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I might use a Camelback.

Old 07-24-18, 03:59 PM
  #1  
rosefarts
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I might use a Camelback.

I've spent like 95% of my miles in life on road bikes. I've always been quite happy with nothing more than water bottles.

I'm waiting on the mailman and a call from the powder coat guy, so I can start assembling my first dedicated gravel bike. I've been thinking a bit about drinking. On my road bike, on dirt and washboards, when things get really rough I always put my water bottles in the back pockets until things smooth out. On a dedicated dirt ride, this might mean just riding with them in my pockets the whole time. Sounds annoying.

I could get some really good cages. There's nothing really wrong with really good cages, really. Doesn't solve the storage problem, tube, jacket, lifestraw (or similar mini filter), food, phone/camera, and multitool. I certainly didn't pay to get this old beast powdercoated and beautiful to strap a bunch of bags to it. And two large bottles still don't hold what even an average 70oz hydration pack can do.

My super basic Osprey with minimal carrying capacity can do all that with enough leftover room to bring home a few pretty rocks for the zen garden.

It makes sense. I can't see the downside. Why does it make me feel so dirty then?
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Old 07-24-18, 04:20 PM
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You will love it and wonder why you did not do it a long time ago. One, two, three rides tops and you will be recommending them. Hey you already started. Congratulations!
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Old 07-24-18, 04:23 PM
  #3  
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I've been using a Camelback pack on my mtb rides for YEARS and love it.
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Old 07-24-18, 04:24 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
And two large bottles still don't hold what even an average 70oz hydration pack can do.

It makes sense. I can't see the downside. Why does it make me feel so dirty then?
I often ride with 2 liter bottles in a backpack and one hanging from the strap for 64-96 oz total and I have to say you feel the weight on your body and on the saddle, especially when I refill them after drinking them dry.

In fact I was just trying to think about how to get a second bottle on the frame to augment the one already there, in order to carry less on my back. And that's speaking as someone who would still be sweating against a substantial backpack even if I relocated all of the water from it.
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Old 07-24-18, 04:46 PM
  #5  
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I'll even wear one on long road rides.

I can vouch for Salsa's stainless cages though. They have never, ever dislodged a bottle, on anything.
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Old 07-24-18, 07:56 PM
  #6  
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I've been considering one for gravel as well (and also feel a bit dirty about it).

My bottle cages do fine on gravel. I don't even mind the dirt on the bottles so much. The problem is that our local routes (SE MN, mostly) are extremely rural...with a lot of time in the hot sun, and few places to get water, I seem to blow through all three bottles quickly.

I'm thinking a Camelbak and one additional bottle would do the trick.
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Old 07-25-18, 06:12 AM
  #7  
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Camelbaks rock!

Hi, I do lots of trails on mtb, used to carry two water bottles on cages, and the tools and other stuff on a small bag under the saddle. But wasn't enough for carrying everything I needed and the hydration was depleted too early. Started looking for some camelbaks on the web. Didn't like the super colorful camelbaks intended for bikers so then I remembered they make military camels too. Decided for a Camelbak Ambush in coyote color, looks awesome, holds 3 liters when I need, carry the first aid small kit, some food, tools, I can attach almost anything thanks to the MOLLE webbing and the hose is covered in neoprene so the water is fresh and cold always.
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Old 07-25-18, 07:33 AM
  #8  
indyfabz
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I use one for fully loaded touring. It comes in handy in camp, especially at cooking and coffee times, when the water tap is not close to my site.
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Old 07-25-18, 08:31 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
It makes sense. I can't see the downside. Why does it make me feel so dirty then?
Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
I've spent like 95% of my miles in life on road bikes. .......
Asked and answered. You're taking the first step away from The Rules, you dirty heathen.

Actually, I use one pretty frequently. I drink a lot of water, so if i'm doing more than 20 miles unsupported, I need more than two bottles.
Offroad, I don't like to carry too much stuff on the bike so it's not getting rattled around all the time.
Biggest downside is that extra-sweaty spot on your back.
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Old 07-25-18, 09:03 PM
  #10  
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I use Camelback Mule for all day adventures. But for general purposes I use a waterbottle, I dislike wearing a backpack. A small seat bag holds an innertube tire levers multitool and c02 cartridge.
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Old 07-26-18, 01:29 PM
  #11  
Milton Keynes
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Why are there so many people who are anti-hydration pack? There are so many rides I couldn't have completed without using mine.
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Old 07-26-18, 08:53 PM
  #12  
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I picked up a Hydrapak (same idea as Camelback, without the price premium) NIB for around $35 on ebay. I rarely roadbike, and I was tired of lugging bottles around. Used a cage at first, then bottles in my back jersey pockets after getting a bike that didn't really have a place for a cage. I'd never go without the hydrapak, and I can't imagine why anyone would diss these things. Now I never have to stop for water, and the thing stays put through all the bumpies (make sure you get a good one with good reviews, you want something that stays where it's supposed to be). If/when I get into roadbiking, I'll probably still use the hydrapak.

Matt
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Old 07-26-18, 09:20 PM
  #13  
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the camelbak chase is a great option for gravel.
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Old 07-27-18, 04:50 AM
  #14  
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I bought a Camelbak for kayakiing - you need both hands, so drinking from water bottles always meant gliding, so clear advantage.

Tried the Camelbak biking - I just don't like anything on my back, especially when it is hot outside. I don't even like anything in jersey pockets.

Went back to bottles. Also: much easier to clean bottles.
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Old 07-27-18, 05:05 AM
  #15  
FlMTNdude
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Great for a day running in the mountains, though even there a hand held is preferable if only I could. On a bike, let me few as much wind on my skin as possible. There are bottle cages that attach to the seat, so even without frame mount options I would rather use bottles. And as mentioned, easier to keep clean than a sweaty camelback.
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Old 07-27-18, 06:03 AM
  #16  
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The trick with the Camelbak is to fill the bladder about 1/2 full then lay it down in the freezer overnight. Then fill the remaining space with water and ride. The big ice pack on your back helps prevent the sweating.
I have the Camelbak Transformer which can be a minimal pack with just the bladder and a small pocket for a couple items but then has two additional pouches that can be attached if needed.
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Old 07-27-18, 06:13 AM
  #17  
rosefarts
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This wasn't really meant as a serious discussion. More of a Veluminati type post.

A hydration pack on the mountain bike is essential. On the road it's very unfashionable.

I worked as a rock scaler before I went back to school. A Camelback was probably my most important piece of gear. Hiking in the mountains too. I can't run with mine, it bounces too much. Nathan makes running ones though.

I'm not unfamiliar. My first was hand sewn, when CamelBak was just starting. No pads, no storage. I think 1993-4.
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Old 07-27-18, 06:40 AM
  #18  
Hypno Toad
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
I've spent like 95% of my miles in life on road bikes. I've always been quite happy with nothing more than water bottles.

I'm waiting on the mailman and a call from the powder coat guy, so I can start assembling my first dedicated gravel bike. I've been thinking a bit about drinking. On my road bike, on dirt and washboards, when things get really rough I always put my water bottles in the back pockets until things smooth out. On a dedicated dirt ride, this might mean just riding with them in my pockets the whole time. Sounds annoying.

I could get some really good cages. There's nothing really wrong with really good cages, really. Doesn't solve the storage problem, tube, jacket, lifestraw (or similar mini filter), food, phone/camera, and multitool. I certainly didn't pay to get this old beast powdercoated and beautiful to strap a bunch of bags to it. And two large bottles still don't hold what even an average 70oz hydration pack can do.

My super basic Osprey with minimal carrying capacity can do all that with enough leftover room to bring home a few pretty rocks for the zen garden.

It makes sense. I can't see the downside. Why does it make me feel so dirty then?
I know what you mean!

I've been doing 4 to 6 endurance gravel races a year, plus training rides. I held off on a CamelBak for years, I have 3-4 bottle mounts on my gravel bikes and good racks that hold the bottles. The turning point was the 2017 Westside Dirty Benjamin, it had us roll out with temps in the mid-80s heading to mid-90s with high humidity and to add insult to injury, we started with 45 miles into a 20-30 mph headwinds. I ran out of water long before the first oasis, and this was very rural (no good options to get water). I was able to get water from a buddy to get me through. This was my first DNF - and I wasn't the only one of my gravel friends that bailed on the ride.

.... so .... long story short, I sucked it up and got a CamelBak Lobo to use on long unsupported rides. Funny enough, I haven't had many opportunities to use it since I bought it. The one gravel century I rode this year was in pouring rain, no risk of running out of water!

I really like it when I want to do more than 40 miles and limited stops for water. It's great for carrying tools and tubes too. I hate the looks of it, but really helps when you don't have the team car right behind you handing bottle out the window.
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Old 07-27-18, 09:46 AM
  #19  
enine
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
On the road it's very unfashionable.
Thats why I have the black military one, its very mall ninja like

Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
I can't run with mine, it bounces too much. Nathan makes running ones though.
I'm not not much of a runner but mine has a sternum and waist strap, holds quite still.
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Old 07-27-18, 02:38 PM
  #20  
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I'm going to be using mine this weekend on a 40-45 mile ride out in the middle of nowhere. Supposed to be cooler temps in the 80's, so it won't be as critical as when the temps are in the 90's. But I still like to have plenty of water with me. One 2 liter hydration pack and two water bottles keep me going.
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Old 07-29-18, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
Why are there so many people who are anti-hydration pack? There are so many rides I couldn't have completed without using mine.
Many of my rides require uaing one as well. For general riding 10-15 miles of know trail i prefer to not carry a pack.
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Old 07-29-18, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tajar66 View Post
Many of my rides require uaing one as well. For general riding 10-15 miles of know trail i prefer to not carry a pack.
10-15 miles isn't really that long, so I will carry just a couple of water bottles. Only on rides of, say, 20 or more will I use a hydration pack, especially if I know I'm going to be riding where there's no place to get water. Usually it's two bottles of water + hydration pack, like the ride I did today. Thankfully it was in the 80's so I didn't go through that much water like I would have had it been in the 90's, but I still went through most of the hydration pack and both bottles.
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Old 07-29-18, 07:46 PM
  #23  
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I just spent the better part of 3 weeks in CO riding my gravel bike, often in remote locations. I would not have done it without my Camel Back.
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Old 07-30-18, 08:40 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
This wasn't really meant as a serious discussion. More of a Veluminati type post.

A hydration pack on the mountain bike is essential. On the road it's very unfashionable.

I worked as a rock scaler before I went back to school. A Camelback was probably my most important piece of gear. Hiking in the mountains too. I can't run with mine, it bounces too much. Nathan makes running ones though.

I'm not unfamiliar. My first was hand sewn, when CamelBak was just starting. No pads, no storage. I think 1993-4.
I HATE HATE HATED having stuff on my back... until I started riding gravel.

Still, the camelbak doesn't come near my road bike. I was thinking of keeping them in separate rooms, tbh.
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Old 07-30-18, 09:20 AM
  #25  
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Having enough water to be comfortable on your ride is the goal. Me personally, I don't mind carrying a backpack on some rides. I carry a bladder backpack on occasion but I don't use the actual bladder. I toss standard bottles in it or in the pockets. I also use my cage. Regular bottles to me are much easier and convenient and take much less care and maintenance than using the actual bladder.
This is the bag I have been using recently, no problems with it on my XC and gravel bike. A little larger than a dedicated hydration only pack but I often carry other crap in it too.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Tra...-Pack/36549843

Last edited by u235; 07-30-18 at 09:47 AM.
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