Cycling Hydration – Are Hydration Packs The Answer?
Cycling hydration is such an important part of this sport it can not be over stated. Hydration packs are not a new phenomenon. They have been around for quite sometime. However, over the past few years they have been gaining in prominence. Not a weekend goes by when I don’t see someone who has dropped the trusty water bottle in favour of a reservoir on their back and the length of blue tubing running round to their mouths. So are these hydration devices worthwhile?
The key benefit is the same in any sport. And that is, that if liquid is within very easy reach, you are more likely to drink. The same principle applies to hikers. Traditionally they would have put their water bottles in rucksacks, and stopped every 30-45 minutes for a break and a drink. With a hiking or cycling hydration pack, this problem is removed. You can sip at will every few minutes, keeping a good flow of liquid going into the body. So just the sheer convenience of hydration packs is a key benefit.
Secondly the quantity of liquid stores in a pack as opposed to a bottle. Both of these items come in different sizes, but hydration reservoirs will almost certainly carry far more fluid that any water bottle. There are many available that will carry 2-3 litres which is more than enough to sustain you until the next filling point.
The final point is performance. Having to reach down whilst cycling, and then lean back to get the fluid out, breaks your concentration and your aerodynamics. It’s a distraction you don’t need. A back mounted cycling hydration pack just requires to you connect mouth piece with mouth and suck. Your aerodynamics and concentration will not be compromised and you can get on with recording those personal bests!