2014 has been a busy year in the hydration business – XLAB has new items out, Profile Design launched their fully integrated system, but one name has been conspicuously absent from the chatter: Torhans. At Interbike, we caught up with the Co-Founder Hans Bielat and found out that they haven’t been idle, just quiet. The aerodynamicist for Torhans has been putting in a lot of hours on some new projects, and today we can bring you information about at least one of them – the Aero Z, Torhans’ BTA setup.
The Aero Z is a 22oz BTA solution with a number of interesting features. First, it has a bottom well that the straw feeds from, ensuring that whatever you put in, you can get out again. Second, the fill port locks down securely, and forms a seal with the splash guard, which descends into the body of the bottle by about 5cm to prevent splashback. The Aero Z also makes use of their existing AeroMount, so those with existing Torhans setups can choose the right hydration solution for each ride, the Aero 20, Aero 30, and now the Aero Z, without having to worry about compatibility.
What really sets it apart is the magnetic retention system for the straw. The rear of the bottle is notched for the straw to rest in, and secured with a magnet both there, and anywhere else you choose to put a small magnet to keep the straw out of the wind when you’re not drinking. As for the “Aero” part of the name? Hans claimed that the Z is the fastest BTA setup he’s ever tested, though the Aero 30 is still the fastest front hydration solution on the market today. We can’t wait to get our hands on it.
The bottle cages also have an interesting story, as well. The Axis X2 features directional rubber retention inserts with horizontal bottles in mind – the “teeth” flex downward, then “lock” into place and prevent unintentional ejection. The bottom retention tab is located on the arms of the cage, as opposed to the body, another great feature for a horizontal bottle setup. For those who like to zip-tie a single rear cage to their saddles, or anyone who has a habit of creating bottle-shaped road hazards, this could be the answer to our prayers. The Axis X2 weighs in at a scant 22g and is all carbon.
If weight is your enemy, the Axis X1 is as light as it gets, coming in at 19g. This places it squarely in the “ridiculously light” category while still maintaining a firm grip on your bottle. Definitely minimalist, we’d recommend using it as a BTA or downtube cage, where gravity helps retain the bottle along with the arms.