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Thread: General Cycling Questions

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    Default General Cycling Questions

    As one of the newbie cyclists here. I have lots of questions. So instead of having a thread for every one, I thought a large inclusive thread like one might be more beneficial.

    I'd like to encourage anyone with any question relating to bikes or biking to ask it here.

    General cycling discussion is also encouraged as well.
    Tim

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    I'll get the ball rolling.

    I'm starting to ride far enough where my two water bottles won't cut it. There is only one spot on the trail I ride to fill up and it's very near the beginning. Any recommendations on ways to carry more water on a road bike besides to the two slots for water bottles?
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyBoston View Post
    I'll get the ball rolling.

    I'm starting to ride far enough where my two water bottles won't cut it. There is only one spot on the trail I ride to fill up and it's very near the beginning. Any recommendations on ways to carry more water on a road bike besides to the two slots for water bottles?
    Indeed...CamelBak. Depending on how much you intend to carry, how much optional storage you want, and how much "profile" you're looking for, there's a model to suit you. For me, when I was out for a day spin, road or moutain, I've found that the Rogue is well suited, at 70 oz. For hikes and stuff though, and hen I'm going to carry a lot of other stuff, and water for two, the M.U.L.E. is great...100 oz. of water and enough storage for a truckload of Gu and PowerBars. It sits a lot higher though, and will really cut into your streamlineyness...but it was great for hiking the Na'Pali Coast on Kauai.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenMonkey View Post
    Indeed...CamelBak. Depending on how much you intend to carry, how much optional storage you want, and how much "profile" you're looking for, there's a model to suit you. For me, when I was out for a day spin, road or moutain, I've found that the Rogue is well suited, at 70 oz. For hikes and stuff though, and hen I'm going to carry a lot of other stuff, and water for two, the M.U.L.E. is great...100 oz. of water and enough storage for a truckload of Gu and PowerBars. It sits a lot higher though, and will really cut into your streamlineyness...but it was great for hiking the Na'Pali Coast on Kauai.
    I can't belive I didn't think about a Camelbak! (Picture me slapping myself in the forehead)

    If I get one, I wouldn't mind a pack that's still pretty small (relative to what it's carrying of course) but would have a bit of room for other gear, phone, wallet, windbreaker, etc.) Any recommendations on one that would work for that and hopefully not unsuitable for a road biker.
    Tim

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    The Rogue is sweet...it'll carry enough water to get you through (most of) the day, is slim and rides lower on your back (which is nice, because it won't bonk your helmet), and has a good sized pouch (130 cubic cm) with a cinch buckle and smaller inside mesh pocket. I can fit a pump, crash pack (first aid), a spare tube, tire levers, bike tool, gloves, cash/keys/wallet, snacks, and a windbreaker in there. Crazy. It's super comfortable to wear too. The other one I linked is total and complete overkill for biking though...it's almost a weekender bag + water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenMonkey View Post
    The Rogue is sweet...it'll carry enough water to get you through (most of) the day, is slim and rides lower on your back (which is nice, because it won't bonk your helmet), and has a good sized pouch (130 cubic cm) with a cinch buckle and smaller inside mesh pocket. I can fit a pump, crash pack (first aid), a spare tube, tire levers, bike tool, gloves, cash/keys/wallet, snacks, and a windbreaker in there. Crazy. It's super comfortable to wear too. The other one I linked is total and complete overkill for biking though...it's almost a weekender bag + water.
    That's good to hear, the more I look at the Rogue, the more I like it. Thanks for the tip.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyBoston View Post
    I can't belive I didn't think about a Camelbak! (Picture me slapping myself in the forehead)

    If I get one, I wouldn't mind a pack that's still pretty small (relative to what it's carrying of course) but would have a bit of room for other gear, phone, wallet, windbreaker, etc.) Any recommendations on one that would work for that and hopefully not unsuitable for a road biker.
    Thanks Tim, that image gave me the chuckle I needed after a long day at work.

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    I never carry more than one bottle. I do most of my riding on county roads, two lane blacktops with (hopefully) little traffic. I scope out the places along the way that have water and stop at them all. Country churches are my best bet. Usually, if you walk around them, you'll find an outdoor tap or hose. I end up using the bottle pretty much as a cup....I'll dump it, fill with fresh water, drink my fill, fill the bottle, and go!
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    Another vote here for a Camelbak. I don't leave home without it if I'm road biking, and quite often the same thing occurs when I'm on my mountain bike. It's always a good idea to carry spare tubes, some food, first aid kit of some sort, that sort of thing...
    Chuck
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    I've got a Camelback, but I only use it in a few situations: if I'm going to be riding through an area I don't know, and where there seems like there will be few opportunities to refill a water bottle. Camelbacks are great for mountain biking, or riding through desert areas - but on the road I find even the best of them interfere with my riding posture.

    Generally I budget at least one litre of water for every hour on the bike. More if the temperatures are very high (95° F or higher). All of my bikes are fitted with two bottle cages. I set my watch to beep every fifteen minutes to remind me to drink - and I try and finish a bottle each hour.

    I like the Polar brand insulated bottles. I've found they keep water reasonably cool for at least an hour or so - more if you fill them with icecubes before leaving home.

    I buy the powdered Gatorade. Not only is it much more economical, but it also means less plastic bottles going in my recycling. As an *added benefit* I also fill empty pill bottles with a few scoops of Gatorade powder, and take that with me on 2 hour+ rides. That way I can mix up additional fuel, using any fresh water I encounter enroute.

    I'm pretty rigorous about keeping waterbottles, etc. spotlessly clean. Very hot water, antibacterial detergent, a good bottle brush, and a periodic soak with a mild bleach mix helps. I've got a waterfilter built into my refrigerator, so I always use filtered water. I'm also pretty picky about the water sources I'll use on the road. A public water fountain - Yes. The bathroom faucet at a gas station - probably not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyBoston View Post
    I'll get the ball rolling.

    I'm starting to ride far enough where my two water bottles won't cut it. There is only one spot on the trail I ride to fill up and it's very near the beginning. Any recommendations on ways to carry more water on a road bike besides to the two slots for water bottles?
    If I'm going that far, I take $ to buy water & Gatorade. Otherwise look for people washing their cars or watering their lawns. Some commercial establishments will let you fill up, but it always helps to make a purchase too.

    Good luck with your riding. It's a great way to stay fit & healthy. You DO wear a helmet, I hope.

    jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by redbike View Post
    ...Otherwise look for people washing their cars or watering their lawns...
    A good suggestion, but please *don't* drink from a garden hose; dark and filled with stagnant water, they can harbor some really nasty bacteria. Also, they're rarely made from food-safe plastic.

    Second the recommendation of churches as water sources; I've also filled up at public schools, sometimes aided by weekend custodial staff.

    Finally, if you don't want to go the Camelback route, many triathletes run water bottles attached behind the saddle, like this set up.

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    Again, if you don't want to go with a Camelback, if you have a rear carrier, there are lightweight rack trunks, large enough for a couple water bottles as well as other stuff.
    And they're insulated, so your bevs will stay cold (or hot if you ride on cold days)
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    Hydration...a dicey topic...lots of theories.

    Timmy. If you're consuming more than 2 24 oz. bottles over the time/distance that you have mentioned that you are riding you are probably over-hydrating.

    I know, I know...everyone drinks at different rates, and I would tell you that you should always, except in rare and extreme circumstances, drink to your hearts content, but I recall mentioning to you earlier about overdoing it on your gear and nutrition that you carry along with you and how that leads to many cyclists becoming alienated from the sport.

    I think Camelbak makes some very innovative products, but I think their "hydrate or die" ad campaign, along with the billions of dollars in the bottled water and sports drink market have made people into drinking machines!

    Before you invest in a Camelbak I suggest you spend more time getting to know your body and how it reacts to the new stresses you are putting on it. I ride with a weekend race group of between 80-150 guys who put in a minimum of 50 hard miles at 22-25mph and NONE carry more than two bottles (not to mention that a Camelbak would have them cast out of the tribe in a heartbeat).

    If it turns out that you truly must consume in excess of 24oz an hour and have no road side options, than by all means invest in a Camelbak.
    Last edited by Brodirt; 07-29-2009 at 12:59 PM.
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    As an alternative to a Camelbak, there are waist belts that can carry a couple of bottles. I forget the brand I have (I purchased it for xcountry skiing and haven't looked at it for a few months) but it is very comfortable and holds the bottles close to your body, so you don't feel them flopping around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brodirt View Post
    Hydration...a dicey topic...lots of theories.

    Timmy. If you're consuming more than 2 24 oz. bottles over the time/distance that you have mentioned that you are riding you are probably over-hydrating.

    I know, I know...everyone drinks at different rates, and I would tell you that you should always, except in rare and extreme circumstances, drink to your hearts content, but I recall mentioning to you earlier about overdoing it on your gear and nutrition that you carry along with you and how that leads to many cyclists becoming alienated from the sport.

    I think Camelbak makes some very innovative products, but I think their "hydrate or die" ad campaign, along with the billions of dollars in the bottled water and sports drink market have made people into drinking machines!

    Before you invest in a Camelbak I suggest you spend more time getting to know your body and how it reacts to the new stresses you are putting on it. I ride with a weekend race group of between 80-150 guys who put in a minimum of 50 hard miles at 22-25mph and NONE carry more than two bottles (not to mention that a Camelbak would have them cast out of the tribe in a heartbeat).

    If it turns out that you truly must consume in excess of 24oz an hour and have no road side options, than by all means invest in a Camelbak.
    Excellent, and very sagely advice...

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    For dirt riding a 2L Camelbak is all you need. I would go on multi-hour rides and never drink more than 1.5L from mine.
    “The things you used to own, now they own you.”

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    If you use a camelback on a road bike the fashion police will nail you!

    I do a hard group ride/race on Tuesday nights and ride to the start from the house. Ends up being a little over 50 miles and usually (this time of year) over 90 degrees and high humidity. To make sure I have enough liquids I will put a spare bottle into my jersey pocket and swap it out with the first empty from the bike.

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    Default Camelback vs bottles

    For off road trails, a Camelback is the way for me. Don't have to worry about mud and horse manure getting on the bottles. Have room in my 10yo HAWG to carry minipump, toolkit, extra tube, chain tool, and snacks.

    For road biking, I try to drink a 24oz bottle per hour of cycling, but usually I am just below that. In rural KY, I know where the churches and minimarts are where I can get extra water if I need it.

    By the way, I like to bring mini Payday bars instead of energy bars. Not too dry and hard, and very small.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wilsonent View Post
    For road biking, I try to drink a 24oz bottle per hour of cycling, but usually I am just below that. .
    That's my rate as well. I'm fine with my bottles on 2 - 2 1/2 rides, but on 3 to 4 hour ones, I really need more. So I went ahead and ordered the Camelbak Rogue. I think it will work well for me and I'm also a skier and it will be darn useful on the slopes.

    Thanks for the tips guys!
    Tim

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