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  1. #1
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Hydration and Frozen Water Bottle

    Got some nicer water bottles this summer but they aren't working on so good for the cold weather. They either freeze shut or they clog with ice if I leave them open.

    What do other people do?

    Was about 4 degrees this morning.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    1. Hydrate well BEFORE the ride (i.e. a tall glass of water).

    2. Put my bottle in a sock to help insulate it a bit.

    3. Drink quite a bit early in the ride while the water is still liquid.

    4. When it starts to freeze, shake the bottle and/or stop and open the bottle to chip the ice away from the top.

    5. Drink from the opened bottle, not through the lid, until such a time as it is completely frozen.

    6. Hydrate well AFTER the ride.

  3. #3
    On the big ring deanp's Avatar
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    Aren't the Starbucks close enough in your town?

    Are you using an insulated bottle?

  4. #4
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    stick it, or both, in the bladder section of a camelbak. then stop and pull it out
    when you need to take a haul off it.

    either that, or a camelbak with hot water and insulated tube. blow air back into
    the bladder after every drink. must MUST wash the bladder every time if you use it this way

    or use a fat sock around the bottle and fill it up hot

  5. #5
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanp View Post
    Aren't the Starbucks close enough in your town?

    Are you using an insulated bottle?
    Well, there are 3 or 4 different coffee shops within a snowball's throw of my office and a couple close to my house but not much in between... and I'm not a coffee drinker ;-)
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  6. #6
    Senior Member vger285's Avatar
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    i just wrap my water bottles in small bubble wrap and some duct tape,they haven'f froze on me yet!

  7. #7
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    Put the bottles in upside down if possible. That way, most of the ice will form at the higher end, which is the bottom of the bottle.

  8. #8
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Once again, Machka has the right answer.

    Hydrate often and EARLY.
    You ain't gonna get anything outta that bottle at 20 degrees (Fahrenheit of course) at mile 20.
    But if you drink 20 ounces while your dressing up, and then another 20 ounces during the early part of the ride, you should be well lubricated.

  9. #9
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    I use Polar water bottles. In the summer they keep the liquid cold for a long time and in the winter they work in reverse and keep the water thawed longer than normal bottles. At 0F I can keep water liquid for up to about 1 hr. The valve does usually freeze up but i be sure to leave the lid as loose as feasible and then just unscrew it to drink.

    The valve doesn't freeeze till usually about 30 minutes or so into the ride.

  10. #10
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    My hydration pack would freeze in 20 minutes, so now I just toss a wide mouth bottle into a knapsack. If need be I'll also wrap the bottle in a sock or something.

  11. #11
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    what about adding some sugar and salt, ala gatorade? i've been thinking about this - ions in solution increase the entropy or disorder of the water molecules, thus lowering the freezing point (and raising the boiling point).

    i just don't know if a little bit of celtic sea salt and sugar would be enough, as really salty would be bad. i will test this out eventually this winter, but my rides have been short enough so far.

  12. #12
    Senior Member minivandriveby's Avatar
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    50/50 water/prestone mix does the trick pretty good. I take my dog with me and he can't get enough.

  13. #13
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    i had to google prestone to see what it was, so that means you aren't funny. anyways... i hear antifreeze has a sweet taste, mmm...

  14. #14
    Senior Member minivandriveby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjayk View Post
    i had to google prestone to see what it was, so that means you aren't funny.
    1. What would Sgt. Hulka say to this???

    2. You live in the cold and you need to google Prestone? Now that's funny!

    All in good fun man!

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjayk View Post
    what about adding some sugar and salt, ala gatorade? i've been thinking about this - ions in solution increase the entropy or disorder of the water molecules, thus lowering the freezing point (and raising the boiling point).

    i just don't know if a little bit of celtic sea salt and sugar would be enough, as really salty would be bad. i will test this out eventually this winter, but my rides have been short enough so far.
    Sugar and salt helps a little bit ... it adds about 10-15 minutes to the liquid time of the beverage.

  16. #16
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    If it's that cold, would you not have some extra clothing along (or pack room to shed clothing to?) If so, put the water there, surrounded by clothing. I don't think I ever had water freeze in a backpack when snowshoeing- wasn't quite that cold, though, either.

  17. #17
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    I just put salt in my water. you know, to lower the freezing point.

    haha, ok a completely useless response. been hanging out in the SS/FG forum too long...

  18. #18
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edzo View Post
    s
    a camelbak with hot water and insulated tube. blow air back into
    the bladder after every drink. must MUST wash the bladder every time if you use it this way
    Camelbak with a thermal control kit. Don't even need the hot water. Blowing back helps or just drinking more.

    Bottles in the winter just don't work...come to think of it, they don't do that good a job in the summer
    Stuart Black
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  19. #19
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Sugar and salt helps a little bit ... it adds about 10-15 minutes to the liquid time of the beverage.
    A 4 to 1 sugar solution will lower the freezing point to around 27 F ( -3 C). That's going to be like sucking down syrup. To get a 17 degree depression in the freezing point, you'll need a 9 molal solution of sugar and a 4.5 molal solution of sodium chloride. A molal is defined as moles per kilogram of solvent. That works out to around 3 kg of sugar per kg of water or 262g of sodium chloride per kg of water. I'd not suggest either
    Stuart Black
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    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  20. #20
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    The "drink lots before" method works OK for me on short rides, but on longer, rough rides it won't cut it. I hit a "wall" of total exhaustion on my last major ride a few weeks ago that was likely the result of dehydration. Even in extreme cold you still sweat a lot while cylcing, you just don't notice it esp. with modern wicking fabrics. Plus the conditions and the larger tires make progress more difficult. For me it was running into a five mile stretch of rime ice that slowed me way down and eliminated any cruising. After that I was exhausted and stuck well away from any quickee marts.

    Obviously you can't drink sea water. But I'm going to start packing some extra liquids in the form of salty broth, and maybe even bring my little compact cook stove to warm it up. Even a heating candle and a tin can would work. It sounds a bit extreme but I never want to go through that experience again. I felt like a member of Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole. A little hot tea and lots of water when I got home brought me right back to life, though. I just need to be able to do that on the trail. Hot water with some cubes of broth in it would go down well. Or some miso. Yum.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

    Tom Vernon.

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmoline View Post
    The "drink lots before" method works OK for me on short rides, but on longer, rough rides it won't cut it.
    I don't do long winter rides out in the middle of nowhere, where I can't access liquid of some sort. Well, OK, there was the century ride last March, but that weather system came out of nowhere.

    Normally what I do on winter rides is to plan my route so that every 20 kms or so I either arrive back home (so I do a series of loops), or I arrive at a convenience store, or restaurant, or Tim Hortons. There I can have something hot to drink if I want, or cold to drink ... and I can thaw myself out a bit. Sometimes I don't even carry water bottles at all on those rides ... after all, what's the point?

    Oh, and let me tell you ... it takes a surprisingly long time to thaw a bottle which has been completely frozen. I've had bottles sitting in a sink full of steaming hot water for 20 minutes and they have only turned into very icy slush.

  22. #22
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    Yukon Jack never seems to freeze on me.

  23. #23
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    I'd forget the bottle and use a Camelbak. Just keep it inside your coat and it should stay nice and warm (or cold, but not frozen.)

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