2. Ditch the frame bottles
Despite redlining in the heat for four-plus hours, most pros are streamlining the supplies they carry on their bikes. They rely on aid stations and/or special needs to regularly refill rather than schlepping everything for 112 miles straight out of T1. And carriers either behind the saddle or between the arms are replacing standard frame bottle mounts. Of the top 10 finishers in 2011, only Faris Al-Sultan (the guy who races in a swim brief) brought two bottles on his frame. Placing a bottle horizontally between the arms using either a mount from X-Lab, Profile Design or simple zip-ties is the current fashion because, according to Specialized aerodynamicist Mark Cote, this bottle placement actually reduces aerodynamic drag by “filling the void” between the arms. A bottle on the frame can cost between “one-tenth and a one-quarter mile per hour of speed,” says Cote.