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How to drink while cycling

Old 06-16-20, 11:20 PM
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StargazeCyclist
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How to drink while cycling

I am a total noob regarding controlling a bike. The water bottle is in the cage on the downtube. I just can't figure out how to control the bike with one hand, and use the free hand to pick up the bottle. Is there any training I can do? I have my saddle set way forward and ride in the drops (more like a TT bike).
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Old 06-16-20, 11:26 PM
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fietsbob 
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Given your skills, Stop take a drink from your water bottle, then start moving again,...why hurry? be safe...
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Old 06-16-20, 11:32 PM
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AnthonyG
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Even the professionals usually sit up to take a drink. I drink from a tube these days and have for quite a while even though I did manage to drink straight from the bottle, no hands on the handlebars, when I was young. Go to a hardware store and buy some appropriate tubing to effectively make a long "straw".
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Old 06-16-20, 11:34 PM
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I am trying to ride with a group, and they don't stop.
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Old 06-16-20, 11:44 PM
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Camelback wear the water bladder on your back have a hose to drink from.

guess you are too proud to ask

your group..
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Old 06-16-20, 11:45 PM
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Just do it in steps.

Find a wide straight section and first try and ride with one hand. Slight but straight down grade does make it easier to start because there is less peddling effort.

Then when you feel confident, reach down and touch the bottle and keep peddling.

Then lift it out and put it back, while peddling.

Then reach down, take a drink and put the bottle back.

There are cages that make easier to pull the bottle out sideways.

And if you can’t get there you can mount a cage on the handlebars and use a camelback.

But even if you get good at it, everyone still has to plan a good spot to take a drink.

Years ago when everyone rode with diwntube shifters, riding with one hand was second nature.

John
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Old 06-16-20, 11:53 PM
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Practice while riding on your own. You need to be able to drink while on hard or long rides with others and doing a wobble, contacting someone else's tire and causing a crash will make you very unpopular.

I like to be in the drops when I have to take a hand off in sketchy situations. I place my index finger firmly on the side of the brake lever. (But!! Don't do this with Shimano brifters! You don't want to be shifting! I'll never ride Shimano brifters for exactly that reason. I was doing this before brifters were invented.) Basically, just ride and practice. (But don't do anything with others until you can do it and hold a straight line. You have no right to crash others. Do the practice. You'll get this. And in time, you'll be hoping the newbies listen to someone like me to save your skin.)

I know this sounds harsh. We've all been there. Welcome to road cycling! Stick around!

Ben
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Old 06-17-20, 01:43 AM
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Takes practice. A few local friends prefer CamelBak backpacks for water in warm weather, even for casual rides around 10-12 mph. I see a few roadies in faster groups wearing CamelBaks too, although most use water bottles. But they need to stop to refill, while the folks with CamelBaks can go all day.

Do what works for you.

When I resumed cycling in 2015 after a 30 year hiatus, it took me awhile to regain confidence in balance to drink while riding without fumbling the bottle and veering offline. Same problem when I got an old school road bike with downtube shifters in 2017. Now I'm very comfortable with all of it, but it took awhile.
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Old 06-17-20, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by StargazeCyclist View Post
I am a total noob regarding controlling a bike. The water bottle is in the cage on the downtube. I just can't figure out how to control the bike with one hand, and use the free hand to pick up the bottle. Is there any training I can do? I have my saddle set way forward and ride in the drops (more like a TT bike).
How long are your rides?

If you are properly hydrated you won't dehydrate that fast!

I know that advice doesn't help you drink while riding, but I figured To throw it out there. It changed my life hydrating off the bike.
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Old 06-17-20, 04:17 AM
  #10  
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Well, if your riding with a group that won’t stop for you to drink from your bottle than perhaps you should master that skill before riding with this group.
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Old 06-17-20, 04:20 AM
  #11  
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Practice will get you there but there is an alternative to downtube/seat tube mounted water bottle holders. Touring cyclists often used "feedbags" that are mounted on the inside of the handlebars to one side of the top tube. Here is an example from REI of Revelate Designs Feedbag - if you Google the term handlebar mounted feedbag you'll find lots of less expensive versions, but I'm a big fan of Revelate bags.
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Old 06-17-20, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Camelback wear the water bladder on your back have a hose to drink from.

guess you are too proud to ask

your group..
Too proud? What a weird thing to say. Maybe he simply doesnt want to inconvenience the group.
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Old 06-17-20, 05:29 AM
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The recommended solution is to practice the maneuver a step at a time. But if you want a fast fix, there are myriad ways to mount a water bottle to your handlebars. Just search Amazon.
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Old 06-17-20, 05:36 AM
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It's a good discussion. My wife is a strong and experienced road rider. But she does not drink while moving. She believes that it's an unnecessary risk. I've never understood this, but I keep my trap shut and ask her if she'd like to stop and drink periodically.

The OP received good advice, which is to practice. Practice reaching down and placing his hand on the bottle. Practice reaching down and grasping the bottle. Practice reaching down, grasping, removing and replacing the bottle. Then add lifting the bottle to drink before replacing. Like all simple physical skills, this one has elements of core control, head control, eye control and general balance throughout. It's not too tough once mastered.

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 06-18-20 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 06-17-20, 05:52 AM
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Another issue: get a water bottle cage that suits you. Fighting the cage tension to yank out a bottle and shove it back in can throw off your balance.

Some are way too tight, but most aluminum cages can safely be bent a bit to loosen an excessively tight grip. Can't really do that with plastic or carbon fiber, although the grippers can be filed down a bit.

I've switched bottle cages several times to find some I like. I use a cheap 50 Strong brand on the downtubes on both road bikes because they're easy to use and secure on the downtube. But they don't grip tightly enough to retain a full water bottle on the seat tube if I hit really hard ruts. I don't want to fall over my own water bottle or make someone else fall.

So for the seat tubes I use a Tacx Deva, which holds more securely -- a bit too securely for the downtube -- and looks better. But the cages are mismatched so I suppose it doesn't matter.
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Old 06-17-20, 06:01 AM
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Having the saddle forward does make a difference when reaching for your water bottle. With that in mind, I'd get the bottle then place your hand (with water bottle) on your handlebars til you feel in control again then drink.
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Old 06-17-20, 06:10 AM
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I'm concerned that you are riding with a group and yet unable to control your bike with one hand. That sounds dangerous. Try to ride at the back so if you wobble you won't take anyone else down. As said, managing a water bottle while riding is a skill but shouldn't be difficult to master. You may also need help with your bike fit and set up. TT is pretty specific and isn't a good match if you are riding in a group.
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Old 06-17-20, 07:15 AM
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Camelback LR. Sits lower than standard. Very comfortable. You must drink.
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Old 06-17-20, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by StargazeCyclist View Post
I am trying to ride with a group, and they don't stop.
If you can't drink from a bottle while riding you don't belong on a group ride where you're in close proximity with other riders. Take your bike out to big parking lot and figure it out; remember, every second you aren't looking at the road is the second it takes for pothole to appear or unknowingly ride off the road.
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Old 06-17-20, 07:23 AM
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I think if your hand that's on the bars is close to the stem you will not twitch/move the front wheel so easily. Practice that in a parking lot and see if that works better for you. It's actually the function of a first class lever.
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Old 06-17-20, 07:27 AM
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You'll figure it out.
But on a different subject, near the end of a long 80+ mile ride, I love to pull up to a gas station or liquor store, grab a can of good cold suds tucked into a brown paper bag, go around the side of the building, and suck down a cold one. Gives me energy, hydrates me, and my legs feel so much better.
Anyone else do this?
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Old 06-17-20, 08:16 AM
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Drinking from a bottle while riding requires tipping your head to the side and looking up. If your sense of balance is effected by this maneuver, everything gets wobbly
and quick.

Not everybody got a perfect gyro from the factory.

Barry
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Old 06-17-20, 08:20 AM
  #23  
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Two words

Beer helmet
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Old 06-17-20, 08:27 AM
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Then you should practice riding with only one hand on the bar. Once you got that, stop pedalling and reach down and back up. Once that is ok practice putting the bottle in your mouth and squeezing. Once you got that, practice all that while you continue pedalling.
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Old 06-17-20, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Well, if your riding with a group that wont stop for you to drink from your bottle than perhaps you should master that skill before riding with this group.
KInda what I was thinking. I am a relative newbie too but I wonder if the boy is riding with a group that is just beyond his ability.
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