Single bottle carriers – behind seat.
An entire article can be written devoted to the discussion of behind-the-seat water bottles and whether they are the most aerodynamic place for a water bottle, whether that location’s aero benefits are offset by the hard-to-access location and whether extra bottles are needed in long races that provide liquids every 10 miles.
This article will assume the reader has already weighed all of these factors and has decided that a single-bottle behind-the-seat carrier is what they want.
The first thing I noticed when opening the Delta 100 and 200 boxes and inspecting the hardware is that the cage carrier and bracket (which appear to be of the quick disconnect variety) were not actually separable due to a rivet put in place. I quickly surmised that this is a safety precaution. A quick disconnect can’t be trusted to keep the bottle cage attached to the bike under all conditions, could become damaged and could be mishandled. Of course rivets can be removed by a user and the quick release would then become functional. It’s likely that this could introduce rattling as well as the possibility of losing the bottle and cage while riding.
Pictures of rivet
The next thing I noticed was also a safety feature. This is red thread lock pre-applied to the bolts that mount the carrier to the seat’s frame rails. The instructions included with the kit say that once installed these screws are not to be removed and re-installed. This is obviously due to the thread locking compound and the integrity of the lock after being set and broken. The owner can take the precaution of reapplying thread lock when removing and re-installing if so inclined.
I have nearly a dozen bikes to mount these up to, but tried it on five of them. Of the five I tried there was a fit problem on only one of them (Pluto Titec). It has to do with the width of the saddle rails after they turn upward and head for the saddle shell. The width of saddle rails is a standard, but only on the horizontal section of the saddle rails where it will be clamped by the seat post. On some seats these rails are too narrow as they turn upward to the saddle shell. Most saddles have these rails flaring outward as they go up to the saddle shell, so mounting further up the rails where they are wider is the intention. But on my ‘problem’ saddle they were still not wide enough when the mounting bracket was as high as it could go and had contacted the saddle shell.
You should check your saddle rails before ordering to ensure it will fit. The bolt holes that pull the two-part clamp together sandwiching your rails are 1 3/4" apart outside-to-outside. You must ensure that your saddle rails are 1 3/4" apart inside-to-inside before reaching your saddle shell or you won’t be able to mount this.
I test mounted this system to the following saddles:
Since the Xlab Delta 100 and 200 mount to the saddle rails, the angle of the bottle cage is going to be determined for you by your saddle itself and will not be adjustable. You may find that your bottles are rather close to vertical or that they are more like a 45 degree angle. This may determine whether you can swing your leg over the saddle when mounting/dismounting so consider that if this is a technique you use. You don’t want to catch a leg on the bottle and tumble over…because Murphy’s Law will ensure someone is filming and you’ll be the next YouTube sensation.
Xlab’s website says the Delta Wing 200 is good for mountain biking but I heard 2nd hand that a representative from Xlab recommended that the Gorilla XT bottle cage be used for mountain biking for that extra bit of bottle grip. The Gorilla XT cage is not an option with the Delta's according to their website, so you would have to purchase that separately. To be fair, I need to say that I never took the Delta 200 mountain biking. The regular Gorilla cage that comes with that model might have done a fine job with mountain biking. However, on a very vigorous test ride using the Delta 100, I did lose my water bottle. However, the grip is so secure I cannot imagine losing it on a road ride, not even at railroad tracks.
I had a friend use and test the Delta 200, with the Gorilla cage. He reported it to mount securely, be rattle free and seemingly impervious to ejecting the bottle. He found that retrieving and returning the bottle while riding was a quick learning curve. When using a 20 oz bottle it did not protrude above the seat level and he could use a moving mount/dismount technique, but when riding with a 24 oz bottle it was higher and precluded those techniques.
Xlab Deltawing 100 mounted on a Bontranger saddle with a 20oz bottle
Xlab Deltawing 100 mounted on a Bontranger saddle with a 24oz bottle
Xlab Deltawing 100 on a Fizik saddle with a 24 oz bottle