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  1. #1
    physics undergrad spyder's Avatar
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    Hydration question.

    I'm considering a 50oz Camelbak for cycling. Most of this will be 30 miles or less. However, I'm sure the 50oz probably wouldn't be good for longer races, given its limited capacity. One of my biggest questions is centuries. Is it better to pack lightly and then stop for refills or would you rather carry 100 oz the entire distance?

    Also, what should I do about hydration? Should I pack 100oz of my own stuff or just go with water? Sorry for the somewhat newbie question, but I've never really had to deal with hydration before.

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    My answer is: depends.

    I generally go two routes, supported group rides, and solo rides.

    Supported group rides, say charity and such, I generally will carry one bottle, and get refills as needed at rest stops. Solo rides, I carry a camel back full of water, and 2 bottles of electrolyte drink.

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    For solo riding I've been struggling with this as well. I'm not a fan of anything on my back like a camelback or backpack so I have to carry my water on the bike. I've currently got 2-24oz water bottles, but I think I'm going to look for a way to mount a 3rd bottle or find some 30-32 bottles. Yesterday my first on route rest stop was at 40 miles and I started rationing my second water bottle about mile 30 so I could run out right as I got to the town. I probably should have run out closer to 35 miles so I know I got dehydrated a little on that ride.

    Rick

  4. #4
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Go with at least a 2-liter model. You can put less in, if you like.

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    Senior Member littlewaywelt's Avatar
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    You'll have some long rides where you can't replenish or there isn't support, but that's not common. Most long rides pass convenience stores etc where you can refill. Personally I don't like road riding with a camel back, but if you do I'd go with the larger size as you don't have to fill it.

    I purchased a water bottle rack that attaches behind the seat. It holds two bottles and can dramatically extend the time between refills for me. Profile makes one that attaches to the seatpost and there are also attachments that performance sells that will bolt onto your seat rails and allow braze-on water bottle attachment.

    Remember too that everyone loses moisture at different rates. Weigh yourself before a long ride, keep track of what you consume and then weigh yourself after. Remove the weight of the water you consumed and then divide that over time and you'll have your rough water loss rate for a set exertion level at a certain temp/set of environmental conditions. You then need to plan on drinking enough water so that your after ride weight is not less than 98% of your pre-ride weight. Once you lose more than 2-3 percent of your bodyweight in water, you'll see a noticible difference in performance output.
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  6. #6
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    I used to fill my 70oz Camelbak with as much Accelerade as possible in addition to carrying a 20-24oz bottle of POW (Plain Old Water). Recently I realized that I was *always* left with a lot of liquids at controles / rest stops so for the brevet I rode this weekend I only filled the CB to about 48-50oz along with a 24oz bottle. I suppose that ~20oz of water / Accelerade doesn't weigh all that much (less than a pound) but this event had a lot climbs! I ran out of liquids on the last leg with a mile or two to go, as planned (didn't even fill up to 50oz on that leg). I think in general, "better safe than sorry" but considering the "short" distance of this recent event (110 miles), it was good for the experiment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spyder View Post
    I'm considering a 50oz Camelbak for cycling. Most of this will be 30 miles or less. However, I'm sure the 50oz probably wouldn't be good for longer races, given its limited capacity. One of my biggest questions is centuries. Is it better to pack lightly and then stop for refills or would you rather carry 100 oz the entire distance?
    I wouldn't tolerate more than 1.5 L of water on my back and prefer to keep the liquid in bottles on the frame; then refill as necessary.

    I would not put anything but water in a hydration pack, as I got tired of having to clean out the mold and bacteria that takes up residence in the stuff if I ever forget to empty my pack at the end of a ride. Energy drinks go in water bottles and water bottles get scrubbed out with a toothbrush between fills.

  8. #8
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    I believe in carrying plenty, but 100oz is overboard unless you intend to cross significant stretches of uninhabited desert. That's more that 6lbs not including the weight of the pack itself. Pack lightly and replenish along the way.

    You can drink plain water for any ride, but for centuries, I'd recommend something else. Either bring mix or buy sports drink of some kind.

  9. #9
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    I believe in carrying plenty, but 100oz is overboard unless you intend to cross significant stretches of uninhabited desert. That's more that 6lbs not including the weight of the pack itself. Pack lightly and replenish along the way.

    You can drink plain water for any ride, but for centuries, I'd recommend something else. Either bring mix or buy sports drink of some kind.
    I do rides in Texas with 30+ miles between any stores. It's not uninhabited desert, but that doesn't mean there's a convenince store every few miles. And 100 oz doesn't last as long as you might think in 95+ deg heat. Besides, it's nice to have a little extra in case a mechanical problem leaves you stuck for a while.

    In winter, I usually ride with a couple bottles, but this time of year, it's the 3l camelbak.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    We live in the desert with few towns/convenience stores.
    For daily rides (20 some miles) we pack 3 large bottles for between the 2-of-us on our tandem.
    Never liked anything on our backs (neither backpacks or camelbacks). But do have room for up to 5 waterbottles on our tandem. Most events have sag/water stops so reload if needed. We do not use any additives . . . just plain old tap water.
    Everyone's needs for fluid will vary.

  11. #11
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom View Post
    I do rides in Texas with 30+ miles between any stores. It's not uninhabited desert, but that doesn't mean there's a convenince store every few miles. And 100 oz doesn't last as long as you might think in 95+ deg heat. Besides, it's nice to have a little extra in case a mechanical problem leaves you stuck for a while.

    In winter, I usually ride with a couple bottles, but this time of year, it's the 3l camelbak.
    Point taken, but there's a big difference between a 30 mile ride and a longer ride in the heat where there are unknown but significant distances between watering holes. On hot days when I'm on a bent or a trike, I use a 70 oz camelback and even on my racer, I carry 2 24 oz bottles. I'm usually near empty by the time I refill.

    Unless you're in pretty harsh conditions and really have a long way to go, 100oz is really a lot of water. Given enough heat and sufficient distance, even that might not be enough, but those would not be typical riding conditions for most people.

  12. #12
    sch
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    I would reiterate the obligation to pay attention to the bladder in a camel back
    as they are an ideal place for biological experiments. You will need to get the
    appropriate long handled brushes to clean grunge from the tubing and one of
    the plastic 'inflators', apparatus to stick into the bladder that expands inside
    and helps dry out the bladder. For the inexperienced, be aware that gatorade
    or any other *ade readily supports fungal and bacterial growth and letting a
    bladder sit around for a day or two at room temp will result in grunge growing
    in the bladder. Even in the fridge, a week or two is the shelf like for an opened
    bottle or bladder. Frozen it will last much longer, in fact I store my bladder about
    1/3 full laying flat in the freezer. The resultant ice keeps the refilled bladder cold
    for about 4-5hrs even in 90+ temps. Absent a frozen bladder, the bladder must be
    completely emptied, rinsed and allowed to dry completely to prevent growth.
    An occasional exam of the interstices of the bladder and the tube for dark or gray
    areas is a good idea. If the bladder is used only for water, it will still grow a
    biofilm inside over time and should be emptied cleaned and dried now and then.
    A dilute soak and rinse with bleach is not a bad idea.

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