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A bottle lasts, what, an hour? Do they not have access to fresh bottles at least once an hour? Isn't an extra cage more weight and less aero? A recent bike check of a pro's aero road bike had me thinking. It's not just common, it's every bike. I've never had a second cage on a bike.
 

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A bottle lasts, what, an hour? Do they not have access to fresh bottles at least once an hour?
No. If you're in a break away group you surely don't want to go back to a team car (if there is one). On a mountain stage you could be no where near your team car.


Isn't an extra cage more weight and less aero? A recent bike check of a pro's aero road bike had me thinking. It's not just common, it's every bike.
If every bike has them, there's no aero penalty. Weight is irrelevant. Most riders are adding weight to meet the minimum bike weight.

I've never had a second cage on a bike.
Wow, you must not do long rides in the heat.
It was 95° last night and rode 45mi. One bottle would be a death sentence.
 

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This is a good question.

For the most part, the answer is that some of the riders are domestiques, and need to be carrying water for the one or two riders who are identified to be shooting for something big that day, or shooting for something big, generally.

The domestiques will carry more than two bottles - they will get 4 or 5 from a team car at a time, then ride back up and distribute them to team members, incl. the favored one or two guys.

As far as an "aero" bike, I don't quite see why you would need two bottles cages for a time trial that will be under one hour. I will have to remember that when the time trials come up.
 

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This is a good question.

For the most part, the answer is that some of the riders are domestiques, and need to be carrying water for the one or two riders who are identified to be shooting for something big that day, or shooting for something big, generally.

The domestiques will carry more than two bottles - they will get 4 or 5 from a team car at a time, then ride back up and distribute them to team members, incl. the favored one or two guys.

As far as an "aero" bike, I don't quite see why you would need two bottles cages for a time trial that will be under one hour. I will have to remember that when the time trials come up.
4-5 bottles? Cavendish might disagree :)
 

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From what I could tell, it looked like Cav had two water bottle cages on the bike he rode to victory today.

I cannot figure that out. Surely he can get by with one bottle of water, and bum one off of another rider along the way as needed.

There is the weight minimum, and it seems like Cav would definitely want to add weight to stiffen he bike when the bike needs to be brought up to the minimum weight.
 

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the reality is that aerodynamics in (non time trial) road races are a trivial concern. Possibly played up merely to help sponsors sell bikes to the rest of us. One thing is for sure: hydration is a thousand times more important, and those road races are not like cat 4 40km races ;)

but also, if the riders are going for a sprint win, they can have all the bottles they want, as aero ain't an issue if you're sucking wheel till 200m to go. And they ditch all the bottles with a km or 3 to go anyways
 

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the reality is that aerodynamics in (non time trial) road races are a trivial concern. Possibly played up merely to help sponsors sell bikes to the rest of us.
Same for stiffness. Cav isn't going to gain anything at all from a water bottle cage's worth of wrap on his frame.
 

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From what I could tell, it looked like Cav had two water bottle cages on the bike he rode to victory today.

I cannot figure that out. Surely he can get by with one bottle of water, and bum one off of another rider along the way as needed.

There is the weight minimum, and it seems like Cav would definitely want to add weight to stiffen he bike when the bike needs to be brought up to the minimum weight.
Let me help out your memory here: You wrote: "
The domestiques will carry more than two bottles - they will get 4 or 5 from a team car at a time, then ride back up and distribute them to team members, incl. the favored one or two guys."
That picture is of Cavendish doing team support carrying something like a dozen bottles back.
 

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Without context to go along with that picture, you have no idea what is going on and why.

Maybe it was a day where sprinters were out of the picture, and Cav was helping out the climbers?
 

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Many riders have two different bottles, one plain water, the other for nutrition.
You often see bottles clearly labelled with the riders' names and the contents of the bottle.
And riders drop their bottles sometimes, nice to have a spare.
 

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A lot of teams and riders have two bottle cages and bottles not just the domestiques. Here's a picture of Valverde that shows his bike with two bottles. As someone else said one is probably just water while the other one is mixed with nutrition/electrolights something. The first two show Valverde and one other rider each with two bottles, the 3rd picture shows 2 bottles on his bike before the start of a stage of this year's Giro. Clothing Tire Wheel Footwear Bicycle wheel Clothing Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel Bicycle wheel rim Clothing Tire Wheel Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle tire
 

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Without context to go along with that picture, you have no idea what is going on and why.

Maybe it was a day where sprinters were out of the picture, and Cav was helping out the climbers?
no I know well what was going on.
So to go back to what I responded to originally: 4-5 bottles. That is a hell of a lot more bottles than 4-5 to make Cavendish look like Ullrich in February shape. Picked up at the team car and about to be distributed to the team. Yes he was in the role of water carrier that day.
 

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From what I could tell, it looked like Cav had two water bottle cages on the bike he rode to victory today.

I cannot figure that out. Surely he can get by with one bottle of water, and bum one off of another rider along the way as needed.

There is the weight minimum, and it seems like Cav would definitely want to add weight to stiffen he bike when the bike needs to be brought up to the minimum weight.
Same for stiffness. Cav isn't going to gain anything at all from a water bottle cage's worth of wrap on his frame.
4-5 bottles? Cavendish might disagree :)
That's Cav 10 years after retirement.
 

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On two different stages, Cav wins by the tiniest of margin after riding over a hundred miles.

Watching his sprints from overhead, I cannot believe that he is nonchalant about aerodynamics and bike stiffness. I cannot believe his bike holds together.
 

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the reality is that aerodynamics in (non time trial) road races are a trivial concern. Possibly played up merely to help sponsors sell bikes to the rest of us. One thing is for sure: hydration is a thousand times more important, and those road races are not like cat 4 40km races ;)

but also, if the riders are going for a sprint win, they can have all the bottles they want, as aero ain't an issue if you're sucking wheel till 200m to go. And they ditch all the bottles with a km or 3 to go anyways
Water and aerodynamics are separate concerns but if you think aerodynamics are trivial in any road race, you are fooling yourself. Notice all the racers sweating through their skin suits and aero helmets on these hot days. If aero didn't matter to them, surely they'd pick a more comfortable conventional kit & helmet, both of which are offered by all of the equipment makers.

Hint: While aerodynamics certainly counts at 40mph in the last 200m, what really counts is all the energy it saves over the 4-6 hours leading up to said sprint.

They carry 2x cages because it lessens the number of times they need to replenish by half, saving everyone a bunch of work.
 
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