Boy, today’s ride was uncomfortably humid. Not terribly hot, just humid. The kind of day where you start sweating when you open the door and step outside. The kind of day where your cycling gloves are soaked through before you’ve ridden five miles. And when the group takes a short break, you can take the gloves off and wring them out — and they drip moisture all over the road. Ditto your sweat band.
I found myself reaching for my water bottle more than usual today. That’s a good thing, because I tend to drink too little when I’m on the road. But both of my slightly-larger-than-normal water bottles were almost drained when I finished the 33 miles — about all I felt like doing. I had plenty of trouble keeping the group in sight today.
I also noticed the way other riders took their water. It seems there’s not just one way to drink from a bottle, but three distinctly different ways. I couldn’t get shots of all the different ways as we were riding, but when the ride was over I had young Alexander, who rode with us today (and who left me well behind), demonstrate.
The first way is pretty normal. You grab your bottle, and drink from it like you drink from a glass. Or a beer bottle. Most people seem to use this method.
But there’s a variation I often see, usually from riders with many years of experience. Saw a lot of pros in the Philly International Championship on TV today drink that way, too. They reach down for their bottle, but instead of keeping their thumb at the top, they turn their hand over so the thumb points down. That brings the water bottle to the mouth already pointing down.
But there’s a third way, that I’ve seen associated with European racing teams. You hold the bottle normally, but then turn it so your hand is on top of the bottle.
I once read about a team of French cyclists using the hand on top method, and figured what the hey, I’ll give it a try. It seemed that the water flowed more freely. Of course, that could be just my imagination. But I use this way from time to time, if I think about it while on a ride.
Personally, I’ve never liked the upside down method, but in my experience, cyclists who use it won’t drink any other way.
Ultimately, the important thing is to get the water in the mouth. So I suppose whatever works for you is the way to go.
Do you have a preferred method of drinking during rides? And if so, what’s good about it?
I hold the bottle the way I grab it from the cage. If I grab the bottle from the seat tube, then when I bring it to my mouth I’m holding it “upside down”. If I grab the down tube bottle, then I’m holding it “normal” when I bring it to my mouth. Either way, I don’t flip the bottle around on the way to my mouth or back to the cage. In a group ride or race, that’s the best way to drop a bottle and make a lot of new enemies.
What a great fun post! I have to admit that I haven’t thought about it myself, and just go for a thumb under method. But then, I have only just gotten the hang of it. Do you keep pedaling when you pick up to drink…I struggle a bit and have a little wobble if I am not careful, so at the mo I am planning where to take drinks on the flat. If you have a technique for a no wobble supping then post on it! Next time I am out on the bike (tomorrow, all being well) I will give each of the methods a go, and if I remember post back! Cheers for such a fun post. A
Funny you should mention the wobble, Andrew. I have a seatpost-mounted dual water bottle cage. I am very right-side dominant, so I have no trouble grabbing the bottle on the right side and drinking while I pedal. But the one on the left side is a different story. Like you, I wait for flat spots, and tend to coast while using that bottle. Practice, practice, practice.
awesome post man…
need to do one on how to carry more water now that we’ve relocated to the surface of the sun
i’m thinking I need additional cages
Or, you could only ride routes that include a convenience store around the halfway point, so you can refill there.
Funny you brought this up….I’ve been thinking about the same topic lately. As a bike noob myself, I can reach the bottle on the down tube ok, but I have difficulty reaching my bottle on the seat tube when the down tube bottle runs out. Any advice? Should I swap them at a stop when the down tube one is empty? Will I eventually just get use to reaching the seat tube bottle? (probably…) Like the @331miles said….I actually have dropped bottles before, luckily when nobody has been around.
I never found the seat tube bottle to be easy to get to, so I mounted my frame pump there instead. But when I did use a bottle on the seat tube, yes, I would switch it to the down tube after I emptied the down tube bottle.
I just about have to switch out my seat tube bottle to the downtube. For some strange reason, when my bike was mfg’erd, they didn’t put in enough “space” to get 2-cages so I had to find an adaptor, that let me screw the mount into a “single” downtube hole and screw the cage to the mount but they are VERY close together!
I use the tall polor bottles and can “just” get the bottle in the seat tube cage. LOL, I’d play heck, getting the the seat tube bottle out while riding!! The wife is major SHORT so on her 14.5 in. frame, the only waterbottle bosses are “under” the down tube, NO WAY can she reach it and there’s NO ROOM for a 2nd. cage so we had to go the “Camelback” for her!! If I didn’t have “Retiters Syndrome” (chronic arthritic condition), and could stand the “weight” on my shoulders, I’d go the “Camelback” too she sure seems to get water a LOT easier than me! 😉
I tried out the methods yesterday 😉 Interestingly, although the regular method 1 is easier in terms of grasping the bottle, method 2 is surprisingly more secure, especially when putting it back in the cage. I tcould be the angle or something. The third method isn’t much different from the first and just hurts my wrist! I think I will work on 2 for a while…