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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Camelbak on Tour

    I'm considering using a 1.5 liter Camelbak for water on my next (1 week) tour, in part because I plan to do at least one day of hiking during the trip, and I loves the CB for hikes.

    Just out of curiosity though: If you're using a CB for water whilst on tour, how often do you clean it out? And what method do you use? I assume CB users aren't carrying a bottle of bleach around, after all....

  2. #2
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I don't like the weight on my back and I don't want to have to clean it on tour - so I stick with bottles and leave the bladder at home.

    If you are going to use a bladder don't put anything, but pure water in it so it will stay fresh longer. Sugar will just speed up the funk-ination process. You can carry denture tabs and drop one in overnight every couple days. Make sure the stuff gets into the tube as well. That will keep your bladder clean and is fairly easy.
    safe riding - Vik
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    Junior Member kaiserb's Avatar
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    Make sure you can get the CB empty and dry. Fully drain the tubes and mouth piece and it will stay clean and mildew free.

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    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiserb View Post
    Make sure you can get the CB empty and dry. Fully drain the tubes and mouth piece and it will stay clean and mildew free.
    There is absolutely no way to get a bladder dry on tour if you are using it everyday. At home, in a very dry climate, it takes days of being hung up empty for the bladder is dry.
    safe riding - Vik
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    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    I don't like the pack on my back in hot weather and it seems to me that the camelback water gets hotter than water in my bottles. Maybe it's my imagination, I don't know. I prefer to have my body free of gear when touring, if at all possible.
    Mike

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    I use one all the time. My morning ritual is to find a convenience store, buy a bag of ice cubes and a Gatorade, stuff a much of the ice in the bladder as I can fit and fill it with water, fill two bottles half way with the Gatorade and the rest with ice. In 30 minutes the bottles are at ambient temperature - ick! and the Camelbak is still cold. At 3 hours the Gatorade taste terrible and is way too hot but the Camelbak is still ice cold. At around 1 in the afternoon, the ice is still there and the water is refreshingly cold. Additionally, the cold bag is nicely refreshing on my back.

    I highly suggest it.

    As for drying the bladder, I don't dry my bladder every time I use it. I certainly don't worry about it on tour. But I do just use water in it.
    Stuart Black
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    Got an old Peugeot kipibenkipod's Avatar
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    I personally wouldn't bother a lot with cleansing CB in a tour. It can work for you a lot before you should clean it. (duh, maybe I have a lot of microbes in my stomach ). I just use water in it.
    Here is how to clean it: http://www.platypushydration.com/abo...Inside=2#clean
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
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  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Well, I've just returned from a four-week tour with mine, and once again I was glad to have it. I didn't clean it out for the duration of the tour and didn't pick up any nasty bugs or anything of that nature. Most of them seem to be designed to prevent bacteria from building up as long as you only use pure water, which is what I do. I can stop at a store somewhere if I want anything stronger.
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    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    I usually have one along on tour. Now that I carry three bottles in cages I find that I am not using the CB much. But, if you are going to tour in summer months, in the desert, or where the next water supply is more than 30 miles away, be sure that you can carry a lot of water. Nothing worse than bonking because you got behind on your water intake.
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    I have just fundamentally never understood why you would hang anything on your body that you could hang on your bike instead. Sure, a backpack is the most efficient way to hang stuff on your body, but you're still lifting it, lowering it, and moving it from side to side all day. You put it on your bike and it'll go forward more, up down and sideways less. Plus give you a lower center of gravity.

    When "water on your back with a tube" was invented, it was for runners -- and for runners it makes perfectly good sense. For biking, I can't for the life of me understand how it makes the slightest bit of sense at all. What am I missing?

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    Senior Member Skullo's Avatar
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    When "water on your back with a tube" was invented, it was for runners -- and for runners it makes perfectly good sense. For biking, I can't for the life of me understand how it makes the slightest bit of sense at all. What am I missing?[/QUOTE]

    You are missing 80 or 100 ounces of cool refreshing water to sip at your leasure instead of reaching for a hot bottle in your frame cage. MIne says cold for hours.

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    You are missing 80 or 100 ounces of cool refreshing water to sip at your leasure instead of reaching for a hot bottle in your frame cage. MIne says cold for hours.

    OK, but this still makes exactly as much sense to me as, say, hanging a basket of scrumptious muffins around my neck or making a hat out of delicious sausages to wear while I'm riding. I mean, I'm already riding a bike. I'm not going to have the extra energy to lean down to grab a bottle?

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    Senior Member Skullo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takara View Post
    You are missing 80 or 100 ounces of cool refreshing water to sip at your leasure instead of reaching for a hot bottle in your frame cage. MIne says cold for hours.

    OK, but this still makes exactly as much sense to me as, say, hanging a basket of scrumptious muffins around my neck or making a hat out of delicious sausages to wear while I'm riding. I mean, I'm already riding a bike. I'm not going to have the extra energy to lean down to grab a bottle?
    I ride in rural areas for long distances between water sources. I like cool water. I can carry more water. I carry a sports drink in my water bottles. I also carry food in my jersey pockets. It is really not heavy and I dont find it uncomfortable. It is is easier to maintain proper hydration with it.To each his own but if you have not tried it dont knock it.

    "Contempt prior to investigation is the greatest barrier to knowledge"
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  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takara View Post
    OK, but this still makes exactly as much sense to me as, say, hanging a basket of scrumptious muffins around my neck or making a hat out of delicious sausages to wear while I'm riding. I mean, I'm already riding a bike. I'm not going to have the extra energy to lean down to grab a bottle?
    Do you carry gel packs? Power bars? Energy drink in your water bottles? Same as the muffins around your neck or the sausage hat.

    Several studies (I don't have a cite but google it.) have indicated that cool or cold water empties out of the stomach faster than hot water and does more to hydrate you. A Camelbak packed with ice will last for hours on a bike...even in 100+F temperatures. That cold water 50 miles from nowhere is a blessing! Additionally, the insulation on the pack isn't perfect. The cold pack lays against your back and provides cooling to you, which might be more important than the cold water going in you.

    I don't care about the extra energy to lean down and grab a bottle (I carry energy drink in the bottles). Experiment a little. You might find a benefit.
    Stuart Black
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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takara View Post
    I have just fundamentally never understood why you would hang anything on your body that you could hang on your bike instead. Sure, a backpack is the most efficient way to hang stuff on your body, but you're still lifting it, lowering it, and moving it from side to side all day. You put it on your bike and it'll go forward more, up down and sideways less. Plus give you a lower center of gravity.

    When "water on your back with a tube" was invented, it was for runners -- and for runners it makes perfectly good sense. For biking, I can't for the life of me understand how it makes the slightest bit of sense at all. What am I missing?
    Nope. The Camelbak was invented by a rider in the Hotter-n-Hell Hundred in Texas. He used an IV bag and a t-shirt...and became a rich man for it. And it was because he could get enough water while riding.

    As for the center of gravity thing, the bulk of the weight on the bike is above the bikes center of gravity. Adding 7 or 8 lbs to the bulk doesn't really affect it that much. That bulk, by the way, is you
    Stuart Black
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    I remember "water on your back with a tube" schemes for runners back in the late 1970s, though it's true I never tried them or a Camelbak.

    Sure, whatever works for you! Just don't think that it's "seven or eight pounds." It's a seven-or-eight-pound weight that you are doing one-inch reps with, up, down, and sideways, sixty cycles per minute, for ten hours.

    I'm lazy and prefer to push that weight forward as efficiently as possible. I keep my water in bottles, in my panniers, with one out for drinking. Bet my water stays warmer insulated that way than yours does on your back!

    As with all thing bike touring, I will be the first to concede that it's all about enjoying the experience and little to do with achieving efficiencies. So I'm glad if people enjoy touring with Camelbaks on.

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    Whoops, bet it stays colder! (Or warmer on a winter tour.)

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takara View Post
    I remember "water on your back with a tube" schemes for runners back in the late 1970s, though it's true I never tried them or a Camelbak.

    Sure, whatever works for you! Just don't think that it's "seven or eight pounds." It's a seven-or-eight-pound weight that you are doing one-inch reps with, up, down, and sideways, sixty cycles per minute, for ten hours.
    If your body moves up, down, and sideways at 60 hertz, you are doing something wrong. I don't know about you but my upper body stays pretty still. My legs move at 60 to 90 hertz but not my shoulders.


    Quote Originally Posted by Takara View Post
    I'm lazy and prefer to push that weight forward as efficiently as possible. I keep my water in bottles, in my panniers, with one out for drinking. Bet my water stays [cooler] insulated that way than yours does on your back!
    I've used bottles for ages. I still use them. But nothing even comes close to the Camelbak. I've written several times about how I still had ice even after 6 to 8 hours. Even supposedly insulated bottles haven't come close.

    Quote Originally Posted by Takara View Post
    As with all thing bike touring, I will be the first to concede that it's all about enjoying the experience and little to do with achieving efficiencies. So I'm glad if people enjoy touring with Camelbaks on.
    Agreed.
    Stuart Black
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    Cyccocommute: If you hold your shoulders perfectly still relative to your bicycle as you ride, then I will concede that all you are losing is the advantage of a much lower center of gravity for what is probably the heaviest single thing you're carrying on a tour.

    But I bet you don't! Ride alongside another rider whose style and fluidity you admire and watch their upper body. Motionlessness you will not see.

  20. #20
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takara View Post
    Cyccocommute: If you hold your shoulders perfectly still relative to your bicycle as you ride, then I will concede that all you are losing is the advantage of a much lower center of gravity for what is probably the heaviest single thing you're carrying on a tour.

    But I bet you don't! Ride alongside another rider whose style and fluidity you admire and watch their upper body. Motionlessness you will not see.
    You won't see them bob and weaving either...not if they know what the are doing. Believe me, I've watched many, many riders. The smoothest and best of them hardly move their upper body while seated (standing is a different matter all together). Their upper bodies are relaxed, arms bent slightly at the elbow and the weight of their upper body is responding to surface irregularities but they certainly don't move up and down and sideways at 60 hertz. Most of them - myself included - look like ducks while they ride. Calm and serene above the waist, paddling like crazy below.

    For example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHi1WFgjodc or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCNtPRKTKic (the sound is bad on this one) show what I would call good form. Their shoulders and upper bodies hardly move at all. Granted this is racing but good form nevertheless...bad manners but good form. They certainly aren't moving around enough for a Camelbak to cause fatigue.

    On the other hand, the people who bob and weave aren't the best cyclists I've seen. Those are usually the ones who are new to the sport and haven't learn how to conserve their energy yet.

    My own experience with Camelbaks in touring, mountain biking and commuting is that the pack doesn't move around too much. It doesn't make my back overly sore from use (no worse than a long day of riding would normally do). It doesn't make my shoulders hurt more then usual. And the benefits far outweigh any of those slight problems. I find that I drink more water with the Camelbak than with bottles alone (I do ride without it occasionally). Having it cold is just an added...and very nice...benefit. Remember, I've used both methods. Camelbaks are just better for me. If you've tried it and don't like it, that's fine. If you haven't tried one well...as a very wise man said to me once...you can always talk yourself out of an experiment.
    Stuart Black
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    Baccia, While I am sure there are plenty of people that will say I am gross, I don't generally clean my camelback more than once every 6 months. When I was younger I don't think I even cleaned it once a year. (Go ahead and insert your how gross I am comments here). I only put water in there, never anything else. You can definatly go on a 1 week tour without worrying about cleaning it. I don't dry it, I just leave that day's water in there.
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  22. #22
    Got an old Peugeot kipibenkipod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonflybikes View Post
    Baccia, While I am sure there are plenty of people that will say I am gross, I don't generally clean my camelback more than once every 6 months. When I was younger I don't think I even cleaned it once a year. (Go ahead and insert your how gross I am comments here). I only put water in there, never anything else. You can definatly go on a 1 week tour without worrying about cleaning it. I don't dry it, I just leave that day's water in there.
    Hehe, can I be the first
    I have my camelback for about 2 months and I use it everyday. I didn't clean it once. I would clean it if the water had bad taste, but the water have good taste and it looks very clean. If I'm going to clean it soon, its just for the record and bookkeeping
    My bottles I would clean every about 2 weeks, I don't know why is that, but bottles feels that they need more cleaning then my camelback.
    And for dragonflybikes, man you are disgusting ROFL hehe
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Yeah, dragonflybikes, that's pretty gross. Mine got funky after a few weeks of water-only usage iirc.

    In terms of the big "to CB or not to CB," I haven't decided but am pretty much capable of making up my own mind about which option to use. (Part of this process will be using a CB on a long ride tomorrow....) I'm much more interested in how you clean the CB when on long tours, specifically methods and how often.

    So, lots of "plain water only" and one suggestion for "denture tablets." I'm gathering that cleaning a CB once every week or so will be plenty. Any other on-the-road cleaning methods?

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    Senior Member Skullo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonflybikes View Post
    Baccia, While I am sure there are plenty of people that will say I am gross, I don't generally clean my camelback more than once every 6 months. When I was younger I don't think I even cleaned it once a year. (Go ahead and insert your how gross I am comments here). I only put water in there, never anything else. You can definatly go on a 1 week tour without worrying about cleaning it. I don't dry it, I just leave that day's water in there.
    I agree. I only use water in mine and use it four to five times a week. I only clean it a couple of times a year. It has never been a problem . I leave the water in it and add new ice and water very day. I would not worry about cleaning it on tour unless you are using a sport drink or anything else besides water.

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