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Here's a wacky idea I thought of...(7 posts)

Here's a wacky idea I thought of...metonymy3
Oct 25, 2001 7:58 PM
I just posted this in a thread on the 2nd or third page, and I think it deserves its own.

I thought of this when I was riding one day. I actually thought about a frame which can hold water. It would be the solution to where to put the bottles. Even if just the seat tube and part of the downtube were used for water, it would be enough, especially if there was a nice big aero downtube. I thought about water sloshing around and making the bike unstable, or even mess up the ride, but no more that a water bottle, right? A Camelbak tube could come out of the frame, much like cable housings do on high-end frames, and up to the rider. To clean the thing, you might have to have a pressurized washer and drier, or if there was a hole about nickel or quarter sized in the frame, you could use a long cylindrical plastic bladder inside the frame, which could be pulled out by sticking a finger in and grabbing it, and put back in, cleaned (once out, you could take it to the sink and turn it inside out and really get it clean and dry. Then sticking it back in could be done with a rod that you stick in the bottom of the bladder, and them push it into the frame. No water would get in the frame this way, but condensationn would have to be ventilated.)
This obviously isn't for the average rider, but for the pros in a big time trial? The only thing that gets me is how to refill it during a ride, as the pros will drink more that 2 tubes of water.

Of course it wouldn't have to be a carbon frame. Ti or Al might work. The one thing is: doesn't monocoque carbon have some kind of foam in it that they wrap the carbon around, effectively making it solid? If it does, then maybe it would have to be lugged carbon or Al or Ti. Steel obviously would be terrible because the 1) you don't use steel in a TT, and 2) rust. Tell me what you think. It may be totally stupid, but it seems like the space inside the tubes is totally wasted.

Bring on the criticism. I want to know if you think it'd work.

Neat idea, but it's been done.nigel
Oct 25, 2001 8:54 PM
Lance dominated/won the time trials in the 2000 TdF with just such a water system. The mechanic had to remove the stem and handlebars each time they wanted to fill the bladder, since it was situated in the down tube.

Good thinking, though, if you hadn't already heard of this.

Neat idea, but it's been done.metonymy3
Oct 25, 2001 10:21 PM
Well, darn. I thought I had something really neat there. Oh, well, I'll just have to think of someting else next time I ride solo. :-)

it wasn't usedmr_spin
Oct 26, 2001 6:54 AM
They had the system, but never used it because it was so hard to deal with. If you watch on video, you can see he has a custom shaped water bottle (stamped Shimano) that he throws away at some point (I assume the team car picked it up). Lance didn't exactly dominate the time trials, except for the final one, which he won.
not a bad idea, but...Dog
Oct 26, 2001 6:04 AM
The idea in general is sound, I think. Why not use dead space inside the tubing for water?

A few issues, though.

First, frames aren't hollow every where. At the joints, many aren't open, but rather one tube sort of goes through. I saw a cut-in-half Cannondale frame at a bike shop recently that clearly showed this. But, I suppose you could redesign for that.

Second, much of the water will be several feet below the rider's mouth. It might become difficult to suck the water up that high.

Third, it would be hard to clean, without a bladder. With a bladder, it would be hard to install and remove.

Fourth, it would be hard to refill on the road or on the fly, limiting its use to one time fill rides, like short time trials or road races.

Fifth, sloshing likely would not be a problem, as it could be baffled somehow.

Six, I've seen a test that shows a conventional bike frame is actually more aerodynamic with regular water bottles in the main diamond than with no bottles there. I'll see if I can find it.

Seventh, particularly for racers with support, they get to a hill or final sprint, they ditch their water bottles, instantly getting rid of the weight. Couldn't really do that.

Eighth, Camelbaks work pretty darn well, especially the sleeker road types. The body might even be more aero with one like the Razor. Unless climbing, you don't really notice the weight much. I even managed to take and replace them on the fly in the 508.

All that considered, what's the advantage again?

Looping Around In Outer SpaceCrankist
Oct 26, 2001 12:50 PM
Yeah Chris, my mind wanders on long rides too.
Have Fun, Mike
Oct 29, 2001 2:10 AM
As the level dropped, the space left would mean sloshing, which would mean that all my beer would throth up :-)