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Personally I find it hard to bring myself to add the weight of an extra water bottle 0.75kg on long rides, having spent plenty of time and money on getting my bike light and efficient. But I also know the engine wont function without water.

So, what to do! What is more efficient - stopping to refill or carrying the extra weight?

Last couple of long rides Ive done (Yorkshire dales cycleway and Fred Whitton route) Ive taken one bottle and been fortunate enough to refill from friendly locals or public conveniences. But yesterdays 75mi ride I was struggling to find anyone/where to refill, and didnt have my water filter for rivers/streams I passed.

34 comments

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Welsh boy [680 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

What do you call a "long ride"?

I use one 500ml bottle for rides of up to 75 miles.  Did you know that you are not going to die if you are a little bit thirsty when you finish a ride?

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Pilot Pete [190 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Unless you are at your ‘racing weight’ it makes bugger all difference carrying a second bottle. On a flat ride it makes even less difference. It all comes down to how much of a ‘drinker’ are you? By that I mean do you tend to need lots of fluids on a ride or very few? I sweat profusely even on a winter ride (and no, it’s not because I over dress) so I need lots of fluid intake to remain hydrated. I ride with guys who barely sweat at all and don’t even drink one full bottle full on a 75mile ride.

So it’s horses for courses really. I carry two 500ml bottles for anything over 50 miles, one energy drink, one plain water. I will top up at any stop, so often finish a ride with a full bottle of water. That doesn’t worry me in the slightest as I would rather have it and not need it than not have it and need it.

Having said that, there are very few places in the UK where you would be unable to get water if you were literally on your last legs, especially if you are riding on the road. If it worries you, why not carry puritabs instead of your full on water filter? Taste is pretty shit but they kill anything in the water and it will have the same effect upon drinking. We used them extensively in the Army when filling water bottles from streams etc. They are tiny and weigh nothing. Believe me, when you are in the Brecon Beacons, carrying 30kg of kit and tabbing over mountain after mountain as fast as you can and have run out of water you don’t care how shit it tastes when you find it!

PP

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bechdan [255 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

good call on the puritabs id forgotten about those, ill get a few and keep them in my toolbag!

 

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Simon E [3813 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
Pilot Pete wrote:

Unless you are at your ‘racing weight’ it makes bugger all difference carrying a second bottle. On a flat ride it makes even less difference.

Even at 'racing weight' it's almost entirely psychological.

Adding 750ml will 'cost' you maybe 15 or 20 seconds on a ride with 1,000m of ascent - far less time than you'll spend fannying about by a stream or walking into a cafe and sheepishly asking for water, knowing you should buy something while you're there.

And once you've drunk the water your bike will be light once more!

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Pilot Pete [190 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Simon E wrote:

And once you've drunk the water your bike will be light once more!

I'm loving that analogy!laugh

PP

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BrokenBootneck [282 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Just go all “Bear Grylls” style. Recycle your pee and top up your water bottle. 

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TheBillder [19 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Pilot Pete wrote:
Simon E wrote:

And once you've drunk the water your bike will be light once more!

I'm loving that analogy!laugh

PP

And even nicer, the water you have consumed will mostly have been sweated and exhaled, so that extra 750g is mostly gone if you finish with an empty bottle, a little thirsty and the sweat mostly evaporated. Hence the overall weight of you and bike is less than at the start of the ride, and for zero cost. Beat that, weight weenies.

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Simon E [3813 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Another thought: what percentage of all-up weight (bike+rider) is your bottle?

The smaller that number the less relevant it is.

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ktache [1994 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I'd rather finish a ride with an untouched extra bottle than any possibility of running out.

I get very thirsty and I do sweat a lot.

I am never so thirsty as when I reach down and discover that I even though I have filled the bottle, I left it on the side and didn't get it onto the bike.  Mostly if I have visited someone.

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CXR94Di2 [2693 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
Welsh boy wrote:

What do you call a "long ride"?

I use one 500ml bottle for rides of up to 75 miles.  Did you know that you are not going to die if you are a little bit thirsty when you finish a ride?

 

Thats is not enough by miles, riding time 4+ hours   Ideally you want 500mil per hour

 

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OldRidgeback [3211 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

On a long cycling trip in Spain many years ago me and my buddy emptied our bottles. We refilled them from a stream. When we found a cafe a bit further on, we stopped for some food and also to refill the bottles with clean water. Only then did we realise how much crud was in the stream water. Luckily, we had no ill effects.

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bechdan [255 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Thanks for all the replies everyone

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Welsh boy [680 posts] 1 month ago
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CXR94Di2 wrote:
Welsh boy wrote:

What do you call a "long ride"?

I use one 500ml bottle for rides of up to 75 miles.  Did you know that you are not going to die if you are a little bit thirsty when you finish a ride?

 

Thats is not enough by miles, riding time 4+ hours   Ideally you want 500mil per hour

 

I disagree.  I read a very interesting article on marathon runners which showed that the best times were returned by runners who lost roughly 10% of their dody weight in water loss during the run.  I hate people who post "research" without a source so I will try to find it and post a link to it.

I believe that too many people slavisly follow the figures quotes for elite athletes in events like the Tour when calculating their water intake.  Firstly, I dont expect many people reading this are producing the power of riders like Froome so why are they basing their water intake on his requirements, I dont expect that they are calculating and basing their calorie intake for the day on his requirements.

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Simon E [3813 posts] 1 month ago
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Welsh boy wrote:

I read a very interesting article on marathon runners which showed that the best times were returned by runners who lost roughly 10% of their dody weight in water loss during the run.

Even  though you also say "too many people slavisly follow the figures quotes for elite athletes" that seems to be what you're doing.

I'd also argue that 10% weight loss during a 2-hour race isn't healthy, even if it is the strategy chosen by those specific athletes.

I drink much less water on a steady ride in cool weather than, say, a hilly ride when it's warm and sunny so even suggesting a fixed amount per unit of distance or time is unhelpful.

The most reliable source of information on hydration, hyponatraemia, electrolytes and more I've found is Alex Hutchinson. Here are a couple of examples:

http://www.runnersworld.com/sweat-science/how-to-avoid-overdrinking

http://sweatscience.com/drinking-during-exercise-maybe-you-dont-need-as-...

Alex also posted a blog entry about "a study that included an unverified claim that Haile Gebrselassie lost 10% of his body mass due to dehydration during his world record marathon run." Is this what you were referring to? The 10% figure is also raised in a subsequent discussion with Asker Jeukendrup. Both are on the first page of his posts tagged 'hydration' at http://sweatscience.com/tag/hydration/ while his more recent articles can be found at https://www.outsideonline.com/1745511/alex-hutchinson

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Awavey [618 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Welsh boy wrote:

What do you call a "long ride"?

I use one 500ml bottle for rides of up to 75 miles.  Did you know that you are not going to die if you are a little bit thirsty when you finish a ride?

It wont, but muscle cramp from dehydration is really really painful,and a bit of a pain if you have to carry on riding with it, plus it doesnt go away just if you then drink lots. Always carry 500ml, I double up if the weather is 28C+,I'd drink that on 50mile ride easily

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cyclesteffer [420 posts] 1 month ago
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Spot the churches along your regular routes. Lots of them have drinkable water in the graveyard watering taps.

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DoctorFish [223 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

1. Don't worry about the extra weight

2. Stop occasionally and top-up - this will take far more time than just carrying the extra

3. For top ups - https://refill.org.uk/get-the-refill-app/

 

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CXR94Di2 [2693 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

@ Welsh boy

Its not how much power you're producing compared to elite riders, its your own physical effort determines hydration. A hard ride I can consume a litre/hour and steady rides one litre per 3 hours. But ideally you should need to pee upon arriving home and shouldn't be too dark.

The pros are checked for hydration levels immediately after each days racing to ensure that they have enough fluids throughout a ride. Correct hydration must be vitally important to perform at the peak performance- Pros dont skimp on hydration or nutrition, if they do, risking running out of energy in the latter parts of a race. So reducing fluids compromises performance

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Secret_squirrel [44 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

Water = hydration = much less chance of cramp ruining a fun ride and no need to play hunt the water supply.  I'm baffled you feel the need to ask the question, or would be seriously considering purification tablets unless you are going to the boonies.

If the extra weight offends you that much take a dump before the ride.

Much like some of the stats above I rather suspect that speed losses/gains due to weight only really apply to elite athletes at full gas.

Within 2-3kg the weight of your bike only makes a difference if your twin clone is riding the same bike next to you and you are racing.

My last sportive (Ride London) I was probably carrying 2-3kg over a normal 50-60 mile pootle because of extra water (Camelbak) gels, snacks, double porridge for brekkie and tools, and it was still flipping great!

Lighten your outlook rather than your bike, sit up smell the daisies and enjoy getting out there and riding.

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Welsh boy [680 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:

Even  though you also say "too many people slavisly follow the figures quotes for elite athletes" that seems to be what you're doing.

No, what I am doing is keeping an open mind that there are alternative theories out there rather than just the one which is often quoted on this and other forums by amateur riders slavishly following the top professionals with no real ideawhy they are copying them.

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Tom_77 [27 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Dehydration and endurance performance in competitive athletes - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00530.x

 

Quote:

cycling time‐trial performances are maximized when athletes drink according to the dictates of their thirst. More specifically, it was shown that endurance performance decreased significantly for athletes drinking less and decreased nonsignificantly for athletes drinking more than thirst.

 

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Welsh boy [680 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I still cant find the full article but:

"When Haile Gebrselassie became the first sub-2:04 marathoner in 2008, he lost 10 percent of his starting weight—far more than the 2 percent loss that the American College of Sports Medicine says “degrades aerobic exercise.” So what explains this apparent contradiction?"

Mild Dehydration Won’t Slow You Down, https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/a20859148/mild-dehydration-...

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Awavey [618 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Welsh boy wrote:
Simon E wrote:

Even  though you also say "too many people slavisly follow the figures quotes for elite athletes" that seems to be what you're doing.

No, what I am doing is keeping an open mind that there are alternative theories out there rather than just the one which is often quoted on this and other forums by amateur riders slavishly following the top professionals with no real ideawhy they are copying them.

I dont agree people are slavishly following this stuff, hydration is just like food fuelling for a ride, you do what works for you, usually through the painful experience, and it really really does hurt to keep riding if you get dehydration cramps in the legs, if you get it wrong as you push up the miles.

fwiw I did 80 miles yesterday, I went through 1.5-2 litres of water, and arguably didnt drink enough, as Id started to get a headache, and then I easily sunk about the same amount of liquid post ride, I think the weather was alot warmer than it had felt because the wind we were riding in kept us cooled down alot so you were sweating alot but didnt feel overly cooked to feel like you needed more water all the time, thats something Ill bear in mind next time I do a ride like that.

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Pyro Tim [12 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
Awavey wrote:
Welsh boy wrote:
Simon E wrote:

Even  though you also say "too many people slavisly follow the figures quotes for elite athletes" that seems to be what you're doing.

No, what I am doing is keeping an open mind that there are alternative theories out there rather than just the one which is often quoted on this and other forums by amateur riders slavishly following the top professionals with no real ideawhy they are copying them.

I dont agree people are slavishly following this stuff, hydration is just like food fuelling for a ride, you do what works for you, usually through the painful experience, and it really really does hurt to keep riding if you get dehydration cramps in the legs, if you get it wrong as you push up the miles.

fwiw I did 80 miles yesterday, I went through 1.5-2 litres of water, and arguably didnt drink enough, as Id started to get a headache, and then I easily sunk about the same amount of liquid post ride, I think the weather was alot warmer than it had felt because the wind we were riding in kept us cooled down alot so you were sweating alot but didnt feel overly cooked to feel like you needed more water all the time, thats something Ill bear in mind next time I do a ride like that.

 

Whereas I did 78 miles (3hr40) on a bottle and a bit.  (approx 800ml) No ill effects, no cramps. RideLondon (4hr41) the other week was 3 x 600ml bottles. No cramps there either. There is no scientific proof that hydration has any effect on cramp. The way I am I drink when I'm thirsty, and gulp it down. I normally drink a pint of squash before heading out to make sure I start from a good level. Everyone is different. No hard and fast rules, and telling people they need x amount of water for x distance is plain ridiculous.

 

On warmer days I drink more. Sometimes I've done my 2 bottles within 50 miles, and had to top up, other times I've done 80 miles on 1 bottle. Lots of factors involved. Listen to your body and ignore everyone else

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Welsh boy [680 posts] 1 month ago
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And I did 63 miles yesterday on one 500ml bottle , no cramp, no headache and lived to tell the tale. I would have drunk less if the first quarter of the ride hadn’t had me  wrapped up in a sweaty waterproof 

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nniff [313 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

FWIW i did 55 hilly miles this morning.  It was 34 degrees and I started sweating as soon as I got on the bike.  I drank two bottles by half way, bought a litre at a little shop, refilled the bottles and drank those by the end, since which time I have been pouring water into my head all afternoon.  If one bottle isn't enough, take two.  If two bottles aren't enough, buy some more or find a tap.  

Puritabs don't kill off flukes and other parasites quickly and so drinking found water shortly after dropping puritabs into it is not a simple answer and not without risk - you need to consider the environment in which you found it.

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Welsh boy [680 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:

Is this what you were referring to? 

Thanks, I think it is but I am sure that I saw a whole paper (or a similar one) at some point in time.

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BrokenBootneck [282 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Dr Tim Noakes has made an interesting podcast about a similar subject with marathon runners. Take from it what you will. https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/nutrition-articles/how-youre-be...

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Awavey [618 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Pyro Tim wrote:
Awavey wrote:
Welsh boy wrote:
Simon E wrote:

Even  though you also say "too many people slavisly follow the figures quotes for elite athletes" that seems to be what you're doing.

No, what I am doing is keeping an open mind that there are alternative theories out there rather than just the one which is often quoted on this and other forums by amateur riders slavishly following the top professionals with no real ideawhy they are copying them.

I dont agree people are slavishly following this stuff, hydration is just like food fuelling for a ride, you do what works for you, usually through the painful experience, and it really really does hurt to keep riding if you get dehydration cramps in the legs, if you get it wrong as you push up the miles.

fwiw I did 80 miles yesterday, I went through 1.5-2 litres of water, and arguably didnt drink enough, as Id started to get a headache, and then I easily sunk about the same amount of liquid post ride, I think the weather was alot warmer than it had felt because the wind we were riding in kept us cooled down alot so you were sweating alot but didnt feel overly cooked to feel like you needed more water all the time, thats something Ill bear in mind next time I do a ride like that.

 

Whereas I did 78 miles (3hr40) on a bottle and a bit.  (approx 800ml) No ill effects, no cramps. RideLondon (4hr41) the other week was 3 x 600ml bottles. No cramps there either. There is no scientific proof that hydration has any effect on cramp. The way I am I drink when I'm thirsty, and gulp it down. I normally drink a pint of squash before heading out to make sure I start from a good level. Everyone is different. No hard and fast rules, and telling people they need x amount of water for x distance is plain ridiculous.

 

On warmer days I drink more. Sometimes I've done my 2 bottles within 50 miles, and had to top up, other times I've done 80 miles on 1 bottle. Lots of factors involved. Listen to your body and ignore everyone else

but that just proves its entirely indiviual, and you find your own limit, usually through bitter experience, absolutely listen to your own body on it,except on the occasions when its not necessarily giving you the whole picture  1

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ktache [1994 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

May I say with great certainty that none of us are, or ever will be Haile Gebrselassie.

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