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Leaky water bottles part II

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

Leaky water bottles part II

Old 05-07-12, 09:41 PM
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AllezDada
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Leaky water bottles part II

Last year I posted about how my Polar Bottles would often leak. I subsequently switched over to Camelbak Big Chills hoping these would be better, but I find these leak also. They don't leak from the valve, but rather from the screw-top. This is despite tightening the tops as tightly as possible and (as per the instructions) not putting the bottle itself into the dishwasher. I have put the tops in the dishwasher, which the manufacturer says you can. I've never frozen the tops or bottoms. I put Gatorade in my bottles, so at the end of a ride I get a sticky mess.

Suggestions? Should I not have put the tops in the dishwasher?
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Old 05-07-12, 09:47 PM
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Dunno, I have had the same problem for 18 months. Now that the temps are warming up I'm adding sugar/electrolyte mix back into my bottles and getting that sticky crap all over my bike yet again, just like last year.

I posted about this probably a year ago and everybody said I was crazy. <shrug>

I have 3 polar bottles and 2 camelbak bottles, all 5 of them do it. Doesn't matter how tight or loose I do the tops, and I close the nozzle on the polar's after each drink.

After cleaning my bike yet again last night I decided I'm just going to try some regular cheap bottle this weekend.

PS, my bottles have never been in the dishwasher. I've hand washed them every time.
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Old 05-07-12, 10:25 PM
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I dish wash mine and have had no problems, but my oldest camelbaks are only about 2 years old.

Now I'm sad. I thought they were the bestest product ever.
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Old 05-07-12, 10:38 PM
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I have 6 podium bottles. NONE of them leak, ever. They work like a dream. Sounds like user error. YMMV
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Old 05-07-12, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeyBoyAz View Post
I have 6 podium bottles. NONE of them leak, ever. They work like a dream. Sounds like user error. YMMV
I only have 3 podium bottles, but I've had the same experience. Not a single leak. I don't put mine in the dishwasher at all, just hand wash mine. I use a mix of G2 and water in mine.


Was the OP putting straight Gatorade in them? That just sounds too sugary for me.
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Old 05-07-12, 10:56 PM
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Mine leak occasionally if I screw the top down with the valve closed. Open the valve, re-tighten the screw top, and it's fine.

Other than that, no advice.
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Old 05-07-12, 11:08 PM
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2 polars, 2 camelbaks and both leaked
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Old 05-08-12, 01:53 AM
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In my limited experience with Camelbak, Polar, Elite, and Specialized plastic water bottles, none have leaked from the threaded cap, but I always hand wash them.

Since they are plastic, it is possible to overtighten them and maybe deform the seal over time so that the lid and bottle don't mate properly and seal watertight? At work we have some plastic water spigot valves that morons, uh coworkers, will keep overtightening and eventually they start to leak...
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Old 05-08-12, 01:59 AM
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camelbak podiums also; no leakage.
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Old 05-08-12, 02:12 AM
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Dilute the Gatorade so its not so sticky.
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Old 05-08-12, 06:01 AM
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Repeat of my post in the last thread. I have never had issue with my Zefal bottles. Still using the same Magnums I used then. Still run them through the dishwasher.

....and what znomit said about watering down the Gatorade.
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Old 05-08-12, 06:04 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I use mine with Gatorade plus a lot of ice. As far as 'user error' that's what I'm trying to figure out. I have a problem mainly when I use them in a couple of cages on my tandem - they are more horizontal than vertical there. Those of you who don't have leaking - do you usually tighten the caps as much as possible? Maybe it is possible I overtightened them. Or maybe it's related to using the dishwasher for the tops - might trying getting another and handwashing.
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Old 05-08-12, 06:04 AM
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None of my camelbacks or polar bottle leak. All of my clean bottles leak and are crap
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Old 05-08-12, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by AllezDada View Post
Thanks for the replies. I use mine with Gatorade plus a lot of ice. As far as 'user error' that's what I'm trying to figure out. I have a problem mainly when I use them in a couple of cages on my tandem - they are more horizontal than vertical there. Those of you who don't have leaking - do you usually tighten the caps as much as possible? Maybe it is possible I overtightened them. Or maybe it's related to using the dishwasher for the tops - might trying getting another and handwashing.
Hmmmmmm. 'A lot of ice.' That may affect your seal. No one ever accused me of being a scientist, but it seems to me that chilling your contents may contribute to the worthiness of your seal. Have you tried it with just cold contents, sans ice?
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Old 05-08-12, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
Hmmmmmm. 'A lot of ice.' That may affect your seal. No one ever accused me of being a scientist, but it seems to me that chilling your contents may contribute to the worthiness of your seal. Have you tried it with just cold contents, sans ice?
For my purposes (riding at least 2-3 hrs) the contents would end up being lukewarm very quickly - rather not drink that. I have wondered, though, whether there is any pressure that builds up as the ice melts or as the bottle contents get warmer as I'm riding around.
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Old 05-08-12, 06:42 AM
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No leakage here.

I'd guess you are way over-tightening them, which causes them to leak, which causes you to tighten them too much, which causes more leaks, which...
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Old 05-08-12, 06:44 AM
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I tested my 2 year old Podium bottle. I screwed on the lid until it met resistance, then used my usual force to tighten it. That's about 1/2 inch of rotation. With the valve turned to 'off', it doesn't leak when upside down. But if I squeeze it quite hard, it leaks around the threads. ( This never causes a leak in real life for me.)

If I turn it another 1/4 inch, it won't leak even if squeezed.

I do see drips on my bike, if I hit big bumps and the bottle is full, since I don't keep the valve turned off. The jolt lets a little water out through the valve.

~~~~~~~~~~
I've had my Podium bottle make a continuous high pitched noise when driving up a tall mountain. The air pressure change leaks through the valve. I don't have the valve turned off, so the air pressure gets through the silicon drinking seal. Cold air inside from iced drinks would do this as it warmed up. But the pressure change would be a lot less than my "squeeze hard" test that didn't leak.

Last edited by rm -rf; 05-08-12 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 05-08-12, 06:50 AM
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I'm in the "Camelback bottles.....never had a leak" group.

I pretty much only use water though.
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Old 05-08-12, 07:06 AM
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I've got four Camelbaks and keep them all in the freezer. No leaking on any of them. I do get the "squeal" as they warm up (I guess that's what it from) but that's it.
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Old 05-08-12, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
No leakage here.

I'd guess you are way over-tightening them, which causes them to leak, which causes you to tighten them too much, which causes more leaks, which...
LOL - maybe - last few times I used one of those rubber jar-opener grip things to tighten the top - still leaked.
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Old 05-08-12, 07:49 AM
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Have both Polar and Camelback, no leaks and I add ice and occasionally use gatorade. Hand wash every time.
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Old 05-08-12, 07:56 AM
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I have 2 polars that I use for everything. From cycling, hiking, the gym, etc., so they get used almost 7 out of 7 days for the past 2 years. About a year ago they started leaking.

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Old 05-08-12, 07:59 AM
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i have all sorts of bottles, including camelback. I use NUUN and other fizzy type tabs. stuff will leak if I pop in a tab and seal it off.... gotta let the fizz pressure out first before closing the bottle. long shot that is common sense, but maybe your problem?
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Old 05-08-12, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by milnerpt View Post
i have all sorts of bottles, including camelback. I use NUUN and other fizzy type tabs. stuff will leak if I pop in a tab and seal it off.... gotta let the fizz pressure out first before closing the bottle. long shot that is common sense, but maybe your problem?
Not using any tabs, but I am thinking maybe about taking a sip before starting the ride to maybe create a little negative pressure in the bottle?
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Old 05-08-12, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by milnerpt View Post
i have all sorts of bottles, including camelback. I use NUUN and other fizzy type tabs. stuff will leak if I pop in a tab and seal it off.... gotta let the fizz pressure out first before closing the bottle. long shot that is common sense, but maybe your problem?
I use Specialized and Perfbike bottles and no leaks. And i refrigerate them sometimes(not freeze), and have no issues. +1 for Nunn tabs. Love their non-stickiness, taste and lack of sugariness. Almost like flavored water. Gatorade is too darned sticky for me, unless deeply cut with water.
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