How do you stay hydrated whilst on the bike?

On a recent ride to meet the guys from Foffa Bikes (more on that soon!) I started to really feel the warmer weather. For hydration I’ve always relied on a simple water bottle like that from attached to a Topeak bottle cage. A quick stop at the traffic light gives me time for a swig from the bottle. On a quiet road it’s also possible to have a quick drink without stopping.

camelbak-omega-reservoir-50ozI’ve also had a look at other options, especially for longer rides, such as the CamelBak 2 litre. As you are apparently supposed to consume anything between 500ml to 750ml of water per hour of riding these seem more suitable for longer commuter rides.

There’s various fancy options such as the Clear2Go Filter Bottle. This removes that horrible plastic bottle taste you seem to get when drinking water and also removes various bacteria.

What do you use to stay hydrated on the bike?

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22 Responses to How do you stay hydrated whilst on the bike?

  1. Kevin Campbell's Blog 13/05/2011 at 8:18 am #


    joking, but yes water is all i use and this is the cage and bottle set, it does the job well, review on my blog for anyone interested and reviews on product page too

    i think i could do with a slightly larger water bottle though, i go through loads of drink these days, must get dehydrated easily

    and a tip for anyone reading that i find useful is, drink before you get thirsty or drink before you think you need a drink, works for me

    take care

  2. Jon 13/05/2011 at 9:44 am #

    That’s a good price. Think I had to shell out £6 for a Bontrager bottle cage at my LBS.

  3. Giles Roadnight 13/05/2011 at 9:52 am #

    I just have a standard large water bottle which and I usually only get through half of it on my 18 mile commute. On longer rides I take 2 large bottles and rely on water stops on route.

    I can’t stand having anything on my back making me EVEN more sweaty so I don’t wear a rucksack and wouldn’t want a camel back.

    On long rides I put some electrolytes in the water.

  4. Liz 13/05/2011 at 9:53 am #

    On short rides I use a bottle but if out on longer rides I use acamelback. Works for me.

  5. deadmanjones 13/05/2011 at 10:07 am #

    I get off the bike and go in a pub

  6. Nico 13/05/2011 at 10:15 am #


  7. Andrew Priest 13/05/2011 at 10:18 am #

    On my commutes and short rides < 100 km I go with two Camelback Podium Big Chill bottles (it gets hot here in Western Australia :)) and for longer rides or where water is more limited I carry a 2 L Camelbak bladder in addition to the two 750 ml water bottles and on the tourer I use a couple of BBB cages which hold 1.5 litre bottles.

    I have carried around 14 litres of water over three days of my tour last year as we where riding through a dry area.

    I suspect you don’t need to carry as much in the UK :)

    Oh, I take a drink every 10 minutes whilst moving. I just display my ride time on my Garmin Edge 800 and use that to remind me to drink.

  8. Steve 13/05/2011 at 10:56 am #


  9. Tommy 13/05/2011 at 11:03 am #

    I’m a camelback fan, but this mainly stems from my old championship enduro motorcycling days where hydration was the make or break for me and hanging stuff off the bike was not an option.

    Another thing I learnt from my racing was ‘pre-loading’ in the days leading up to the events, I would saturate myself with water even if it meant going to the toilet every 20 mins, it seemed to take away any desperate thirst moments in the event and make my concentration for picking lines much easier. Now i just spot drain covers and indicators opposed to roots and rocks!

  10. Bluenose 13/05/2011 at 11:04 am #

    I use bottle and cage, in fact 2 bottles and cages as I go for long rides and fill them at a suitable pub half way round. Personally I don’t like anything on my back when riding so a camelbak wouldn’t suit me at all.

  11. carolyn 13/05/2011 at 11:10 am #

    For my daily commute 20ml round trip I use a water bottle… in summer put it in freezer to keep water cool :)

    • Andreas 13/05/2011 at 12:29 pm #

      I use to do this! Now I usually chuck some ice cubes in the morning!

    • Andrew Priest 13/05/2011 at 12:42 pm #

      That is pretty much a must here … means for me cold water in the second hour of riding.

  12. Mike 13/05/2011 at 11:13 am #

    I use two standard water bottles, which is usually enough.

    On very long rides, it’s rare not to be able to refill them – even people out gardening will refill a bottle for you – and I usually carry something to replace electrolytes such as a sugar/salt mixture.

    Some 1 or 1.25 litre squash bottles actually fit into a standard bottle cage, extending your range between refills (if only I could remember which makes….)

  13. Filippo Negroni 13/05/2011 at 11:17 am #

    On my daily commute (12 miles each way) I don’t even take a drink with me.
    Anything beyound 20 miles I do, and then I make an effort to drink every 5 miles or so.
    I have a Camelbak bottle which I think is probably the best. I also have a Camelbak hydration bag for rucksacks, which I use when I go trail riding, but it has the nasty habit of getting too warm because of the heat from my back, or too cold (I once went for a ride on the South Downs in -7C and the whole spout clogged up with ice…)

    I usually put one third fruit juice/two thirds water and then add a pinch of iodised table salt.

  14. philcycle 13/05/2011 at 11:58 am #

    Two Zefal Magnum bottles in cages, with en route refills as necessary, are good for me.
    I usually use an electrolyte mix (SIS Go at half strength) to give some flavour, which encourages intake, and replace the lost salts. It also gives an energy boost.

  15. bfg67 13/05/2011 at 1:37 pm #

    I just got a (new version) Camelbak 3.0l Antidote, with the classic backpack. I used it the other day and loved it! I still had to get it refilled at a bakery where i stopped for some calory top-up.

  16. Richard Cleverly 15/05/2011 at 8:41 pm #

    on my 13 mile commute, water before I set off and when I get there, nothing on the bike. For longer rides, 2 x 750ml bottles with SIS GO powder, I drink at least a bottle an hour depending on temperature and effort. If it is a seriously long ride or tough conditions I will have one bottle with which stops muscle cramps. I carry enough sachets of both to keep hydrated and fuelled throughout the ride.

    It’s fair to say, I’m a big lad, and sweat a lot :-)

  17. David Smith 16/05/2011 at 11:15 pm #

    Definitely camelbak hydration packs for me but use anything other than water and you run the risk of tainting! You could always have a bottle as well containing your favourite electrolyte mix/drink

  18. Phil 17/05/2011 at 10:52 am #

    I pop a 2L bottle of water into the Mundo frame just behind the saddle if I’m doing 10+ miles, or a Sigg 1L bottle with a home-bodged innertube protector for shorter rides. I don’t bother at all on my work commute, as I drink a pint before I leave and can get a drink at the end.

  19. Andrew 17/05/2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Water bottle (or two). Camelbak Podium to be precise. I haven’t added electrolytes yet but think this may be a good idea, especially in the summer months.

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