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Why don't roadies like camelbaks?(23 posts)

Why don't roadies like camelbaks?therepublican
Dec 4, 2002 8:15 PM
I started road biking this summer after 4 years on a mountain bike. During those 4 years I realized hydration packs were all but essential to carry enough water along with all the extra gear you inevitably needed. I was, and still am, puzzled at why roadies find them so offensive. They can hold enough water to ride for hours without becoming dehydrated, provide space for tubes, tools, food, etc. if you want, and will prevent your pretty frame from being cluttered up with water bottles, something I figured roadies would like. They make plenty of minimalistic aero ones that hardly weigh more than bottles/cages, so what's the deal?
re: Why don't roadies like camelbaks?MJCBH
Dec 4, 2002 8:39 PM
I thought the exact same thing at first! However, I got over it and decided the extra space and water was worth it. I guess if you are extremely concerned about being "aerodynamic" then a camelback wouldn't work - but honestly, I love mine! The extra space is great for storing things on those long rides.
re: Why don't roadies like camelbaks?desmo
Dec 4, 2002 8:49 PM
1. Tradition.
2. Rubber hose strapped to my face reminds of a hospital stay.
3. 2 cages and 3 jeresy pockets can carrie all I need.
re: Why don't roadies like camelbaks?fbg111
Dec 4, 2002 9:52 PM
I'm getting an Ultimate Direction pack soon. I usually ride my bike to the gymn, and need to carry things like a weight belt and wrist straps, among other things. I could also use some extra water for long distance rides, so I don't have to stop to refill my water bottles so often. As for aerodynamics, John Cobb has found in wind tunnel tests that bike frames are actually more aerodynamic with a water bottle on the down tube, so that may not be a reason to get a camelbak.
re: Why don't roadies like camelbaks?Tunji
Dec 4, 2002 10:12 PM
Strictly Cultural Reasons!!
Aero reasons? I don't think so. There are hydration systems that are to be worn around your don't even know you have it on! (50 oz) Anything that comes out of mountain biking will not be accepted so easily. Visors are now seen in the Rd. bike community, look for a lot of opposition to disc brakes. The early preception about mtbk'ers is difficult for elitist roadies to forget. Rock & rollers boozing it up on the trails (beer), even before races, loud rock music etc. (but know E.P.O.) But things are changing. Colnago now makes a MTB! ($8,500) So some mtbk'ers ARE concidered cyclist now. Lance has even been in a couple of mtb races. I thought I saw a hydration pak in one of the tours on OLN. When we start seeing that, the disscussion is over! We'll all have one!
It's all coming together...therepublican
Dec 4, 2002 11:49 PM
Glad to see there's some crossover taking beginning to take place. STI is finally making its way from road to mountain, now appearing on the new XTR group. Can't wait for it to trickle down to XT or LX. Reckon its just a matter of time before Campagnolo releases a mountain gruppo...well, no. Baby steps, eh?
Campy's already been there, done that...KEN2
Dec 5, 2002 9:00 AM
Campy HAD a mountain bike gruppo in the 80s, can't remember the name but it was heavy and ugly, even if finely finished. They got burned big-time by Shimano on that one and withdrew.
I do, used one since about 1990SteveS
Dec 4, 2002 10:15 PM
I ride on the road, I ain't no "roadie" and I use a Camelbak most months of the year, except for short rides. I don't care what any other ride, road or dirt, think about my using a Camelbak.
I do, used one since about 1990Rob Sal
Dec 5, 2002 1:24 AM
I don't think its anything to do with roadies being anti MTB sourced ideas.

Roadies ride on generally clean, dry, stable, predictable surfaces. MTBs run on mud, dirt, cow/horse/sheep dung on rutted unstable ground. The wheels will cover your MTB water bottle with said mud and dung making the drinking of water rather gross, also riding on slippery unstable rough ground one handed whilst pouring water down your neck may be a bit dangerous at times!! Hence the use of camelbacks!
I shouldSteveS
Dec 5, 2002 9:03 AM
I should point out that when I started using a Camelbak, I used it for centuries, long before a large number of mtbike riders ever heard about the first Camelbak. Matter of fact, Camelbak's history shows that it was designed for use after someone endured the Hotter'N'Hell 100 century in Texas.

Here in Texas, I have never had one road rider ever say anything negative about the Camelbak. In hot weather, I will have cool water for up to 4 hours. Someone with a cool bottle will have warm water in about 30 minutes.
There are good reasonsbigrider
Dec 5, 2002 5:08 AM
I use a camelbak on the road sometimes but there are reasons that hinder their enjoyment:

Carrying 70 oz of extra weight on your body
Trying to find the hose and get it in you mouth
The straps digging into your body

And my favorite on a hot sultry day:

The sweat running down the middle of your back and pouring into your crack like a waterfall
There are good reasonsspuncrazy
Dec 5, 2002 5:52 AM
The reason I don't is, I like the freedom from something hanging/pulling on my shoulders. When I started road riding again a couple of years ago I used bottles on my first rides and enjoyed the freedom. I had used a Camelback for MTB for years. Now I use the lower back, waist mount pack For MTB because it gets the weight off the shoulders. The 2 bottles and 3 pockets are all I need on the road. I can usually refill along the road if I need more water.
re: Why don't roadies like camelbaks?madwiscbiker
Dec 5, 2002 5:37 AM
A few reasons I have found by my own trial and error. One, and I think the most important, it just feels better to be out there without a big old bladder or water on your back, you feel freer and less restricted.
Also, I have found that on a raod bike I am more horizontal with the ground (duh) and that a camelback just sort of creeps up my back over time till it is up around my neck. And if I use the chest straps they just slowly bunch up my jersey as the pack moves forward. Just my personal experience.
But I do use one when mt biking, there is no way to descend a technical single track through the trees while getting a drink if you are using water bottles. They are the best in that situation.
They do.......Len J
Dec 5, 2002 5:44 AM
at least some of us do.

I do & will always use one for a ride of longer than 1.5 hours. It is just easier, keeps drinks cooler, doesn't require a reach for a bottle, I end up drinking more which all adds up (for me) to a better ride.

They do.......Ditto....on long, solo, ridesPaulCL
Dec 5, 2002 7:55 AM
When I'm doing a solo ride of over 50-60 miles on a hot day, I'll use my aeroback camelback. Out in the country, there may not be anyplace to get fresh water for miles. Where I often ride, in rural Kentucky, everyone has well or cistern water. If you're not used to that stuff (vs city water) it can give you a serious case of the runs. Tough choice on a bike: dehydration or the runs.

I've run out of water on a hot, hot day and it ain't no fun. Get this: I ran out of water on an organized century ride inbetween miles 60-75 because someone forgot to man a relief station. It was 90 and I was alone. bonk city. Scrape me off the pavement.

I know camelbacks aren't "cool" but so what. In a group ride, I'll use just my water bottles 'cause I can always borrow some water if desperate enough. Paul
re:Convenience stores and comfort.dzrider
Dec 5, 2002 5:49 AM
By the time I've gone through 2 water bottles I'm ready for a quick stop and a cold drink. The roads in southern New England seldom take me more than 10 miles between stores, so the water bottles are enough. I use a Camelbak for trail running and have tried a few styles on the bike. The fanny pack was the least annoying, but I couldn't get used to straps, a hose and added weight especially on hot days when I wear only bibs.
Why do MTB'ers like them?Breakfast
Dec 5, 2002 8:31 AM
Let's look at that.

Because you cycle in areas far from sources of water and you need to carry enough to sustain you. Also, some of the accessories you need like pumps, tubes, tools and food can fit into the storage area of the Camelbak. Drinking from a tube rather than reaching for a bottle over sketchy terrain means you still can have both hands on the bars. The carrying of a lot of weight on your back especially when most rides start with a long climb into the mountains is a necessary compromise. It sucks to have the weight and all the water but that's the way it is.

On the road I can get water from markets and public drinking fountains or even a borrowed hose so I don't worry about it as much. My bottles are easy and I can drink and ride with one hand on the bars at any speed. Finally, I don't like the weight or the fact I can't get into my jersey pockets. I have used a Camelbak on centuries, though.
Don't like 'em on my mountain bike, eitherSilverback
Dec 5, 2002 8:53 AM
I just don't like to ride with a backpack. I'll use one on a long ride (road or mountain) where there's no water available, but most of the time I can get by with two or three bottles and cash for the convenience store.
It's a regional thingJimP
Dec 5, 2002 9:32 AM
I ride in Texas and camelbaks are used by all riders here. The Camelback originated in west Texas for roadies and whether it is cool to use them or not, most riders do use them in addition to having multiple water bottles. Riding in 100 degree heat for 20 miles or more will make you appreciate the ability to have cold water available.
question for usersNo_sprint
Dec 5, 2002 10:24 AM
Not for the amazon dudes in XXLs. Does wearing one inhibit your ability to get into your jersey pockets? I've been considering trying the smaller, most aero, no pockets, no frills model.
because they suckmohair_chair
Dec 5, 2002 1:22 PM
I use a camelback on my mountain bike because mine has only one not very accessible bottle cage. I'll admit, I can stuff all kinds of stuff in it, but it better, because it renders my jersey pockets mostly useless. I hate that thing on my back. I always end up with a big soaking wet spot on my back because of the sweat, plus it screws up my center of gravity and it shifts around unless you wrap it tight, in which case it restricts breathing. Camelbaks may be necessary on a mountain bike, but they still suck.

On a road bike, I will never use one. I never do rides where I can't find water if I need it, and most of my road rides are at least 50 miles. In spring/summer I do 100+ mile rides two or three times a month, but I never needed to carry more than two bottles. There is no way I want anything on my back for five to seven hours. We route our rides to hit a store or park along the way where we can get water and food, so no need to carry it along. Whatever you want to do is your business, but I'll never wear one on a road bike. None of my friends do either.
Alot of things changed for me this year...Lone Gunman
Dec 5, 2002 6:09 PM
First I started using a mirror. Then I bought an old bike and built it into a single speed. It was one of the hottest summers in years and I only had 1 water bottle rack on my retro bikes and wanted to ride them longer distances than ever so I bought a hydration system that was not a Camelbak. It had to have features: 70oz+, some carrying capacity but no bellows, S straps, chest and waist straps. Endd up with a Hydrapak from Nashbar at a great price for all these features, $37?
I do sometimesDougSloan
Dec 5, 2002 8:17 PM
As you can see, they can be very aero; if hydration is critical, they help a lot.