Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's All About The Aero

Recently I got to try out a new "nutrition carrying device" on my bike.  I have no idea what to call this thing.  Essentially it's a Bento Box but it's NOT a Bento Box because,'s not made by Mr. Bento.  Has Bento Box become like Kleenex?  There ARE other makers of tissue you know... 

Wow, I've gotten way off topic.

ANYWAY, this new "nutrition carrying device" is called the SPEEDPACK 483 and is made by the company Dark Speed Works.

Exhibit A:

I will let you read all about the aerodynamic benefits of this pack on the Dark Speed Works website but suffice it to say, it's one of the most aero out there, it reduces drag and therefore SPEEDPACK 483 = FREE SPEED.  Need I say more?  (also, it should be noted that while we spend thousands on aero wheels and helmets and bike fits, this little gem costs a mere $42.80 - a drop in the bucket!)

Aero advantages aside, here are MY takes on why this is the best little pack I've ever used.

1) As you can see, it DOES NOT attach to the stem of your bike.  Genius.  Genius because, at least on my bike, there is absolutely NO ROOM for a pack to attach to my stem.  My stem just about sits flush with my top tube.  This means that all previous attempts at using these types of storage packs (ie: Bento Boxes) has always resulted in the need for box surgery and basically just taping the thing on my bike because the velcro straps didn't have anywhere to velcro.  Anyone in the same position?  Check the SPEEDPACK 483 out!

2) BECAUSE the pack doesn't attach to your stem and because of the velcro attachment system the SPEEDPACK 483 uses, this thing DOES NOT MOVE.  Seriously.  I've never had a pack like this actually stay in place for the entirety of an Ironman.  You turn the bike, the pack turns with it.  You put all your gels in your pack, the pack slumps over.  Not so with the SPEEDPACK.  During my 5:37:41 on the bike in CdA, it moved not an inch and I didn't even notice it was there.  This is how a storage device should work in my opinion! 

3) There is a hard plastic piece in the SPEEDPACK to help it keep it's shape.  This plastic works well for it's intended purpose (to make the pack more stable) but it's also nice because it makes cleaning the pack a breeze.  HA!  I had melted PowerBar all over my SPEEDPACK but I just pulled that plastic out, scrubbed it off and put it back in.  Just like new!

Now this wouldn't be a fair review if I didn't at least mention one concern.  And literally, I had only ONE area of concern - that being size.  I wanted it to be just a *wee* bit bigger so that I could stuff more junk into it.  But perhaps that's the beauty of the pack - it's just big enough to allow the essentials but not so big that you can weigh your bike down with 10 extra pounds of "stuff" (that you invariably do not need). 

Anyway, if you are in the market for a new bike storage thingie (really, what are these things called?? :), check out Dark Speed Works!  They have several different options other than the 483 depending on your bike setup and man behind Dark Speed Works (Greg) is awesome and willing to help you figure it out! 

Whitey in transition with his SPEEDPACK 483 at Coeur d'Alene!


  1. Oh! I've been using one of those for the past year or so...I Love it! and I stuff that thing as full as I can too :)

  2. How many Powerbar gels can you fit in it? And does it have an inside pocket? :)

  3. nice beth! I have had trouble with the Bento ( and i think the japanese invented that word, of course) bc my knee's hit it and like you i cant attach it up front. So my bento rides under my seat ( um trouble if...)
    So this is something i need to see. Hopefully its narrow enough my inner knee wont chafe on it!