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Do you use a Camelbak?

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View Poll Results: Do you use a Camelbak?
Yes, every time I ride
20
21.98%
Yes, but only when I tour
19
20.88%
No, I tried it but didn't like it
19
20.88%
No, never tried one
31
34.07%
What's a Camelbak?
2
2.20%
Voters: 91. You may not vote on this poll

Do you use a Camelbak?

Old 07-21-10, 08:37 AM
  #1  
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Do you use a Camelbak?

Just wondering how we split out on this one.
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Old 07-21-10, 08:46 AM
  #2  
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No! never tried one, never will, never want to... don't want any bag, of any kind, on my back when riding all day...
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Old 07-21-10, 08:58 AM
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I love having my camelbak on me, holds all my necessary bike repair equipment and 3 liters of water is perfect for long day rides. It def takes some getting used to riding with it on, but now its not even close to a bother to have on my back. Plus if you freeze the water in the bladder and then ride the next day it keeps your back cold!! I would def recommend them to anyone who likes to mtn bike or for long distance road biking!
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Old 07-21-10, 09:01 AM
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Definitely, if could be going into a low water area. Otherwise, not. Not a choice on the poll.
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Old 07-21-10, 09:06 AM
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There was no "sometimes" option.

I always use one when I tour. It's small. 40 oz. I think. I first picked one up while touring in Spain. Had always thought I would hate having something on my back, especially since I sweat a lot. Turns out I don't mind it at all.

And I use one on road rides when it's very hot and humid.
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Old 07-21-10, 09:17 AM
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Touring, I used a 3 liter Camelbak bladder, but I carried in it a pannier. I frequently use a Camelbak for trail/mtb riding.
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Old 07-21-10, 09:47 AM
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I use a 2 liter one but only fill it about half, to hold down the weight. Mainly, it holds my Topeak Turbo Morph pump and an extra spare tube.
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Old 07-21-10, 10:06 AM
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Ever had saddle sores, butt pain, wrist pain, back pain, felt too hot, had trouble balancing your loaded bike while climbing out of the seat while fatigued, or realized you're carrying unnecessary weight while on tour?

A camelbak will create or worsen all of these problems.
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Old 07-21-10, 10:10 AM
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Nope...I don't like trying to keep them clean on tour or carrying weight on my back. A couple bottles are easy to drink from...have enough water for most days between stops and I can clean/dry easily when I feel the need.

I do use a camelback when mtn biking, but I throw the bladder into the freezer between rides to stop the nasty stuff from growing. Much easier than cleaning and drying those bladders.
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Old 07-21-10, 10:15 AM
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I use one on my mountain bike: the more upright riding position plus a lack of bottle cages on my full-suspension bike makes it a requirement if I want to carry fluid. Touring bike has three bottle cages, plus a handlebar bag with room for bottles so I don't see the need for a Camelbak. Plus, my touring bike is closer in geometry to my road bike and the Camelbak just isn't as comfortable.
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Old 07-21-10, 10:54 AM
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A Camelbak will replace all of the additional sweat you lose due to having an object against your back while you ride.
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Old 07-21-10, 11:02 AM
  #12  
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I use one when riding a vintage bike that doesn't have water bottle cages. I've used one when touring on especially hot days, but for most touring purposes I find I don't need it.

I like them.
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Old 07-21-10, 11:04 AM
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The reason I no longer am a huge fan of bladder systems is the fact that I cannot see how much water I have left. If i have say, 3 water bottles on my bike I can more easily moniter my water usage. + i find it a pain in the arse compared to bottles.

If I were in a very low water area as someone above mentioned I would carry a bladder in my panniers in addition to the bottles, but not on my back.
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Old 07-21-10, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by slaani
Ever had saddle sores, butt pain, wrist pain, back pain, felt too hot, had trouble balancing your loaded bike while climbing out of the seat while fatigued, or realized you're carrying unnecessary weight while on tour?

A camelbak will create or worsen all of these problems.
Then there must be millions masochists out there riding.

A CamelBak may cause those problems for you, but I cannot see how you can substantiate your assertion.
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Old 07-21-10, 11:31 AM
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Save us, Sweeping Generalizations Man!

I've had most of those problems, and they weren't at all CamelBak related.

Anyway, I've got one... use it sometimes, but not others. I find it's a great way to carry a whole ton of water plus some gear. I also drink more when I have one, because it's easier to reach down for the bite valve than it is to reach down for my bottles.
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Old 07-21-10, 11:40 AM
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Millions of fools? perhaps.

In order:

Saddle sores - contact between ass and saddle is experiencing more weight and therefore more impact trauma; saddle sores more likely to occur/worsen
Butt pain - contact between ass and saddle is experiencing more weight and therefore more impact trauma
Wrist pain - arms are carrying more unnecessary weight that your bike could, starting to see a trend? (applies less to more upright riders, but upright riders suffer the above even more!)
Back pain - same
Too hot - less circulation of air about the body; if you let the water cook in the sun for long enough the backpack becomes a huge heat battery on your back
Poorer balance - higher center of gravity overall as well as a direct impediment to freedom of motion
Unnecessary weight - bladder could easily be stored in pannier instead of, foolishly, on your back at the expense of a backpack's weight and all the above drawbacks.

If you're riding casually enough that you're not seeing any significant problems in these areas, I suppose the convenience may well be worth it. A long-term tourist is going to see these minor aches as potential injuries, though, and aim to minimize them over the months he may be on the bike. And to the guy saying these problems can all occur without a Camelbak -- that's the point. You likely have several of these issues already if you're cycling regularly, and added weight to your body indisputably makes each of them worse.
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Old 07-21-10, 12:11 PM
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Camelback? I wear three! One for water, one for stove fuel, one for chain lube. I strap my tent to my left leg and my sleeping bag to my right leg. My camera gets taped into my left underarm, and I wear the extra batteries as a necklace. I keep an emergency can of tuna taped into my right underarm. To save weight, I wear my panniers on my feet and leave my shoes at home.
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Old 07-21-10, 12:20 PM
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I primarily mountainbike and every Saturday and Sunday our little gang prefers...no-requires very long rides in as remote locations as we can find. 5-10 hour duration is typical for a weekend ride, lot's of hike a bikes etc. We all use Camelbaks with 100 oz bladders and typically carry go-juice in 2 water bottles.
25 years ago we had fanny packs with bottle holders to carry the spare gear, maps and extra water. Those fanny packs were even more uncomfortable than the loaded camelbak. For the road, no camelbak needed and it is nice to ride without the weight on my back. FYI-I would rather suffer the camelbak and be off-road than wrestle with cars on the road bike without a camelbak.
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Old 07-21-10, 01:05 PM
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Used to use one regularly for all of my riding - commuting, recreational, and touring. Not really fond of it when it gets hot out. However, I haven't noticed any additional aches and pains from wearing one. Pretty much gave up using it for everything but touring. On the next tour I'm going to try someone's advice of carrying it in a pannier and securing the tube up around the stem somewhere. I don't care if I don't know how much water is left. I'll drink that first and will have extra water when it's gone.
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Old 07-21-10, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by slaani
Wrist pain - arms are carrying more unnecessary weight that your bike could, starting to see a trend? (applies less to more upright riders, but upright riders suffer the above even more!)
Just have your arms cut off at the elbows and replaced with titanium spars and claws. Not only will you eliminate the wrist pain, but you'll save more weight than the camelbak.
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Old 07-21-10, 01:50 PM
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I have one that I have used on training rides to keep extra water and my wallet in but never on tour. While touring, anything on the back just doesn't seem right. Besides, it is best to see or feel how much water you have left. A bladder doesn't have a gauge.
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Old 07-21-10, 02:01 PM
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I use one when mountain biking and when doing long rides on a road bike if I think water will be unavailable to refill my bottles. It doesn't bother me at all.

As far as affecting the balance on a bike... Yes, it slightly raises the center of gravity. Using panniers, however, shifts the balance to the rear if you have only rear bags, so let's not pretend one has an effect while the other one doesn't.

Also, regarding wrist pain - you shouldn't be supporting your torso with your arms in the first place.

Finally, regarding the problem with heat with a camelback, the cooling effect while riding comes at the front of the body as you move through the air. The back offers much less evaporative cooling unless you're in a racing crouch, which most people cannot even do properly to begin with.
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Old 07-21-10, 02:09 PM
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For road biking I have a low profile camelbak, the Fairfax, which also has a sternum strap. It fits very well, doesn't move around, holds the same amount as two 700ml bottles and can also carry a few other small items like a couple powerbars, cell phone, patch kit, co2, etc. It sucks that my back gets more sweaty when it's hot than it would without it, but it's SO much easier to drink from and I HATE seat packs or carrying lots of heavy stuff in jersey pockets. I also hate that every time I want to take a sip from a bottle, I lose my line and possibly my momentum, plus bottles tend to leak and get gatoraid on my face, thighs, frame and bars. Bottles suck. I only carry them on super long rides so I can refill my camelbak, or on super short rides when I don't feel like messing with filling and later possibly cleaning my camelbak.

For real mountain biking I wouldn't even consider not wearing my camelbak but for super short and/or easy rides I'll carry one bottle. I just hate any extra weight on my bike, especially a full bottle, when going on technical trails or fast, bumpy downhills. But I also don't like the higher center of gravity with a camelbak.

So they both have their pros and cons.

Last edited by Polar Foil; 08-06-10 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 07-21-10, 02:24 PM
  #24  
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i have been using a camel back my whole trip across the states, till i found out that the tube got moldy.

has anyone had that problem?

i use it everyday for the last 2 months and today i just realized it has mold in the tube and a little in the pouch.

was it becuase i did not air it out? even though it was in constant use for 2 months.
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Old 07-21-10, 02:27 PM
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Assuming that you never put any sports drink in it, my guess would be that either you put in some water that wasn't properly sanitized or that some bacteria got in through the mouthpiece. I have never had any trouble with mold. You could clean it carefully and put some bleach on it, or just buy a new one.
Originally Posted by EvoFX
i have been using a camel back my whole trip across the states, till i found out that the tube got moldy.

has anyone had that problem?

i use it everyday for the last 2 months and today i just realized it has mold in the tube and a little in the pouch.

was it becuase i did not air it out? even though it was in constant use for 2 months.
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