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  1. #1
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    water bottle or water pak?

    My wife and me have always used camelbaks and loved them, but we rode mostly off road and it seems alot of mtb riders use them, but we are going to do more road riding this year and I notice not many people use camelbaks and see alot more bottles, Our paks keep water cool for quite awhile, any reason for using bottles instead of paks?

  2. #2
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    I use a water bottle sometimes because a camelback can get in the way sometimes, and sometimes there isnt a need for one. But if your going to ride anywhere i would suggest using a camelback. in my opinion, the people that use water bottles either cant afford a camelback, have a camelback that is too big and un aerodynamic to use for road riding, or just dont need that much water.

  3. #3
    Senior Member (Retired) gmason's Avatar
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    My wife and I use bottles now (road only), but as our rides are getting longer, and we are moving to the semi-desert climate of Provence, I actually have the reverse question. I think that even with two bottles we don't carry enough for decent length rides, so I suspect that a Camelbak is in order.

    Looking forward to the answers!

    Cheers...Gary

  4. #4
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    I think most road cyclists avoid backpacks in general because they want to keep their weight low on their bikes. Also, many object to something that interfers with air circulation over their back in warm temperatures. If you are using a flat-bar and more upright riding posture I don't think either of those considerations is as important, and on longer rides you will keep more hydrated.

  5. #5
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    Most roadies just dont see the need for camel on their back.
    They prevent evaporation and cooling from the back, block access to rear pockets, add up to 3kg of weight, and remove £50 from your wallet.
    With 3 waterbottles , you can carry 2x.75 and 1x.5 l on the bike.
    Extra bottles can be added on the bars (with drinking straw access) or behind the seat, or just stuffed into bags.

  6. #6
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    Bottles... though I might consider one for cyclocross.

    I've tried hydration packs and I really don't like the way the water tastes.
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

    The Irregular Cycling Club of Montreal
    Cycling irregularly since 2002

  7. #7
    Senior Member (Retired) gmason's Avatar
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    Seems like a near ideal solution (for us roadies who are not that concerned with the weight) would be to have one that attaches to water bottle bosses on the downtube, and has a drinking tube that reaches the mouth when in an upright position.

    Anyone know if those are available from somewhere?

    Cheers...Gary

  8. #8
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    I used a CamelPak for road for awhile, but it got annoying. I would rink just because it was there, and the extra weight on my back drove me crazy. So I went to water bottles, and I like it way better. Hands down I use CamelBak for the trail, I like to be able to keep my hands on the handlebars.
    Booyah!!

  9. #9
    aka Sir MaddyX MadCat's Avatar
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    I love my camel when I'm rideing around the city. I find I don't have to stop for the sake of buying a drink somewhere but I almost never ride without a backpack either. Of course I haven't used it in a few months because the tube freezes instantly.
    I've never used water bottles. I find the water gets forgotten in them and tastes gross quickly. I also find they're too dangerous to reach for in traffic.

  10. #10
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    Bottles are cheap, easy to keep clean, and just plain simple.

  11. #11
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    Camelbacks arent expensive, are easier to drink out of, can store tools, the water tastes fine after washing it out a few times, keeps the water colder, holds more water, and their not heavy to carry......and for the roadies they make the aerodynamic ones. So use a camelback!

  12. #12
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    Water bottle for work, Camel back hawg for mtn biking, Camel back classic 2002 for road cycling

    I think the packs take more time to get ready for a ride, however once on the bike, i have no reason to go with water bottles. I find myself drinking alot more water when using a pack.

  13. #13
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    I notice its amost a split on what people use, I guess after reading this we will still use our camelbaks, more time to fill and clean but our water tastes like tap water and stays cool. I bought a hydropak brand before my camelbak and the water tasted very bad, I tried bleach, vinegar, soap, citrus cleaner, vinyl cleaner to no avail, still bad taste, when I bought my rogue, no bad taste. thanks everyone for your input

  14. #14
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    I only use my camelback when on longer rides > 70km/43ml. I also carry an extra bottle on the bike.
    Last week on a 105km/65ml ride I took the bladder out of the camelback and used it to carry banana's, pump, puncture kit, powerbars etc, mobile phone.
    It depends where I'm riding. I knew on this ride I could buy Powerade along the way, so I only took two bottles on the bike, and used the
    camelback to carry a lot of stuff.

    Also in winter when I use the lights on my bike, I will put the battery in the front holder, and drink from the camelback as I find it awkward
    to access the second holder between the legs.

    I did read somewhere that a camelback adds no drag as it is behind the riders body, and that water bottles actually create more drag.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  15. #15
    Dances with Rocks Dirtgrinder's Avatar
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    I always use a camelbak. I have 3. The first one I got real cheap just to see if I would like it. (Rogue) No storage to speak of though. Then I bought a Mule which I mostly use. I bought a HAWG when I went to New Mexico riding. Wanted to take a camera and some extra grub. I tried a water bottle once but it gets really nasty on the trails. Covered with mud. Plus the camelbaks will keep your water cold for a long time.
    If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough...

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  16. #16
    Out the door roadie gal's Avatar
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    Camelbak. I live in an area that doesn't have a lot of places to stop and get more water, and I'm alone most of the time. I like having 100 oz water capacity and room to carry extra stuff (jacket, food, first aid, and occasionally cell phone) Water bottles just don't fit the bill.

  17. #17
    GT enthusiast midwestmntnbkr's Avatar
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    Camelbak I love mine, its easy to use has room for stuff and at night I can clip my taillight on to the loop on the back. I have a MULE now and plan to buy a Siren for the road bike this summer.

    I tend to drink alot more if I use a camelbak, which means better hydration and less fatigue.
    They are well worth the money I think.
    "if you're not living on the edge...
    you're taking up too much space"


    "Life is too short to drink cheap beer"

  18. #18
    Pat
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    I live in Central Florida and the heat and humidity in the summer are impressive. So I go with a Camel Back. It has more capacity than 2 water bottles and it is easier to suck down water from a Camel Back than from a water bottle especially when you are coasting towards a stop sign with your hands on the brakes.

  19. #19
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    I prefer bottles but own a hydrapak which I use for longer rides when I am uncertain about water availibility. My commuter tourer only has one set of bottle cage screws so I bought a clamp on to add to the seatpost and also added two more toward the top of the downtube using two stainless steel hose clamps, protecting the paint with a layer of inner tube. This is quite secure and allows me to carry nearly 5 liters (if my conversion is correct) between bottles and hydrapak without extra bags. If I am using bags I prefer to put backup water in them rather than on my back. I think the tube on my hydrapak is a little short for me so drinking from it is not that convenenient. I need to put on a longer one but don't use it enough to get too excited about it.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  20. #20
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    I use a camelback for long rides, especially if I'm not sure where I'll be able to stop for water. I really like to stay hydrated. I am more comfortable without one and on short rides will just carry water bottles. The problem with the bottles is they are not as convenient to drink from and the water gets warm and tastes like soup too quick in SouthEast Texas.

    Oh....Ray....I GOT A NEW BIKE!! Broke now but, happy!

  21. #21
    Who's scruffy lookin? uhm...yea.'s Avatar
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    Anytime i'm going on a serious ride, my MULE comes with me. my TI water bottle cage (i love that cage, light, stong enough that i can pick up my bike just by grabbing it, and it even matches my paint!) is for a 20L soda when i'm just cruising around.
    Guess what? I don't know much.

  22. #22
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I used to use a backpack, but I ditched it for two reasons:

    1. It's not good for one's back on long rides.

    2. It makes things much hotter, and hence you'll need much more water. As someone who already drinks as much as 10 litres of the stuff some days, you'll know what I mean. It's easier to just drink a heap of water before each ride (as in, start at least 24 hours before the ride starts).
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  23. #23
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    I drink about 1 letter every 10-15 miles in the summer, I don't like back packs, and I prefer my own spring water to any town water I can get on the road, so here is my set up:

    I have the standard 2 water bottle cages plus 2 more on the front forks. (the LBS got a kick out of the ones on the front forks). Each of the 4 cages caries a one letter bottle (not those little 20 oz jobs).

    I have a rear rack that I tie a Ĺ gallon hiking jug onto. This is a cheap (but nice) plastic jug with a padded case. I got it in the Xmart camping department. In the summer I freeze it before a long ride.

    This gives me about 6 letters of my favorite water, and thatís enough for 60 to 100 miles.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  24. #24
    Ready to go anywhere Csson's Avatar
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    Did my first ride yesterday with my new (it's also my first) HydraPak Delta that carries two litres and has little storage capacity. Since I have never done a serious ride with something on my back before, I almost anticipated some pain. However, despite the distance (160k) I didn't feel any different during or after the ride compared to a Pak-less ride. It was a pretty cold day though, 5-10C, so I had a couple of layers between the straps and my shoulders so the final verdict will have to wait a month or two. It was easy to drink from and the water tasted fresh even after seven hours.

    One reason I got it is because I do rides of that distance every now and then, and together with two large bottles I had enough water for the entire ride.

    /Csson
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
    I took the one less travelled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    (R. Frost)

  25. #25
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    I use water bottles, because I dont like the idea of carrying anything on my back. What I would like would be a large water bottle mounted on the bike, which you could pressurise, with a drinking tube coming up from the centre of the handle bars.

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