“How much liquid do you need to carry, this ride?” That’s the question we asked ourselves before we loaded up the Torhans mount for our morning constitutional. If the answer was “not much,” then the Torhans Aero 20 went on the bike. If it was “a couple bottles,” then the Aero 30 was the choice for the day.
For short rides, the 20 is everything you need and nothing you don’t. It holds a bottle’s worth of liquid securely and places the straw where you want it. For long rides, having extra space in the BTA for initial liquid, and not having to wait to fill until you’re completely empty is invaluable, and so the Aero 30 drops into the mount, with all the same points remaining. But if that was all the Torhans did, it wouldn’t be all that special. Their are plenty of other solutions on the market that allow you to carry hydration between your arms. What makes the Torhans special is that they have spent an inordinate amount of time making absolutely certain that these bottles cheat the wind in every conceivable way. In fact, Torhans have done testing on the Felt DA and found it more aerodynamic with the Aero 30 than without. There aren’t many large-capacity bottle systems that can make the claim that you get faster with than without, and while this may not be true for everyone, the fairing design of both the Aero 20 and 30 is absolutely a step up in the world from the bulky bottles and complicated installations to accommodate complex shapes.
It isn’t just that the Aero series are quicker in the wind, they’re dead simple to fill, as well. Stick the bottle in the slit-top and squeeze; you’re done. The aerodynamic fairing for the straw serves a dual purpose, as well – not only does it minimize the impact of the straw in the wind, it also holds it securely, so that you always know where to get a drink from. If this sounds like small stuff, you’ve never chased a flimsy straw around your cockpit in order to get a drink while in a tuck and trust us, it is no small task at speed.
The only trade-off with the Torhans is that we ended up getting a touch more splash-back than we did with some of the other systems. The slit-top is easy to fill, but allows a bit of liquid to seep through on the bumps. To compensate we tended to use the solid top on shorter rides, and a quick bike wash after the longer ones.
In all, we understand that this sounds rather like faint praise. The Aero 20 and Aero 30 are, simply put, a complete system that does the job it set out to do remarkably well and, as such, become difficult to discuss, really. What Torhans has done with the Aero System is take the concept of a BTA drink setup and simply do it “one better” than the others. Sometimes, though, one better is all that you need to separate the good from the great.