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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 01-03-12, 10:22 AM   #1
DogBoy
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Frozen water bottle solution?

I'm primarily a commuter, but I do a few fun rides in the winter. My issue is that once the temps get into the single digits, my hydration freezes and I can't use it. My commute is only 5 miles so I can usually defrost that once at work, but when I'm going to be out for a couple of hours, I'd like to keep things liquid.

I thought about using one of the insulated water bottles. What works?
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Old 01-03-12, 10:40 AM   #2
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Old 01-03-12, 10:46 AM   #3
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Wear a camelback under your coat.
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Old 01-03-12, 12:12 PM   #4
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Briefcase style thermos. Fits in bottle cage. You can buy them anywhere.
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Old 01-03-12, 02:34 PM   #5
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Antifreeze. But since the type used in cars causes blindness, go with vodka.

My hydration needs in winter seem to be minimal even for a couple of hours, so I put my water bottle in my ever-present pannier and it'll stay liquid for most, if not all, of the ride. It does require stopping a time or two to dig it out, but that's a lot easier than chipping it out.
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Old 01-03-12, 02:45 PM   #6
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Thermos (go with unbreakable steel)
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Old 01-03-12, 03:02 PM   #7
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Something like a Polar works well to keep the contents from freezing for an hour (as long as I'm usually out when it's freezing, since that's my maximum commute!). The problem is in the cap; you've got to drink the water down pretty fast, and make sure there's minimal water in the nipple, and drink often, or else it'll freeze. Nothing quite as frustrating as listening to water slosh with no way to get to it!
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Old 01-03-12, 04:55 PM   #8
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I don't carry water bottles in winter, because I don't like drinking ice cold water on a freezing cold days. It's much better to carry two or three small thermos bottles filled with hot tea and hot chocolate..That's what I do and it works great for me, a hot drink on a cold day is much better then cold water.
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Old 01-03-12, 05:10 PM   #9
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How come we go this many posts down without the Thermos Backpack bottle being mentioned?
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Old 01-03-12, 06:21 PM   #10
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I just keep my bottle in a pannier since I generally don't need access to it on the go when its cold out. I re-fill a 710ml bottled water container that has a spout top. They are much less likely to leak than my regular bike water bottles.
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Old 01-03-12, 06:23 PM   #11
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Put the contents in your stomach before you go, and try to get there before you have to pee.
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Old 01-03-12, 06:34 PM   #12
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I put room temperature sports drink in my bottle. After an hour outside it is fridge cold and still drinkable. The salts lower the freezing point. Regular water tends to start freezing after a half hour.
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Old 01-03-12, 07:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Thulsadoom View Post
Wear a camelback under your coat.
Yes, a Camelback works well and stays warm even under a light windbreaker. Blow into the tube a bit after taking a drink so you don't leave water inside the tube and nozzle where it could freeze.
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Old 01-04-12, 10:13 AM   #14
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Warm gatorade in a 20 oz bottle, beer coozy top and bottom, good to go.
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Old 01-04-12, 10:43 AM   #15
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On a 5 mile commute (op), do you really need anything? I take a drink before I leave, then get some when I get to work and my commute is 5 miles also
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Old 01-04-12, 08:04 PM   #16
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I use the same technique as for skiing. Camelback make a few models that are nothing more than an insulated cover for the bladder and have an insulated drinking tube. My personal preference is hot spiced apple cider. That's freshly pressed, unfiltered apple juice and has no alcohol content in case you're wondering.
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Old 01-05-12, 04:49 PM   #17
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Wear a camelback under your coat.
+1, on the basics.. body heat...
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Old 01-05-12, 05:29 PM   #18
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Make it sugary and put the bottle upside down in the holder. The insulated bottle will buy you a bit more time... a small thermos even longer.
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Old 01-05-12, 05:33 PM   #19
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put table salt in your water. it will lower the freezing point - to a degree
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Old 01-06-12, 05:13 AM   #20
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add a pinch of salt and microwave your bottle a little to warm the water. play with the time until you get the right temperature
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Old 01-10-12, 08:12 AM   #21
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I'm a big fan of the camelbak "podium chill" bottles which have a thin layer of insulation. I use room temp water in the winter, and they keep it from freezing quite a bit longer than a regular bottle. The twisting valve resists freezing as well if you keep it closed/locked while not using it. Certainly not as good as a thermos, or a bladder on your back, but they fit in standard cages, and can be used in the saddle like a regular bottle. They are good at keeping water cool in the summer as well.
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Old 01-10-12, 10:14 AM   #22
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put table salt in your water. it will lower the freezing point - to a degree
Ocean water freezes at about 28F. The amount of salt needed to prevent it from freezing isn't healthy to drink---drinking salt water accelerates dehydration, instead of preventing it. A pinch of salt won't do much to stop water from freezing when it's down to single digits.
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Old 01-10-12, 11:50 AM   #23
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add a pinch of salt and microwave your bottle a little to warm the water. play with the time until you get the right temperature
don't microwave plastic bottles.
actually, for that matter, don't pour any liquid over 80c into plastic bottles, unless you want to drink all the chemicals that leached out.


Best solution I have found is to keep the bottle inside the jacket or inside a pannier or trunk.
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Old 01-10-12, 12:29 PM   #24
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Plan a stop at a coffee shop along the way.
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Old 01-10-12, 12:43 PM   #25
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I'm a big fan of the camelbak "podium chill" bottles...
+1

I rode 3 hours in sub-freezing weather this week with double-insulated "Podium Ice" bottles and they never froze on me (regular cold tap water). They are great for filling up with ice water on hot rides in the summer too.
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