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  1. #1
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    To Camelbak or not

    I'm doing a bunch of NUE series events (100miles events) this year, I did local endurance racing but they laps on small loop where most of the NUE events will be one griant loop. I was wondering, are guys running paks? We get two bag drops along the way so I was gonna just throw 2 bottles in each drop bag and run two scoops of Infinit per bottle which would meet my calorie intake per hour in one bottle.

    The problem I'm running into is starting with 2 bottles (1 hour per bottle) with 2 bag drops only gives me 6 hours of nutrition, I'm planning on being on the bike 8-10 hours. So I think I will carry 4 baggys of drink mix to at the aid stations.

    Now the camel can carry 4 hours of nutrition, but it is so heavy. Loaded I think was like 10 pounds (Lugo model 100oz).

    In short I guess I'm just asking what other people are doing.

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  2. #2
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    Disclaimer: I work at Osprey Packs but am not attempting to sell you a pack here.

    For races of 100+ miles where the duration is 8-10 hours I have found that a lightweight pack carrying just necessities has been a huge benefit. I usually just go with bottles on shorter races or where refilling each lap is easy but carrying enough water that I can drink constantly without worrying about running low has kept me from losing steam or even cramping up. The other advantage is that you can have your nutrition in the bottles and just plain water in the hydration pack. Sometimes it is refreshing to drink just plain water in between sips off the nutrition drinks. I also like to have some room for an ultra-light rain jacket and some arm and/or leg warmers for the mountain rides where temps can change quickly. It might feel funny at first if you're not used to wearing a pack but becomes totally natural after a few rides.

  3. #3
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    I like this thread.. I do some long (60-100 mile races) Ouachita/Leadville etc.. each year and have always wore a pack. But recently I have been considering doing only bottles. I have been riding with 2 bottles on the bike and 1 in my jersey pocket and it seems to be pretty good. Although a pack doesn't bother me at all.. Im in the middle on this one too.

  4. #4
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    I like bottles so the bike can carry the weight of them. With two bottles on the bike you can cover a lot of ground and most NUE events are going to have plenty of well stocked rest stops. I did the Fools Gold last year and was happy with one large bottle and one small bottle. Plenty of rest stops to fill up and pick up food.
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  5. #5
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    Another option that I'm experimenting with right now is using a frame bag to hold a bladder. Revelate Designs makes a frame bag called the Tangle or Tagle that hangs under the top tube that is the perfect size for a 3L bladder and tools/food. It has a hose port at the front too.
    I'm playing right now with figuring out how to stow the hose so it's out of the way. Haven't get that figured out yet....but, you still have room on many frames for at least a downtube bottle.

  6. #6
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    To Camelbak or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Benajah View Post
    Another option that I'm experimenting with right now is using a frame bag to hold a bladder. Revelate Designs makes a frame bag called the Tangle or Tagle that hangs under the top tube that is the perfect size for a 3L bladder and tools/food. It has a hose port at the front too.
    I'm playing right now with figuring out how to stow the hose so it's out of the way. Haven't get that figured out yet....but, you still have room on many frames for at least a downtube bottle.
    Interesting idea! I've been looking at the Tangle for bikepacking, but I never thought about using it for endurance races.
    I wonder if you could use some wire to hold the hose in place.

    Los
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sslos View Post
    Interesting idea! I've been looking at the Tangle for bikepacking, but I never thought about using it for endurance races.
    I wonder if you could use some wire to hold the hose in place.

    Los
    That's what I'm messing with...wire, rubber bands, bungees, etc. TBH the most promising thing right now seems to be a little thing I got from Osprey packs. With their hydration systems, the mouthpiece has a magnet on it, and the magnet pair is meant to fit on your sternum strap on a backpack.
    I'm racing Saturday, but Sunday I think I'm going to go tool around with that magnet wired to my handlebars, with my osprey bladder stuffed in the frame bag, and see if it's manageable to lead the hose out and have it sit there. I've been using that Osprey system as a backpack for a while, and it's good and secure, in the sense that the magnet
    Is strong. It's never vibrated loose when used as a backpack system. Handlebars may be a different story.

  8. #8
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    Frame bags are great for bike packing but the wrong tool for the single day endurance race IMHO.

    Think about what you will do in terms of rest stops.

    At the start of a 100 mile race you will likely want two full bottles (or depending on course and heat you may choose to go with less water or put an extra bottle in your pocket for slightly more capacity). Water is heavy and more then 50 ounces is crazy unless you are in a desert. Much better to carry less water and plan two quick rest stops in the race.

    At some point in the race you will pit stop to pickup food and water. Consider the time to fill bottles vs. time to deal with camel pack bladders and/or the time to deal with bladders in frame bags. The bottles will win out by a large margin in terms of speed at refill time.

    IMHO frame bag for single bag racing is way more trouble then it is worth.
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  9. #9
    zrm
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    I think it just depends on what you want to carry and what you're used to. A pack has it's advantages - you can carry more water (sometimes it's wise to not depend 100% on aid stations) and you can carry more tools, spare tubes/parts, extra clothing, food etc.
    For people who are minimalist and want to go as light as possible, that will probably be too much and bottles in frame and a few bare essentials in jersey pockets will suffice.

    Personally, since we're talking about ~100 mile races, I'd want to err on the side of being over prepared than under.

  10. #10
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    Small frame bag to carry a bladder or extra bottles. I HATE having the water weight on my back/shoulders.
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny7 View Post
    Small frame bag to carry a bladder or extra bottles. I HATE having the water weight on my back/shoulders.
    ever look into Wingnut packs? It's still sort of on your back but much lower. Good reviews but being a small biz they don't have a large footprint. I'm waffling between the hyper2.5 and 3 due to bladder sizes and a few other minor things.

  12. #12
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    Camelbak has one where the bladder is in the lumbar belt. Better but still what in off my back.
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  13. #13
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    I carry a bottle filled with whatever strength Perpetuem mix will get me through the race, and two bottles on the bike. I'm not afraid to stop and fill bottles, 10 minutes rest won't hurt my overall time that much anyway when we're talking hours. I dislike a Camelback on my back unless it's more an adventure ride and not a race, during a race I hope that if I totally lose it someone will drag my carcass home.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by febikes View Post
    Frame bags are great for bike packing but the wrong tool for the single day endurance race IMHO.

    Think about what you will do in terms of rest stops.

    At the start of a 100 mile race you will likely want two full bottles (or depending on course and heat you may choose to go with less water or put an extra bottle in your pocket for slightly more capacity). Water is heavy and more then 50 ounces is crazy unless you are in a desert. Much better to carry less water and plan two quick rest stops in the race.

    At some point in the race you will pit stop to pickup food and water. Consider the time to fill bottles vs. time to deal with camel pack bladders and/or the time to deal with bladders in frame bags. The bottles will win out by a large margin in terms of speed at refill time.

    IMHO frame bag for single bag racing is way more trouble then it is worth.
    You have a point but I'm more playing with this not so much as a "bottles versus camelbak" thing as much as just a bladder alternative to having it on my back, and I'm not really thinking of supported ultras with this as much as unsupported ones or the ones with aid stations more than a few hours apart.
    Last edited by Benajah; 02-15-2013 at 02:55 PM.

  15. #15
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    If most of the course is rough, I carry a small Camelbak that is light and rests high enough on my back to provide easy access to jersey pockets.

    If the course has numerous smooth sections, I prefer bottles, since it's easier to monitor intake. I use Zefal Magnum 33 ounce bottles. Big!

    If aid stations are pretty far apart like you seem to be describing, I take a minute at the station to drink a full bottle of what they have on hand before leaving (but I'm pretty happy with just about any energy drink).

    My findings: Packs seem horrid at the start of the race, but if small enough, they "disappear" for me once the racing begins!
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  16. #16
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    I 100% prefer to keep weight off of my back......So if at all possible I try to go with bottles on the bike and gels in my jersey pockets....But, most full suspension bikes only have one good bottle mount and you're forced to carry a pack......The two bottle thing works great on a hardtail.

    So.....Like suggested earlier, not knowing all the details of the course and distance to pit stops etc.......Small hydration pack (like 50 oz) and one good bottle works every time.
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  17. #17
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    I quit using a back as I could not get liquid into my mouth fast enough. Sucking on the hose while trying to breath was a problem. I've since been carrying two bottles or more. Will carry a cheap one to pitch (to a crowd or leave at an aid station) when I want to carry more than 2.

    Go with what you are used to using.

    Quote Originally Posted by sslos View Post
    I wonder if you could use some wire to hold the hose in place.

    Los
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  18. #18
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    I tried not using a backpack bladder system for a season, i carried 1 bottle on the bike and 2 in jersey pockets. My full sus only allows for 1 bottle in the triangle. It worked okay but i did lose a bottle on a really tech section. I now have the smallest Osprey bag, Viper i think it's called, and i love it. Just water in the pack with space for an ultralight rain jacket and vest, bottle on my bike with drink mix of choice. if you havent tried the really small bags it is much different from the mondo 100 oz bags.

  19. #19
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    While I use a hydration pack with multi-hour nutrition bottles for training, if I can get water bottles on the course, I will ditch the pack. Dropping the weight, a cooler back, and being able to know how much water you go through are my reasons. A tight fitting jersey can hold water bottles pretty well.

  20. #20
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    I am doing 4 endurance events this year around my normal XC race series. I switched to a full suspension this year from my hardtail I raced last year. So I only have one bottle holder on the bike. So I will have to race with some kind of pack. I got an Osprey Viper7 to try out and its not too bad. I can carry 70oz and still have a bottle on the frame. I don't think refilling it will be too bad. I might lose a little time but I don't think I will be playing for the win any way. There was a time when I would have a pack for all my rides. But I changed over to bottles a few years ago and I liked it allot better. Now I hate having a pack on. But I don't have any choice now.

  21. #21
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    I use the Osprey Viper 7 and love it. The magnet thing is awesome. I found I can get it filled up fairly quick at aid stations especially if there is a helpful aid worker helping. It all boils down to youth and how in shape you are, how long you can go without water. I tend to need a lot of water, so there is no way I could do bottles. I think since some guys are a lot faster they can connect the dots (aid station to aid station) faster and get to the drink before breaking down. Becoming dehydrated is not fun. I've had to get I.V's before at the end of races on hot days. Last 100 miler I was so paranoid I drank too much water and was stopping to piss every 5 mins, there for a stretch.

  22. #22
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    What about the ShowersPass Vel Au as an alternative? Goes under the seat, but seems like a relatively polished alternative to a hydration pack.

    Introducing VelEau | Showers Pass

  23. #23
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    For races with aid stations I go with the bottles and carry baggies of Infinit to refill. I have a Wingnut and love it, but refilling a bladder in a race, with mix, is a pita. It rarely mixes well and I've had it clog the tube before.
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  24. #24
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    Ive seen saddle bottle holders that hold two bottle behind your saddle

    like this one

    XLab Carbon Wing Rear Mount System | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

    holds two bottles and a small pack for tools etc.....keeps the weight off your back gives an extra two possible bottle spaces

    or this Tacx Saddle Clamp for Bottle Cage | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com would give you a 3rd bottle cage
    Last edited by Andrewfuzzy; 02-19-2013 at 04:27 AM.

  25. #25
    PeT
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    I got this idea off this forum years ago (from Shiggy maybe?) and it has worked great -- a platypus 1 liter bladder in the middle back pocket of a good, snug, lycra race jersey, and use the normal hydration hose clipped to the front of your jersey. I've ridden for 7 hours and over 100 miles with two large bottles of water and that liter bladder with out refilling (I did finish the ride dry though). The outside pockets are still usable for food or whatever and the weight-and-non-breathing-sweat-inducing bladder is low on the back. More than the weight, I always hated how packs interfered with ventilation/perspiration. Using the bladder in this manner, I have significant water carrying capacity and the sort of ventilation I like/need. I even use the bladder, usually filled only 1/3 to 1/2 volume, for XC racing (1 to 2 hours) as it's easier to drink from the hose than from a bottle when the pace is high and the terrain is rough. Finally, I never put anything that bacterial can use for food in a bladder -- so only water and even then I take pains to make sure it fully dries out as fast as possible to prevent microbe/fungal growth. You're just asking for trouble putting sugar/fuel in a bladder...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

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