Friday, May 6, 2011

Techie Tuesday: Podium Ice Waterbottles

I decided to get Tuesday out of the way early to make time for the upcoming holiday - St Insanity Day! lol 

I first noticed the CamelBak bottles because of the bite valve, which self-seals when left open. It makes drinking out of a bottle much easier on really steep climbs, because you don't have to open and close the bottle, it's done automatically.

I'd also say, the valve is much softer, so a lot less chance for a fat lip, on a bad bump. At 21oz the Podium bottles are just a little smaller than the 24oz Polar bottles, but easier to squeeze (especially when cold), and once the valve opens, the squirt stream is 3-4X the volume.

I've been waiting for these Podium Ice bottles to show up at the local Performance Bike Shop, as they are listed online, and while looking in vain today for another jersey, I found them in stock. Sitting right next to these ZeroLoft insulated bottles, was another new offering from CamelBak called "The Big Chill" - a full 25oz bottle. Unfortunately, those did not use the new Aerojel insulation. (and why not ???)

I started using the CamelBak Chill bottles prepping for my 2nd, and successful attempt on Mt Hamilton as part of the Canyon Classic ride in 2009. It's also why I'm interested now, as I would like to do the unofficial "Super-Century" version of the CC, where you do the Mt Hamilton route, return to the little village of San Antonio, and then join the regular Century course where the two parted company. That should make for 11-12k of climbing and 155 miles. I only have 7 weeks to train for it though.

I currently have one bottle cage on my downtube, which I lowered one hole (the bottom hole is tied with a vinyl tube clad zip tie), and two via a Profile Designs aero bottle rack (I reviewed it extensively for Amazon). I notice it's now available in white, which I would definitely get, as it helps make you more visible at night with your taillight reflecting off of it. It might help keep the bottles cooler too. (why has no one made an insulated bottle HOLDER yet???)

Having 3 X 25oz bottles gets you into the CamelBak hydration pack range without having that weight on your back and butt all day, so this is interesting. (but, why not the best insulation ???)  The shape is also more aerodynamic, and easier to pull out of the bottlecage than a Polar bottle. Anyone need some well-maintained Polar bottles?

While we're on the subject of stuff you put on your seat post, I just have to give a shout out to the gorgeous ToPeak RX BeamRack carbon fiber rack. It weights less than 13 oz, and even with the small bag mounted, weights just 32oz. It's so beautiful I just want to buy one and hang it in my living room. Tons of bag options for their slip-on mounting system too.

 I'd spend the money for a good seat post though. Something like the Syntace P6 carbon fiber (sold out everywhere!), not the total POS Easton stuff I have. I can't see it in the pic below, but the photographed rack is actually mounted on a Syntace P6!

This system would make Centuries, Double Centuries, hot, thirsty summer, and cold winter ride starts SO much more manageable. Would the Profile Designs waterbottle rack fit around this? I think so on my compact frame. Those side panels unfold into full side panniers on some models. Pretty sweet system!

Oh, just to wrap up this review of seatpost mounted stuff, I'm really liking my Specialized Romin Elite Gel saddle. The extra padding of the gel is something I NEED - along with the 153 width.


Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

I have a few insolated water bottle but find all of them hard to squeeze while riding. Call me weak...just not a fan of them.

Store stops will always be my vote. Sometimes I carry one to two extra bottles in my jersey only if I know we have no other good option. ;)

Nate said...

Does the Camelbak bottle (small) insulate as well as the polar?

Grey Beard said...

The CamelBak 4X bottle insulates 2X better than the Polar by claim, and by my experience somewhat less than that.

I have an old Polar bottle whose insulation is very reflective - like a SpaceBlanket - and I think both the current Polar and the CamelBak would benefit from the addition of a swatch of SpaceBlanket - better viz at night too.

I have thought about conducting a test, and may yet do so, but for me the bite valve on the CamelBak is so much better I'll never go back to the Polar bottles.