Join Date: Mar 2008
Bikes: Giant TCR, Santana Team Scandium, Co-Motion Equator, Giant NRS Carbon
Room for 1 water bottle!!! Ever hear of camelbacks?
Yes, and both my stoker and I own one (actually, I think she has two). However...
I don't really buy the hype they were trying to dish out about a water pack actually making your more aero, especially considering the one I bought (mule). It doesn't look like it should be more aerodynamic and it certainly doesn't feel more aerodynamic to me. What is more important is that with the Camelbak you are carrying 70 to 100 oz of water on your back. I use the Camelback on some rides however I think carrying 100 oz of water on your back plus another bottle filled with some drink mix is overkill on a well supported ride.
While riding the Solvang double, my stoker and I would usually empty no more than one bottle each between rest stops, drinking as much as we needed to drink. That is half our water, meaning we had twice the supplies of water that we needed, which is good because you want a good safety buffer. With the Camelbaks, we would be carrying about twice that much water on our backs, plus we would still want to run at least one water bottle with a drink mix. That is 4 times the water we need plus another bottle of Gatorade with cars driving by periodically checking to see if we are OK and ample water stops as well. We could carry less water in the Camelbaks but we both still rather not use them for comfort reasons.
People have asked me before for advice on using drink mixes such as Cytomax and similar and this is what I tell them regardless of the drink mix:
If you mix full strength and carry nothing but your drink mix on a long ride, you will most likely become sick and have to be sagged in while riding in warmer weather. The sweet taste will keep you from drinking as much fluid as you need to replace and some drink mixes will even cause some people to cramp up become ill. If you want to avoid this, you have two choices.
1. Mix half strength or less since you need the fluid more than you need the drink mix.
2. Mix full strength but carry just water in another water bottle. This allows you to regulate how much you get of the mix or water depending on the weather conditions.
I prefer the second method. It's not as easy to clean out a Camelbak that has been filled with Gatorade or Cytomax and after much experimenting with how I handle this, I've found I like the taste of the drink mixes better full strength and like the ability to regulate intake of each as I ride.
I have been communicating with friends who have done the rides we have planned to get an idea of what the support is like for each event and then taking this into consideration when deciding whether the Camelbaks would be a good idea or not.
For a long ride with questionable or no support and scorching temperatures, the camelbak is a must.
Last edited by Possum Roadkill; 05-15-08 at 11:58 PM.