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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 01-22-03, 09:57 PM   #1
P. B. Walker
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Water in water bottle freezing

Hey all,

Any tips/tricks for keeping your water from freezing. This last week or two, the temps on my commute to work have been getting down in the 20's (F) and today it hit 12F. It only takes me about an hour to get to work, but my water is frozen in about 20 or 30 minutes.

Thanks for any advice.

PBW
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Old 01-23-03, 04:40 AM   #2
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I have a back pocket in my jacket, use a smaller bottle (don't need to drink as much anyways when it's cold) and keep it in the back of the jacket. It's out of the wind and should keep some of your body heat and not freeze. I also wear a bike jersey with back pockets under my other stuff, could put the bottle in there. It's a little tougher to get at it, but the water is not so hard!
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Old 01-23-03, 05:19 AM   #3
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I can't believe it!! I'm from South Africa, and when the temperature is below 15 deg C I complain!!! HAHAHHA!!!

I admire you that you can cycle in that weather. Bu then again you have no choice huh?
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Old 01-23-03, 07:14 AM   #4
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Any tips/tricks for keeping your water from freezing. This last week or two, the temps on my commute to work have been getting down in the 20's (F) and today it hit 12F. It only takes me about an hour to get to work, but my water is frozen in about 20 or 30 minutes.
Sorry, but those are the laws of thermodynamics in action, bub! If you want to keep your water from freezing, these are your choices:

1) leave with your water close to boiling temperature. might give you an extra 5 minutes before it freezes...

2) use an insulated bottle

3) install a heater in the bottle

or, if you really want to be extreme:

4) fill the bottle with alcohol
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Old 01-23-03, 07:33 AM   #5
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Originally posted by D*Alex
4) fill the bottle with alcohol
Ketel One is a very nice vodka, but it would be kinda hard to finish the ride I would think...
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Old 01-23-03, 11:51 AM   #6
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on the note of putting a bottle in you jersey back pocket, you could try using a camelbak and wearing it over your first layer but under the rest of your layers. The reservoir will be right on your back and should keep it amply warm due to the large surface area for heat transfer. I also find wearing my camelback keeps me warmer too
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Old 01-23-03, 11:52 AM   #7
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In the winter, I find if I prehydrate I'm OK for the hour commute. I do have my coffee in a vacuum bottle, though, in case I need something.

Going home I refill the vacuum bottle with water, just in case.

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Old 01-23-03, 12:07 PM   #8
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Try placing the bottle upside down in your cage,I do this when I am riding or going for a summit.(remember it will freeze from the top down.(Good luck)
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Old 01-23-03, 01:31 PM   #9
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The camelback idea sounds good, if you have one. Since the specific heat of water is much higher than that of air, coat insulation, etc, pouring warm water into a camelback will keep you warm much better than heavy layers. Maybe you can wear it on your chest, too? Has anybody tried this? I always figured that someday I'd find a useful reason to own one.......
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Old 01-23-03, 04:13 PM   #10
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One note on the Camelbak plan: the hose water will freeze, so tuck that hose in too!
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Old 01-23-03, 06:56 PM   #11
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remember it will freeze from the top down
Umm....not quite...

Lakes and rivers freeze from the top downward because the cold air is up top. Ice will float, though, due to it's lower density relative to water, so it will always end up at the top. It may be freezing anywhere, though, and probably moreso on the sides.
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Old 01-23-03, 07:32 PM   #12
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Has any one tired liquids with higher suger contents? Something like gatoraid....or poweraid...some thing of that nature? I'm not sure if that will prevent or slow freezing...but it might be worth a try.

And....water freezes in a plastic riding bottle from the outside in.....
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Old 01-24-03, 12:29 AM   #13
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Originally posted by bpherson
Has any one tired liquids with higher suger contents? Something like gatoraid....or poweraid...some thing of that nature? I'm not sure if that will prevent or slow freezing...but it might be worth a try.

And....water freezes in a plastic riding bottle from the outside in.....
I'm sure they'd make excellent popsicles too. Try an insulated bottle.
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Old 01-24-03, 09:27 AM   #14
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I do have a camelpak. It's a tad big (70oz) but I think if i only fill it half way it won't be too lumpy under my jacket.

I also asked my LBS and they suggest the same thing.

Also, supposedly they make a insulator wrap for the hose on the camelpaks. It insulates the hose just like the pack so the water won't freeze in the hose. It also has a cap for the mouthpeice so the water won't freeze there either. Unfortunately, that means you have to pull the cap off to drink... which kinda defeats the whole camelpak idea.... but hey... at least your water isn't frozen . Small price to pay I say.

On a side note, I saw a "winter" camelpak on the REI website. Supposedly it's super insulated against winter temps. Plus it's thinner and only as a 50oz bladder so that it not as bulky and will fit under your jacket or jersey much easier. Course it's like $50 or $60US, so I doubt I'll be buying it since I already own a camelpak...

The other think I thought of but didn't try was using Salt in my water. Salt water has a lower freezing temp. I would not think sugar would do anything for the freezing temp of water. I would tend to stay away from alcohol in my water... for obvious reasons .

Thanks for the advice ya'll.


Invention Idea: Have you see those ice cube trays that make long skinny cylindrical ice cubes that you can slide down into your water bottle? Well, I would think if you could make a similarly shaped waterproof "heater", you'd make some $. I can think of several uses. I'm sure you'd only need like 2 AA batteries in it. All you need is something to produce a mild heat, similar to the heat you get in a battery operated (heated) socks or mittens. One of those bobbing around inside your water bottle should be more than enough to keep it from freezing. It's a thought anyway...

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Old 01-24-03, 09:41 AM   #15
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Here is a cold weather kit to adapt your camelbak for winter use.

I am still looking for a perfect solution for cycling. I think I have one for running though...

The other day I was out on a run and was stuck with a mouthful of GU and a block of ice. I decided that there had to be a better way. Now I fill the bottles half full. Sloshing water takes longer to freeze because it is moving or the bouncing up and down breaks up the ice better.

regards,
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Old 01-24-03, 10:25 AM   #16
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on the note of using salt in the water to stop if from freezing, I thought saltwater was used to make people throw up, oh and rust your bike of course..
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Old 01-24-03, 11:39 AM   #17
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Originally posted by streners
on the note of using salt in the water to stop if from freezing, I thought saltwater was used to make people throw up, oh and rust your bike of course..
Mmm never heard of the throw up thing. Another thing to consider is that gatorade has plenty of salt in it. So that might be another alternative to using water. I would also guess drinking salt water would not taste very well... not to mention you need just plain water to rehydrate... I remember reading someplace that salt water is not good for rehydrating.. but I might be mistaken.

I think I'll go with the camelbak route. And maybe the "keep the bottle in your back jersey pocket" solution when I use a sports drink mixture or accelerade.

Or I could just not ride when it's under 32F... ahhhh NAH! LOL

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Old 06-26-03, 10:52 AM   #18
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Well you have a couple options. You could add antifreeze, but then you wouldnt want to drink the water. The other is to get an insulated camelbak, such as the Snowbowl, which i think is actually intended for skiing. It will keep your drink hot or cold, and has an insulated hose to keep it from freezing. Just remember to blow the drink back into the bladder out of the hose when your done or it will freeze and you will be carrying a couple pounds of useless water on your back.
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Old 07-15-03, 11:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by P. B. Walker
I do have a camelpak. It's a tad big (70oz) but I think if i only fill it half way it won't be too lumpy under my jacket.

I also asked my LBS and they suggest the same thing.

Also, supposedly they make a insulator wrap for the hose on the camelpaks. It insulates the hose just like the pack so the water won't freeze in the hose. It also has a cap for the mouthpeice so the water won't freeze there either. Unfortunately, that means you have to pull the cap off to drink... which kinda defeats the whole camelpak idea.... but hey... at least your water isn't frozen . Small price to pay I say.

On a side note, I saw a "winter" camelpak on the REI website. Supposedly it's super insulated against winter temps. Plus it's thinner and only as a 50oz bladder so that it not as bulky and will fit under your jacket or jersey much easier. Course it's like $50 or $60US, so I doubt I'll be buying it since I already own a camelpak...

The other think I thought of but didn't try was using Salt in my water. Salt water has a lower freezing temp. I would not think sugar would do anything for the freezing temp of water. I would tend to stay away from alcohol in my water... for obvious reasons .

Thanks for the advice ya'll.


Invention Idea: Have you see those ice cube trays that make long skinny cylindrical ice cubes that you can slide down into your water bottle? Well, I would think if you could make a similarly shaped waterproof "heater", you'd make some $. I can think of several uses. I'm sure you'd only need like 2 AA batteries in it. All you need is something to produce a mild heat, similar to the heat you get in a battery operated (heated) socks or mittens. One of those bobbing around inside your water bottle should be more than enough to keep it from freezing. It's a thought anyway...

PBW
While the heater in the bottle is an interesting idea I would always be worried about battery leakage, mild shock, etc. I think a bottle with a built in heater at the bottom or something might not be as bad though.

I think the simplest way to not have frozen water is to buy an insulated water bottle and fill it with hot water from the faucet. I would think it would take more than an hour to freeze.
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Old 12-25-03, 05:27 PM   #20
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A sports drink will take longer to freeze than water, therefore I put my sports drink into my un-insulated bottle.

I put my water into a Maxchill bottle which comes complete with a thermal wrap. When dipped in water the thermal wrap helps keep water cold (quite effectively) but when dry it helps keep water liquid in the winter (also quite effectively).
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