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  1. #1
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    Apr 2009

    Weight Capacity of Seat Packs - Water Storage


    It's getting hot here and is going to get very humid soon enough. I ride for 7-8hrs usually and in summer can take 7 litres of water and even run out near the end.

    The big problem is that 6 litres goes on my back. Add that to the weigh of my Camelback HAWG, food and some other stuff and it's bloody heavy until the water is half gone - then it's just every day garden variety heavy.

    I'd love to never ride with anything on my back again and would like to plumb up a couple of 3 litre bladders and run a hose to a bar clamp. I know the seat packs will probably fit the bladders, but I realise that they are designed to carry clothing, not the weight of water.

    I'm looking at maybe 8kg. Then there is the G outs, water bars and general rough patches you get on a MTB to consider. I can see those plastic clips having their limits - like anything else.

    Your knowledge on the matter is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by MagicCarpet View Post

    I'm looking at maybe 8kg.
    I can understand wanting to get that kind of weight off your back, but I think that's a little too much for a seatbag, especially bouncing around off road. Have you considered a framebag? FS and smaller rigid/HT frames may not accomodate a large enough framebag for your needs, but a 18" or larger non-FS frame should take a big enough bag. I know my 20" fatbike framebag can carry 6-8 litres, probably more.
    Veni vidi velo!

  3. #3
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    Apr 2009
    Thanks for the reply. I have a 18" (M) Salsa Big Mama. The frame area is deceptively small. I've held up my 3 litre bladder and it's nowhere near it. I'd consider a made to measure bladder and bag though, if I knew where to start looking for the bladder.

    I have considered the Cleaveland fork mounted thingo with a couple of 1.5 litre bottles insulated somehow (I like my water cold). If the seat pack could hold 4-4.5kg and I did that, I'd have my water. If there was a way to use the frame space effectively, that'd be a bonus too.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2008
    My touring rig can haul about 17 L. - all of it low on the bike.

    The problem with a seat bag is sway. That much weight that high on the bike will behave badly.

    Why not a frame bag? Plenty of space and would keep the weight tight, low and inboard--big bottles, bladders, or combos thereof.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2009
    Do you know the canvas water bags some truckies use? Hang one of those off your bars and the moving air over the wet canvas will keep the water cold. In the olden days, this was a standard practice. You can always freeze the biddons, and have at least some colder water as it melts on the first day of the ride. The water will still stay coldish until after midday, even in 36°C+.

    I have this setup on my fork, plus two cages on the frame, that gives me 6 X 850mm biddons and they're tethered with Velcro straps. Also, 1lt in my backpack, this is usually the first biddon emptied. In summer here, if you're becoming dehydrated, you wont care how tepid the water is.

    If (I know) finding water will be an issue, like on the ridges of the Great Divide or in the Northern Australian Alps, I'll fill a wine cask bladder (I usually carry a couple of spare ones) and secure it somewhere. Even if it is dodgy water, I'll process it and boil it when I get a chance ... but at least I'll have it and replace it if I find better quality water. About 10 lts is the most that I carry.

    The cages on my fork are road cages. They're slightly lighter and thinner gauged wire than the MTB wire cages on the frame.

    I've a beam rack, I've dual suspension. A Topeak MTX A-Type that is rated at 9kg. I don't load it up to more than 4 - 4.5kg. Water could be carried on that ... but I don't.


  6. #6
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  7. #7
    Positively negative
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    Mar 2010
    I can fit a Jannd frame pack with 100oz bladder in my 16" El Kaboing and still have enough room left for a Clif bar or two, should have no problems on a Mama. That, a couple of feed bags, maybe a gas tank or Jerry can, a two fish under the downtube or a couple on the forks, an Axiom seatbag, and a King cage cap and you can have water for days without the backpack.

    Frame Pack
    Twofish Unlimited - Bicycle Accessory Fasteners
    Granfondo H20 « Granfondo Series « Bags « Products « Axiom Performance Gear
    King Cage - Bicycle waterbottle cages handmade in Durango, CO

  8. #8
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    Mar 2012
    Just wanted to reiterate the value of keeping the water low on the frame. A heavy seatbag, as has been noted, will make the bike difficult to handle. I have also put a 1.5l bladder in a bar bag that also had a bike bottle mounted on the bars and that also made for unstable handling.

    I would pursue the frame bag option as well as bottle mounts on the forks (and as that great pic shows, you can get four bottles on there) Or maybe you have Anything Cage mounts in which case you can get two larger bottles on there covering about the same capacity.

    My best setup for multi-day riding (and I live in an area where I cannot count on water sources in the field) has been three frame bottle mounts (two in the triangle, third is on the downtube, between the wheel and the frame), two on the fork, and two 2l bladders on my back. That’s pretty much all I carry on my back (that and tools) and, as you noted, it gets lighter as you go. I also currently use a rear rack, so I put another bottle in my bag back there. Its lower than a seat bag and is positioned directly (and solid) over the rear wheel. In contrast to the seat bag, it doesn’t sway or move around back there. And it keeps my back tire stuck while climbing.

    A frame bag with bladders should be comparable to my setup as far as what is in the triangle and it gives me no problems handling at all. Heavy, yes, but I have control so its ok. What are you going to do? Water is heavy!

  9. #9
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    Apr 2009
    Thanks for the replies so far. There's some great ideas there. As for the seat pack making my bike unstable because of it's height - I wonder what effect carrying it on my back is having.

    EDIT: After thinking more about that, I can see how attached to the rider and attached to the bike are two different things. It's 6pm here and after a typical Saturday, my body is telling me to ditch that bloody back pack and I haven't thrown the second bladder in yet. I ran out of water today, so it's coming soon.

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