Product Review: Hydrapak Gel-Bot

Our First Look: For real! This is Jim from Hydrapak holding onto the Hydrapak Gel-Bot we first saw in Taipei Cycle Show 2012.

First Impression/Look:

Unlike any other bottle, the Hydrapak Gel-Bot not only hydrates, it also fuels up a rider with the capacity 70ml of energy gel (that’s like an average 2 packs of gels that can be commonly found in the market). So, how does this bot work?

When the nozzle is closed, the gel flows out from the blue tip of the nozzle at a squeeze; Pull up the nozzle, it’s water you see.

Performance:

No more tearing or biting off gel packs and squeezing with all your might while worrying about the “leftovers” in the pack while riding or racing, the Gel-Bot handles this situation very well. No “squeezing” needed from the gel cylinder, the plunger pushes the gel all the way up when suck the tip of the bottle. You can also choose to squeeze the bottle which also triggers the plunger.

However for those who prefer cold gels, I am in the opinion that the Hydrapak Gel-Bot doesn’t perform too well as it gets viscous, making it harder for the gel to get through to the nozzle.

STRENGTHS:

  • Practical and Ergonomic Design
  • Stores two of the most important needs of a rider: Water & Gel
  • Easy to use

WEAKNESSES:

  • Gel Reservoir may not be large enough for long distance riders
  • Improper closure may cause leakage of gel if bottle is pressured externally

How it works

Step 1: Prepare some water (700ml max), a pack of gel and make sure the plunger is being pushed to the bottom.

Step 2: Squeeze the packet of gel into the cylinder.

Step 3: Cap the cylinder with the nozzle by just pressing it down.

Step 4: Push the plunger up until there are no empty air pockets.

Step 5: Fill the bottle with some water and tighten the nozzle

Step 6: When the nozzle is closed, it is in GEL mode.

Step 7: When the nozzle is opened, it is in WATER mode.

Reviewer’s Take:

Overall, a very practical and ergonomically designed bottle for endurance trainings and races.

However, it is not built for long and heavy training sessions because the gel reservoir is only built for only two packs of gels, which is sufficient for races in short loops with feeding stations; not for those who need more gels than water in long distance races.

Review by Zero 2 Hero - A team of world class coaches dedicated towards massively improving ride technique, bike control and speed. Coaching is performed for riders of all levels including those who have never ridden a bike before (Level Zero) up to specialized racing techniques (Level Hero) all in just One Day. Visit their website at www.zero2hero.asia for more info.

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