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Camelback == back pain ?????(8 posts)

Camelback == back pain ?????Wil-AZ
Jul 9, 2002 2:32 PM
I know camelbacks are not popular amongs roadies for different reasons. I like using my because of the convenience of it. I would get back aches after a 50-miler before. I excercise my lower back at the gym and the back-aches have gone away (knock on wood). However, when I ride for long distances, afterwards my back still feels tight - kinda like if I bend over wrong, I will have a back-ache. Now I'm thinking that it may be my camelback. It holds 100oz of water, my spare, my pump, and flat-changing tools. In total with a full load of water, it's probably like 10 lbs (call me a FRED if you like, I am uneffected). I may have to try next week with water bottles, even though I hate using them. Any insight, similar experiences?
re: Camelback == back pain ?????davet
Jul 9, 2002 2:37 PM
I use a CamelBak, especially on the long rides, centuries etc. I use to catch myself hunching my shoulders, causing some back/neck pain. I had to make a concious effort to keep my shoulders in a 'natural' position. And I made sure the CamelBak was adjusted properly so it rested higher on my back. Now no pain from the Camelbak.
re: Camelback == back pain ?????Rode Warrior
Jul 9, 2002 2:46 PM
I would attribute it more to your position on the bike, although I can't be 100% sure. I also use a camelback, and don't have your same problem. I am using the Mule, and carry 100oz of water, clothes, cell, tube, patch kit and tools, etc. as you do.

I would suggest keeping up the exercises for your back. I would suggest the "tutle" (I think that's what it is called), basically just lie on your stomach, and without using your arms, try to lift your head, and legs at the same time. You will be arching your back, and this works the spinal erectors (no, ginsing up won't help here), the muscles that run alongside your spine. I had great success with this after my motorcycle accident (broken back).

Hope it helps,
no problem herelaffeaux
Jul 9, 2002 2:46 PM
I use the same set up as you: 100 oz, tube, pump, repair kit, cliff bar(s), car keys, rain jacket, etc. I've not experienced any pain. I do cinch down the straps as I drink the water - after I refill it it's too tight and I have to loosen the straps to make it fit. I commute with a backpack which rides lower on my back, and I do get lower bag pains if I ride more than 15 miles or so with the day pack.
re: Camelback == back pain ?????Joshua
Jul 9, 2002 4:17 PM
I have had the same experience you are talking about. I would get back aches after 20 miles with my camelback, I switched to bottles and recently did a 76 mile ride virtually back-pain free. Give the bottles a shot it may work. BTW I am not a camelback hater it would be much more convenient to use it. Good Luck
re: Camelback == back pain ?????Wil-AZ
Jul 9, 2002 5:01 PM
thank you all for your advice.
re: Camelback == back pain ?????js5280
Jul 9, 2002 6:57 PM
Here's my two cents. I carry a Hawg (the really big one) for both MTB and longer road rides. I don't find it to be a problem. However, on long road rides (50+ miles) my back will be sore but it's just because I don't ride too many rides of that length. I put on some aerobars to give me another position to go to and that seems to help quite a bit for those longer rides. Of course, the way to tell if it's the Camelback is to do a longer ride w/out it (e.g. a well stocked charity ride) and see if occurs. Good luck!
my experiences...dsc
Jul 9, 2002 10:38 PM
I have two Camelbaks - a 100 oz. Hawg I use for off-roading, and a 72 oz Rocket I use on the road. Like you, I load up my Hawg w/ everything but the kitchen sink, but it never bothers me because of a.) a slightly more upright riding position on my mtb, and b.) the fact that off-road rides are almost always shorter than on the road. If I take the fully loaded Hawg on the road for any great distance (most recently a nighttime century in the desert), then it will start to weigh me down after awhile.

On the other hand, I hardly feel the Rocket on my back at all. I think that, in addition to less (water) weight, the fact that it is more aero and lays flatter on my back helps distribute its' weight more evenly.

My .02,