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Am I the only guy on a road bike who rides with a camelbak?

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Am I the only guy on a road bike who rides with a camelbak?

Old 09-13-11, 06:56 AM
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dremspider
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Am I the only guy on a road bike who rides with a camelbak?

I just did 2 metric centuries this year and am doing my first full century this weekend. My question is why does it seem to me like I am the only one who rides with a camelbak? I usually carry the MULE which carries 100ml of water and it works well. I also have the racerbak that someone bought me. I thought I would like it, but it is too difficult to take it off and refill on the long rides, so I mostly leave that at home. Am I the only one who does this?

I am debating getting water bottles now to see if my body feels any better at the the end of the race, but I feel like I just rode a really long distance... There is a reason my body feels beat up. Anyone else here can't seem to not wear their camelbak?
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Old 09-13-11, 07:00 AM
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Yes, you are in the minority.

'Race' or charity/social events? There is a big, big difference. I'm assuming the later.

You pay for support, why not use it.

2x24oz bottles are good for 2-3 hours. That's plenty of time of continuous riding, that a stop for a refill either at SAG stop or at a store is not an inconvenience.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:02 AM
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I found my camelbak to be too heavy for long distances. I developed a lot of shoulder, neck, and upper back pain. It got so bad on my last 1200K randonnee that I also developed rather worrying chest pain. Rowan took my camelbak at about the 1000K point of that ride, and within a few minutes my chest, shoulders, neck, and upper back felt great. I haven't used the camelbak since.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dremspider View Post
Am I the only guy on a road bike who rides with a camelbak?
No. But there aren't many that will buck the fashionistas

Originally Posted by dremspider View Post
I just did 2 metric centuries this year and am doing my first full century this weekend. My question is why does it seem to me like I am the only one who rides with a camelbak? I usually carry the MULE which carries 100ml of water and it works well. I also have the racerbak that someone bought me. I thought I would like it, but it is too difficult to take it off and refill on the long rides, so I mostly leave that at home. Am I the only one who does this?

I am debating getting water bottles now to see if my body feels any better at the the end of the race, but I feel like I just rode a really long distance... There is a reason my body feels beat up. Anyone else here can't seem to not wear their camelbak?
Um...I think you mean 100 ounces of water. 100 milliliters of water just about fills the tube of a regular Camelbak

I'd suggest getting bottles but fill them with sport drink (never in a Camelbak). they'll be bathtub warm within about 30 minutes but even warm sports drink does it's job. Pack the Camelbak with ice and enjoy ice cold water for hours.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:06 AM
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Many of the guys here copy what the pros do . . . if the pros don't do it they won't do it.

Even I wouldn't be caught dead with one of those things.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dremspider View Post
My question is why does it seem to me like I am the only one who rides with a camelbak?
Because road cycling kind of trickles down from racing. In a racing situation swapping out bottles for refills is a lot easier than refilling a Camelbak. And on the road there's not usually a problem taking one hand off the bars to take a drink from a bottle.

In short, why go for the complicated solution when the simple one works fine.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dremspider View Post
. Anyone else here can't seem to not wear their camelbak?
I can't seem to follow the negatives here.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:18 AM
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If I need more than two 24 oz. bottles and don't want to stop, I'll carry another bottle in my jersey pocket or use my seatpost mounted dual bottle cage. The insulated bottles keep drinks cold (partially freeze before ride).

It's not about fashion, there's just no need.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:18 AM
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If I am riding a century non-stop, I wear a Camelback AND carry bottles. Function outweighs fashion in that application.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:23 AM
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thats why they have rest stops. use water bottles and refill.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:28 AM
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I don't like the camelback, functionally I don't like the weight on me and aesthetically it's unfashionable for roadies. Go ahead and try bottles - but if it turns out you like the camelback better, you should do what works for you. I know people who use them.

I have an unfashionably huge seat bag that I use for rides where I need to carry lots of extra clothes. I like being fashionable when it doesn't interfere with functionality, but functionality overrides fashion when it needs to.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:28 AM
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I've seen a couple road riders on the trails with camelbaks which I thought was strange. There's water stops on the trail so why would you need to carry all that water on your back; especially in the Florida heat/humidity.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:36 AM
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If you're riding SAG, use the support. Water weight will tire you out faster, so carry less of it, and just refill at the stops.

Now, on a non-SAG long ride, sure, wear the camel back. I do.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:36 AM
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Camel Backs have the inherent disadvantage of being hot on your back, and carrying the weight on you, not the bike.

Mountain biking there are some offsetting advantages. On a road bike, there just isn't enough advantage to make it worthwhile, in the vast majority of circumstances.

My track bike has no water bottle cages, so when I did a century on it, I used a Camel Back, which just reinforced why I don't like riding with a Camel Back.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:39 AM
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If you are a mountain biker off on a trail it makes sense: limited availability for water stops and, depending what type of riding one is doing, less chance for bottles flying out of their cages. On a road bike is seems a bit superfluous, unless your riding on deserted roads or mountain passes for long distances in the heat of the day with no chance of water stops. I use two 25oz Podium chill bottles plus a 3rd smaller frozen bottle in my back pocket on hot, long rides--probably close to the same volume of a camelbak w/o the added weight and hassle of a back-pack. Plus the added heat and chafing of having something on your back on a long ride is not worth it. On my last two centuries, I ended up giving the 3rd bottle away to someone who forgot to fill their bottles at the water stop. I never even touch my 2nd bottle since water stops seemed to be every 25-30 miles.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:41 AM
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I haven't done a ride without one myself. HAWG for commuting so I can fit my clothes in it after work, MULE the rest of the time. I'm sorry but it is NOT easier to carry bottles, regardless of what others say. Never had to plan around refill spots. Never actually had to refill mine at all, but if I did... a zipper and a screw top isn't exactly rocket science to use. The things also keep my water cold for around 2 hours with no ice, much longer with ice. I've never felt any discomfort myself, but if it was uncomfortable, I would change my tune I'm sure, however. But in the meantime, never leave home without it!

Edit: Also never felt hot on my back (another big complaint I read). And the new NVIS or whatever system they have is awesome for actually keeping me cool. No idea if it would be necessary on the smaller MULE, but on the HAWG I can attest that it works great. Also feels good to be faster than your buddies with a change of clothes in a huge camelbak up a mountain!

Last edited by garciawork; 09-13-11 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:43 AM
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I have two, a 70 oz water only and a 100 oz with multiple compartments. I use them mostly for mtb rides but will use the smaller one on the road if I'm going where water is scarce. It sucks wearing it but it sucks less than dehydration.
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Old 09-13-11, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
thats why they have rest stops. use water bottles and refill.
Rest stops are for social rides and sissies. Some cyclists like to do a century unsupported to set a personal best time. For that, there's Camelback and bottles.
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Old 09-13-11, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Rest stops are for wussy.
ftfy
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Old 09-13-11, 09:13 AM
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I rode with a camelbak for several years. I enjoyed having the extra water when I needed it, and being able to carry extra tools and co2 cannisters. Not to mention my thought process was that I would rather have the extra weight on my person rather than on my bike. My fiance quit wearing her's after she realized it was causing her shoulder problems. I decided to try riding without the bak on a short ride one day, and just use water bottles. It was amazing how much better I was able to climb, how free my body felt, and that my back didn't hurt after a ride. I still use it when I am commuting into work. It carries my rain gear, food, and other things that I need for my job.
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Old 09-13-11, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Rest stops are for social rides and sissies. Some cyclists like to do a century unsupported to set a personal best time. For that, there's mussette hand ups and bottles.
Fixed
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Old 09-13-11, 09:53 AM
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As I've stated before... love the concept of camelbak, but I just sweat too much when cycling, I need my back to be clear for airflow.
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Old 09-13-11, 09:58 AM
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I cant stand having things on my back.
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Old 09-13-11, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by spyder78 View Post
I rode with a camelbak for several years. I enjoyed having the extra water when I needed it, and being able to carry extra tools and co2 cannisters. Not to mention my thought process was that I would rather have the extra weight on my person rather than on my bike. My fiance quit wearing her's after she realized it was causing her shoulder problems. I decided to try riding without the bak on a short ride one day, and just use water bottles. It was amazing how much better I was able to climb, how free my body felt, and that my back didn't hurt after a ride. I still use it when I am commuting into work. It carries my rain gear, food, and other things that I need for my job.
That could be related to the style of camel back. Mine has the strap across the chest (And, one around the waist), and it doesn't bother my shoulders/back/etc. ymmv.
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Old 09-13-11, 10:06 AM
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My GF prefers a Camelback for convenience and ability to carry any extra gear plus she's never gotten real comfortable taking her hands off the bar to drink with a bottle. I've never liked have any added weight on my back since I've had lower back issues since i was young.

FWIW Bobby Julich used a Camelback fillied with ice water for TT including some great performances at the Tour. Some of his team mates may have followed suit. Claimed it saved time by not moving your hands out of an aero position and the ice water helped keep the core temp down on hot days.
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