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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-03-09, 03:15 PM   #1
RVH
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Hydration: Water bottles or Camelback?

I was using two water bottles for long rides of 2+ hrs but have switched to using a Camelback. I pack it full of ice, put a touch of OJ into it and 40 oz of cold water and the fluid stays icy cold and refreshing for a long time. The touch of OJ adds a bit of flavor and is nicer (for me) than plain water which tends to taste musty or like plastic either either the Camelback or water bottles.

What do you guys use? Bottles or Camelback?

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Old 08-03-09, 03:34 PM   #2
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I like bottles. I find camelbacks too sweaty and confining for me, and even if I forget my water bottles, the cages on my bike will hold 1 liter or less soda or sports drink bottles just fine. It is mostly just preference, though. Some people like camelbacks more than bottles.


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Old 08-03-09, 03:39 PM   #3
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I like bottles. I find camelbacks too sweaty and confining for me, and even if I forget my water bottles, the cages on my bike will hold 1 liter or less soda or sports drink bottles just fine. It is mostly just preference, though. Some people like camelbacks more than bottles.


I'm the same way, I usually can get about 2 hours of riding out of my 2 bottles. If it is a longer ride I plan my route so that I can stop by drinking fountains or stores to fill up if I need to.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:07 PM   #4
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Old 08-03-09, 04:10 PM   #5
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A number of years ago I gave up bottles. I use a camelbak (different sizes) for both road and mountain biking. I guess I don't mind the sweat (it's not like I sweat only under the Camelbak!). I do love the fact I can carry more water and I find myself drinking more often. Plus it's safer than reaching down for a bottle.

One thing I never do - is put something other than water in a camelbak bladder - guaranteed funky bladder (ie bacteria) will result (been there done that). If I want something other than water, than I also carry a bottle filled with the liquid, usually some electrolyte replacement.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:10 PM   #6
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Water bottles. I put PET bottle holders on my bikes and stop at the many many vending machines in Japan when I need a refill. Or I hit a local park and refill the water bottles which I usually prefer.

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Old 08-03-09, 04:15 PM   #7
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2 bottles. If I know I have a stretch between brevet controls when there will be no services for longer than a 3 hour stretch of time, I will buy extra water before then and carry it with me along with the 2 full bottles.

I've done 17hr unsupported brevets with only 2 bottles on the bike. There are surprisingly many places to fill 'em back up.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:25 PM   #8
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On the mountain bike, I use a Camelbak. The MTB only has one water bottle mount, which typically gets covered by dirt coming off the front tire in short order. The more upright seating position of the MTB means that the Camelbak stays in place and doesn't cause back pain.

On the road bike, I use water bottles. The bent-over riding position of the road bike combined with the weight of the Camelbak tends to make it less than comfortable on longer rides. If I need to carry more than two bottles, I can always slip a couple of extras into my jersey pockets.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:37 PM   #9
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I was feeling adventurous so I bought one the newish Polar Bottle's that promise to keep your beverage cold for a longer period of time. Mine holds 24oz. So I transferred 24oz of Gatorade into the bottle and the bottle to my PUCH. It was a pretty hot day in Podunk as I set out. I was away for about 2 1/2 hours - and the Gatorade was still cool when I wheeled back to the ranch.

All in all: It's not a Thermos so it's not prone to breakage. And it did what it's claimed. It's a keeper.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:40 PM   #10
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I drink a lot more when I use a Camelback, compared to bottles so on just about any ride over an hour that is over 85-90 degrees I use a Camelback just because I will stay hydrated better, even though my bike has the capacity to carry enough water in bottles.
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Old 08-03-09, 05:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVH View Post
I was using two water bottles for long rides of 2+ hrs but have switched to using a Camelback. I pack it full of ice, put a touch of OJ into it and 40 oz of cold water and the fluid stays icy cold and refreshing for a long time. The touch of OJ adds a bit of flavor and is nicer (for me) than plain water which tends to taste musty or like plastic either either the Camelback or water bottles.

What do you guys use? Bottles or Camelback?

Bob
Depends on the capacity I need, rides under 2 hours or so, I use bottles, rides 2-3 hours, Camelback, longer rides, I'll carry 2 bottles and the camelback.
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Old 08-03-09, 05:23 PM   #12
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Insulated bottles and knowledge of refill locations.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:06 PM   #13
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I use both. Bottles for short rides or long rides w/ lots of places to fill up. Camelbak for long rides and rides w/ friends where I bring more tools than usual plus extra food.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:14 PM   #14
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Both here too. Except I also have a bike basket so if I don't want to wear the camelback I can carry it in the basket. Or if I want to drink something flavoured then I carry extra bottles in the basket. I'm currently looking for an insulated picnic bag that will fit in the basket so I can also store snacks and my wallet for all day trips.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:24 PM   #15
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A number of years ago I gave up bottles. I use a camelbak (different sizes) for both road and mountain biking. I guess I don't mind the sweat (it's not like I sweat only under the Camelbak!). I do love the fact I can carry more water and I find myself drinking more often. Plus it's safer than reaching down for a bottle.

One thing I never do - is put something other than water in a camelbak bladder - guaranteed funky bladder (ie bacteria) will result (been there done that). If I want something other than water, than I also carry a bottle filled with the liquid, usually some electrolyte replacement.
+1 Exactly what I do. Nothing but water in it and you don't have to worry much about keeping it clean. This time of year when it is 90-100 out I also bring a bottle frozen with Gatorade, but it doesn't stay cold as long as the camelbak.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
On the mountain bike, I use a Camelbak. The MTB only has one water bottle mount, which typically gets covered by dirt coming off the front tire in short order. The more upright seating position of the MTB means that the Camelbak stays in place and doesn't cause back pain.

On the road bike, I use water bottles. The bent-over riding position of the road bike combined with the weight of the Camelbak tends to make it less than comfortable on longer rides. If I need to carry more than two bottles, I can always slip a couple of extras into my jersey pockets.
exactly! I would also mention that the Camelbak storage is good for mtb rides(i have a HAWG with 3 liter bladder). I normally bring a lunch and whatnot as there is no resupply (in the woods and all). On the roads I would be hard pressed to not hit a convenience store between 2 water bottles. and the 3rd in a jersey is pretty easy to do should i need to, but I never have.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:25 PM   #17
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I always uses two polar bottles and my camelback. Always water in the camelback and i drink it along the route because i cannot keep the tempo i like reaching down and getting a bottle and trying to turn it up. I put gatorade with a couple oz of fruit juice in the polars and drink them during breaks, usually every 10 miles.
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Old 08-03-09, 11:43 PM   #18
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I have three water bottle cages on my bike but, honestly, I'm not riding for long enough periods of time to worry about water! LOL
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Old 08-04-09, 07:52 AM   #19
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Camelbak for me.. I love them.. I have 4 types depending on what activity I do that day
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Old 08-04-09, 09:32 AM   #20
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I have a camelback, but prefer the bottles. The camelback is great for hiking and such, but even a slightly aggressive position makes it unbearable for me. Also, on long rides, I will stop at farms and ask to fill up at the hose. If you say nice things about the flowers in the planters out front you can even score a few ice cubes.
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Old 08-04-09, 11:39 AM   #21
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Depends on the capacity I need, rides under 2 hours or so, I use bottles, rides 2-3 hours, Camelback, longer rides, I'll carry 2 bottles and the camelback.
I like this strategy for unsupported rides. Gotta be prepared since plan B is still me, myself, and I. Seems like an aggressive position means the weight is leaning more against the back so the arms support a little more (negligible?) weight but being upright while hiking and stuff means its hanging off the shoulders all day.
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Old 08-04-09, 11:43 AM   #22
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Water bottles are fine for me. I don't like stuff on my back at all, and if I'm out long enough to go through two bottles, then a short refill stop is nice!
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Old 08-04-09, 11:55 AM   #23
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I'm resistant to the idea of strapping anything to my back. I grew up before backpacks were common for school kids, so it's not second nature for me to carry things that way. But I've come to realize that I simply need to carry more water on my long rides. So just this weekend I bought my first Camelback and took it for a two hour trial run. It seems promising, but we'll have to see how a four hour ride goes. Then maybe I can push beyond my four hour/50 mile barrier.
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Old 08-04-09, 12:38 PM   #24
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I don't mind camel backs on my back while hiking, but my back gets way too itchy underneath a camel back when I'm riding. They also impede access to stuff in my jersey pockets.

On a couple of the local hill-rides, there is an issue of running out of water with just two water bottles, though. When it is hot out, I can get really dehydrated and start cramping-up before I make it to a place to get water up there. There is usually a place up there to get water (school, county road repair depot, volunteer fire station, a nice rancher outside with a house near the road - not the ones with locked fences and no-trespassing sings every 50 ft along their property boundary, etc.); but I've been up there a few times when nobody was in sight at any of those places and/or the water has been cut-off to the municipal facilities for construction or the season (they SHUT DOWN the schools and highway repair depots when they are not in active operation).

I've thought about packing a small backpacking water filter in my jersey pocket. I've been tempted to just drink straight out of the mountain streams too, but giardia is very common up there, and would only do that in the case of a dire emergency.


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Old 08-04-09, 12:52 PM   #25
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<snip>

I've thought about packing a small backpacking water filter in my jersey pocket. I've been tempted to just drink straight out of the mountain streams too, but giardia is very common up there, and would only do that in the case of a dire emergency.

I also enjoy the convenience of a sip tube near my head. Consider a Steri-Pen. Doesn't filter but kills the bugs.
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