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First Look: XLAB Torpedo Versa


As the outdoor riding season picks up, triathletes need to fine tune their hydration strategies for long training rides and races coming up. XLAB is a company whose mission is to provide the most aerodynamic bike hydration systems to triathletes, using their 21 years of experience to bring top pros to 29 world titles. They sponsor several household triathlon names, most recently adding Mirinda Carfrae to a roster of athletes including world champ Daniela Ryf, Fredrik Van Lierde and Canada’s own Angela Naeth. The company’s latest product — the Torpedo Versa — makes aerodynamic hydration on the bike simpler and more convenient than ever.

Mirinda Carfrae's bike set up with XLAB products including the Torpedo Versa.
Mirinda Carfrae’s bike set up with XLAB products including the Torpedo Versa.

Here are our first impressions after an initial ride with this new handlebar hydration system.

An upgrade from XLAB’s original Torpedo, the Torpedo Versa has two new features.

The newly-designed, carbon-made base can accommodate extension widths from 75 to 100 mm. The carbon construction holds the system in place well, eliminating any rattling and bouncing that can easily occur with similar set-ups.

A new computer mount gives triathletes optimal positioning for their bike computer, taking into consideration factors like glare, drag and personal positioning on the bike. While right now the mount itself can only fit with Garmin bike computers or multisport watches, the system can easily accommodate other devices with XLAB’s Aero Computer Mount. With the On-The-Go Tilt Adjust, triathletes can easily adjust the screen of their computer in changing weather conditions. We found this especially helpful on longer rides with changing light conditions.

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Our favourite feature of the Torpedo Versa is its versatility with bottle options. The system comes with the brand’s aerodynamic shaped 26 oz. bottle that accommodates two different straw positions. We found the straw easy to sip from, especially with the bite valve that helps ensure no leakage. The bottle itself is completely leakproof so you won’t lose a drip of your hydration on the ride.

An alternative option is to slip your own water bottle into the bottle cage. While it requires a bit more effort on the ride, it’s still easier to grab from the handlebars than to reach around to the seat for a drink. For training rides, this is a great option.

We were impressed with how easy the system was to install on the bike. With just a few simple steps and basic tools, the Torpedo Versa was ready to go. It comes in several colour options including basic white and black.

For triathletes seeking a convenient, easy-to-use and effective hydration system, we recommend checking out the Torpedo Versa as an invaluable piece of equipment for both race day and all your training.