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Roadies and Camelbacks--why not?(16 posts)

Roadies and Camelbacks--why not?Chris Zeller
Sep 10, 2001 2:51 PM
As a newbie to road help me out here. The sports drink question got me thinking...why do few roadies use camelback style hydration systems? They seem to work well for me--practically the best way to motivate me to drink while riding. They hold typically 100 oz three water bottle equivelents. MTBRs seem to like them. If you don;t like the bulky backback you don't need one of the big ones..think Camelback rasor. I can't believe there is much drag in the turbulent flow on your back.

So why not?

I will probably continue to use mine weather or not other riders think I'm fred. Just wondering why not.
I like them too, but ...Humma Hah
Sep 10, 2001 3:05 PM
... there are some pretty specific reasons.

A lot of riders will switch to a hydration bladder for long, self-supported rides where supplies are harder to come by.

I agree, a hydration pack encourages me to drink more.

Off-road, if you look at where the mud spatters, and realize that horses may share the trail, bottles on the downtube and seat tube are somewhat unappetizing. This is less problem on the road.

But, racers typically cover fairly short distances between water availability, and it is very fast to drop two bottles and grab two more.

Wind tunnel studies do show that there is a definite drag penalty for backpacks, even fairly sleek ones. This only really matters at racing speeds.

Many riders prefer having the weight on the frame instead of the back. A lower CG may help handling a little.

Most backpack designs hinder torso cooling. Even my arched pack does this to a degree.

Its a personal choice. My non-competitive, solo, self-supported distance riding makes me prefer a pack.
Couldn't have said it better & would add....Len J
Sep 10, 2001 3:09 PM
they are safer when riding in a pack as you can drink w/o taking your hands off the bars.

Airdynamics of camelbacksWoof the dog
Sep 11, 2001 4:06 PM
I read somewhere that camelback (small one) under a skinsuit is actually aiding your airdynamic-ness. I could do a little search, but figured with the stuff i have to do tonight, it would not be worthwhile to spend time to prove my point. I will let you point me to the studies where they show camelbacks hindering airflow. Sorry.

I don't use camelbacks because: no money to spend on this untraditional stuff, image, a lot less mess - just fill up bottles and go, its a pain in the ___ to put c.b. on i assume, less weight on my back. Nothing that was not already mentioned.

Woof the dog

Woof the dog.
That wouldn't surprise me ...Humma Hah
Sep 11, 2001 7:26 PM
A small camelback is just a bump, but every one I've seen is a bit "rough", and there's always some gap between it and the back. But under a skin, most of that trouble would go away.

Now, my pack could hold a Hawg and still have room for my 3-ton floor jack. When I do an aero tuck with one hand behind me, I can feel air swirling off the pack. A skinsuit wouldn't work, I'd need a tent.
Other ReasonsDCP
Sep 10, 2001 3:13 PM
Camelbaks are much harder to clean than throwing bottles in a dishwasher.

I can take both water and a sports drink with bottles. I can buy either and different flavors of sports drinks at stores. Stores may not be much of an option offroad, but on the road, you have to be in a pretty remote area not to find a store or two.

Bottom line is, though, use it if it works for you.
re: Roadies and Camelbacks--why not?Spinarooni
Sep 10, 2001 3:16 PM
Yah why not? I'm a mtbr and I am still shopping for a road bike. I asked my friend and he said you can't use it but gave no answer. Would I look like a giant tool if I road around with one?
Just like shaved legs...pure tradition....nestorl
Sep 10, 2001 3:50 PM
We can rationalize as much as we want why camelbacks and road riding do not match...but this is as irrationl as saying that there is a clear benefit to having your legs shaved (I have mine silky smooth).. THERE ARE NO REAL REASONS!!! (although Humman makes a nice argument)... IT IS PURE TRADITION!!!! shaved Legs, water bottles, 25mph, and many other usless traditional thing is what make us roadies!! :-)

why do golfers use collar shirts?
why do most soccer goalies do not wear sweatpants during winter?
Why do baseball players wear baseball caps?
Why do politicians sleep with INTERNS??????

Fan of bothUncleMoe
Sep 10, 2001 4:30 PM
I use a camel back on my MTB because of the mud/dirt issues. Drinking out of a dirty water bottle is nasty. Plus, its a rougher type of ride and carry a few more supplies, so the larger camelbacks can carry more stuff (two tubes, pump, etc.)

On the road though, I want to feel more loose and free. I don't want a camelback strapped on my back, especially over a long 80 mile ride. Plus I can fit the few items I need in my saddle bag.

See, there are reasons.
re: Shimano or Campy? Steel or Ti?cyclopathic
Sep 10, 2001 5:51 PM
of cause there's only one right answer!

YOu realize most of people do it just because pros do, and if you're pro bottles make more sence:
- easier to exchange (you can send off domestique to fetch one)
- heat management (when have you seen pro climbing Alps in helmet?)
- count weight too they all weight weenies
- aerodynamics (and pros spend time in aero tunnel and they do wear skinsuites)

btw I haven't seen elite mtb to use Cbak, maybe because it's only 2hr race? and they get new bottles every lap? or they 're all roadies, aren't they?

The other thing road much more concervative. There's more history, more tradition good or bad.

Also you don't have to worry about horse poop on trail, you don't ride FS bike with no bottle mounts and you can take hands off handle bar for long time. Heat is much more problem on road, you usualy shaded on trail. You lean more on road, you stay in the same posision, and that extra weight doesn't help with back pain.

Still hydration packs have advantages and I don't think someone would call you fred just because you've got one, it's way pass that point now.
Camelbaks hide sponsor logos... can't let that happen, eh?! NMTig
Sep 10, 2001 6:21 PM
Sponsors?? Maybe my MBNA VISA :-) NMnestorl
Sep 10, 2001 6:39 PM
yeah yeah riding billboards lolcyclopathic
Sep 10, 2001 7:11 PM
recent convertbianchi boy
Sep 11, 2001 3:56 AM
I only recently began using a CamelBak after I developed a kidney stone -- probably from not drinking enough water. Previously I had always used just water bottles and never had a problem with that -- they're convenient, easy to clean, easy to refill on the road. I use the CamelBak mainly for long unsupported rides, and I do find that I end up drinking a lot more when I have it along. For shorter rides, two water bottles is plenty enough to drink. I haven't found that the CamelBak causes me to heat up because I fill it with lots of ice along with the water, so it actually cools me some. As far as wind drag goes, that is not an issue at my speed and high handlebar position. One other reason to use a CamelBak is water purity. I recently filled up my water bottles at a country store that apparently had a bad well and I developed intestinal problems that lasted an entire week. With the CamelBak, I can carry all the water I need without ever having to fill up where I am uncertain about the water supply or purity.
whatever helps you enjoy the sportkenyee
Sep 11, 2001 10:01 AM
I keep my first aid stuff, spare shirt, FRS radios, etc. in my HAWG. I also tend to drink more from it than from bottles...first thing I noticed when I got it for hiking.
re: Roadies and Camelbacks--why not?mackgoo
Sep 12, 2001 1:33 AM
When I ride, I ride. I don't like to stop to fill. If I'm going out for greater than 50 miles, I use a camel back.