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  1. #1
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    Anyone else switch to bottle from Hydro pack?

    So.....after many many years of riding with my camelbak (02 mule), i decided to see how i would like riding with no weight on my back. I ride a hardtail, love it...but always hated the fact that the camelbak added a good amount of weight you butt holds. At first, i thought, im never going to be able to make it with 2 bottles instead of 100oz. So i removed everything from my camelbak, bought a saddle bag, a frame mounted pump and some cages. First time i rode, i thought to myself, man, im going to die having all this weight on my bike...however, its just the opposite....it seems that its was EASIER to have the weight on the bike. I found myself getting out of the saddle more...my legs are getting stronger and now its not even noticable.

    I can say im a bottle man....my camelbak has taken a spot hanging in my closet. I dont expect to see it anytime soon. Unless of course, im riding over 30miles or so where i would prob use it.

    So for those of you who have been wearing their Camelbaks for many many years, try 1 ride with bottles....im telling you you will not regret it.

  2. #2
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    I do both. Trail rides after work, I run a pack.

    Long, multi-day bikepacking type stuff, bottles... for the reasons you stated. I'd rather have the bike carry the weight.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

  3. #3
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    I've been doing rides here and there with only bottles but I still prefer my Mule for most trail rides. It's easier to move my stuff between my two mtbs when it's not strapped or bolted to the bike, saddle bag doesn't work too well with a dropper post, I'm addicted to the convenience of a hose, the Mule offers great back protection if I crash, and it makes me feel that much faster and lighter when I road bike without one

  4. #4
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    I use bottles when I ride shirtless. I don't like the hydration pack on bare skin. It feels icky.

  5. #5
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    I would say it depends obviously on length of ride but more importantly on the temps. I get tired of packing all that weight, not to mention the heat the pack collects on my back. But theres no way I would make it without my 100oz. pack in temps in the lower 90's and up, unless I was doing small 5-6 mile loops that go past my truck where I could re-hydrate. In the cooler temps I might give it a try without the pack!

  6. #6
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    To me, I would rather have the weight on me and get used to it than have it on my bike. Water is heavy......can't change that. I like my hydration pack for many reasons. One, I don't know a cage that doesn't toss your bottle on the ground while on rough stuff. Losing a bottle is bad......no more water, or less than you had planned if you run 2 bottles.

    I like my bike to be agile because I throw the bike around a lot. It's easier to have weight on your body and deal with it because adding a 5 - 10 pound pack on an already 180 pound body is less of a percent gain of weight then throwing a similar amount of weight onto a 24 pound bike.

    I can see how making the switch you did feels suddenly amazing. But I bet if you ride with bottles and a saddle bag for a while then switch back....you will be like....wow....having the weight on my body and not on my bike feels so much easier and better.....

    I do agree that for the long hauls, as in riding to camp or whatever, the weight is best on the bike and well, you are likely not going to be thrashing fast through singletrack and tossing the bike around like you would at a typical mtb trail loop system.

    Anyway, do it how you like it.......everyone likes things their own way. Just make sure that you actually do like the change and that it's not just a "it feels different" and thus it's better kind of decision.

  7. #7
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    I'm a convert...

    I found my rides weren't long enough to justify the amount of water I had in my Lobo. I was able to go with one frame mounted bottle and a small under-seat bag. The bag just fits everything I need to complete a run. No sweaty back, no cleaning water bladders. I like it...
    Contact information: http://about.me/marpilli

  8. #8
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    In the winter I use bottles. In the summer I use a Camelback, especially with temps above 100 and my loops being 15 miles.

  9. #9
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    I do really like that i can use sports drinks in bottle and not have to worry about junk building up in my bladder. I always hated cleaning the bladder after each ride. Was a pain in the ass.

    I feel the same way....with 2 bottles (1x24oz and 1x20oz) i can go about 25-30miles before i need a fill up. I do drink Gator/Power aid though...most of the time i use both.

  10. #10
    mikeb
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    sometimes i use water bottles on short rides, but i still carry my camelbak for the tools and to store jackets.

    i can get very cool very quickly here on the coast, especially when the fog rolls in and the ocean breeze picks up.

  11. #11
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    I like having easy-access to my H2O so camelbak ftw Don't know if the extra weight is causing my back to tense up a little though.. hmm.

  12. #12
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    Tried hydropack for awhile. It's great when you know you don't have any water stops. But whenever I can I use (2) 20+oz. bottles. I like the lower center of gravity and a cool back. That'll get me to ~3 hrs. on a not-too-hot day.
    Plus, as mentioned above, they are easier to clean. So if I'm planning a long haul I fill the pack about 1/2-way (50 oz.) with water, then liquid food in one bottle and electrolytes in the other. Then I'm good for almost anything. Usually in that long of a ride there is a water stop somewhere.
    The pack is a must for group rides where not everyone is on the same pace and we all eat and drink and ride and re-group sort of at random. It's too hard to ration when I don't have total control of my pace. Plus, it's good to have a little extra of everything in case someone is in need.

    The one thing about traveling "light" with water is to make sure you drink up for a day before your ride. It's like water in the bank.

    Of course, without the hydropack I still have to carry what I've now learned to be a "nerdy" fanny pack to hold tools and other essentials.

    -F

    PS - I have never lost a bottle using Blackburn cages. Not even in PA.

  13. #13
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    I use both but lately I've just been using a saddle bag even tho it looks kinda ghey. The Dakine holds tons of stuff and lots of water. If I'm going on an extended ride, especially in hot weather, I use it. If it's a quick ride of maybe 2 hours to less, and I'm well hydrated BEFORE the ride starts then one water bottle will suffice. Otherwise, I use the pack.
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  14. #14
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    I use both. Rarely will I go bottles-only. I really don't care where I haul my water, but I do care where I haul my pump, tube, tools, food (I always have at least an energy bar or gel in my pack just in case of a bonk), etc. I HATE having that stuff on the bike. I never was able to find a way to keep the various things from rattling around in the saddlebag.

    So since I'm wearing a pack for the gear, I might as well put water in there so I can have electrolytes in a bottle. Plus, my bike doesn't have the best bottle locations. There's 1 spot on top of the downtube, and that's the one I use. There's a set of bosses on the BOTTOM of the downtube (wtf?) and I mount a fender there. My seatpost collar has a mounting boss on it, and I've got a second collar I can mount on the seatpost so put a bottle there. But obviously putting a bottle on the back of the seatpost precludes most saddle bags. So unless I start experimenting with other alternative bottle mounts, I am limited to one bottle. Being that I've never really needed more than that, it's fine by me.

    I just rotate between a couple different packs depending on the length of ride.

    For shorter rides, I use my MULE. In this weather, I fill the whole 3L. But in the wintertime, I might only fill the bladder 2/3 full. For longer rides where I might need more food or gear, I use an Osprey Talon. With it, I can carry two more bottles in addition to the bladder, so it works for me.

  15. #15
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    Well, just to see how i would like it...i decided to use my MULE for a few rides to see the difference.

    Took everything off my bike...even my bottle cages...kept my pak nice and simple (Multi tool, tube, patches, tire levers, pump, small first aid kit and my ID/Health insurance card.

    Also to keep the weight the same, im going to use the same amount of water in the MULE as i carried with the bottle. I know the great thing is about the pak is having the ability to carry more than a bottle, but i want to see how it is moving the same weight from the bike to my back.

  16. #16
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    I stopped wearing my Mule on all rides about 3 or 4 years ago. I only drink out of a single bottle nowadays. It'll last me a 20 mile hard ride. I always hated the weight on my back especially with a full bladder of fluids. In fact, I rarely ever wear my Mule anymore. I wear a fanny pack facing backward. I only keep my keys, ID, cell phone, CO2 cartridge, patches, tire lever, chain link, and a multi-tool in it. I RARELY ever get flats (luckily), I take very good care of my ride and I am not an abusive rider so hardly anything ever goes wrong for me when I am out in the wilds.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  17. #17
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    My tools, pump and a spare tube fit in a Nashbar small "under the seat" wedge so I don't really need to carry a hydro pack. I recently started riding with one ~20 oz bottle. Only thing I notice is that it is a lot easier drinking from a Camelback as compared to a bottle. I carry a spare 12 oz on 30+ mile rides in my shirt pocket just in case on warmer days.
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  18. #18
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    114 degrees at the start of my last ride, went thru 70 oz camel back and bottle without pissing. Don't think i could do without the camel back. 13 mile XC ride.

  19. #19
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    I've never used a CB, but I've been thinking about it. When I'm riding, I like to do it non-stop. Pausing for a drink from the bottle just feels like a hassle, and sometimes, grabbing a mouthful while on the run is just asking for a trip into the weeds. After a ride with a friend who uses one, I got very jealous, very fast!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyrblade View Post
    I've never used a CB, but I've been thinking about it. When I'm riding, I like to do it non-stop. Pausing for a drink from the bottle just feels like a hassle, and sometimes, grabbing a mouthful while on the run is just asking for a trip into the weeds. After a ride with a friend who uses one, I got very jealous, very fast!
    There's no need to stop to drink out of a bottle. I wait til I'm on level sections or while climbing. No problemo.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrasmak View Post
    114 degrees at the start of my last ride, went thru 70 oz camel back and bottle without pissing. Don't think i could do without the camel back. 13 mile XC ride.
    WTF, 114 degrees?! Are you bragging or just crazy? I hope you have a big life insurance policy. If so, would you mind adding me as a beneficery?
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  22. #22
    mikeb
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    here's the thing about using bottles and sharing trails with horses...sometimes the trails are wet and wet horse crap splashes up on to your bottles. that's just no good for anybody...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    WTF, 114 degrees?! Are you bragging or just crazy? I hope you have a big life insurance policy. If so, would you mind adding me as a beneficery?
    Here in TX, we have been routinely riding in heat between 102 and 106. There has only been a 5 day period in the last 60 something where the high has been below 100.

    100 oz in a Osprey Manta does fine. I will drink most of that on a 10 mile route.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeb View Post
    here's the thing about using bottles and sharing trails with horses...sometimes the trails are wet and wet horse crap splashes up on to your bottles. that's just no good for anybody...


    ewwwwww...ya, if we shared ours, i would easily use a camalbak......

    i suddenly have an urge to scrub my bottles clean........

  25. #25
    Flying in High in the Sky
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    The biggest reason I choose my camelbak over the bottle is that I always have my water, tools, first-aid kit with me and I ride alone the majority of the time. Don't want to fall off a steep hill side and have all my necessary tools be 20 ft below me with a broken leg. Plus its additional protection.

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