Drinking on long rides

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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by Norregard

How does everyone go about drinking enough on long training rides? I go on +100km rides quite often, and I take a standard 550ml bottle of Isostar and a 700ml bottle of water but especially on warm days or on very long rides (did a 140km ride on friday) that's just not enough. It's not always possible to refill on the ride when there aren't many shops or cafés in sight. I have a good camelbak which I always use when I'm abroad on unknown roads, but I don't like using it on my regular training rides at home (to spare my back). I could ofcourse use two 700ml bottles but that still wouldn't be enough. Ideally I want to be drinking 500ml per hour on long rides. Are there other options I haven't yet considered?

(Sorry if this has been done before. I used the search function but 'bottle' or 'drinking' seemingly aren't they easiest terms to narrow the search down!)

by Weenie

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by antonioiglesius

I look for water spigots along the way. Sometimes there are online maps where people contribute locations of such spigots. Parks often have them too, where I am, as do restrooms (with fountains). Without some water source, I'll have to do loops/route repeats.

At the extreme, I've also thought about driving to certain spots along the route and hiding caches of water. But, I never got around to doing that.

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by DutchMountains

950ml bottles exist, and you could mount another bottle (or two) behind your seat (popular with triathlon riders I believe).

And the obvious thing: do make sure you're properly hydrated before you leave; your stomach/intestines easily store another 300ml of fluids. Before I leave on my long training rides I always drink a big mug of tea, rarely need a drink in the first hour.

But... "long training rides" should mean a low intensity. Do you really need 500ml/hour for that? Unless you're riding in the searing heat of course, but in that case a possible solution is to start your ride really early (like 5am).

I did ride a 310km brevet the other week. Nice sunny weather, 19 degrees (66 Fahrenheit) on average with most of the afternoon at 22 degrees as reported by Garmin. 11h20m moving time which is close to the limit I am capable of at such a distance (had to catch the last train home ;)) In total I drank 2 liters of water (camelback), 500ml orange juice, 250ml cola and 250ml chocolate milk. So that makes about 250ml / hour.

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by Rubik

Two 700 on the frame, one 700 in the back pocket. I can easily go through a bottle every 45 mins when it's hot, so anything more than 3 hours requires loops to pick up more bottles at home or stops along the way.
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by jrobart

anyone just drinking straight water on longer rides? If so, how do you compare your freshness vs CytoMax or a similar mix? I've started only taking water recently and finding no ill effects (also tastes a lot better with Shot Blocks or GUs than a flavored drink!). Riding Mt Washington in 3 weeks and debating what fluid to take (have done it several times before but have always taken CytoMax).
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by Hellgate

Be careful not to knock your electrolights out of balance with only drinking water.

I spent 20 years in the Army with several deployments to the ME. On more than one occasion I've seen Soldiers go down because they failed to eat and drink well, and drank only water.

Cycling can do the same if you're not careful.

If a ride is more than 1:15 minutes, or above 90 degrees I use NUUN tabs from the beginning of the ride on. In cool climates you can extend that a bit.

Texas in the summer I'll drink one 21 oz bottle an hour or so. On a 40+ mile ride a refill stop is mandatory. Last weekend, I thought I'd sprung a leak with the amount of sweat that was pouring out of me, faucet like... lovely...
Last edited by Hellgate on Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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by fromtrektocolnago

I'll research my water stops in advance but on one ride where water is an issue on the hottest days not only do I bring water bottles but I've ridden with a camelback
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by LouisN

On very long rides where I know I won't find water supplementation, I carry 3 bottles ( 1 in my jersey) and another one wich is a 500ml spring water bottle (very soft plastic from the grocery store) with 50ml taken out and I squish the bottle so it's flattened. Once my first bottle is empty, I transfer the "soft" one in the bike bottle.
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by TonyM

On low intensity long rides (up to 200 km) I only drink max (!) 2x750ml water

On high intensity long rides (especially when hot) I use 2x750ml bottles (with electrolytes like Nuun tabs etc...) but I usually also make a stop somewhere to buy some water.

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by p3dalfaster

Never drink water when you're exercising. ALWAYS use some form of electrolytes. Even if you have to put some sea salt in to your water, just make sure you're getting your electrolytes somehow. I rode 100km on the weekend, with x2 500ml bottles, used a bit of Himalayan salt with apple cider vinegar, it wasn't particular hot and felt fine all ride.

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by Asteroid

Unless the ride ventures into the backwoods, my longer routes are dotted with numerous establishments.
It doesn't even require me to dip into my wallet; just find a place with an ice dispenser and politely ask to fill up both bottles with ice.
Subway, Carl's Jr, MacD, 7-11, AM-PM, etc. have always gladly allowed me to refill. I find a cold beverage more refreshing, especially later in the ride when it heats up. Sometimes I carry a small Ziploc with an electrolyte mix for the longer rides.

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by DutchMountains

Never drink water when you're exercising. ALWAYS use some form of electrolytes
Whatever works for you my friend.

Me? I've done long rides (longest 1000km in 72 hours) on plain water without electrolytes added, with just "regular" food and without any problem. And yes, you could argue that the food provided the electrolytes. Which is exactly my point :-)

The only time I should have used additional electrolytes (I think, in hindsight) was when it was close to 35 degrees C (in the shade, Garmin reported 45 C in the sun) and I drank about 4 litres of water in an afternoon with (relatively) little food.

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by antonioiglesius

Also this (I don't know how well it works, I just think the concept is cool):

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/font ... -camping#/


Fontus Airo will save you trouble, weight and might even save your life!

This water bottle will refill itself while you are hiking, sailing, climbing, camping or just enjoying nature.There is no need to worry any more about heavy water loads, plastic bottle waste or where to find the next river to fill up your bottle and get your daily water supply. This device gives you the freedom to plan your adventure without worrying about the most elemental component of survival: water supply.

You can clip the Airo to a backpack and fill your bottle while you are hiking. Allow it to function while you are in motion, or just let it fill while sitting at a campsite!

Effectiveness/yield graph:


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by TonyM

Cool concept!! :thumbup: I would like to see some review on the final released product!

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by AJS914

I prefer just water on rides. I'll bring a banana and/or a bar on longer rides. I also make sure to eat well before the ride.

The Fortus bottle looks interesting. I wonder how much water it could actually produce on say a 2 hour ride.

by Weenie

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