Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Thoughts on using a hydration pack in a sportive event?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Thoughts on using a hydration pack in a sportive event?

Old 06-14-24, 01:11 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 568

Bikes: Scott Foil RC, Winspace T1550

Liked 195 Times in 125 Posts
Thoughts on using a hydration pack in a sportive event?

I plan on riding the Discover Hudson Valley (Poughkeepsie NY) in late June as always, and like every year it should be pretty darn hot and humid. The ride is supported with 4-5 stops depending on the route. I was thinking of playing around and using an USWE Race 2.0 hydration backpack. I haven't used a hydration pack since the old school Camelbaks which did tend to move around and didn't vent well, but this USWE seems to fix those problems. Not that it matters since this is a sportive but supposedly the USWE Race 2.0 is more aero than wearing nothing at all. At the very least I could use it to store other stuff I don't feel like jamming into my back pockets since rain is a possibility.

Anyone use an USWE or use a hydration pack in general for non racing road use?

Last edited by Jrasero; 06-14-24 at 01:34 PM.
Jrasero is offline  
Likes For Jrasero:
Old 06-14-24, 01:32 PM
  #2  
Habitual User
 
Eric F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 8,537

Bikes: 2023 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2018 Trek Procaliber 9.9 RSL, 2018 Storck Fascenario.3 Platinum, 2003 Time VX Special Pro, 2001 Colnago VIP, 1999 Trek 9900 singlespeed, 1977 Nishiki ONP

Liked 8,784 Times in 4,137 Posts
The USWE packs are excellent. I use one for gravel racing (5-6 hours, typically) as well as 3hr+ local rides on my gravel bike or MTB. My typical setup is high-carb mix in my bottles and plain water in the hydro pack. This has proven to work really well for me, along with other snacks. I haven't used mine on the road, but I could certainly see doing it for a sportive/fondo type event.

As for being more aero, that's still a maybe. Dylan Johnson (gravel pro and marginal gains freak) wind tunnel test found the USWE pack more aero than nothing. Ben Delaney (YouTube gear reviewer and amateur gravel racer) did not get the same results in his wind tunnel test of the same pack.
__________________
"Swedish fish. They're protein shaped." - livedarklions
Eric F is offline  
Old 06-14-24, 01:43 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 568

Bikes: Scott Foil RC, Winspace T1550

Liked 195 Times in 125 Posts
Originally Posted by Eric F
The USWE packs are excellent. I use one for gravel racing (5-6 hours, typically) as well as 3hr+ local rides on my gravel bike or MTB. My typical setup is high-carb mix in my bottles and plain water in the hydro pack. This has proven to work really well for me, along with other snacks. I haven't used mine on the road, but I could certainly see doing it for a sportive/fondo type event.

As for being more aero, that's still a maybe. Dylan Johnson (gravel pro and marginal gains freak) wind tunnel test found the USWE pack more aero than nothing. Ben Delaney (YouTube gear reviewer and amateur gravel racer) did not get the same results in his wind tunnel test of the same pack.
lol yeah I definitely don't expect Dylan Johnson results since he is a beast, but just good to know it isn't a hindrance. Thanks for the feedback, I am trending towards using it. Is the reason you don't use your carb mix in the bladder is do to bacteria/mold down the line? I was hoping to fill the bladder with a carb mix and take one 750ml Elite Fly Tex Bottle and not fill it until I hit some of rest stops. The bag aspect I was going to put my Shake Dry in it since it might rain but also throw in my gels, snacks, keys, and other things I don't need to grab while on the bike
Jrasero is offline  
Old 06-14-24, 01:57 PM
  #4  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 15,654

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Liked 5,135 Times in 3,535 Posts
Consider if it will make you feel hotter when all that water sitting in the sun on your back heats up. As well, do you really want to carry excess water with you whether in bottles or on your back if the distance between rest stops for hydration are close enough for just one or two bottles to be sufficient?

I guess if this is a race and you are trying to save time by not stopping, then that's a consideration too.
Iride01 is online now  
Old 06-14-24, 02:06 PM
  #5  
Expired Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 12,310
Liked 6,192 Times in 3,125 Posts
I've never needed extra water on that type of event because I'm compelled to stop for food whenever it's offered.
shelbyfv is online now  
Old 06-14-24, 02:08 PM
  #6  
Habitual User
 
Eric F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 8,537

Bikes: 2023 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2018 Trek Procaliber 9.9 RSL, 2018 Storck Fascenario.3 Platinum, 2003 Time VX Special Pro, 2001 Colnago VIP, 1999 Trek 9900 singlespeed, 1977 Nishiki ONP

Liked 8,784 Times in 4,137 Posts
Originally Posted by Jrasero
lol yeah I definitely don't expect Dylan Johnson results since he is a beast, but just good to know it isn't a hindrance. Thanks for the feedback, I am trending towards using it. Is the reason you don't use your carb mix in the bladder is do to bacteria/mold down the line? I was hoping to fill the bladder with a carb mix and take one 750ml Elite Fly Tex Bottle and not fill it until I hit some of rest stops. The bag aspect I was going to put my Shake Dry in it since it might rain but also throw in my gels, snacks, keys, and other things I don't need to grab while on the bike
Yes, but it's an assumption that bottles are easier to clean, not something I've actually tested.. I've actually been thinking about putting the carb mix in my USWE for my next event simply to make it easier to keep the carb intake flowing, and deal with any cleaning issues.

I have a mini pump that lives in the bottom of my USWE, as as emergency backup if I have an issue with CO2s. I also tend to use it for stowing my vest (or other clothing) as the day warms up. I prefer to keep gels somewhere I can reach while I'm rolling, like a jersey pocket or top tube bag. A protein bar (which usually serves as "lunch") gets tucked in the pack.
__________________
"Swedish fish. They're protein shaped." - livedarklions
Eric F is offline  
Old 06-15-24, 06:08 AM
  #7  
Not actually Tmonk
 
TMonk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 14,753

Bikes: road, track, mtb

Liked 3,634 Times in 1,895 Posts
Same here. I don't have a gravel bike, but for long enough MTB rides/events, I do plain water in the bladder and mix in some bottles. So, +1 to that suggestion. I don't have any experience with USWE products, though.
__________________
"Your beauty is an aeroplane;
so high, my heart cannot bear the strain." -A.C. Jobim, Triste

Last edited by TMonk; 06-15-24 at 11:22 AM.
TMonk is offline  
Old 06-15-24, 06:10 AM
  #8  
Not actually Tmonk
 
TMonk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 14,753

Bikes: road, track, mtb

Liked 3,634 Times in 1,895 Posts
Originally Posted by shelbyfv
I've never needed extra water on that type of event because I'm compelled to stop for food whenever it's offered.
Same here. If there are aid stations, I usually have a more relaxed attitude about the event and will simply do bottles so I can refill them.
__________________
"Your beauty is an aeroplane;
so high, my heart cannot bear the strain." -A.C. Jobim, Triste

Last edited by TMonk; 06-15-24 at 11:22 AM. Reason: I cant type right
TMonk is offline  
Likes For TMonk:
Old 06-15-24, 10:56 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
jaxgtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 7,068

Bikes: Trek Domane SLR 7 AXS, Trek CheckPoint SL7 AXS, Trek Emonda ALR AXS, Trek FX 5 Sport

Liked 1,948 Times in 1,101 Posts
I have an Osprey Katari .5L pack I use for when it is going to be very hot or water sources are limited and I plan to be out for more than 3 hrs. Give me 2 extra bottles basically. If I am riding my checkpoint, I also will install a 3rd bottle cage and throw on another bottle as you can never have enough hydration when the heat and humidity are up. Sometimes I will fill the bladder up half way remove the air and freeze it, the before I go out, fill it to the max line. It will help keep me cool along the way, then I can use that water as a source if I need to put in something like Tailwind powder. This method has worked well for me over the years, except the CheckPoint, that is a new wrinkle. My pack is very light, very breathable and the bladder has a quick release hose on it, and it locks in place, so it does not slosh around on your back.
__________________
Brian | 2023 Trek Domane SLR 7 AXS | 2023 Trek CheckPoint SL 7 AXS | 2016 Trek Emonda ALR | 2022 Trek FX Sport 5
Originally Posted by AEO
you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.



jaxgtr is offline  
Likes For jaxgtr:
Old 06-15-24, 11:32 AM
  #10  
Advocatus Diaboli
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 8,793

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Liked 1,580 Times in 1,037 Posts
Originally Posted by Eric F
Yes, but it's an assumption that bottles are easier to clean, not something I've actually tested.. I've actually been thinking about putting the carb mix in my USWE for my next event simply to make it easier to keep the carb intake flowing, and deal with any cleaning issues.
.
The other assumption is that it's a lot cheaper if you have to discard a bottle than it would be having to throw out a USWE
Sy Reene is offline  
Likes For Sy Reene:
Old 06-15-24, 11:33 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Location: California's capital
Posts: 572

Bikes: Litespeed Firenze, Spot Acme, Specialzed S Works Pro Race, Davidson Stiletto, Colnago Superissimo

Liked 372 Times in 213 Posts
More for hikes than cycling, but have used them with both.

With the right combo of ice and insulation for conditions, it can be better than bottles that get progressively warmer in the summer heat and of course, eliminates retrieving and parking bottles while riding. The lack of back ventilation is a tradeoff.

For any water bladder the drink tube material is key--many lend a strong plastic taste to the water that I find off-putting. I'd find out what this maker uses before getting one. High-flow, easy to operate bite valve is another consideration, as well as how the hose is parked out of the way.
Rick_D is offline  
Old 06-16-24, 12:29 PM
  #12  
Habitual User
 
Eric F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 8,537

Bikes: 2023 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2018 Trek Procaliber 9.9 RSL, 2018 Storck Fascenario.3 Platinum, 2003 Time VX Special Pro, 2001 Colnago VIP, 1999 Trek 9900 singlespeed, 1977 Nishiki ONP

Liked 8,784 Times in 4,137 Posts
Originally Posted by Sy Reene
The other assumption is that it's a lot cheaper if you have to discard a bottle than it would be having to throw out a USWE
The bladder is replaceable, but you’re right, it’s still cheaper to throw out bottles, if it comes to that.
__________________
"Swedish fish. They're protein shaped." - livedarklions
Eric F is offline  
Old 06-16-24, 01:04 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 815

Bikes: Lynskey R230, Trek 5200, 1975 Raleigh Pro, 1973 Falcon ,Trek T50 Tandem and a 1968 Paramount in progress.

Liked 428 Times in 252 Posts
Why not just try it for a few rides and see how it works for you?
bblair is offline  
Likes For bblair:
Old 06-17-24, 05:57 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 751
Liked 452 Times in 262 Posts
I don't go to event rides often, but when I do I go to ride, not d!ck around at rest stops. Sorry, but IME they're a huge time suck, especially the first and last stops. I almost always use a Camelback on event rides - it's a regular one, not a "race" one. I'm not a racer, I don't know if it actually helps my time (I'm assuming so), I just hate to stop once I'm on a ride.

I've never really noticed that wearing a Camelback is much hotter than not wearing one, since your back doesn't get much airflow anyway. This is even with the 1st generation one, that was basically a bag with thin web straps (you routed the tube under one of the straps to stop it from dangling, you pulled it out to take sips, then shoved it back further under the strap when you were done). I think maybe it's a wash between reducing evaporative cooling vs keeping the sun off your back?
noimagination is offline  
Likes For noimagination:
Old 06-17-24, 12:35 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 568

Bikes: Scott Foil RC, Winspace T1550

Liked 195 Times in 125 Posts
Originally Posted by noimagination
I don't go to event rides often, but when I do I go to ride, not d!ck around at rest stops. Sorry, but IME they're a huge time suck, especially the first and last stops. I almost always use a Camelback on event rides - it's a regular one, not a "race" one. I'm not a racer, I don't know if it actually helps my time (I'm assuming so), I just hate to stop once I'm on a ride.

I've never really noticed that wearing a Camelback is much hotter than not wearing one, since your back doesn't get much airflow anyway. This is even with the 1st generation one, that was basically a bag with thin web straps (you routed the tube under one of the straps to stop it from dangling, you pulled it out to take sips, then shoved it back further under the strap when you were done). I think maybe it's a wash between reducing evaporative cooling vs keeping the sun off your back?
I tend to be more like you, at most I refill bottles and take a pee while some people take the better part of a day socializing and snacking at the stops. So a 3-4 hour ride becomes 7-8 hour ride. I mean that's the beauty about these events that you can do whatever, but I figure I am not spending a ton of time at the stops, so why not have a hydration pack that can carry more water, possibly keep me cooler, keep the water cooler, carry more stuff, promotes hydrating, and maybe make me slightly more aero.
Jrasero is offline  
Old 06-20-24, 09:42 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
biker128pedal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Eastern VA
Posts: 1,774

Bikes: 2022 Fuel EX 8, 2021 Domane SL6, Black Beta (Nashbar frame), 2004 Trek 1000C for the trainer

Liked 515 Times in 285 Posts
I have a 3l Osprey I use on the mountain bike for long rides. I pack with ice when it is hot. For drop bar long unsupported rides I just started using a top tube 2l bladder. The Tailfin 3.8l half frame bag fits my 58cm Checkpoint and 58cm Domane. Just barely the Domane. The Platypus bladder fits with an inch or two space. I use Osprey connectors and end. Large bottles will just fit the Checkpoint but I had to relocate the bottles.





Camelbak is now selling a setup that cost less.

oh two extra bottles in the rack pack. It was hot Tuesday so at the end all were dry.

biker128pedal is offline  
Old 06-20-24, 10:02 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Far beyond the pale horizon.
Posts: 14,523
Liked 1,478 Times in 1,023 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01
I guess if this is a race and you are trying to save time by not stopping, then that's a consideration too.
(Not a race.)
njkayaker is online now  
Old 06-20-24, 11:19 AM
  #18  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 15,654

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Liked 5,135 Times in 3,535 Posts
Originally Posted by njkayaker
(Not a race.)
Did the OP tell you that?

I knew it wasn't a race. However, you have to realize that some or many will race on rides. My statement of such was for how the OP was intending to ride it and whether that might be a consideration for whether they need or wish to use the hydration pack..

Iride01 is online now  
Old 06-20-24, 11:46 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 568

Bikes: Scott Foil RC, Winspace T1550

Liked 195 Times in 125 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01
Did the OP tell you that?

I knew it wasn't a race. However, you have to realize that some or many will race on rides. My statement of such was for how the OP was intending to ride it and whether that might be a consideration for whether they need or wish to use the hydration pack..
yeah it's not a race but sportive event, granted it was cancelled due to the weather. Going to play around using the hydration pack this weekend on a local route since it's supposed to be hot
Jrasero is offline  
Likes For Jrasero:
Old 06-20-24, 11:54 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Richfield, WI
Posts: 738

Bikes: Trek Domane SL7 Disc, Cannondale F29

Liked 332 Times in 191 Posts
I use a Camelbak for any ride longer than 50 miles, which is my limit for how far I feel I can go with just the two 24 ounce water bottles on my bike.

I initially though I'd hate riding with a backpack on, but I found that it's not so bad and I quickly got used to it after just one ride. I did a self-supported century last year with a 100 ounce Camelbak (and two water bottles)... I'm not sure how I could've done that ride w/o the Camelbak short of stopping at every gas station I found, of which there weren't many on my route.

A hydration pack can have a few advantages:
  • Keeps the direct sun off your back (although the sun will thus heat-up the water!)
  • Unless you go very minimalist with the hydration pack, it usually has pockets for carrying a pump, tools, food, etc.
  • Some studies have shown a hydration pack on one's back can be more aero than bags elsewhere on the bike.
  • You won't lose a hydration backpack over rough terrain, but you might launch a few water bottles into orbit!
PoorInRichfield is offline  
Likes For PoorInRichfield:
Old 06-20-24, 12:36 PM
  #21  
Rider. Wanderer. Creator.
 
john m flores's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,027

Bikes: Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, Cinelli Hobootleg, Zizzo Liberte

Liked 1,162 Times in 528 Posts
Originally Posted by Jrasero
yeah it's not a race but sportive event, granted it was cancelled due to the weather. Going to play around using the hydration pack this weekend on a local route since it's supposed to be hot
Smart to cancel - it's dangerously hot out there. I once did a century with 14k vertical in weather like this and actually over hydrated (hyponatremia). For the last 15 miles, I'd take a sip and immediately have to stop and pee. So wierd.

Regarding Camelbak style bladders - good to test out if you have a road bike, as the weight on your back means more weight on your wrists too. I've insulated mine with foil (emergency foil blanket) and an old wool sock and it kept cool for hours. You need to blow water out of the tube and back into the bladder each time though.
__________________
--------------------------------------
Rider. Wanderer. Creator.
JohnMFlores.com | YouTube: JohnMFlores
Insta: JohnMichaelFlores | TikTok: @johnnymotoflores
john m flores is offline  
Likes For john m flores:
Old 06-20-24, 01:55 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 40,098
Liked 16,656 Times in 7,803 Posts
Originally Posted by Sy Reene
The other assumption is that it's a lot cheaper if you have to discard a bottle than it would be having to throw out a USWE
Let him get mold in the tube and/or bladder and find out the hard way. I have this secret invention called a dishwasher that does a great job on bottles.
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 06-20-24, 05:19 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
tempocyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Australia
Posts: 844

Bikes: 2002 Trek 5200 (US POSTAL), 2020 Canyon Aeroad SL

Liked 692 Times in 337 Posts
I use a USWE Race 2.0 for my gravel races and longer gravel training rides. I also put carb mix in it and have had no issues so far (clean it out ASAP after finishing of course).

It's the most comfortable hydro pack I've ever used and really snug fitting. No bouncing around at all over the rough stuff. Sits high, so is cooler on your back. If you also like to store stuff in your pack it may not work for you as there's not a lot of additional space.

The only change I made was buying a magnetic quick-holder for the drinking tube. Easier than the clip when replacing after a drink at speed!
tempocyclist is offline  
Likes For tempocyclist:
Old 06-21-24, 09:09 AM
  #24  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 568

Bikes: Scott Foil RC, Winspace T1550

Liked 195 Times in 125 Posts
Originally Posted by john m flores
Smart to cancel - it's dangerously hot out there. I once did a century with 14k vertical in weather like this and actually over hydrated (hyponatremia). For the last 15 miles, I'd take a sip and immediately have to stop and pee. So wierd.

Regarding Camelbak style bladders - good to test out if you have a road bike, as the weight on your back means more weight on your wrists too. I've insulated mine with foil (emergency foil blanket) and an old wool sock and it kept cool for hours. You need to blow water out of the tube and back into the bladder each time though.
It's the Discover Hudson Valley ride, which is always insanely hot. I think it wasn't even the heat why is was canceled but because up in Poughkeepsie today and tomorrow it's supposed to rain and thunder, so they can't even get setup for Sunday which should have been hot but clear. In previous years when it was like 98 degrees they cancelled the 100 and 75 mile rides and pushed everyone to the 50 miler or bellow
Jrasero is offline  
Old 06-21-24, 09:16 AM
  #25  
Habitual User
 
Eric F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 8,537

Bikes: 2023 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2018 Trek Procaliber 9.9 RSL, 2018 Storck Fascenario.3 Platinum, 2003 Time VX Special Pro, 2001 Colnago VIP, 1999 Trek 9900 singlespeed, 1977 Nishiki ONP

Liked 8,784 Times in 4,137 Posts
Originally Posted by tempocyclist
The only change I made was buying a magnetic quick-holder for the drinking tube. Easier than the clip when replacing after a drink at speed!
I did the same with my USWE pack. Nice little mod. Trimming length of the tube helps, too.
__________________
"Swedish fish. They're protein shaped." - livedarklions
Eric F is offline  
Likes For Eric F:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.