XLAB DESIGN FEATURES
In the development and success of Hydration, Nutrition and Repair storage, XLAB has no equal.
In the late 1980’s and early 90’s XLAB noticed Ironman triathletes struggling to carry enough of their own fluids and nutrition. In 1993 we introduced the XLAB Saddle Wing - a two bottle rear carrier made from a special aerospace aluminum alloy and equipped to include a transition rack hook and an inflation kit holder.
But it is not just the concepts that count, it is more about the details that make a product successful. XLAB became a brand with innovative concepts but with Aerospace Engineering details.
We feel it is key to have products that are as easy as possible to use. We spend a huge amount of time measuring and testing on different male and female athletes varying in size. Consequently our products are more adjustable and accommodating than any others.
Many designers today design behind a desk. We believe that design starts on the race course. Only once you truly know and document the athlete’s real needs can you begin to envision a great design. XLAB is one of the few companies that offers a between the aerobars horizontal system that can hold Standard, Refillable, Aid station water and Aid station sports drink bottles. XLAB was also the first to add a computer mount in front of a horizontal bottle.
MUST ALSO LOOK COOL
We sell components separately so you can assemble your own matching systems and cages and coordinate across the whole bike. XLAB also makes products in feminine colors such as the TORPEDO SYSTEMS.
MATERIALS AND FINISHES
XLAB has an extensive background in lightweight high-strength materials. This includes Carbon fiber composites and Aluminum Alloys from the aerospace industry together with Honeycomb sandwich, Titanium and other exotic materials. XLAB engineers use Finite Element Analysis for optimizing designs for minimum stress and maximum durability. XLAB also uses only the best finishing processes including deep anodizing, baked powder coating and highest quality zinc plating. Many companies use lower cost and therefore lower quality materials and the product’s life is consequently shortened.
We prefer our drinking bottles to be made and controlled in the US. Too often we are hearing about overseas suppliers not meeting US safety standards in many industries. XLAB bottles are made in California from Medical grade plastic, far exceeding the grades of competitors.
CARBON FIBER MOLDING
XLAB was the first to build a carbon fiber monocoque bottle carrier, the Carbon Wing. This has been used to win multiple World Championships and is a complex highly loaded molded part that has since been copied by our competitors.
XLAB also has a wide range of carbon fiber cages, each one designed for a different purpose on the bike. The cages feature carbon weave on the inside and a solid color on the outside. We feel that the finish and detail of our cages is the best on the market.
Many of our competitors use black oxide coated steel screws that will soon corrode. XLAB only uses stainless steel or high quality zinc coated high specification fasteners. For ensuring a fastener will not vibrate loose it is most cost effective to use Loctite anti-vibration coatings. However, wherever possible we use stainless steel locknuts with a nylon ring inside to prevent the fastener coming loose. These are often known as Nylok nuts. Only where there is no access to the back of the fastener will we use Loctite.
It would be most economical for our suppliers to assemble all of the XLAB products. Our competitors do this, so why doesn’t XLAB? The reason is that we want to finely inspect every single unit before it leaves for our customer. There is nothing worse than beginning to install an exciting new accessory only to find out that some of the hardware is wrong or missing. Quality controlled in California is the only way.
DESIGN FEEDBACK IS KEY
We strongly encourage our dealers to have you contact XLAB if you experience issues with any of our products. We need to get your feedback in order to continually improve our designs. Most of our competitors simply have the dealer swap out the product and the supplier often gets zero feedback.
TESTING IS VITAL
Not only do our engineers computer simulate the loads on our products we also do life and destructive testing. In addition, road testing is always done as part of the process. We test to extremes: temperature, shock and vibration just to mention a few. Other testing includes running the products through real life situations and will use our many Professional athletes to test Beta versions of new products. We believe our products are the most extensively tested on the planet. Our very low warranty claim rate substantiates the thoroughness of this testing.