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Old 07-14-09, 12:31 PM   #1
andre nickatina
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Non-plastic water bottles

How many of you guys use water bottles besides plastic? I'm sure some of you have heard of the dangers of bisphenol-A leeching in plastic and Nalgenes. What brands do you use, what material (stainless, alu., et al.), and are you happy with it?
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Old 07-14-09, 12:56 PM   #2
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I've got three SIGG bottles in different shapes and sizes that I've been using regularly for a few years now. They get funky dents when you drop them, but they're all still going strong. They are easy to clean, don't hold odours, and leave water tasting good. I use them for wine as well for picnics etc. and just a simple rinse and the wine taste / smell is gone. They are not steel (aluminum) but the coating inside the bottles are still in good shape. I've also used Klean Kanteen, which produce steel bottles. The model I had was wide mouthed and hard to drink from, and the bottle started to rust on the inside after just a few months.

I use the SIGG bottles around the house, while on the trainer, while out and about, when traveling and at school.

These bottles are a bit of a pain on the bike however. I use Velo-Orange cages and while the bottle fits fine, the metal on metal buzz while riding drives me crazy. I've tried to dampen the sound with electrical tape and it doesn't really work all that well. Perhaps plastic cages would solve this, but I can't be bothered at the moment. As well, these bottles aren't cheap, and I've had one eject from a faulty cage and get flattened by a car. That sucked.

So, on the bike I use the Camelback bottle which is apparently BPA free. No buzz and no big deal if the bottle dies, either.

YMMV.
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Old 07-14-09, 01:09 PM   #3
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Hmmm ... I just got done with a 200 mile ride with 10,000 other cyclists. Several places along the course included road bumps, followed by water bottle graveyards. I saw MANY plastic water bottles get run over by bikers. but nobody went down. The bottles squished. Now, had those bottles been made of steel/aluminum I'm guessing there would have been a lot of skin donated to the pavement. Something to think about.
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Old 07-14-09, 01:13 PM   #4
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It might be my imagination but I am pretty sure I can taste motor oil on water that has been on my bike for a while. Does the oil from the road leech through it too?
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Old 07-14-09, 01:31 PM   #5
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Hmmm ... I just got done with a 200 mile ride with 10,000 other cyclists. Several places along the course included road bumps, followed by water bottle graveyards. I saw MANY plastic water bottles get run over by bikers. but nobody went down. The bottles squished. Now, had those bottles been made of steel/aluminum I'm guessing there would have been a lot of skin donated to the pavement. Something to think about.
A friend's older brother quit racing because a guy dropped a plastic water bottle in a cat 1 road race on a descent, he hit it and crashed hard, breaking multiple bones and waiting an hour for medics. The moral of the story is don't drop bottles period, no matter the material.
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Old 07-15-09, 03:33 PM   #6
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Did he quit because he was annoyed with the way he was treated after getting hurt, or did he quit because of his injuries?
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Old 07-15-09, 03:34 PM   #7
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Injuries and getting burned out with putting in lots of effort only to have it go down the drain.
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Old 07-15-09, 03:44 PM   #8
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The only truly inert substance is certain kinds of ceramic. Glass, plastic, metals, they will all react with liquids in some way. In the sciences, almost every plastic bottle we use is made by Nalgene - if they're safe enough to use in extremely sensitive applications, they're safe enough to drink out of. You're going to die, whether it's with 0.002% or 0.003% of a substance in your system, doesn't make much difference. I say worry less and drink more.
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Old 07-15-09, 07:27 PM   #9
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In the sciences, almost every plastic bottle we use is made by Nalgene - if they're safe enough to use in extremely sensitive applications, they're safe enough to drink out of.
That's what they USED to think.

But there's more and more evidence suggesting that Bisphenol-A is not perfectly safe. It's a chemical that mimics estrogen and which (when used for generations and generations) can lead to reproductive problems and other issues.

The FDA still holds on to its verdict that it's safe, but there's more and more evidence suggesting that one better take not take that risk.
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Old 07-15-09, 07:35 PM   #10
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That's what they USED to think.
Everyday someone comes up with something that supposedly is killing us. And yet we live longer and longer...
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Old 07-15-09, 07:56 PM   #11
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That's what they USED to think.

But there's more and more evidence suggesting that Bisphenol-A is not perfectly safe. It's a chemical that mimics estrogen and which (when used for generations and generations) can lead to reproductive problems and other issues.

The FDA still holds on to its verdict that it's safe, but there's more and more evidence suggesting that one better take not take that risk.
I put 37 years in at different chemical plants. Used a lot of this Bisphenol-A.
A key point here is "phenol". Any chemical based on phenol is considered to be a carcinogen. Some nasty with others more subtle.
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Old 07-15-09, 09:16 PM   #12
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But there's more and more evidence suggesting that Bisphenol-A is not perfectly safe. It's a chemical that mimics estrogen and which (when used for generations and generations) can lead to reproductive problems and other issues.
Those tests done to verify the safety levels of Bisphenol-A, yep, done in a plastic that 99.99% chance contained that very chemical. Point of the story, science is far from a science, I like to call it a guessing game of sorts.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:53 PM   #13
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The only truly inert substance is certain kinds of ceramic. Glass, plastic, metals, they will all react with liquids in some way. In the sciences, almost every plastic bottle we use is made by Nalgene - if they're safe enough to use in extremely sensitive applications, they're safe enough to drink out of. You're going to die, whether it's with 0.002% or 0.003% of a substance in your system, doesn't make much difference. I say worry less and drink more.
I'm looking more at the here-and-now difference of at least trying to cut down the exposure vs. total longevity difference. I don't subscribe to this "everything-causes-cancer-so-why-both" fatalistic notion that runs prevalent these days. Any cyclist putting in the long miles and hydrating properly is potentially being more exposed to bisphenol-A than the general population. It'd be damn near impossible to cut it out completely, but I don't really see anything wrong with trying to make limits.

Besides, I'm not really into the taste of warm plasticky water.
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Old 07-17-09, 12:13 AM   #14
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Any cyclist putting in the long miles and hydrating properly is potentially being more exposed to bisphenol-A than the general population.
Not really. The squeezable plastic water bottles generally used by cyclists are not made using BPA. That chemical was used in the manufacture of the hard polycarbonate bottles. Pretty popular with hikers, but I haven't seen them used much by cyclists. And the BPA-containing drinking bottles are pretty much off the market now anyway.
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Old 07-17-09, 12:32 AM   #15
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Any chemical based on phenol is considered to be a carcinogen. Some nasty with others more subtle.
I hope not all, although many of them are. One of the 20 amino acids used as building blocks for our proteins, tyrosine, has a phenol group. Among other functions it appears to be an essential component in plants for photosynthesis and in animals for nerve communication.
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Old 07-18-09, 06:56 AM   #16
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A friend of mine is an employee of the FDA. He said that no official word has been released, but what's going around his office after recent tests is a couple things (just in the interest of full disclosure, he works in the section that tests medications, not the section that tests things like this)...

- Colored thick plastic rigid bottles (think Nalgene) are the ones that leach BPA
- Bottles with water/other liquid in them exposed to very high temperatures for extended periods of time are the only ones that leached BPA

I was asking him about it since I had heard the same things as everyone else. He said they are discovering that there is very little danger from bottles that are flexible like bike water bottles or the ones that you buy water in at the gas station.

I don't claim to be an expert of course, so I'm just passing on what he told me.
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Old 07-20-09, 03:58 PM   #17
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- Colored thick plastic rigid bottles (think Nalgene) are the ones that leach BPA.
Nalgene stopped making containers with BPA at least a couple of years ago.

FWIW, I work in the healthcare manufacturing industry. I hate whenever a new scare like this comes along, because their are alot of Americans who are hypochondriacs and out to make a fast buck. The facts surrounding what the actual problem is usually go ignored.

Like in this case, BPA is found in some plastics and can leach out of the plastic when the fluid in the container is heated.

Becomes.....

All plastic containers are bad.

FWIW, if you're looking for another chemical to avoid, look up information regarding DEHP and it's link to sterility. And has been banned by the EU and the state of Californina for use in medical feeding products. The EU is light years ahead of the FDA IMO. Not really the FDA's fault, they're underfunded and understaffed.

Case in point - A couple of years ago, a competitor of ours sold a pre-filled syringe that contained contaminated heparine (a blood thinner). Our products were tested and found to be clean. In order to give the FDA peace of mind, we agreed to voluntarily recall all of our existing syringes, as did the other manufacturers who weren't involved. That way everyone was starting from square one.

There wasn't one documented case of ANYONE getting sick from our product. But, we did send letters to all of our distributors at one point explaining the fact that this while this was a voluntary recall, it was mandatory. We also included a list of the symptoms that people who used the other companies contaminated heparin had suffered.

It was sickening how many scammers and hypochondriacs still tried to complain that they had become ill using our heparin. Which cost us a ton of money to investigate and not one claim was found to be valid by anyone, including the FDA.
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Old 07-20-09, 05:04 PM   #18
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I drink tap water out of used Gatorade bottles. No cancer thus far.
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Old 07-20-09, 07:22 PM   #19
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^ you shouldn't re-use disposable drink containers, can't sterilize 'em right. You could get sick from a virus/bacteria/something or other.

I have an evil plastic drink bottle for my bike. Probably has a buncha chemicals in it. I figure the cager exhaust I suck in when I ride is maybe just a bit worse, eh?
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Old 07-20-09, 08:13 PM   #20
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Nalgene stopped making containers with BPA at least a couple of years ago.
True, they stopped making them. But how many were sold up until that time? And how many are probably still in use?
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Old 07-20-09, 08:22 PM   #21
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I use Zefal Magnum bottles. They're old, so I'm sure they're full of all sorts of horrid things.
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Old 07-20-09, 11:14 PM   #22
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They're old, so I'm sure they're full of all sorts of horrid things.
I'm sure that describes lots of us!
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Old 07-21-09, 05:34 AM   #23
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I have one klean kanteen and a couple of the newer Nalgene BPA-free bottles. I have some cheaper bottles that causes the water to taste like plastic. I avoid these like the plague and only use bottles that give me no funny taste. So far so good with the newer nalgene.
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Old 07-21-09, 11:59 AM   #24
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Thanks for the info everyone. I'll stop worrying about possible BPA, but I'd still like to avoid the plasticky taste that develops when my waters been sitting in the bottle in the hot sun over a few hours on a ride, so I'm going to continue to search for something that doesn't do that like my team water bottles are. I got a Klean Kanteen but the steel-on-steel noise is no fun so I'm going to see about wrapping it in cloth tape or stickers. One nice thing about it though is that it being slightly longer than the average plastic bottle makes it extremely easy to take out / put back in the bottle cage. Those Soma Polypropylene water bottles could work...
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Old 07-21-09, 01:22 PM   #25
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I use insulated bottles myself (currently Camelbak with the "chill jacket") but I've also used Polar bottles. I have not had either of them develop a plastic taste even with long rides in very hot temps.
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