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  1. #1
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    CamelBak or Cage and Bottle?

    The 2010 season will be my first XC MTB season...I'm still up in the air on if I want a 26 or 29 but one thing I do know is that right now I'm riding a 26" hardtail wearing baggy (training) clothes and riding with a HEAVY ass camelbak...

    When it comes to racing should I keep training with the CB and ditch it for races and opt for a cage and bottle system or train with what i'm gonna race with?

    Thanks

    FDC

  2. #2
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    Do what ever your comfortable with. I prefer bottles, and I'd say that's the more popular set up, but I have seen plenty of guys racing with cammelbaks
    read KNOBBY MEATS or be sadly ignorant of the mediocrity that is allowed to exist in the interwebs

  3. #3
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    thanks munts I appreciate the reply...I was considering the cage and bottle set up as it cuts a bit of weight off my back as I can't carry un needed crap like i do now lol

  4. #4
    Gigantic Hawk
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    Get a small hydro pack for racing. I used bottles for riding for years, but I switched to a Deuter pack and love it. Yes, my back gets sweaty, but I don't have to have a tech free area to get a drink. I find myself far less dehydrated with a pack as opposed to bottles.

  5. #5
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    I use a "compact" 50 oz camelbak for racing. It sits higher on the back and doesnt cause any back pain like my other one. Also it creates less sweat, and its ridiculously light (actually lighter than 2 bottles and cages). You can find them on sale for $25 or so through some mail order places.

    A lot of local race course are nonstop tight and twisty single track, getting water when I need it is actually difficult and problematic with bottles.

  6. #6
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    I'd say first put a cage and bottle on your bike and try it out at higher speeds to test it. If you find you just aren't drinking/can't get to it, etc., then you can try a racer pak or similar.

    I've used smaller 1.5L paks for longer races where I didn't have support and still didn't drink much But, if I have a choice, I would never run a pack. I do, but I don't like to! Everyone's different, though, so you may find you prefer the pack due to its ease and that you don't need bottle hand-ups.

  7. #7
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    I'm on the same boat as you, just had my first race today. Many had bottles, many had camelbaks. I used the latter. I liked the ease of getting a sip and how I could get a drink at anytime. I went through ~60 oz. (would liked to have ~75 oz but ran out) so make sure you have enough no matter which way you go. hydration > weight savings in importance.

  8. #8
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    sweet thank for letting me know about what you thought and what you used...i appreciate it.

    my bike is on it's way here and I'm trying to find a race to ride in before racing is done for good this year
    '99 GT Aggressor 1x9 XT shadow, race face ride XC and Judy TT's and Panaracer XC pro

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  9. #9
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    Shorter races I use a bottle, longer races I use a Camelbak.

    If I think I will need more then one bottle then I use my Camelbak. It is one of the smaller units, so it isn't that heavy.

  10. #10
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    I hate the feel of a camelbak so I prefer bottles. I carry two for most rides but I can add a third for longer rides if needed. Plus if I had a camelbak I would end up carrying too much extra crap in it. I'd rather not have that option.

  11. #11
    LCW
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    A camelbak - after several miles of racing, really starts to weigh you down in the shoulder area (speaking for myself)... if the race is under 15 miles and/or there are aid stations, go bottle... i found the camelbak not only fatigues the back/shoulders, but also makes it harder to get rid of excess body heat... not a huge problem in the fall season, but in the summer, it can make you overheat...

    camelbaks are great for leisure rides, or epic rides, or maybe even endurance/adventures races where aid stations might not even exist or are very far apart... for typical XC racing, my vote is bottle...

    and one more thing... i found i drank TOO much with camelbak on.... with a bottle, you actually only use what you really need...
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    What about the weight of the bike. Everyone seems to be spending mucho $$$ to have a super light bike.. but then to put tools and water on it?? That doesn't make sense. I'm going through the same decision here, anyone else thinking about this aspect?

  13. #13
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    Without a support team or a method for picking up new bottles through a race, you have to carry the weight somewhere. I always preferred bottles ... the weight on my bike and not my back. The camel back is more convenient to actually drink from while riding, and I am learning to like them more and more.

    Quote Originally Posted by osubg1
    What about the weight of the bike. Everyone seems to be spending mucho $$$ to have a super light bike.. but then to put tools and water on it?? That doesn't make sense. I'm going through the same decision here, anyone else thinking about this aspect?

  14. #14
    Dirty South Underdog
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    I find it difficult to reach for a bottle when I'm trying to haul ass through the woods, so I like a slim hydration pack w/spare tube & stuff in a small on-bike pack (some people use an "awesome strap" instead of a pack).
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  15. #15
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    If someone is paying for that patch of fabric that otherwise would get covered up by a 50oz Hydrobak, by all means go with bottles. If your race consists of five 20 minutes laps and you have a soigneur who is going to freshen your water supply every lap, by all means go with bottles. If your race course has frequent stretches of jeep trail or pavement in between the singletrack, by all means go with bottles.

  16. #16
    LCW
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    Quote Originally Posted by osubg1
    What about the weight of the bike. Everyone seems to be spending mucho $$$ to have a super light bike.. but then to put tools and water on it?? That doesn't make sense. I'm going through the same decision here, anyone else thinking about this aspect?
    That's the reason for light weight bikes - knowing you'll be adding a pound or two with bottles & tubes/C02/tools
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  17. #17
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    any races that I've been in I notice the occasional water bottle laying on the track.
    Probably from miss handling taking it in or out of the cage or just to loose in the cage.
    If your racing longer than 20-30 minutes you are going to want your bottle with you.
    so if you drop it you had better get used to the idea of loosing time retrieving it or trying to ride without.
    As far as the camel back being uncomfortable or hurting your shoulders after a couple of miles that's probably from the straps not adjusted properly or maybe the person needs some off season strength training.
    If you are racing any endurance race it's also nice to be able to carry a spare tube, multi tool, spare derailer hanger etc..
    If you always ride with your camel back you don't even notice it after awhile.

  18. #18
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    I've always preferred bottles myself but I think the CB is a more practical solution but just can't get used to the idea of wearing one.

    WBs just too many cons:
    1) Dirty if you're riding with them during the race, so the top has to be wiped off before drinking. Or not.
    2) Potential loss. And when I lost a WB I usually didn't even notice it. It wasn't until I reached down for it, that I realized that I had lost it. Oops ...
    3) Not enough fluid for the longer races. Even with 2 WBs. I noticed quite a bit of weight loss after my races so out of curiousity brought a scale with me to one of the races & weighed myself just before my race & again 2+ hours later & was ~5 lbs lighter. My racing weight at that time was 155-160 lbs. FWIW, regained the 'lost' weight in a few days after the race so I'm guessing that most of the loss was due to dehydration.
    4) Tendency to drink less, & therefore, not enough. At least with me. Many of the courses I raced were very technical with very few sections allowing a drink from a WB. Especially critical in longer races. And especially critical if "go juice" is in one or both WBs. Called bonking.

    If I return to racing I'll give the CB/etc another shot. I actually might use both. Especially in the longer races. "Go juice" in WB(s) & plain water in CB/etc. I'll at least be properly hydrated if nothing else.
    Last edited by Sometimes; 11-03-2009 at 08:31 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubthang
    Get a small hydro pack for racing. I used bottles for riding for years, but I switched to a Deuter pack and love it. Yes, my back gets sweaty, but I don't have to have a tech free area to get a drink. I find myself far less dehydrated with a pack as opposed to bottles.
    Yes, small hydration pack without all the tools and trail junk that you normally carry. Faster easier hydration and crash protection if you ever need it.
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son...

  20. #20
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    thanks every one for your input on this...I tried the cage and bottle at the trail i ride multiple times a week with my camelback on monday and found that I was rarely if ever drinking so I think I'll be using my smaller CamelBack Rogue for races and my Blowfish for training so at least i'll still be removing some weight but still have a functional set up

    FDC
    '99 GT Aggressor 1x9 XT shadow, race face ride XC and Judy TT's and Panaracer XC pro

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  21. #21
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    if it is a 7 or less mile race i just do a small bottle. Otherwise i run a 50 oz Camelback that i bought specifically for racing. i find It keeps me hydrated otherwise i have a tendency not to drink. It is the same size as two large bottles.Many times it can be 6+ miles between acceptable areas to get a bottle. I also will run a 21 oz bottle filled with Gatoraid on the bike for a pick-me-up when i get to a flat section. Usually by the end of the race or shortly after the Camelback is empty.

    Training is 2 bottles.
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