20oz for your ride you can just hydrate before and after. Toughen up, buttercup. It’s not a fashion show.
And I’m willing to wager at the ripe old age of 47 my bag of tricks is bigger.. you see, we didn’t need manual trainers before water bottles came back. Coincidence?
  • 1 1
 @emptybe-er: if I didn't wear a pack, where would I store my Glock 34?
  • 1 1
 @emptybe-er: how is it almost as nice as riding without a bottle? A bottle makes no difference to a ride. I dont need a manual trainer either grandpa and id love to see your "bag of tricks"
  • 1 0
 I used to not care about having a frame with a water bottle mount... but then i got a frame which fitted a 800ml bottle. Just the usual. One only knows what shitty is, after experiencing something better.
  • 2 2
 @nojzilla: @nojzilla: MOST riders want, need, and carry water on all rides. Its pointless to think of the bike and the rider as separate in this case. I get that changing kinematics and handling characteristics of the bike to fit a bottle shouldn't take priority but a lot of you are missing the fact that the bike cant ride itself. "Stop being a wuss dnd just wear a pack because i care about suspension kinematics and handling more than i do carrying water..." is so shortsighted and actually wrong. Raising your center of gravity and putting it onto a pack that isnt rigidly fixed to your body DO largely effect how the suspension and bike handles - and its not in a good way. It screams you know nothing about vehicle dynamics and/or are likely slow. Personally id rather ride with a fixed seat post over a dropper post and a hydration pack because i KNOW its slower and in less control. But dont tell me to man up at the cost of speed and performance. If needed, I stache bottles in loops. plan my route around refills, or just go longer without hydrating when i run out. Hell sometimes i dont even care to pack tools or spares if my route/timing allows it. If i flat or break my bike im limping and/or walking out. Maybe you ought to "man up". There is a reason no pros are riding with packs anymore - its more comfortable AND FASTER. Furthermore, i think it hilarious how the majority of riders i see/know go above and beyond for their bike- its set up, components, tech, and are such snobs about it but never work on the most important component that makes riding fun and fast - The rider's fitness.
  • 1 1
 So you are faster stopping to stash, stopping to pick up stashes and stopping to refill your bottles that you would be if you just carried the water you needed in a pack? (A: No you're not)

So you know that a rider is faster with their bottle attached to a cage, rather than if they had the same amount of water in a pack (A: No you're not)

So, on those rides when you have to walk out, would you have been faster on those days if you carried spares? (A: Yes)

Out of curiosity, you sound super fast, where can I read about your race results?
  • 1 0
 @iSawThat: i am fast... my last name should give you a hint
  • 3 0
 Oh No!!! Not this again!!!
  • 4 1
 There are already tubes on the bike - fill em up
  • 2 0
 Coming soon; Shimano Hollowtech III, with a new bottom bracket standard with space for a water bottle!
  • 3 0
 My vehicle has nine cup holders and I want my bike to have the same
  • 1 0
 The Cotic Solaris Max might just suit your needs.
  • 4 3
 just wear a fricking pack or vest like remy metailler.....water bottles should not affect in a negative way the suspension performance of the bike.
  • 5 0
 Fortunately they don't have to
  • 2 0
 Nukeproof sorted out how to keep water and bottle separatelly in that space
  • 1 0
 "We can’t recall seeing any Pinkbike comments hating on water bottles on bikes, so this is an easy call for our team to make." - Spesh.
  • 1 1
 @nojzilla: some people can’t wear packs of bumbags ! , I have diverticulitis disease so can’t wear a bumbag or have the weight of a pack putting pressure on me so I have to use storage and a bottle on my bike , idiot.
  • 3 0
 This is exactly why I fill my fork and shock with water instead of air.
  • 1 0
 If shock manuf. would put the reservoir on the side, a lot of shocks would have the same internal footprint as an inline shock and free up bottle space.
  • 2 0
 It would be great to be able to rotate the reservoir relative to the mounting points depending on what works for you.
  • 2 0
 All the hardtail riders are shaking their heads wondering what all the fuss is about
  • 3 1
 The answer is yes. Long article. Thanks Outside+
  • 1 0
 I solved my water bottle issues by only shuttling. Keep my water in my truck!
  • 1 0
 If a bottle won’t fit I can’t commit and it better not get sprayed with cow $h1t.
  • 1 0
 Make a dehumidifier in the frame , that makes water for you on the trail. That’s progressive thinking
  • 3 2
 I honestly agree with Chris. Why compromise on suspension performance and stand over for a bottle?
  • 3 1
 Every manufacturer said they don't compromise performance for the sake of a water bottle
  • 2 0
 @Ktron: every manufacturer who prefers water bottles...
  • 1 0
 Wheres my water bottle cage on my v10. I hate having to tape bottles to it.
  • 2 0
 They also influence race performance, right Richie ?
  • 1 0
 Making a big fuss about water bottle holder compatibility is the sort of shit that makes mtb worse.
  • 1 0
 Bike industry here me out- why not redesign the $10-20 water bottle to fit the $2000+ frame?
  • 1 0
 FFS...humanity really is willing to have a dick-measuring contest about anything these days.
  • 1 0
 Read the title and immediately scrolled down hoping for a salty Q&A with Chris Porter. Not disappointed.
  • 4 4
 I would also love to see water bottle mounts on DH bikes if we are talking all bikes.
  • 1 0
 What's the point? Most people shuttle or use a lift with a DH bike. If you're pushing/pedaling up then you're in the minority. The bike industry won't cater to you.
  • 6 0
 @ThunderChunk: You still need to stay hydrated when doing park days, not every bike park has water fountains everywhere like Whistler. I would definitely love to have a water bottle mount on my DH bike so I could ditch my back pack!
  • 4 0
 @charmingbob: I ride parks that don't have water. I leave water/drinks at the lift. Never had a problem.
  • 1 1
 @ThunderChunk:
Same as the previous poster. I hate wearing a pack for DH. I’m not saying brands should change their design to fit a water bottle but if it fits put some bottle bosses in the frame. I would definitely rock a bottle.
  • 1 0
 @bedell99: if it fits absolutely. I was just saying it doesn't make sense to design a DH frame around a water bottle since they are designed specifically for racing.
  • 1 0
 Is it Perras a real surname?
  • 5 3
 no bottle, no interest.
  • 2 0
 IDNGAF
  • 1 0
 Water bottle...meh. Brawndo bottle, its got what EWS riders crave.
  • 1 0
 Ken Perras is actually Ron Dennis
  • 1 0
 Sounds like bullshit to me.. 26er bikes always had water bottle holders
  • 1 0
 Chris Porter is a rare STAR.
  • 1 0
 I run 12 bottle cages in the front triangle of my hardtail
  • 1 0
 I'm glad you asked Chris Porter. I hope he made it clear for everyone.
  • 4 3
 Yep, FK those companies
  • 1 1
 I might like to store food in my down tube f-you if you dont like that
  • 1 0
 Hey that’s my bike!
Below threshold threads are hidden





You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2022. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.037936
Mobile Version of Website