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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kind of an odd, niche training question in regards to clothing/packing it along and riding in a mtb group setting, not the solo "epic" survival training ride.

If you detest hydration packs, but need more than 2 bottles the bike can carry, and you're on a multi-hour group mtb ride where "roadie" jerseys aren't the norm, what do you think of the Specialized SWAT bib?

I'm a baggy over bib guy and wear the "mandatory" non-roadie jersey on long mtb group rides. Sometimes I'll do an early ride to warm up with beginner friends then join the longer faster ride. Showing up to a beginner group ride in full kit is intimidating and uncomfortable on several fronts. But my shorts pockets get tight and uncomfy with a phone and more than 1 shot blok. The 50oz CamelBak doesn't hold anything more than 2 bottle's worth and even for the first 2 hours the weight and pack just isn't my thing. Wearing a pocketed jersey under a loose fitting shirt is not an option on long hot summer rides.

Having said all that what are your thoughts on the Speci option for all-day group mtb rides where enough food and emergency gear is just as important as comfort and being casual: Reviewed: Specialized Mountain Bib Short Liner with SWAT - VeloNews.com
 

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I checked out a pair. Great idea with smart compartments even on the legs. Unfortunately the padding in the SWAT bib is entry level. I have Specialized RBX Pro and Comp padding, and the SWAT pad, which they call "mountain", is like comparing a piece of toilet paper to a pillow. Why they would make a bib capable of carrying 3, 4, 5 hours of gear then put a chamois/pad that looks like it's ready for an hour on a sidewalk makes no sense. Probably price point. Probably think a mountain rider will be standing a lot more for downhills and bumps versus a roadie who sits all day except for the occasional stretch.

A RBX Pro level bib would've shot the price up $20 or more but I'd pay it for the awesome all-day-long padding in my Pro bib. Having said all that I bought a pair with the store manager giving me a 30 day return option. Super friendly and nice to offer. Hoping the pessimist in me doesn't find out the SWAT pad is a torture device way before the contents of all its nice pockets can be utilized.
 

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How about a 70oz Camelbak Racebak (baselayer with drink built in) which won't move around as much as a normal pack, be lighter, cooler and should also be more comfortable than carrying a plastic water bottle in a pocket on your back.

http://shop.camelbak.com/mens-racebak/d/50018_c_1100_cl_1662

A bento bike box behind the stem for your food.

http://road.cc/content/review/87244-lezyne-energy-caddy

A mini pump attached to the frame under one of the bottle cages and then a smallish size saddle bag for tools and anything else you need to carry.:)

http://www.topeak.com/products/bags/AeroWedgePack_small_Quick

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I didn't know that mtb group rides have a dress code. I can somehow understand that many people are scared of cycling tights but what is wrong with a decent cycling shirt? Only exceptions being if you have a massive beer belly that makes you look like a German sausage in such shirt.

My back can't tolerate any backpack. My strategy is to put 2 or 3 17 oz soft flasks into the jersey pockets.
 

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I'll have something out very soon that should fit the bill for riders wanting to ditch their hydration packs, but still want to carry enough water. Been testing prototypes of the " Waterboy" for the last week and looks very promising, you'll see it here first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks! Just saw the one on Specialized's site for $10. And Quax posted a good one, too, basically put aside ego or mob mentality and just wear a "normal" decent jersey with the 3 pockets, my bibs and the baggies. All good posts, thanks for the input everyone.
 

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My experience with the Camelbak Racebak was less than favorable. The bladder's movement was very evident and very uncomfortable. I found the weight to be more noticeable, not necessarily heavier, but more noticeable than a normal bag.

I think the SWAT stuff is a good start to a great idea, but as others have said, I think it lacks some refinement still.

To play devil's advocate, placing bottles high and away from your COM like on your seatpost can cause less than favorable changes in handling, however dehydration generally causes much less favorable changes in your body's performance ;)

On longer rides (5+ hrs) that aren't competitive, I sometimes take a pack, but I pack as lightly as possible. On most rides that are longer I will put a smaller bottle in one of my jersey pockets.
 

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Why in the world would anyone care what you wear? You can ride casually in a lycra kit. A standard cyling jersey with baggies is not that aggressive looking..this is weird to me.
 

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Maybe it's just me, as I started mountain biking before there was such a thing as AllMountainEnduroFreeride clothing but a guy out for a casual ride in lycra looks far less silly than a guy on a smooth XC trail in his full downhill gear with a full face helmet on a 9" travel bike...pushing it up the climbs.
 
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