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How many use a Camelback when riding?(32 posts)

How many use a Camelback when riding?MXL02
Aug 20, 2002 5:39 AM
I know this has been discussed before, but I am wrestling with trying to decide whether to use one or not. I used to use one religiously, then some guys in my riding group told me it was anti-aero and Fred-like, and that all I needed was Bottles and cages. I am usually not suceptible to the roadie-snob style Nazis, but I thought the anti-aero charge may have had some validity, and that riding without it may help add some speed. Anyone else use a hydration backpack when riding a road bike? What type do you recommend?
re: Hydrapak Skeleton. light and aero 50oz nmcyclejim
Aug 20, 2002 5:59 AM
re: How many use a Camelback when riding?JimP
Aug 20, 2002 6:03 AM
I use a Camelback and I'm not ashamed of it. I live and ride in the Dallas area of Texas and the majority of riders on the charity rides use a Camelback or equivalent. I have an insulated 70oz Camelback that I start out with ice in the water. The ice will last 1 1/2 to 2 hours with a temperature in the 90s. I also use Polar bottles with ice and juice but they don't stay cold as long as the Camelback.
When you hear about anti-aero - think about the history of the camelback. The fellow that invented it lived in Odessa, Texas and wanted something that would carry a lot of water and be aerodynamic. The first itteration was a bladder that set under the seat with a tube up to the handlebars. That worked but was a pain to fill and sometimes the bladder broke. He then came up with the Camelback idea and it has taken off. Reaching for a bottle, holding it up to drink disrupts the air a lot more than having the Camelback on your back and drinking from the tube.

only when mountain bikingmr_spin
Aug 20, 2002 6:23 AM
I'm no roadie snob. I just hate that thing on my back. I don't have a choice on my MTB, because it is a full suspension bike. There's only one bottle cage, and it's too hard to use while riding.
Same Here nmPhatMatt
Aug 20, 2002 1:51 PM
third itcyclopathic
Aug 20, 2002 7:11 PM
when it's too hot it covers back and makes you 10 degrees hotter, when it isn't 2 bottles is enough.
If it is really hot I carry extra bottle in jersey pocket.
I dooff roadie
Aug 20, 2002 6:24 AM
But I guess I'm pretty hopelessly Fred. I figure bigger folks need bigger amounts of water, and the heat index (humidity) makes it easy to dehydrate here in Minnesotta. I like the Ultimate packs Supergo is selling- the bag is a unique design wich seal with a sort of self adhering roll up neck, much wider and more flexable than the typical screw neck, with fewer seams to eventually leak. The smallest one looks pretty aero. {The "epic" has lousy aero, but holds 128 ounces plus a lot of cargo. Its my personal choice.}

If its such an issue, get a small, sleak pack (they are cheap), wear it UNDER your skin suit (or jersey, if you can handle the aero drag) and remove your bottle racks. Removing a bottle and rack reduces drag by 2.8%, according to - I don't see how a small pack could be worse than two bottles!

Equally important, if a pack lets you drink more water, and more safely and effeciently, it will probably help you ride faster. Lugging 128 ounces gives me the option of riding non-stop for quite some time...
I gotta admit...Lone Gunman
Aug 20, 2002 3:24 PM
I bought a Hydrapak from Nashbar last week and used it for the first time this weekend. The reason I bought it is I now have 2 bikes that have no brazeons, and have cobbled up 1 cage per bike. I began carrying around extra bottles in my jersey pockets and the sagging jersey was bothersome.

I got the 70oz model, if you check the hydrapak site they rate their models as race, sport, trekking? Anyhow the model I ot is supposed to be a sport model yet is lighter than the race model. Go figure. I used it and drank alot more and more often than bottles and felt alot safer than using bottles. It may become a regular piece of equipment for me, not just a long ride deal.
re: How many use a Camelback when riding?PaulCL
Aug 20, 2002 6:24 AM
I use one occasionally. I'll use it on longer rides...basically, anything over 50 or 60 miles. I'll admit that I feel a bit self conscious about it when I come upon a group of roadies. I'm susceptible to roadie-snob nazi's too. I'll say this though: I can ride farther and faster when I use one because I drink more. No doubts about that one.

I use the Aeroback camelback. Made specifically for roadies. Holds about 50oz with little room for anything else. Usually, I can squeeze a powerbar or inntertube inside.

Just on the MTB...biknben
Aug 20, 2002 6:24 AM
I do MTB training rides with a 70 oz. camelback with pouches to carry tools, etc. I MTB race with a sleek 50 oz. camelback (just the essentials). On the dirt, I feel they are a necessary evil. It's just too bumpy to be grabing for a bottle and riding with one hand for any length of time.

I used a camelback on the road for a year or so. Once I got used to grabbing a bottle in a pack or paceline I ditched the camelback.

I don't need to carry that much water all at once. Two bottle gets me about 60 oz. of fluid. By the time I finish those, I'm looking to get off the bike for a few minutes anyway to stretch. Every 2-3 hours I restock the bottles and stretch at a convenience store.
re: How many use a Camelback when riding?liebejungen
Aug 20, 2002 6:31 AM
I use my Camelback UnBottle in a small day pack. It works very well for me. It is the same one i use for backpacking so it seemed natural to adapt it to Cycling when i took it up. I love mine! :- )
On leisure rides and off roadStampertje
Aug 20, 2002 7:19 AM
I have a 70oz bladder I put in my regular backpack. Camera, snacks, weather gear and a map if I don't know where I'm going.

Didn't use it on my last ride on account of saving room for all the bottles I got at the winery that was our final destination :)

When I'm training or racing (only done a couple of time trials) I don't want to bother with the pack, but I might try a specific pack sometime if I get more serious. They seem very handy. Unfortunately, they mostly seem a little tight on my 6'4" frame.
re: How many use a Camelback when riding?wonderdog
Aug 20, 2002 7:58 AM

i get sick of lukewarm water coming out of plastic water bottles. icy cold water coming out of a camelback tastes much better on a day when the temp is 95 with 90% humidity. plus, you can carry more of it for those long summer rides.

the only way that the c-back is anti aero is when you are in a full tuck or doing a TT.

as for the roadie snob nazis....f--k em'. i'm really tired of that attitude as i deal with it all the time.

Aug 20, 2002 8:35 AM
I use a Camelbak rogue under two main conditions. 1. Long rides on insanely hot days where a waterbottle can't stay cool enough. 2. New routes where the location of stores to find water/Gatorade is in question. There is a Fred factor that may make you the subject of ridicule from the conformist, roadie-snob crowd, buts that's only a problem if if let it be one.
I use one in long hot road raceslonefrontranger
Aug 20, 2002 8:46 AM
To me the benefits of remaining hydrated in a >2 hour hilly road race in +90 degree temps far outweigh the "fred" or aero factors.
I use one in long hot road racesMXL02
Aug 20, 2002 8:48 AM
hey LFR- from your previous posts it seems you are one serious roadie...if you use it, it must be cool. :-) Thanks
well, consider the source...lonefrontranger
Aug 20, 2002 10:59 AM
I've been racing for over a decade now, and I've used and discarded a lot of ideas that don't work. Friction shifting. Biopace rings. I could go on... A Camelbak works for long road races, especially in amateur events where feed zone and neutral support is minimal to zilch. The reason the pros don't use hydration packs is simple: they always have a team car and/or domestique right there with fresh bottles.

I'm with haiku-boy; I don't give a rat's hairy hiney what people think. I was so over that by age sixteen.

I use a 50 oz Razor for road racing / long road rides. I fill it with water and carry Gatorade or Shaklee in my bottle cages. The Razor is small and sleek enough not to create the load / balance issues that another poster mentioned - I probably wouldn't like wearing one of the big ones on the road bike either; although my SO and I use the kind large enough to house a third world family for MTB daytrips. The Razor is also slim enough to wear under my jersey so I don't have to worry about where to pin my number or get grief from sponsors by covering them up while I'm racing. I also don't react well to heat, and on a real scorcher, a Camelbak loaded with ice / H20 is one of the best ways I've found to postpone the dreaded core temp meltdown.
A comeback for snob comments...Lone Gunman
Aug 20, 2002 3:37 PM
The nice comment is "well the team car is in the shop today so I gave the support guys the day off"

The nasty comment is "why don't I smoke your silly ass and well see how freddie I look afterward"

The Hydrapack I got has a waist strap, chest strap, S shaped shoulder straps and can hold sufficient gear and still fit under my jersey if I chose. All were the features I shopped for when making my decision. Oh yea, it was cheaper than a Camelback of the same quantity bladder.
Ahhh(daydreaming) if only I could smoke anybody. :) nmMXL02
Aug 20, 2002 5:53 PM
I do for 3+ hour rides...PdxMark
Aug 20, 2002 8:59 AM
I like it alot. I never run out of water. I have a Blackburn, which I like fine. I'd get one that is pretty compact, 70 oz or so, but with some storage for a windjacket.
I use one too!jtlmd
Aug 20, 2002 9:07 AM
It's the best way to stay hydrated on long hot rides. I carry gatorade or other energy drink in bottles and water in the Camelback. Using the Camelback has greatly improved my endurance and performance both on and off road. Plus, I'm no longer looking for a place to refill my water bottles every two hours. Convenience stores are few and far between in rural Ohio.

As far as an aero disadvantage, you can probably talk yourself into believing anything. I remember 3-4 years ago when the Tour de France/UCI officials wouldn't let Bobby Julich use a Camelback during a time trial because they thought it would provide an aero advantage. So if the pros think it is an aero advantage why do others think it is a disadvantage. Where's the wind tunnel test reports!
re: How many use a Camelback when riding?JS Haiku Shop
Aug 20, 2002 9:26 AM
wonderdog is again the voice of reason. nazi punks f**k off.

JS Haiku Shop "Question for those who ride 60+ mile in a day..." 8/20/02 6:53am

carry what you need, stop less, ride more.

it's not a fashion contest. what are we, in junior high school again? i'll have to admit, though...i sure did love those purple parachute pants in sixth grade.
re: How many use a Camelback when riding?aliensporebomb
Aug 20, 2002 9:40 AM
I use one either mountain or road. No grief. I'd not
want to bolt on any excess metal on my gorgous new bike.
re: How many use a Camelback when riding?mapei boy
Aug 20, 2002 10:36 AM
I've found that a Camelback is just not very comfortable when I'm on my road bike. The extra weight really wears on my hands and wrists. It sits like an unwelcome monkey on my back. If I need to carry a lot of liquid, I even prefer to put a third bottle in a jersey pocket rather than sling on the C'back. On the other hand, when I'm on my mountain bike, I love the Camelback to death. In any event, IMO, the Camelback is one of the great inventions of the past fifteen years, even if it doesn't work ideally in all situations. The inventor ought to be given a medal.
re: How many use a Camelback when riding?CT1 Guy
Aug 20, 2002 10:48 AM
I use a Camelbak - both for longer rides in the summer as well as in winter on both my road and mountain bikes.

In summer it keeps me hydrated and I can keep going for over 4 hours - difficult to achieve with two water bottles. Used one recently in the Pyrenees - never suffered from cramp or dehydration all week when others sufferred in the heat.

In winter, I fill it up with a warm drink a wear it under my outer layer - it keeps me warm and I know I can ride for longer. Also keeps the crap off - a problem when riding on country roads in winter.
Every ride over 1 hourSteveS
Aug 20, 2002 11:38 AM
I have used a Camelbak since they came on the market, especially for any ride over an hour or longer than 20 miles. No one has ever called me a Fred but if they did, it wouldn't make any difference because in a hot climate like Texas, I have cool to cold water for up to 4 hours and they have warm to very warm water after just 30 minutes. You like Camelbak, use it.
Every Ride over an hour & a half.Len J
Aug 20, 2002 11:48 AM
I guess I'm too damn old to remember all these rules :-).

I find that I drink more, The weight doesn't bother me and I can go longer between stops. Why wouldn't I use one?

As far as Fredish.......Taken to an extreme, most of us are not "Good enough" to ride a racing bike. (tongue firmly in cheek). If I worried about what other people think, I wouldn't be riding at all.
"People your age shouldn't exercise that hard."
"In this heat, It's not safe to ride."
"Everything in moderation now, anything over 30 minutes exercise is a waste of time."
"No one in their right mind would be caught dead in lycra."

As far as aero is concerned, How many of these guys rode the entire ride in the drops? I'll bet none. I guarantee that riding in the drops with a minimal camelback is more efficient that riding on th hoods & using bottles.

Do what you want, Ignore the conformists!. Be yourself.

re: How many use a Camelback when riding?mbologna
Aug 20, 2002 12:12 PM
I live in Houston, and started using the Camelbak Rocket about a month ago. I love it! I had the same concerns you did, but since I've started using it, nobody has said anything, and I'm drinking a lot more fluids. I seem to be riding better (faster and longer), too. I fill it with water, and carry one Polar bottle with Gatorade. Plus, the pocket is large enough to carry whatever you want (I'm carrying my keys, power bar or two, cell phone, cash, id and an extra tube.)

I don't find the weight an issue at all, and I don't see any real aero issues, though I haven't tried to race with it.

My back (and the Camelbak) are pretty wet with sweat after the ride, but I don't find it is hot while I am riding.

I would suggest getting one with a sternum strap to hold the pack steady, though I think you can buy one as an add on to some of the less expensive ones.

Finally, if you do a search on camelbak, you'll find a lot of info on this site.
re: How many use a Camelback when riding?metty108
Aug 20, 2002 1:09 PM
I wouldnt mind using one, but as winter time
in England is rapidly approaching I will wait
a while before I get one.
One interesting observation though, someone posted
that Bobby Julich was not allowed to use on in a TT,
but did anyone notice David Millar using one on the
first individual TT of this years TDF.

Many thanks to all who responded:MXL02
Aug 20, 2002 1:16 PM
As I said, I started to use cages and bottles in lieu of the CB several weeks ago, but last week on my longer ride, I think I got overly dehydrated...I want to ride harder longer so, to hell with the style Nazis, I'm going back to my Camelbak...thanks.
Didnt the UCI ban them as they ?PhatMatt
Aug 20, 2002 1:58 PM
Didnt the UCI ban them at one time as they could be used as a spoiler to help with areodynamics? I thought I heard smothing about that this year during the TDF.

Didnt the UCI ban them as they ?bikedodger
Aug 20, 2002 2:27 PM
I remember them being banned because the UCI thought they would reduce drag, but I believe that the ban was overturned when testing showed no aerodynamic advantage.