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Why are Camalbaks not used on the road much?...(31 posts)

Why are Camalbaks not used on the road much?...asphalt assault
Feb 3, 2003 8:47 AM
...A water bottle is more difficult to fiddle with, not to mention the limited capacity you have carrying even three bottles with you. You can put your tools and whatnot on your back so the bike feels lighter and more nimble.

Just wondering why they havn't caught on...pretty handy little items if you ask me. I'l never go back to a bottle.
I hate having stuff on my back for road (nm)ColnagoFE
Feb 3, 2003 8:55 AM
Feb 3, 2003 9:15 AM
Even the water bladder only ones seem bulky when riding a sleek road bike. I prefer not to use a hydration pack, but do use one once a week during the season on my weekly high-mileage ride where bottle refill locations are non-existent.

Also, I never put a sports drink in mine, the gatorade is always in a bottle.

Pure snobberycyclopath
Feb 3, 2003 9:25 AM

Like you say, they are great for the job in hot weather. I wear one, people laugh, then I tear their asses when they have run out of water and I have at least a l left.

Some people are just too bound up in what they look like/what others think - welcome to road riding...
Absolutely. I'd never be caught with one. nmSpunout
Feb 3, 2003 9:28 AM
You saying I am a snob? ;-)MB1
Feb 3, 2003 9:42 AM
I used them for years off road where I could be hours away from water (you know, what if something happened to me out there???).

We used them on the road for a while but did not care for them so we stopped using them. Guess I just must be a snob....
I love that feel when..bigrider
Feb 3, 2003 10:00 AM
I love that feel when the river of sweat runs down the small of my back and creates that beautiful waterfall cascading down the crack of my ...
re: Why are Camalbaks not used on the road much?...GrabTheBarsAndHurt
Feb 3, 2003 9:26 AM
I thought they were outlawed by the UCI / USA Cycling for the added danger of bladders breaking in crashes, water on the road, and resulting accidents. By my experience, things that aren't allowed in racing are usually practiced when racing ... i.e. - if you race in mass-start events and can't use one when you race, why get used to it while training and not have it available in competition?

For the record, I've seen many non-racing cyclists use them (especially people who do a lot of endurance events).
Not illegalSpoiler
Feb 3, 2003 10:34 AM
The UCI/USA would be morons to claim any danger. Tons of crashes have been caused by rolling/dropped water bottles. A camelback saved my back in a crash once.
My last race was in April of 2002 and they let me wear us wear them. I got dropped in an early lap, took it off, hung it on a barrier, and never saw it again. Replaced it though.
It is illegal ...GrabTheBarsAndHurt
Feb 3, 2003 12:35 PM
My original post was from an experience of mine at a race a few years ago. It was the State Road Championships, and our category was racing around 100 miles. One of my friends didn't have any support, and wore his Camelbak under his jersey. Someone complained at staging, and the officials citing a rule made him remove it.

I did some Google searches, and although my reason was incorrect (danger from water on the course), I did find an article explaining that the UCI has made Camelbak hydration systems illegal under rule 1.3.033 citing it decreases wind resistance for the riders (for time trials, I presume).

I couldn't find any information in the USA Cycling rule book, I can't validate they have made it illegal. In my experience, USA Cycling follows the UCI in many of their decisions and I wouldn't be surprised if they have.

"The UCI has banned a CamelBak hydration system from competitive events due to a suspected ³aerodynamic advantage² that could infringe upon UCI regulations concerning Athletes¹s Clothing Equipment."

If anyone can correct this, please do.

Also remember, just because you were allowed to race with a Camelbak doesn't mean it's legal. Race officials are responsible for enforcing the rules, and even though they do a great job, they are human and can make mistakes.
It is illegal ...Spoiler
Feb 3, 2003 4:14 PM
I contacted the Arizona South USCF rep and he said,
"Like you, I have not seen any reference to "Camelbacks" or like hydration devices - - and although I don't have the last word - I see no reason for restricting the use of such devises - - However - if I were you - I would seek the advise/approval of the chief ref of any event I entered (just cover your bases before there is an issue)"

What I take from this is that it's up to the individual race chief ref's discretion. My race was in AZ in hot weather, so maybe I got lucky and had a ref that used common sense.
Because Supercool Roadies Like Being ThirstyRJF
Feb 3, 2003 9:31 AM
For long road rides in the summer, I always use a Camelbak. I'd rather carry all of my water than be stuck in the middle of nowhere, thirsty, searching for something to drink. Two large waterbottles just isn't enough for a long ride unless you know there's going to be water along the way.
..and death via dehydration is agonizingly painfulPaulCL
Feb 3, 2003 9:41 AM
I use a camelback only when riding a long (>60mi), solo ride where water wont' be readily available. About a half dozen times last year, I did a solo 75 miler to a friends farm in Maysville, KY. Hilly, no stores, and very hot mid summer. The first water stop is 40 miles into the trip - and I hate to stop.

You'll see a lot of them on charity rides, organized centuries, etc... I wouldn't use one on those rides since they have water stops every 15 miles....To each his/her own.

Some reasonsAndy M-S
Feb 3, 2003 9:52 AM
When you're on rough trails, you're more likely to lose a bottle--hence, backpacking your hydration system makes sense. On a smooth rode, you're not so likely to lose things, even if you hit railroad crossings at a good speed, so bottles are nice.

Most mountain bikes have limited space for large bottles, due to the sloping top tube; this is not true of most road bikes, which can handle two good-sized bottles.

The sort of riding you do on a road bike is, I'd guess, more likely to result in heat build-up than is MTB riding. Having something sitting on your back can get uncomfortably warm, hence, bottles.

I know that I don't like having extra weight on my body--I'd much rather have the bike carrying the load, especially on rides where I'm going to be in the saddle for six or eight hours. Gimme a saddlebag, a Carradice, a handlebar bag--I'll take any of those over a backpack in a minute.

Oh--and another thing: Water bottles are dirt cheap and require minimal maintenance. Camelbacks are rather costly and high-maintenance.
Some more reasonsLC
Feb 3, 2003 10:08 AM
Center of gravity becomes higher with a pack on and you can not whip thru a corner because your more unstable.

Standing on a long hill becomes much harder having to support the extra weight.

More weight on your body means more weight on your contact to the saddle and hands and that means more numbness in your hands and ass. Very uncomfortable wearing it for long rides, and on a 8 to 10 hour ride every little irritating thing becomes extreme pain!

I love a hump on my back off road, but there are just too many dissadvantages on road. Fashion has nothing to do with it for me.
Camelbacks are high-maintenance? and more expensive?laffeaux
Feb 3, 2003 10:17 AM
How do you figure that?

As long as you only use water in a Camelback there is no maintenance. I've had the same bladder in mine since X-mas of 1998, and all I do is empty the water after each ride and fill it before each ride. Occasaionally I rinse it, but you do that with water bottles too.

The cost is not necessarily higher either.

Camelback = $70


Two Cussi water bottle cages = $30
Two Water bottles = $12
Seat pack for tools = $15

If you have more than one bike the cost of a Camelback is probably cheaper, as the cost is $70 total (for all bikes), while each new bike required new cages, and possibly a new seat pack.
Camelbacks are high-maintenance? and more expensive?Andy M-S
Feb 3, 2003 12:18 PM
1. Replacing a reservoir costs a bit more than a couple of bottles (bottles are essentially free--I've bought one or two, but never paid more than $2.50).

2. I can have one bottle of water and one of gatorade.

3. $30?? for bottle cages??

4. I already own a seatpack, and I sure didn't pay $15 for it!

5. You can pay lots more than $70 for a hump.

6. The big one--bottles are more aerodynamic!

As for maintenance, I'd much rather wash out a bottle than a plastic bag and length of hose any day...
I see them all the time in summer. They've caught on quite well!Tig
Feb 3, 2003 9:59 AM
I use them when MTB riding or for longer rides in hot weather. Otherwise I use large Polar insulated bottles. If I rode where there were absolutely no stores or water sources around, I'd use one more.

Who cares what anyone thinks?! Let the riding do the talking.
here are some reasonstarwheel
Feb 3, 2003 10:13 AM
I've got a camelbak but rarely ever use it. Here's why:
-- I usually don't need that much water.
-- Typically one of my bottles contains Gatorade and I wouldn't want to gunk up a Camelbak with that.
-- I drink about one bottle of water every hour, or 20 miles or so. If I am riding long enough to need more than one bottle, I'll generally want to stop somewhere and take a brief pit stop.
-- I like to wear bright jerseys/jackets for visibility in traffic, and my Camelbak is dull blue and makes me less visible.
-- I'm used to using water bottles and find them generally hassle free, easy to clean, and cheap to replace.
-- Carrying weight on your back is no different than carrying it on your frame.
-- I can squirt dogs that chase me with my water bottle.
-- I have a seat bag where I can store my tools, etc., as well as pockets in my jerseys.

Camelbaks are much more popular with mtn bikers for good reasons. Water bottles get all muddy and dirty on mtn bikes, and are harder to fit on sloping frames. It's also harder to maneuver a mtn bike with one hand while fiddling with a bottle, so the hands-free aspect of Camelbaks is more important. About the only time I ever use my Camelbak is while riding my mtn bike or going on long solo rides where water might be hard to find.
re: Why are Camalbaks not used on the road much?...JS Haiku Shop
Feb 3, 2003 10:21 AM
some don't like the feel of wearing one.

more don't like the image.

some haven't tried.

some don't need them--not riding far enough (beyond two bottles), or would prefer to stop to refill bottles.

I have a few different models (all CamelBak), and am more often wearing one than not--it's a preference to carry everything i need on long (self-supported) rides, and not purchase anything along the way. i'm talking self-supported, not convenience-store-supported. i've taken as much as four large bottles and a 100oz camelbak on extended rides before. on "organized" event centuries, i like to carry only two small bottles and ride without a camelbak, stopping briefly at SAGs for water.

there is no right or wrong.

do what works for you.
Because racers don'tlaffeaux
Feb 3, 2003 10:28 AM
Watch the TDF and none of the racers use Camelbacks. Why not? Easy... they have a support car passing them water and carrying their tools. Also Camelbacks are a heavier than a water bottle and tools in your jersey pockets, so racers do not need want them.

However if you are an average person out riding, it's personal preference. Use water bottles and a seatpack if you like them, or a Camelback if you prefer. I personally prefer a Camelback as it provides much more storage than a seat pack and jersey pockets. On long rides that I do alone, I'm completely self supported with rain gear, tools, water, camera, etc. in my Camelback.

Your back will get sweaty with a Camelback, but I find while biking, I get sweaty regardless, so who cares? I've ridden Centuries with a Camelback and it does not bother me in the slightest.

I do have a water bottle cages on my bike for two reasons. (1) I don't like to put anything but water in my camelback, and (2) to hold my NightRider battery.
correction: david millar and bobby julich...JS Haiku Shop
Feb 3, 2003 10:36 AM
millar and julich have been known to wear very low profile camelbaks, among others. then again, that is **so** 15 minutes ago.

but, on the whole, you're right--no camelbaks in the pro peloton. they're supported every step of the ride. many road riders take their cues from the pro racing ranks. another example of fashion over function.

i'm just picking nits. :) :) :)
That's not a recommendation . . .ms
Feb 3, 2003 10:59 AM
Camelbaks -- used by two of the biggest crybabies in the pro peloton.
By the time I've finished 2 water bottles I'm ready for a 7-1.dzrider
Feb 3, 2003 10:46 AM
Air conditioning feels pretty good by then. Their water's nice and cold. May even feel like a PayDay or some Skittles. I like to ride long distances but don't usually like staying on the saddle much more than 2 or 2.5 hours without getting off for a quick break. All this makes a load on my back seem unneccessary.
weight on your back is weight on your a$$, ouch! nmSpunout
Feb 3, 2003 10:50 AM
Come to Texas and see...JimP
Feb 3, 2003 1:39 PM
Riders in Texas and other places where it gets warm in the summer do use Camelbacks. At least 50% of the riders in organized rides wear Camelbacks and many of the crit racers too. Remember that the Camelback was invented in Texas for Texans and other dehydrated folks.
Bumper sticker about Texascrosscut
Feb 3, 2003 7:41 PM
Saw a bumper sticker the other day:
"Somewhere in Texas, a small town is missing an idiot."
Water bottle cheap, Camel back expensive.tremblay
Feb 3, 2003 5:27 PM
I can replace an old water bottle for $2-$5 depending on where I get it.

Camel backs start at $30-$40 around here in Canada, and increase in value by leaps and bounds.
My back heats the water up :(PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Feb 3, 2003 10:43 PM
I have a aerobak and regular camelbak. But with my aerobak my back heats the water up. Does a good job cooling my back though... for about 15 mins.

On the road you have water bottle cages that nothing is likely to fall out of then rear pockets. So everything you need you can pretty much safely stow there and if you need food you just buy it somewhere. In the backcountry you'll rarely be so fortunate so a camelback is nice to just put your lunch in.

TDF Riders don't use themRacer C
Feb 4, 2003 7:26 AM
Oh, come on! "TDF riders don't wear them because they have team support the whole way" Since when does your average ride consist of 160 miles at an average of 32 m.p.h.? Clearly they need a little more water than your average cyclist. It's not all elitist as some of you have proposed. Some people don't think they look good. So what! For some people they are impractical. Honestly, the things that generate the most resonses on this server are sometimes so petty. Now I add my petty response.
Feb 4, 2003 8:33 PM