Helping riders satisfy their hydration and nutrition needs

Breyton Paulse and Johan Coetzee during stage 1 of the 2023 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held at Hermanus High School, South Africa on the 20th March 2023 Photo by Dom Barnardt / Cape Epic



USWE Hydration Packs Partners with the Epic Series, across European and African mountain bike stage races, to provide riders with their technical know-how and industry-leading products. They will be the official hydration pack and luggage partners of the Epic Series for 2024 and beyond.

As mountain bike stage races have become more technical and the level of competition has risen, riders have found it increasingly difficult to feed during stages. These factors, along with USWE Sports’s invention of their patented “No Dancing Monkey” four-point suspension design, have meant that hydration packs have made a comeback in mountain biking. No longer are hydration packs necessary only for the slower rider in the field, now even the elite racers opt to use them regularly. Everyone can benefit from easy access to fluids and food.

Riders during stage 1 at the FNB Wines 2 Whales Shiraz event held at Lourensford Wine Estate, Somerset West on 27th October 2023. Photo by Sam Clark / Wines2Whales

USWE hydration packs make it possible to drink while flying down the singletrack, without having to reach down and control a bidon that weighs 500 grams or more. Riders have also drawn inspiration from trail runners and used the front pockets to stash sports gels or bars. When using the lightest weight USWE Outlander Pro 2l Hydration Pack, which does not have pockets on the four-point straps, some riders even choose to tape their nutrition to straps for easy access mid-race.

Stage 3 of the 2023 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from Hermanus to Oak Valley Estate, Grabouw, South Africa on the 22nd March 2023 Photo by © Dom Barnardt / Cape Epic

“For USWE Sports it all started in 2018, when one of the top teams reached out to us for the upcoming Absa Cape Epic race,” Jacob Westerberg, CEO USWE Sports AB, relayed. “Since then, our packs have been used by more and more riders, every year. Today, we are proud to say that USWE packs are used in most MTB marathons and gravel races. This journey began with the Absa Cape Epic. This is the arena where we believe that USWE changed the game of MTB hydration. We are more than excited to be the official luggage and hydration pack partner of the Epic Series and are looking forward to meeting all the racers out there through the series.”

Riders during stage 2 of the 2023 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Hermanus High School in Hermanus, South Africa on the 21st March 2023. Photo by Wayne Reiche/ Cape Epic

“It is always great when an innovative and rider-centric brand like USWE joins the Epic Series family,” Jonathan Meintjes, the Epic Series’ Head of Mountain Biking South Africa, stated. “USWE reintroduced hydration packs to mountain biking and made them a performance product through exceptional product design. For a race like the Absa Cape Epic, where the temperatures can sore into the 40s and the distances between aid stations can be as much as 30 kilometers having easy access to fluids, thanks to a hydration pack, keeps riders safe.”

“USWE’s 100% bounce-free ‘No Dancing Monkey’ design really works and it is a testimony to the brand that riders from two-time Absa Cape Epic winner Matt Beers to the riders focusing simply on finishing the race,” Meintjes elaborated. “The advantage of USWE hydration packs is obvious for riders from the hot African climates, as we see at both the Absa Cape Epic and FNB Wines2Whales,” Felix Eichenberger, European Head of Mountain Biking for the Epic Series, said. “Increasingly, especially at 4Islands MTB Croatia, but also in Andorra Epic Pyrenees and at the SPAR Swiss Epic riders are seeing the benefits of USWE packs. The partnership is one that certainly benefits the riders, especially as USWE will implement hydration pack filling stations at the second water point of each long stage across the Epic Series races.”

Along with their hydration packs, which will be on sale in the official race merchandise store USWE Sports will also hold the technical partner rights to all travel luggage and activity packs, including roller bags and leisure backpacks. Even in these more generic items illustrate the Swedish brand’s outdoor lifestyle-driven design philosophy. Products like the USWE BUDDY 40L Athlete Gear Pack are ideal for traveling mountain bikers, as it boasts a separated lap-top compartment and seven different smart storage compartments. The USWE BUDDY 150L wheelie bag continues this trend with its four key compartments – including a protective gear pocket with a waterproof liner, padded helmet section, goggle vault, and a generously sized main compartment.

USWE Sports will join fellow Epic Series technical partners – Northwave, CIOVITA and Wahoo – across the Absa Cape Epic, 4Islands MTB Croatia, Andorra Epic Pyrenees, SPAR Swiss Epic and FNB Wines2Whales from 2024. The initial sponsorship agreement runs through 2026 with the option to extend into 2027 and beyond. Participants in the Epic Series events and fans of the races visiting the race villages will be able to browse USWE products in the events’ official merchandise stores.

To shop the full USWE range online, now, visit

More information on the Epic Series, and all the races within it, can be found at

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