Saturday, September 26, 2009

Interbike 2009 - Camelbak Ice

For today, a quick and easy one.

showed two innovations. The first was a version of their normal back mounted fluid resevoir, except that it was built into a base layer garment. Although I'm witholding opinion for now, it would be good for someone doing speed-emphasized rides, who isn't going to need a backpack to carry anything, and who wants to be as aero as possible.

Time trialers, anyone?

I guess I never got over the fact that, in warmer weather, the first 3 sips of a given "sip" would be kind of warm, then just as you got the cool fluid to feed through the tube, you needed to breathe. It's kind of like running the hot water briefly before it gets hot - you need to remove the "wrong temperature" fluid from the pipes before you get the good stuff.

But, unlike the base layer fluid things, I really liked the idea of their newest bottle. Call me old fashioned but I like the bottle being separate, ditch-able, replaceable (even during a ride, like when your teammate hands you a bottle of ice cold electrolyte drink).

I figure that of all the products displayed at Interbike, their bottle will be one of the things you'll see everywhere. I mean, yeah, it's cool checking out a $10k carbon time trial frame, but you're not going to see them everywhere.

In the old days the insulated bottle was kind of a joke. The double walled bottles held about two sips of fluid, and although the fluid stayed cold (or warm), you barely got a hint of it before you were out.

With more modern materials and design, you end up with a much higher volume of fluid in a similarly sized bottle.

The regular bottles.

Okay, the regular bottles, I don't see them selling as much. Specialized tried doing a different drinking nipple and the idea kind of flopped. I figure that looks count more than an innovative nipple. Folks will buy bottles with their favorite team or their LBS imprinted on them.

Now you're talking - Ice and Chill.

On the right is the Chill. That's the insulated bottle already out there. The slightly larger than a normal bottle holds a good 21 ounces, the same as the uninsulated version.

On the left is the Ice. It has a double layer of insulation, bumping up the temperature change resistance by two times. It, too, holds 21 ounces of fluid.

One of the guys at the booth through around $20 as an approximate retail price. That's not bad considering that you can spend half that on a normal bottle, and some of those stainless jobs can run $30 or $40.

I figure we'll see more of these in both hot and cold weather rides and races. Having warm tea during a chilly, wet, rainy 38 degree race would be great. And dropping a bunch of ice in the bottles would make sipping from such a bottle during a ride like our 80 degree ride yesterday just a touch more comfortable.

Or, if we'd ridden midday here in Vegas, the 100 degree temps more comfortable.

I'll start doing some more intricate product posts shortly.

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