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Thread: Water Bottles

  1. #1
    rcannon100's Avatar
    rcannon100 is offline Puppies! Puppies! Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!
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    Default Water Bottles

    I know we love our free water bottles.... but I have a question. One set of free water bottles I got were unusual - they had yellow tops (those nice Bike Arl bottles) instead of the standard black. And after a while, I notice that the yellow tops.... were not so yellow anymore. They had developed black smuck. Not sure if its mold or what. But into the trash.

    So... two part question... I hand wash my bottles 'cause other wise they taste like dishwashing machine soap. Besides bleach, is there a better way to clean the bottles?

    And... why are most bike bottle tops black. It is what I fear? To hide the black smuck that grows regularly on them. Is it mold and is this a recurring prob?

    Gonna toss my black top bottles and replace them with clear top bottles probably. Just assume buy a bottle that I know is clean, then use a free bottle that hide the black smuck.

    Update: Okay, eek, according to this bike forum thread, it would appear to be mold, and it would appear a solution is bleach. And yes, that would also suggest that the reason bottle tops are regularly black.... is to hide the mold. Here is REI Advice on cleaning bottles. And another forum thread discussing the problem.

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    Last edited by rcannon100; 09-14-2013 at 09:02 PM. Reason: smuck

  2. #2
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    I wash my Camelbak Chill Jacket bottles in the top rack of the dishwasher.

    Other practices I follow:

    - I only put water in them, not sports drink (Gatorade). I tried Gatorade for a brief period, but I didn't like the extra post-ride cleaning required. Plus, the Gatorade can leak out of the bottles and onto the bike, which is an even bigger problem. Or the Gatorade can spray out while trying to drink from the valve. I use carb chews for calories instead, and water for hydration. Carb chews are less messy than gels, especially on the bike. If you drop a chew, it just goes onto the road or trail and becomes ant or squirrel food. If you spill a gel, it can drop onto and cover the bike frame or get into the chain or derailleur. Or onto the wheel rim. At the very least, that requires more cleaning. At worst, it could cause a safety issue if it locks up moving parts once the sugar dries.

    (Joe Friel recommends splitting hydration and nutrition, instead of relying on sports drink for both, in longer races and rides, maybe past the 2-3 hour range. I learned why the hard way. A few years ago, I was doing a long triathlon on a very hilly course, near Ellicott City, MD. I burned through a lot of calories because of the near-constant climbing. But the air temperature was only in the upper 50s and low 60s, so I wasn't that thirsty. I barely drank any Gatorade at all during the 56-mile bike. That was a mistake in terms of nutrition, because shortly after starting the half marathon run, I completely ran out of glycogen, i.e., I bonked completely. I loaded up on calories after walking to the next aid station, but I could never get back to race pace that day. On cool days, you may not drink enough sports drink to get enough calories, because you aren't as thirsty. On hot days, you may drink a lot and end up taking in far too much sugar from the sports drink. With water, you can drink to thirst, no matter what the temperature is, and then eat carb chews on a pre-planned schedule, based on length of ride/race and intensity of the ride. Or no calories at all for shorter rides.)

    - I always empty out the bottles right after the ride, or as soon as possible after a race. I never store them with liquid inside.

    - I clean them after every use, or at least I put them in the dishwasher with the top removed. I don't use them again until after I've run the dishwasher.

    - Even after using the dishwasher, I notice that the bottles do not dry as well as drinking glasses do. So I take them out, shake out the excess water and put them back in the top rack to let them continue to air-dry. I do the same with the tops. After a while, I store the bottles horizontally, with the tops removed. Since I have a small stack of the Chill Jackets, I leave them on their sides without the tops, and place the tops in between the bottles, so that the underside of the tops are exposed to air. I think this lets any remaining drops of water fall down or evaporate.

    I've been doing this for about 4 years now and haven't noticed any strange taste with the bottles. I don't really use the non-insulated bottles that I have. I keep them around or give them away to young relatives.

    I also have an insulated stainless-steel Klean Kanteen bottle. It works far better than the plastic Chill Jacket bottles in keeping liquids cool (or hot). The one time I used it on a hot day, it kept cold liquids completely cold after 3 hrs. while the Chill Jacket water starts to get warm after 45-60 minutes, and completely warm by 90-120 min. on a hot day. But the KK bottles are heavier and I guess I'm worried about something scratching the exterior, like a screw in a bottle cage, so I don't use it that much. Maybe I'll try using them with hot liquid this winter. Another issue is that they don't have a convenient drinking nozzle. They have a traditional sliding top, which isn't user-friendly for drinking water while riding. You really need to stop to drink.

    Klean Kanteen does sell a different top with a drinking valve. But it isn't insulated, so the bottle won't work as well. Maybe that's the problem with the Chill Jackets. But changing to a closed top isn't a good option when using the bottles for mid-ride water.

    (Another idea which I should use but don't, is to bring a Chill Jacket as the primary bottle and the Klean Kanteen as extra storage. I could use the Chill Jacket mid-ride. When that runs out, I can refill it from the Klean Kanteen. However, I rarely seem to run out of water these days. I don't remember the last time I used more than one bottle on a ride, even for 3-4 hr. rides in the summer or winter. I posted about this on a thread, a few months ago. I guess I'm a camel or something.)
    Last edited by PotomacCyclist; 09-14-2013 at 11:22 PM.

  3. #3
    hozn's Avatar
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    I admit I have become snobby about bottles; I have found that good bottles make a big difference (more than, say, a "good seatpost") and it is worth paying for. Specifically, the differences are in flow and ease of cleaning. The best bottles I have found are the Specialized hydroflo purist bottles. The flow is fantastic (IMO better than CamelBak podium I used previously) and the tops come fully apart for easy cleaning (in this regard far better than the CamelBak). The triangle-shape grip makes them really easy to grab too. This is pretty much the perfect bottle. I use these exclusively on my road bike and I use the old-school Specialized bottles on my commuter and mountain bikes (the older bottles are a little more snug in the cages, which is valuable off-road).

    I put both water and sports drinks (electrolyte tablets) in them. I clean them by hand or in dishwasher. I don't leave them lying around with water or sports drink on them, but other than that I don't give them any special care. I have never had a problem with anything growing in these. The cheap bottles I keep as throw-away backups for long races (e.g. where one might swap bottles).

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    americancyclo's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of the flow rate of the specialized bottles as well. The trek bottles from crystal city this year (purple ones) are pretty good too. I used to keep bottles way too long, but recently realized that I'm at enough bike events that I can afford to recycle bottles when I get a new one meaning I never really have to go more than 6 months or so with the same bottles and I usually have at least six in the cabinet at home. I handwash and only use electrolyte drink mix in a few select bottles and water in the rest. I also try to remove the nozzle at least every five uses to thorougly clean.

  5. #5
    vvill's Avatar
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    I prefer the "Purist" bottles too
    http://specializedwaterbottles.com/purist/

    I have Bikenetic, Phoenix Bikes and Voler branded ones.

    I actually prefer the older Purist bottle valve tops though. The newer "Watergate" ones are squeeze only (no opening or closing) and I never quite got used to them.


    I general I use a bottle brush (once used for infant bottles) with detergent, and also vinegar soak when necessary. I also dry them on a rack once used for infant bottles.
    Last edited by vvill; 09-15-2013 at 07:49 PM.

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    hozn's Avatar
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    Huh, I didn't know they had changed the valves. Yeah, I have the "heart valve" on all my purist bottles (gotta love their naming department) and am very happy with it.

    I like the idea of reusing the baby supplies! Noted.

  7. #7
    vvill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    I like the idea of reusing the baby supplies! Noted.
    The brush and some of the rack spikes are a little short for taller water bottles, but we had them laying around so I just sort of adopted them.

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    I got a bottle at REI the other day that has a screw BOTTOM as well as top. Itis really easy to clean and was 10 bucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcannon100 View Post
    And after a while, I notice that the yellow tops.... were not so yellow anymore. They had developed black smuck. Not sure if its mold or what. ]
    And this why I only buy black top water bottles. I wish I was joking, but I just rather not know what is happening under there. My bottles are covered with grease and dirt and get cleaned less than my chain. Sure my water has a more rustic flavor,but after slugging down a Gu anything tastes good.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Water bottles

    Hi. I am a newbie here. I am sharing the best insulated water bottle with you all. They are great and works in all climate.
    http://www.reviewgig.com/home-n-gard...ottles-review/

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